Friday, 21 December 2007

Things speed up

My recollection of time here is muddled, since I wasnt' fit to take any notes. I was dozing most of the afternoon/evening but aware of the nurses taking blood pressure and checking my drain collector. Then they took a blood sample (not easy for them or pleasant for me)

I became aware of a tension in their voices as they spoke to each other when they came back to get another blood sample an hour later - and even tho I didn't understand a word of it, there are things you can understand without words; they were beginning to worry about me

My bp started being checked every 15 mins, and the nurse was clucking and shaking her head. I had a quick squint at the machine (one of the modern electric one) and it was 90/50; not a disaster for me, tho obviously it was concerning them. They then put up another drip "this one to stop the bleeding" they said. I was a bit confused, cos you are meant to be on anti-coagulants after surgery, not something to cause my blood to clot.
This to-ing and fro-ing making with slightly worried scowls went on for a couple of hours between maybe 6pm and 8pm. I noticed I was getting weaker and found that I had to lie completely flat or the room would spin. This isn't like me cos I am normally a "sleep half sitting up type".

(there was a very funny moment just before all through this. I'd come to the hospital complete with painkillers and valium for getting me home safely, since, unless I didn't mention, I was meant to be going home alone the Saturday after Friday surgery) While rifling in the locker drawer for my watch, I knocked strip of valium out on to the floor. Major panic. I couldn't leave them there (is valium possession legal in Belgium - and would they think I'd taken any and refuse to give me any more medication), but could I pick them up?? It took about ten mins to struggle into sitting on the bed with my legs hanging off. One nurse looked at me very quizzically and I promptly stuck my foot over the pills. She must have thought I was batty.

The anti-embollism stockings are sort of open on the sole . . which turned out to be a blessing, cos try as I may, there was no way I could get my hand down to grab the foil strip. I sat there, covering them up, and when no one was looking, managed to get them stuck on to my toes and picked up. Wheeew! I'd have thought my bp would have been thru the roof by then!)

I asked what my blood count was (haemoglobin, tho I notice mostly they work in haemocrit which means nothing to me) and it was 11 - I said that is ok for me, but since it had been 14 on admission a few hours ago, they weren't happy. They upped the "stop the bleeding" drip so it ran faster.

Next blood sample I was getting dozier which was just as well cos it took her ages of poking around wiht a needle inside my arm to try to get blood - if I'd been with it I'd have yelled.

That sample came back as 10. They broke the news to me that I had to go for an examination. The nurse didn't know the English word, but from her signals I guessed an ultrasound which was right, she said "like when you have baby".

And suddenly it was fast and furious, four of them ran my bed into the corridor, into the emergency lift - the pressed all the lift buttons and were muttering come on, come on, to the lift which seemed to take a while to arrive.

I was then pushed, running, into the ultrasound room, where a doc did a scan of my tummy. I watched the screen, and could see black pockets (fluid) - and my bladder. I asked if that was my bladdder, yes he said, and pointing to another big black bit, that is fluid.

Do you mean blood I said? (let's call a spade a spade, I thought :-)

Yes he told me. He was very frank and pleasant, looked at the collection box I was draining into and said that I had lost a lot of blood, and if it continued I would be back to theatre for "reversion surgery".

Not what I wanted to hear, but I like to know the truth. I think the drugs and lack of oxygen from low haemoglobin meant that nothing much bothered me too much.

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