The Day Before: Part 3 – Evening

This is a continuation of the previous 2 posts about being admitted to hospital, please see below before reading or follow these links: – Part 1 – Part 2

By 7pm we had to go back to the ward, because we were told that my surgeon, Mr Lucas, would be round between 7 and 9. We read some of our books – the other benefit of the private room was that the bed for my mum was actually a sofa, so we could sit on that, rather than stealing loads of chairs or having to sit on the bed. I think that soon after 7, I must have had some obs – blood pressure (through the roof!), oxygen sats, heart rate etc. This was where we met Kim, a healthcare apprentice I think, and she was also very lovely and had nice hair. She gave me another hospital band, which she tried to put on my ankle but it was too small, and also a red one which said that I couldn’t have plasters (I’m not allergic, I just hate them!) – unfortunately they became too tight and were cut off the next day.

At 8 o’clock it was time for the Great British Bake Off. There were actually three TVs in the room, but only the over the bed one worked. Because it was after 7, we had to use headphones to listen to the audio, but we were prepared and had bought a 5 way headphone splitter. The one problem was that my dad had forgotten his headphones, so we had to share around, but it still worked! It was sweet dough week, and there were regional buns, doughnuts and something else to create. The week before, John had cut his finger while making a strudel, so it was a double elimination, and this week it was time to say goodbye to Sarah-Jane and Ryan.

However, we didn’t get a chance to properly see the end of the bake off, because Mr Lucas finally made an appearance at around 10 minutes to 9. He went through the risks and benefits of surgery, and explained what would happen etc. To be honest, I can barely remember what he said – seeing him was another confirmation that everything was happening. Once Mr Lucas had been and gone, my dad went off to Gassiot Lodge to bed, and I had a shower.

Now, showering before an operation is a long business, but luckily one benefit of the private room was the private wet room. I wouldn’t be able to wash my hair for a week so I needed to make sure I washed my hair really thoroughly. You also have to use antiseptic wipes on your whole body, but because my operation was on my back, I needed to make sure my back was super clean. That is pretty hard when you can’t see it, but I had some help from my mum, so eventually I was absolutely squeaky clean.

My mum had agreed to plait my hair into two side plaits for me – this would keep it out of the way during the operation, was easy to lie on, and wouldn’t look manky when it hadn’t been washed for a few days. I changed into my new pyjamas, which were quite loose and comfy, and then got into bed. I was very nervous by this point, and the nurses came in to give me a pre-med to help me sleep. This was in tablet form, which I hated because I hate tablets A LOT. However, I washed it down with some Ribena and managed to take it without being sick. I believe this is where I met the nurse called Donna, who did some obs and left me to sleep.

Despite the pre med and the fact that it meant I couldn’t get up for a while because I would just fall over, it was still quite hard to get to sleep. Luckily my mum was on hand to read to me – we’d chosen a small book called ‘Moondial’ by Helen Cresswell, which was written for children but I hadn’t actually read it. I also had three toys – Elizabear (from Build a Bear), French Rabbit (one of my oldest toys, bought at a French Market), and Evelina (brand new, also a rabbit, given to me by the family I babysit for, because I needed a toy which was pink and white, according to their little girl Ivy). Eventually I fell into the land of Nod, and I suppose that my mum did too. When we woke up, it would be operation day.


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