Wednesday 5 September 2012

Well, I guess that's that ...

After a prompt entry to theatre at 8.30 yesterday morning, I am now recovering on the Ellis Ward at The Royal Marsden.

And very nice it is too! Beautifully decorated with feature walls, individual digital TVs suspended over each bed - it's not like any NHS ward that I've ever visited before. And don't get me started on the food; roast beef, rhubarb crumble ... I'm going to go home twice the size! (Mr P. has already serenaded me with a chorus of 'My girl muffin-top')

As for me, I'm very sore and bruised - both around the wound site and in the surrounding stomach and back muscles. They obviously had me contorted into some very 'challenging' positions during surgery.

I've also got a surgical drain attached, so am constantly carrying a little beaker of blood around with me. (Not nice). That will stay attached for up to five days, or until I lose less than 50ml a day, so it looks like I will need to go home with it.

I was asked if I wanted to leave this morning but I said that I'd rather wait until I was feeling a bit more comfortable and able to get up and about - which, in fairness, I now am - so I will go home with Mr P. tomorrow.

Much of my caution was due to a rather bad episode that I had last night. I'd had a lovely evening with some friends who came to visit but, on trying to use the bathroom before bed, had the most excruciating bout of stabbing pains in my chest and back. I've never experienced anything like it. Fortunately Mr P. was with me and was able to call a nurse, who gave me some morphine.

I am on regular painkillers too and antibiotics to prevent infection around the implant and drain. So, fingers crossed, we can keep anything too nasty or painful at bay.

It will be nice to get home and get some sleep without the incessant drone of air conditioning units or the bleep of blood pressure gauges. Last night, at around midnight, I managed to lower my bed and inadvertently pull my emergency call lead out of the wall: cue pulsating klaxon and red flashing ceiling light! I was so embarrassed. Then at 2am, I woke up to see a dark figure looming over me and gave a little shriek. Turned out it was a nurse trying to take my blood pressure but I still felt a bit of a plum ...

Anyway, today I am feeling much more confident in my movement and about the operation generally. While my chest is far from balanced, I'm certainly not flat. Some of that is swelling but it won't be too long before I am fully 'inflated'. It's the first stage of a much longer process but at least we're underway.

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