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!

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