Thursday, 20 December 2007


I was amazed at how efficient the nurses were. First I got a gown (thankfully it fitted quite well); and within half an hour max of being admitted bp taken and my temperature checked. One nurse told me that I was now first of the list, because the other lady had changed her mind.

That didnt' exactly fill me with optimism, since she'd been due the same operation!

Then they came to take a blood sample, ask me lots of medical history questions and told me I'd be next. I said yes, but not till the afternoon, I'd been told. Oh no, they said, in about half an hour (this was 9am). I was asked to remove my wedding rings, but they are tight and I said I was loath to lose them, so she let me keep them on. As it turned out everyone there is very honest as I had two expensive mobile phones and a camera, and none of them was touched, despite being left on the top of my locker in full view.

Panic! I'd been moved to the first patient of the day, and before half nine was indeed being wheeled to theatre. I left the camera behind, and took this shot later on .. Just had time to ring dh and tell him to pray for me, and soon I was summonsed. It was a little unreal, I felt like I'd hardly sat down in my cubicle, hadn't read a newspaper or done any waiting around; and here I was, off to theatre.

I offered to walk, but no, I had to be wheeled on my bed, and then rather awkwardly had to be slid on to a much narrower operating trolley. I was scared to breath in case I fell off - there were three staff, but none of them looked like they would catch me if I overbalanced, and the floor was a long way down . ..

Made it. Second problem, my nose was running like mad. I think it was an allergy to Belgian air or something, since it didn't turn into a proper cold, and I needed somewhere to keep my tisssues. Had put some under my pillow which was fine till I had to vaccate the bed, but still I had some in my gown pocket. Whenever a nurse saw one it was confiscated with a bit of a "tut" - but what could I do?

I was left in a "bed waiting area" till CDB came round to say hello very briefly and shake hands (is it a continental thing - I don't shake hands much and certainly not with doctors - think of the cross contamination!) He asked if I had any qs but was out the door before I could say no.

He reappeared in green theatre clothes, gown, mask, and not for the first time, I failed to recognise the surgeon when he was dressed for work! But at least this time I didn't mistake him for a porter, which I have done before when one of my children had surgery!
Wheeled me (still on this narrow high trolley) into a big operating theatre, and a team set to work putting electrodes on my chest, a bp cuff permanently on one arm and a needle site in the other. The nurse on the ward had suggested that she run the line into my arm "if you have easy veins".

Since I don't , she was glad to leave it till theatre and so was I.

The whole time I wasn't thinking of anything. Not of dying, really, tho I knew that was possible, I was thankfully v emotionless, not distressed or upset, just watching carefully what they did, and looking up to the huge theatre lights wondered if this was the last glimpse I would see of God's earth.

I was aware, CDB had warned me, that since I had a big hiatal hernia, I might wake up without a band, if he couldn't fit it as well as do the repair. But I thought he would manage it. . .I wasn't worried he wouldn't. I wasn't, mercifully, worried about anything. . .

Since I had a previous major op under local and was able to "watch" I was kind of wishing I could do the same here, but knew I had to be asleep. I saw the anaesthetist with the needle, felt nothing - tho I had been warned, and previous experience told me it might sting; glanced at the clock, 9.30am and fell asleep.

No comments: