This is a continuation of the previous post about being admitted to hospital, please see below before reading or click this link (https://afterscoliosis.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/the-day-before-part-1-arrival-and-blood-test-25th-september-2012/).
After the blood test, we were sent back up to the ward, where Rachel had an interesting proposal for us (I can’t remember which Rachel though!). Because I was 16 (older than the majority of other patients) and female (most of the others were male) and nervous and didn’t need much observation because I was pre-op, they suggested that I could have a private room. We snapped this up – anything which would reduce the stress was good, plus we could relax on our own and hospitals are pretty noisy places to sleep, so we’d be glad of the relative quiet.
We then met with a number of people who would be involved with me. There were the anaesthetists, who explained what would happen when I went down to surgery, when I was likely to go down, what the risks of general anaesthetic were (although not all of them). I can’t remember if they said I would have gas rather than a canula to administer my anaesthetic then, but that’s what happened (more about that in my next post). I think we also met some physios, who would be helping me get up afterwards (way sooner than I would’ve liked!).
Before going into hospital, I had been part of a survey where I explained what I watched on TV each day for a week. I needed to finish it in order to earn the £5 incentive, but I had no internet access readily available for me in hospital – what was I to do!? However, we explained my plight to Rachel Hunt and she arranged for me to use one of the computers in the hospital school. So, I was able to go down, earn my £5, and in return I said I would give some money to the Evelina charity (I haven’t done this yet, as I’m thinking I’ll donate more when I get properly discharged). On my way we met the Pain Management nurse (Hazel Foale) who would be providing my morphine – I saw her more the next day.
After this, we were basically just left to chill. My mum’s ex-colleague, Sonia, happened to be with someone else at the hospital, so she went off to meet her, while I stuck around reading my book with my dad. ‘Other’ Rachel came in and got me to do some swabs and a urine sample, which both came back fine (phew!), and they also did my height and weight at some point (although I have no idea how much I grew!) where I met Neville the nurse, whose hair was possibly longer than mine. I then went back reading ‘Tempest’ by Julie Cross, which was a great book, but impractical for hospital, because it’s a hardback – it’s hard enough to read a paperback, or even a Kindle when you’re bed-bound, so I couldn’t actually finish the book until after I was discharged!
At around 5 or 6, I got some dinner from the hospital food lady. I had chicken without sauce, some amazing sliced potato (there must be a special name for these, but let me tell you, it is the one thing I miss about hospital!), and some peas and sweetcorn. I also got a yoghurt, and some squash that we’d brought with us. At either end of the ward there are parents’ kitchens so we had a bit of a fridge to store my favourite foods in.
Then we went down to M&S Café, where my parents had their dinner and I had a drink. It’s a great format there because it’s basically M&S ready meals, but they cook them for you. I definitely recommend that you let your parents (or anyone else who’s accompanying you) have some freedom before you have your surgery, because afterwards you’re likely to want them with you all the time. By this point I was quite fractious – this was real, and I didn’t want it in the slightest.