Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Day 42 – Third trip to the woodshed

Tuesday 20th October 2009

Kermit came to see me early that morning to say my op was definitely on for today. I am to have another central line put in as Andrew, the Microbiologist, wants to give me some more IV antibiotics.
“It’s because your veins are rubbish”, he said.
Although the central line was rather annoying, it did make sense. However it would mean more ‘vampire’ bites and sleeping upright for several days. Hopefully the line wouldn’t be in for too long.

Doctor Zara called in with my operation consent forms. I told her what my sister had said yesterday about her colleagues mother. She thought that was so funny.
“You’ve made my day”, she laughed.

I wasn’t able to take any painkillers that morning due to being ‘nil by mouth’ so I was in a little discomfort. I was allowed to drink water until 6am, however Sister didn’t come around with my painkillers until 6.30am.
“Here’s your painkillers”, said Sister.
“I can’t have them as they have to be taken with lots of water”, I explained, “that’s why I asked you last night if I could have them at 6am”.
Sister had a blank look on her face. Typical….

The men’s ward opposite my side room was full, and there was a man who not only liked to be the centre of attention, but loved the sound of his own voice. He was pretty vocal at 6.30am. Sister gave him some evil looks.
“He’s been like that all night”, I said.
“He won’t be tonight”, she replied, “as I’ll be having words with him…”.

I overheard nurse Tracy having a chat with my social working that morning. Tracy explained that I was having another washout this morning and that, sadly, it was a major set back.
“….oh, she took it really well”, explained Tracy, “and she’s well within herself”.
I wondered if I would be ‘well within myself’ if my wound didn’t stop oozing….

Just after 11am, there was a tap on my door. I looked up from my cross stitching and saw a man and a women, who I guessed were the anaesthetists.
“Are you Mrs Harper”, the man asked.
“That’s me”, I replied.
“Are you sure”, he asked.
“Positive”, I said, a bit puzzled.
“Forgive me”, he said, “I’m the anaesthetist for your operation and this is my colleague who will be assisting me”.
I smiled a hello.
“I didn’t think I had the right room”, he continued, “Normally patients going down to theatre are very quiet, yet you are so cheerful and happy. I can’t believe that you are sewing as patients usually just sit and stare at the clock”.
“I’m not your normal patient”, I smiled.
He asked if I had any questions about going down to theatre. I explained about the problems I had had in the past with throwing up.
“Don’t worry”, he replied, “I know all about that. Normally I say to patients there will be a 200% chance that they won’t be sick. For you I’ll say it’ll be 199.99999%”.
I mentioned about the problems of my veins disappearing.
He thanked me for that then said, “but you shouldn’t be worrying about that. That’s my job”.

The theatre porter arrived at 10.30am, so to did the dietician.
“Can I have a chat with you”, she asked.
“I’m just about to go down to theatre”, I replied, putting away my cross stitch.
“So how are the new meals going”, she asked, taking no notice of what I had just said.
“They’re ok”, I said, taking off my slipper.
“How are you liking the cheese board”, asked the dietician.
“You don’t need to get into bed, just on it”, said the porter who had come back into my room.
“Thanks”, I replied, getting on the bed, “the cheese is fine. I’m about to go down to theatre now. Could you come back tomorrow”.
The dietician sat down on the chair, “I’d like to go through your menu plan”, she said, flicking through her notes.
“This really isn’t a good time”, I stressed.
“Would you like me to arrange some curries for you”, she continued.
Lisa, one of the staff nurses came into my room, “has anyone gone through the theatre check-list with you”.
“No”, I replied.
Lisa went away to get the various forms.
“If you could have a look at the menus sheets and let me know what kind of curries you would like”, said the dietician, thrusting the two weekly menu sheets into my hand.
The theatre porter was standing at the door. I looked at him in bewilderment. He just smiled.
Lisa arrived back with the forms and asked the dietician if she could sit on the chair.
“Of course”, she said, “I’ll let you finish, then I’ll come back”.
Lisa quickly went through the various theatre questions – did I have any dentures, crowns etc. She noticed that I didn’t have any tape on my wedding ring so went off to find some.
The dietician was sitting waiting at the nurses station, She asked, “have you decided on what curries you would like”, as the porter and Claire, the bank auxiliary nurse who was going to escort me down to theatre, started to manoeuvre my bed out of the side room.
I ignored her….

