Jiving on Regardless

{July 20, 2009}   Memory 3

I remember waking up and being conscious of sound but it was as though I was drowning and I just couldn’t get up for air.  I was stuck in my sleep and so, so terrified.  I could hear my heart beating like a drum beating in my ear and just felt silence and total loss.  I eventually came round and started to scream, scream and scream for my Mum.  The nurses came in and tried to calm me down and to tell me that my Mum had nipped home for a while but they would call her.  It was really strange as although I felt disorientated and blurry I still heard and acknowledged that they had said to each other that they would see if I would calm down and then call her. I was frantic as I needed my Mum or N immediately.

I saw my mobile phone on my bed side table but it was all wobbly like it wasn’t really there. It took me what seemed like ages to get it and then I dialed the first number on my dial out which was fortunately my Mum.  She had just arrived back home which was 40 minutes away and I was screaming down the phone to her in such a state telling her get here and to get N and I was just repeating that I was scared, really, really scared.  It must have been awful for her.

Fortunately for her she had been through a similar experience with my sister just weeks before. You may have already guessed that I had reacted to the morphine and was hallucinating.  She knew this but was still very worried about me.  She turned her car around and drove straight back to me calling N on the way.  The rest of that night is very blurry as you can imagine.  I remember it all but as though it was all in a fog, it was very weird and not an experience I would like to repeat.  Needless to say they reduced my morphine and eventually removed my pump later that day.

That morning, at about 8am when I had just gotten back to sleep (baring in mind I had had about 2 hours of broken sleep in total since the night before my operation – this is day two), a nurse came  in and told me to get up.  She said that I had been in bed long enough and on day two I should be up and about, moving and starting to empty my own bag.  I just looked at her and said ‘go away’, she started to speak and I said ‘no, go away I am not talking to you about this’.  By this point I had lost all patience with them all and my natural desire to be polite had long gone.  She went away and I sobbed and much to my amazement so did my Mum.  My Mum NEVER cries.  She is so strong during a crisis but she could not believe that after everything we had been through in the previous 48 hours that a nurse could come in and a) be so uncompassionate and b) be so unaware of what I had been through – it turns out that the nurse had not had a proper handover so really didn’t have any idea, just assumed I was two days post op.  In those 48 hours my Mum had believed for a brief moment that they were going to lose me, that was a not a moment she could get over easily.

My Consultant came in to find me and my Mum wrecked and asked what had happened.  We explained everything and he called the sister into the room and as many nurses as he could find.  He balled them out in front of us. He basically told them that I was THE poorliest patient on their ward, that he knows that they are busy but that I was in far more need than any of the 30 other patients in their care.  They were told to take care of me and when I rang my bell they were to deal with me immediately.  From that moment on I had the ward sister taking care of me – for this shift a lady who happened to have been through the same op a few years before.  It was her first shift with me on the ward and she took good care of me.

Things improved from then on and I started to feel better, until that night when my catheter became incredibly uncomfortable.  The latest shift Nurse Sister looked and said that my vagina and surrounding area were horrendously swollen and saw that my post natal tear scars were swollen and probably causing the pain.  She smeared some local anaesthetic gel around the area and gave me some pethidine.  For once I was truly looked after and this second ward sister really took good care of me all night.  She just kept saying ‘you poor thing, you have been through so much’ and to be honest those words were worth more than any of her actions.  By that point I really just needed someone to acknowledge that I had been to hell and back in 48 hours.

The next day, much to everyone’s surprise I was up and about and changing my own bag.  I had to as they hadn’t changed my bag fro 24 hours as the nurses kept telling me they hadn’t any bags!  When my stoma nurse came in she also called in the nurses and went mad at them as she had personally trained every one of them to change ostomy bags and they had an entire cupboard full! Regardless, I started doing it myself as soon as I could move and never had a problem. It was no worse than changing a newborn baby’s nappy and I had had plenty of experience with that!

I did have one nightmare when my bag leaked and I hadn’t another one cut.  Poor N was swiftly introduced to my stoma in all it’s glory and did an excellent job of not throwing up at the sight 🙂 My husband is really awesome and my story and blog has never done him justice – I own him too much and have not the time to write it all down.  He rocked at this moment – a moment that I have heard many partners have failed on.

Anyway, I improved and started eating and much to everyone’s surprise my consultant decided I could go home the next day……..

The next day was slightly less eventful but at about 5pm again I started to have the horrendous pains.  This time they immediately gave me pethidine which was enough and it settled down again.


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