Bed Space 16: Friday 28th September 2012

So, after leaving you on a cliffhanger and uploading a bit of random stuff, I am returning to me being in bed space 16 and waking up after a, quite frankly, horrible night. I would recommend reading my earlier posts before this one, so if you haven’t you might want to scroll down or go back to the Home/archive page. This is probably all in the wrong order, so I apologise for that, but my memory is so bad, especially because I was all drugged up! WARNING: this post contains a lot of reference to bodily fluids so if you don’t like that sort of thing, read on at your own risk.

Anyway, I woke up in the morning on Friday 28th September a bit groggy. To be honest, I barely remembered the fingerprick tests so almost thought someone had stapled my hand in the night or something! My day started with a man from A&E coming up and informing us that it was too risky to bring the portable X-ray machine up and expose everyone to such a lot of radiation – I’d have to go down for an X-ray. Luckily, Mr Lucas turned up shortly afterwards and informed everyone that I did not need an X-ray, it was clear that I was just constipated and should be encouraged to get up so everything could start moving again.

Anyway, the physios certainly obliged with the whole getting me up thing, and I was not very happy about it. They were no longer content with getting me sitting up for two seconds – I was now supposed to be walking, or at least moving to sit on a chair. To be honest, the physio session from Friday is a distant hazy memory, but I think I managed to walk to the toilet and back, and they were able to get me sitting on a chair next to my bed as well.

Now, before this I think I must have had a visit from a pain nurse, because for me to walk around more freely I definitely didn’t have any morphine attached to me anymore! The removal of my canula was a weird feeling, because they had to removed the pump and then flush the tube with water (and therefore my blood) which is a horrible sensation. Basically, body temperature is 37 degrees, but that is pretty warm for your skin, especially when it’s concentrated on a small area – they do flush it with warm water, but it can’t quite be body temperature, so it feels really cold – you can actually feel it travelling down your arm! Luckily, you don’t actually feel them removing the canula, and they covered up the area with tubigrip and melonin for me so I didn’t have to look at it!

OK, backtracking again, I promise I didn’t mean to write this post in reverse order. Today was the day that I started being sick big time. Firstly, my stomach obviously didn’t help matters, but much of the sickness was due to the morphine, because it mucks up your insides quite a lot. Previously I had been taking tablets but they had to move me to liquid medication because I was just making myself sick through trying to swallow tablets (although I managed the horrible taste of the medication!). I had a vague recollection of a useless healthcare assistant trying to help me swap my tops after I missed the sick bowl (sorry!) – she wasn’t allowed to unplug me from my morphine machine so we had to wait for nurse Ellie to come back from wherever she’d gone so that she could unplug me, swap tops, and then plug me in again. Foresight has also told me that part of my being sick is probably because I wasn’t eating, and therefore my body couldn’t take in some of the medication, which needs to be administered after food.

The useless healthcare assistant redeemed herself from uselessness (not from my annoyance) because she and nurse Ellie gave me an enema. I’m not going to go into details because it creeps me out a bit, but avoid enemas at all costs. OK, it wasn’t that bad and it did the job, but it certainly isn’t very pleasant. I had to lie on my side for it, which was hard, but at least I got a more hospital-y experience through using a bedpan (verdict: incredibly hard to do after a back operation). They also took my catheter out (don’t think the healthcare assistant was involved in that), which feels really weird, I can’t really describe it, but it’s sort of like the feeling you get when you feel like you need the loo but actually don’t. Anyway, my days lying in bed were well and truly over.

Going back to after the physios started working with me majorly, Rachel Hunt came to see everyone. As I’ve said, she is very lovely, but she was also the person who removed my pressure dressing, which was pretty painful. It’s basically like an elongated feeling of when you take a plaster off that’s stuck down very well, but stuck all the way down your back where you’re partially in constant pain and partially can’t feel anything. I also had to lie on my side for her to do it. But it could’ve been worse – cold spray was used in abundance and she tried very hard to be gentle.

The other awful thing Rachel made me do was take Movicol, a strong laxative. It was in the form of powder in sachets, and I think I was meant to take either 4 in 1 hour or 4 in 4 hours, but ultimately I struggled with taking 1 in 4 hours! My mum put it in some nice apple juice that she’d bought in M&S Simply Food, but it was really sickly sweet (probably from the powder) and put me off drinking cloudy apple juice for about a year. For some reason by this point I was wearing a hospital gown, and I will now provide you with a lovely photo of me sitting in my chair, looking horrible, ill and ‘pregnant’ (not actually pregnant, just full of air etc!)

2 days post-op

2 days post-op

At some point during the day I got some good news – they were moving us back to the other bay! Hooray! The boys had been discharged, or were in the process of being discharged, so there was space for all three of us girls – also it meant we were nearer the nurses’ station, which is always useful when everyone’s being sick.

I will leave this post there, and I apologise again for all the bodily fluids and stuff – I didn’t actually realise how much happened on the Friday! I will continue my description of Friday evening in my next post, where I will be in bed space 20!