We must have been running late as one of the theatre technicians was standing outside the theatre door anxiously waiting for us.

Claire handed over my notes to the anaesthetist. As soon as Claire had left the room the anaesthetist whispered into my ear how he thought she looked like ‘Pebbles’ from The Flintstones, with her hair in such a high ponytail.

“Hello again”, said a voice. It was the anaesthetist assistant from my first trip to the woodshed.
“I liked it so much, I thought I’d come back for a third visit”, I joked.

When I was in the prep-room the anaesthetist announced that he was going to overrule Kermit and not put in a central line.
“It’s a major procedure to do”, he said, “and I don’t want to put you through anything that is unnecessary”.
“Won’t Mr Green mind”, I asked.
“I’m in charge”, he smiled.

He then put the line into my hand and I thanked him as it didn’t really hurt and mentioned he was better than the last anaesthetist. He was really pleased about that and said that he would look through my notes to find who it was the last time and taunt him….

I woke up in the recovery room at 1.40pm and my hip was really hurting. Thankfully I’d been given the morphine pressy thing again so gave that a good press.

The anaesthetist came over and said hello. He told the recovery nursing staff what a lovely, cheery patient I was. I really didn’t know why but I became quite emotional. I felt so embarrassed. The anaesthetist grabbed a tissue and started to wipe away my tears.

Jackie, the recovery nurse who came to see me last time, gave me a big hug and said what I was experiencing was quite normal following an anaesthetic. It was similar to a really bad hormonal time of the month. Another recovery nurse came and held my hand. I felt so silly.

Even Christa, one of the nurses from the ward who had come to collect me, and who isn’t known for giving out sympathy, gave me a cuddle.

When I arrived back on to the ward Natalie, the young student nurse, popped in to see if I was ok. She could see that I was a little upset so came back once Christa had made me comfortable. I explained to Natalie that I was feeling a little emotional so she gave me a hug and told me not to worry about it. Word must have got back to all the nurses as everyone came into my room and gave me a hug.

As my blood pressure was on the low side – even lower than normal – Christa took some blood samples as she wanted to arrange an emergency test to see if I needed a blood transfusion. The sample came back low so two units of blood were ordered.

Because I didn’t have a central line, I was going to have a line put into my other hand as the one that was already there was being used for the morphine pain relief.

When I was in the theatre prep-room the anaesthetist had said in future if I needed any lines putting in, they must be put in by an anaesthetist, as they were skilled in dealing with problem veins. I relayed this back to the nurses and I was astounded that they actually took notice of what I said. An anaesthetist from ICU arrived within half an hour of them putting the call out.

I was so tired, yet there was no way I would be getting any sleep. I was wired for sound in both hand; my blood pressure had to be taken every ½ hour; the men in their bay were extremely noisy.

On top of all that my feet had been put into machine operated inflatable ankle pads which noisily inflated and de-flatted every 30 seconds. This, apparently, was to stop blood clots and was to remain in place for at least 24 hours. The machine later developed a fault so every three minutes it would emit a screeching bleeping noise. The night shift nurses got sick of coming back into my room every three minutes to re-set the machine so just left it bleeping. At 12.45am I couldn’t stand the noise any longer so buzzed one of the nurses and asked that they either remove the machine or replace it.

Wilma, the night-shit staff nurse who seemed to spend most of her time being very moody, came to flush out one of the lines in my hand. She flushed saline through the line too quickly and I yelled out in agony.
“Did that hurt”, she asked.
“No”, I replied, “I just felt like screaming”.

Stupid woman….

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.