So I think I left the last post at the evening I had my surprise extra surgery… I have left it a bit too long to give a blow by blow account of what happened over the next week I was in the hospital but to be honest, it wouldn’t be very exciting if i did.
Just as a recap – I had main surgery on Wednesday 29th May and then hematoma surgery on Thursday 30th May.
I was in a lot less pain on the Friday. I’m not very good at describing or gauging pain and when they had asked me on thursday if it was moderate / severe I had been saying moderate. Turns out it was more on the severe side – I assume because of the humungous collection of blood in the foob! I was very weak though and although I got up for a wash and to go to the loo I did not do a lot more. M visited before work and also in the evening and one of the physiotherapist turned up with a leaflet about exercises but I really wasn’t all that interested in exercising at that point. I had lots of blood tests as had lost so much blood I was now very very anemic. I had been anyway due to the taxotere chemo but this was a whole new level of weak and feeble. I do remember that the IV antibiotics in the afternoon hurt like hell and so in the evening I said I wanted the canula moved from my hand again. The nurse was a bit shitty about it but the blood guy (Lazlo) was lovely and moved it up to the crook of my elbow which was much better.
On the Saturday I’m not sure why but I felt really very upset in the morning. I don’t know if it was my own paranoia but I felt like the nurses thought I was malingering or being difficult. I think it started with the nurse being shitty about the canula the night before and my just generally feeling like crap I wasn’t in a very good place to just brush it off – so it all got a bit overwhelming and I ended up bursting into tears when the physio turned up to talk about exercises. I suppose it was to be expected at some point but then physio buggered off and nurse came in and said “are you feeling a bit tearful, why is that??” which I took as “what the hell is wrong, stop being pathetic”. In hindsite, she was probably trying to be nice but I am not one to cry in front of people so having an audience at all was a bad thing – the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it all with the nurse. As it happens I did talk to the same nurse a day later and explained my various woes – which was good because I then felt like she wouldn’t think I was just being weird. Anyway, M arrived at about 10am and I felt a lot happier with him there. I put my own clothes on for the first time and we just spent the day together. Smithers had also come to see me that morning and explained that I was very anemic and if my Hb level went below ‘8’ I would need a blood tranfusion. At that point, and for most of my hospital stay my level was 8.1 so I just dodged the transfusion but this does explain why I felt so feeble!
The next few days were very similar – M visited every day and my mum got back from her holiday and came to see me on the sunday which was nice. I ventured outside briefly with M on the sunday too but I was so self conscious and feeble that it was a short lived venture. Smithers came to see me a few times and was happy with foobs but not aneamia situation. I had what seemed like constant blood tests to check my hb levels and also my BP / temperature etc. They moved me onto oral antibiotics which was much nicer than the IV kind. Finally monday came and the nurse said Smithers would be in to assess me but things were looking good for me to go home. Hurrah!
Firstly though I had to have the drains removed. I was a bit worried this would hurt but with all procedures like this I just get on with it as it has to be done. She also gave me an extra boost of painkillers beforehand which was good! I had to lie on the bed and she removed the stitches (yep, they’re stitched into your skin) then she had me take deep breaths as she pulled the tubing out. The tubing was surprisingly long and it did sting – but I would not say it was painful as such. She repeated the process on the other side and I was drain free. I have to say, I did not feel the relief that a lot of other people say they did on being drain free. I was glad they were gone as they are annoying to carry round and generally a bit grim – but sensation wise, it wasn’t much different.
We had been told to expect Smithers ‘after lunch’ so M arrived at about 13:00. Long story short, we actually had to wait until about 19:30 for him to rock up but they did tell us this at about 14:00 so M left again to do some shopping etc. Smithers did finally arrive though and I was indeed allowed to go home with a bag full of pills – painkillers, iron and antibiotics. I was so happy to be going home and mainly to be able to shower properly and wash my hair!