Behind the Scenes of the Fashion & Textiles Store

I forgot about the whole reblog feature – here’s the article I wrote about the Traid upcycling workshop!

Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums

The Museum Collective is group of young people aged 15-14, who meet regularly at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. One of the activities on offer to this group is regular creative workshops, inspired by our collections and buildings. Recently the group had a behind the scenes tour of the Museum’s Fashion & Textiles store, and were treated to a peek at the extensive fashion collection dating from the 16th century to present day.

Feeling inspired, the group decided they’d like to have a go themselves, and booked Traid to come and do a workshop with them in the Easter holidays. Traid are a fantastic charity working to stop clothes being thrown away.

Museum Collective member Elizabeth Carr, aged 18 will tell you more……

Most people don’t appreciate where our clothes come from, and t-shirts are especially bad for the environment. The making of one t-shirt uses as much water…

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Scoliosis Blogs

Very exciting news! My blog is featured on http://www.scoliosisblogs.com/ – I don’t actually know what that is but someone (or a bot) has found my blog. It looks like the site is very new though – but yay! I’ve been found! Also, hello to Japan!

In tribute to me being found on the Scoliosis Blogs site, I will list some of the blogs I follow (I say some, because they’re all on different hosting sites which makes it REALLY hard to keep track!) It is in no particular order and some aren’t even necessarily about scoliosis but just people who have the condition

http://rhachelmb.wordpress.com/ (OK, I said no particular order but this is one of my favourites!) 🙂










http://charlotteovenden.wordpress.com/ – she had an operation shortly after me, so this blog also is one of my favourites





http://marecredi.wordpress.com/ – the author has scoliosis, but mainly it’s just posts on a Wednesday, which is great









http://eatingwithmyfingers.com/ – This isn’t a scoliosis blog but a cooking/mental health blog, which I think is almost as relevant to me!


Wow, that turned out to be a long list! Thanks for ploughing through! 

I promise I will get back to posting about the post-op days very soon!


Bed Space 16 – Thursday 27th September 2012

Bed space 16 does not hold happy memories for me, which is sad because I love the number 16!

Soon after moving into my new area, the two girls having operations the next day were arriving – Ella (from Westminster) and Charlotte (from Dartford). They were lovely and I wish that I met them in better circumstances, or even been able to stay in touch – although we had different operations, it would’ve been nice to see how they were getting on, and maybe if you’re reading this girls, get in touch!!

Spending all day in bed makes it really difficult to remember what happened and what the sequence of events was, so I am going to try my best to describe things in the order I think they happened.

Sonia visits: My mum’s ex-colleague Sonia popped up to the ward, mainly to see my mum because I wouldn’t let her leave my side. Apart from that I can’t remember a thing about what she said to me, although she most likely said get well soon.

Thursday Evening: The over-bed television had been cruelly taken from me (because of moving beds) but they acquired a bright and colourful TV, which was larger than the others, but had the downside of being the only one, so we all had to watch the same thing. That didn’t massively bother me though, because I got to choose, being the illest, longest-standing person on the ward, and the one who asked for the TV in the first place. So, we watched You’ve Been Framed at about 7.30, which Ella and I found extremely funny (Charlotte was on the other side of the section and was busy doing her hair, so I don’t know what her reaction was). We then moved on to Waterloo Road at 8 (well, probably 5 to because I was anxious about missing the beginning!), but don’t ask me what the plot was! At some point, we also managed to catch some sort of news – it might have been proper news or maybe just a news update – and it was about the girl who ran off to France with her teacher, which I hadn’t heard about before because of being in my little hospital bubble. In turns out that nurse Kelly, who was on shift at the time, has a brother who was the headmaster (or something) of the school that they ran away from, so he was having a pretty stressful time!

The Night: OK, this was probably my lowest point in the whole hospital stay. I must start be apologising to Ami, firstly for probably spelling her name wrong, and secondly because she had to deal with me being massively ill. I really can’t remember much about this night but basically I was suffering from constipation, from the morphine, mixed with pain, and I had started being sick quite a lot. Luckily there was a vast supply of sick bowls, but my stomach had also extended, being full of air as well as normal stuff, and I looked pregnant. Because of being sick, I didn’t want to eat anything, which meant that the problems were not going away. I should probably also apologise to Ella and Charlotte for being such a disruptive and groany sleeper, because I wasn’t really promoting good health post operation!

Because of all these problems, it was decided that a doctor should come and have a look at me. I ended up with a quite newly qualified woman (we think) who woke me up in the middle of the night (that what it felt like anyway!) to do a finger-prick blood test, or actually two because my blood clotted a bit fast. I didn’t really mind this as it only really felt like someone has stapled my finger, and what I remember is just a whole load of people crowding round my bed. They ordered an X-ray for the following day and left me to my restless sleep.

I will end it there for now, on a cliffhanger I guess! Hopefully I won’t leave you waiting too long for the answers! Please like/comment/follow etc!