On my return to the ward I ended up in bed space 21 (see my earlier post for an explanation of what this means!!). The other beds in the bay were all occupied by boys with various conditions – as I was the only one having surgery that day, there were no other scoliosis sufferers I could talk to.
By this point I was massively hungry, so we asked for a snack box, seeing as dinner time had already passed, and Sam obliged (it has taken me almost a year and a half to work out that he probably came in early so that he could ferry me down to surgery and I would know who my nurse would be when I returned!) I ended up eating some corned beef out of the corned beef sandwiches and I must have had something else, maybe a yoghurt? I have no idea what else I did at that point – I can’t remember watching TV, so maybe my mum read to me, but I was quite happy and sitting up and relaxed.
The real issues came when I tried to sleep. I had spent the majority of the day under anaesthesia so wasn’t really tired. Add to that pain and the noise of the hospital (the boys were rather noisy!) and it was a recipe for sleeplessness. My parents had bought me some Torchwood audio plays at my request (they are almost unique as they are read by the respective actors rather than narration of a book), which were useful throughout the night.
I managed to get around an hour’s sleep and then, unfortunately, I had to be woken up so that I could take some painkillers (paracetamol or diclofenac or both, I don’t know) – this was probably around midnight. I could take Paracetamol every 6 hours, and Diclofenac every 8, so that the dose was spread throughout the days/nights. However, this meant a rude awakening. After taking them I couldn’t sleep again – I think I got through at least one audiobook that night. I seem to remember sleeping at about 2 – my general memory is that I slept for an hour then was awake for an hour but I did spend some time thinking that my audiobook was broken because it seemed to skip to the end so maybe I fell asleep in the middle. I have no idea how pain relief worked while I was sleeping either – I think I must have got an amount of morphine automatically.
Waking up in the morning was evidently fun, as you can imagine! I was tired, spaced-out and in pain. The breakfast trolley came round and I think I had a yoghurt, although whether I ate it is another matter – I built up my own little collection of ‘Little Stars’ yoghurts because that was what I mainly felt like eating but then didn’t eat.
It was a morning of visits and at one point I was seen by THREE physios! (one of them was called Rachel actually) Their aim was to get me to sit up, or even get out of bed! My aim was to lie as still as possible and relax so I didn’t feel any more nauseous. Despite this conflict, they managed to get me to roll onto my side and somehow angle myself into a sitting position. However I felt extremely faint, hot and sick so I didn’t stay there for very long and retreated back into my bed (I was possibly sick as well but I can’t remember). I was being fanned by a disposable sick bowl and also acquired an electric fan, but at least I managed a degree of uprightness.
I was also visited by some pharmacists I think, who filled my medicine drawer with tablets that I might need once discharged (I think this is so that there was definitely enough medication to take home, rather than relying on quickly depleting stocks from the pharmacy). They all had clipboards. I must have also seen my surgeon that morning, but I can’t remember that!
At some point in the morning, ‘other’ Rachel proposed that I be moved to bed space 16 because there were two girls coming in for operations ready for Friday and so they wanted to create a girly bay. The problem was that this other bay had no built in TVs and I really wanted to watch Doctor Who on Saturday. In my head the possibility of missing it was terrible and I actually cried over the proposed move, and if Rachel is reading this I am really sorry that I cried because it wasn’t that big a deal!
I doubt I ate much lunch (I can’t even remember what I could eat for lunch, it was probably the same as dinner!) and afterwards I agreed to move to bed space 16.