I sent hubby off the do the weekly shopping because I knew that our afternoon was going to be spent at the hospital. He had only been gone a short while when the hospital rang to say they are back on schedule and to arrive at 11.30 as planned. Doh! So I called hubby back, quickly put the cold food away and we sped down to the hospital. The hospital is currently under renovation with a new wing being built, so parking was problematic...and it was raining! We registered at reception, paid the health fund excess and was shown around to theatre waiting area.
At 12.30pm I was instructed to don a surgery gown, plus my own dressing gown and slippers, which I did then I could wait with hubby in the waiting area until called. About 1.30pm I was called, taken to a room with Heparin was given in my thigh which prevents blood clots, weighed and measured and personal details confirmed. It turns out the nurse taking these particulars is a neighbour so we chatted for ages about the area and the fact our daughters know one another. I had suggested hubby go and eat some lunch because at that time because if he didn't eat then, goodness knows when he would get a chance.
After the consultation with the nurse (neighbour) I was sent to another waiting area for about 30mins where I read two magazines. At about 2pm I was taken to the waiting room just outside theatre (whatever that is called), was introduced to the anaesthetist (a lovely old fellow), the theatre nurses, and met again with my surgeon. He asked if I had any questions. I asked the time (2.50pm) and if I could see the gallstones afterwards. He said that wasn't possible as they are sent immediately off to pathology =(
I was then cannulated and the anaesthetist explained what was going to happen. I told him I was very nervous but he assured me everything would be fine. He explained the cannula was used for the anaesthetic, plus the waking up drug, plus the drip later on in recovery and for any other pain medication. I was then wheeled into the theatre room. It looked just like it does on hospital TV shows with a huge circular light above the table. I had to wriggle across from my hospital bed to the table which was quite narrow. Then I was given the anaesthetic and some oxygen. I felt the anaesthetic starting to flow through my veins, visualised a sea of red rose petals, then I must have drifted off to sleep because the next thing I knew I was waking up.
Upon waking, I immediately was thirsty, started calling for my husband and was uncomfortable. I was fidgeting around a bit, but there was a nurse beside me the whole time with reassurance. She asked about pain and I told her I was sore. I heard her tell another nurse to get some Endone. I spoke up that I didn't like Endone (that is what my GP gave me during my gallbladder attack and it freaked me out). So she asked if I wanted morphine, I agreed as long as I could see my husband. I was given morphine and then wheeled around to my room where hubby was waiting. I was shivering - not because I was cold, just shivering due to the morphine I guess. I didn't like the feeling, but within a few minutes I relaxed.
The pain went away, I was drifting in and out of sleep and chatting incoherently to hubby. He stayed with me for a few hours then when I felt comfortable to be on my own, I suggested he get home for the kids. They would be worried and would also be hungry. So he left and I slept and sipped water on and off.
Sleeping with morphine on board is an experience! You don't quite sleep - you drift in and out of consciousness and are still aware of sounds around you. It's weird. I had oxygen tubes up my nose, a drip in the cannula on my left hand and these pads on my legs which felt like blood pressure bands but apparently they prevent deep vein thrombosis by massaging your calves. It was a strange feeling and I was pretty uncomfortable with all those things attached to me.
During the night I was constantly awoken by the fluids running out - the machine would beep and I'd wake. Or the pads on my legs would beep and need re-charging, or other patients would ring their buzzers, or a nurse would come in and take obs - I didn't get much sleep at all! I was offered a sandwich and cup of tea . But I wasn't hungry so only had the cup of tea which I downed very easily as I hadn't eaten since 9pm Tuesday and it was now 11pm Wednesday. I finally got up about 11pm to go to the toilet and felt so dizzy and nauseas that the nurse had to help me - then she put some maxolon in my drip to stop the nausea. I drifted back off to sleep. At one point I woke up and put the TV on and there was an old episode of 'Skippy' the great Australian TV classic from the 1970's. I tried to pay attention, but my eyes were jumping all over the place - I couldn't focus.
I woke about 4.30am with the birds and noticed the sky was getting slightly lighter, fell back to sleep, woke again at 6.30am and met the morning nurse (who wasn't as attentive as the night nurse) who informed me breakfast would be served at 7.30. Thank goodness - I was hungry now. I watched the Today Show and relaxed, looked at my incisions (well, at the dressings anyhow) then waited for breakfast and hubby to arrive.
My surgeon checked on my about 8.30am and explained the incision in my naval was larger than expected because there was a gallstone stuck and was quite large - no wonder I was in so much pain. He had tried to break it up, but even then it was still large. I'm quite sore in the naval region and if I accidentally touch that area, it hurts. I have another 3 incisions where instruments, cameras, lights and the CO2 were inserted. My surgeon told me to expect pain for a few days, that it's OK to take Panadol or Codeine for it, not to touch the dressings for 5 days, not to drive for 5 days and not to lift anything heavy for a week. He said I should be back to normal in about 3 weeks. I should get lots of rest and do overdo it. My throat was dry and a little raspy due to the tube which was inserted to help me breath under anaesthetic.
When I arrived home I was greeted by cards and flowers from my parents and mother in law and felt very loved. I thank them very much and they brighten up my house.
So here I am on Friday 25th November and still in bed. It hurts to move, to bend, to stretch, to turn over in bed even! I didn't realise how much I use my stomach muscles for movement. My throat is still sore and dry. It is making me cough and coughing actually hurts! Hubby and the kids have been a great help - tidying up, looking after the pets, washing, clothes washing and meals. I am being spoilt right now. I wonder how much I should milk it for?!
Foods I've eaten since surgery with no side effects:
- Cups of tea with light milk
- Cups of herbal tea
- Orange juice
- Salmon, white rice and steamed vegetables
- Ham and beetroot sandwich on seedy bread
- Wholemeal toast with tomato, salt & pepper
- Toast with jam
- Red Lentil & Carrot Soup
Will continue to keep this journal now I am gall-bladder-less, so stay tuned XD