Saturday, 1 September 2012

Epic Adventure Continues

Well where do i start.

Hopped on a train Thursday afternoon (9 Aug) with my daughter, bags packed and head buried in 2nd 'Shades of Grey' book too take my mind off everything. Arrived at my sisters after 2 trains and a taxi about 4.30pm. After a very annoying phone call from the builder who was demanding access to my house as the kitchen was ready to install (bad timing on his part and no warning for me or I would have made arrangements). So gave me something else to worry about other than the operation. Slept reasonably well that night, considering it was on a mattress on the floor and the smell of my sisters cigarettes has impregnated every inch of her house.
they dropped me off at 10.20am at the doors and i found my way up to pre admissions.
this is where you wait with dozen or so other people. They take you into a room and do your obs* (observations, blood pressure, temp, pulse, oxygen saturations, blood sugar). then given a gown, support stockings and dressing gown and told to go down to the disabled toilet to get changed. Then because someone else was in the toilets she told me if I was quick it would be ok to get changed in the small exam room. I asked for a bigger gown and dressing gown, she found a larger gown but no luck with the dressing gown. So with modesty shattered I go back to the cattle collection area and wait again. I had to throw my jacket over my knees as didn't want to scare any other patients to the view I might accidentally flash.
then I was called back up and had to have blood taken, dressing gown was so tight woman had to wrestle me out of it,  I did get her to help me tie my gown ties.  Then back to the cattle yard again.
Finally called a 3rd time, no idea what was going on. Nurse took my bags and put them in a storage room after we decorated them in labels with my details. Then we walked to the lifts and up to the surgical ward. Scottish nurse with a beautiful bed side manner asked me a heap of questions, went through a few details of what was to happen and got me to jump on a bed. Then had anesthetist team chat to me and put in a cannula. Explained due to the nature of the operation also required a cannula in my neck, they will do in theatre and not to be scared when I wake with one there. Also another in my wrist, so this can measure blood pressure.
Was wheeled into the small room before entering theatre where they started attaching more bits and pieces, Surgeon come and said a few words to me and then wheeled into the theatre. They used an hoover bed thingy to move you from the bed to the operating table. Remember looking at the 3 enormous lights that hadn't been turned on, the anesthetist saying something and lights out......


Woke up in recovery, my body was screaming in pain but all I could do was groan. Was thinking, OMG yes I'm alive but in the same thought, this pain is unbearable I wish I was dead. As i drifted in and out of consciousness I noticed the pain was getting more bearable and I was becoming more aware of my surroundings. Then I was wheeled to ICU, I vaguely remember an argument how ICU wasn't ready for me but I couldn't go back to recovery.
Was given a pain button, self administer my pain meds into my drip.Well I locked myself out of that system when I used it too much. I do belief that if I didn't have a woman going off her tree for 6 hours next to me I would have got some sleep and probably wouldn't have needed to push my button. But the crazy lady was crying 'helfen' in like 10 second intervals, changing to the word 'help me' occasionally. They had to restrain her as she tried ripping out her IV. She was screaming that the nurse was trying to poison her, and that her husband was going to shoot them all..... Poor nurse was in tears at one stage. My only demands of care was mainly to feed me ice every so often. Also in ICU I learnt how understaffed they where. It is meant to be one nurse/one patient ratio. But they had 2 patients, then covered other staff during breaks. I had to have 2 chest x-rays done, still had my canulla in my neck, was finally allowed a glass of water in the morning. By about lunchtime the next morning I was well enough to go to the ward.


Was wheeled down in my bed to the ward. 1 South, bed 29. Was a 4 bed ward, 3 beds on one side and 1 bed on the other, the other space taken up with the nurses station in the actual room. Also had a room at the end with toilet and shower. I was by the door across from the nurses station. They rolled my bed up next to the one in the room an to maintain some dignity I wiggled myself over to the other bed.
I was sharing a room with 3 men (so much for the policy to try to have same sex wards, its a lie). 2 elderly men who had obviously had bowel operations and another gastric sleeve patient. It's funny I was only here for 3 nights but it seemed like much longer. As I am writing this over a week after the event, things won't be in time order, (drugs have mangled the brain a bit on that one too) so no total recall lol.
So over the next few days, it was trying to tolerate fluids, the disgusting leak test (it was so hard not to spew up the horrid fluid they make you drink).  Convincing them I was having enough liquids and no longer needed to control my pain dosage, so I could get the horrible IV removed.
You know when you are getting better, it's when you become more aware of your surroundings, you can't sleep through the moans of others and you just want to go home.
I couldn't wait to escape, I found the public hospital to be dirty and chaotic. Told myself I have to get private health Insurance so I never have to experience the public system again.


Finally after 4 nights, I was told Early Tuesday morning I could go home. Since they needed the bed, everything happened quickly. I showered and dressed while they organised paperwork, I sat in a chair while they stripped the bed and packed me up, where I was sent down to the transit lounge to await for my cousin to pick me up. Gave me a bag of drugs and off I went home. The ride home even though it was over 2 hours was quick as my cousin had work issues so I heard all about them so I just sat back and half hearted listened to her droll on. The excitement of the day wore me out so as soon as I got home to the familiar comfort of my own bed I slept for ages.


Well it's now 22 days since my sleeve, 20 kg (44 lb) down from my heaviest ever. Since getting out of hospital I have had my kitchen renovated and house painted (still have to get floors done, but lino wasn't in stock so a few more weeks). My boys where at their fathers for 3 weeks and I just got them back yesterday. Oh ended up in casualty, not from my sleeve but I knocked myself out by hitting my head on corner of a bookcase. Had concussion, not fair to have a 2 day hangover when I don't drink lol.
Still trying to get my diet right, learning the hard way what some no no's are (had a bite of a pizza, even though I chewed 100 times, still didn't want to stay down then hours of discomfort.)
My diet is a bit shonky, still chewing on horrid chewable vitamins and also from today iron tablets. I am living of puree'd fruit tubs, yoghurt, sorbet, pumpkin soup and cream cheese on cruskits. Oh and a optifast with a scoop of protein day. Did discover chocolate mousse slides down easily, but felt sick after I ate it.
Scales haven't budged for 4 days, but dreaded monthlies showed up tonight so that explained the stall. Plus I am not exercising much. Also sleep a lot still, no energy. I lifted a box 2 nights ago and strained one of the incisions so very tender at moment.
Haven't needed my diabetes or arthritis medicine since surgery day. But a new problem (actually an old problem arisen) Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), had this during my pregnancies and when I get run down. I belief with me it's caused by lack of iron. I had stopped taking my iron tablets since my operation, so back on iron today. Doctor want's me to get bloods done next week, but week is so busy already so have to squeeze that in somewhere. She also told me I have to start retaking my Vitamin D at least till summer.
She has given me a lower dose script of the oxycontin (was sent home with these from hospital for pain) for the RLS as this helps, but wants me off them before my next visit in 6 weeks. So must remember to take my iron tablet daily (even though it's big and nasty to swallow).

Well I need to go and send my kids to bed, hopefully won't fall to behind on my blog again. But always get a bit vague after I have a general anesthetic (I mean like for a few weeks after). Have my boys straight for 3 weeks now. With all 5 kids booked into dentist, 2 have paediatric appointments,  2 have curriculum days off school and teacher strike happening this week. Plus the kitchen is getting inspected, dog groomer on Tuesday and I have a Centrelink appointment in that mix somewhere. It's welcome back to the real world for me.....

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