There is nothing better than that sleep during an op. I often wonder where you go. No dreams, no restlessness just a good old nap but it’s when you come around that is like a shock to the system. That calm serene place you were in, suddenly comes to a shocking end. I was out for almost 3 hours.
“MRS KING, MRS KING, M-R-S K-I-N-G, you need to wake up now, MRS KING” oh my word, where am I, what’s going on and why are you shouting at me I’m sleeping.
M-R-S K-I-N-G W-A-K-E U-P”
oh my word bright lights why are they shining bright lights into my eyes and why is everyone shouting at me to wake up. What’s going on. Through very blurred eyes I saw the anaesthetist standing over me on the one side and my surgeon on the other. oh yes my op I, have just had my op. Ok quickly, quickly someone pass me something Im going to be sick. quick, quick, quick.
I was wheeled back to my room in a daze, I possibly fell asleep again on the way up but was woken again by all the hustle and bustle in the room with all the nurses trying to sort out blood pressure, drips, blankets etc etc. In the haze I saw my husband standing by trying to calm me down as I was quite frantic again when I was in the room. I was confused, drowsy and so nauseous. I eventually did get sick and it made me feel so much better. I think almost 24 hours of not eating and quite a big dose of morphine and antithetic made me so sick.
I finally go to fall asleep again. All the nurses left and had done what they needed to do. Suddenly there was a loud noise in the room. oh my word Vince is still here. I opened my eyes to see my hubby still sitting there in the chair just watching me. He had hung out in the room while I was in theatre and stayed to make sure I was okay. It was 11:30 and I could see he was exhausted from the long day. I told him I was fine and he should go home and get some much needed sleep. I got a long kiss on the forehead and was told how proud he was of me. My heart soared with love and gratitude. And poof I was back in lala land and that is where I stayed for the rest of the night.
Some people say “oh at least you can have a good rest in hospital”. Well those people have probably never spent a night or more than 1 night in hospital. I have never felt so exhausted from lack of sleep as I did in hospital. The nurses have a job to do and at night that’s what they have to do.
So the next morning I heard the clank clank and squeak squeak of the coffee and tea trolley making its way down the passage from room to room. I slowly opened one eye so I could see if the sun was shining through the cracks of the double lined hospital curtains but it was still pitch black. I reached for my cell phone that was charging on the drip monitor. 4:15 REALLY!!!!!!! REALLY!!!!!!! 4:15am
A very loud squeak, squeak came into my room. “Good Morning mam” a very chripy voice asked. I have to take your blood pressure please. I gave my arm but continued to keep my eyes closed cause I thought I would try dose off again once she was done. When it was done I pulled the blanket over me and continued to doze. “Mam would you like a bed bath” mmmmmmmmm (and that moment there my friends should NEVER have happened NEVER!!!!!) Little nieve me didn’t really know what a bed bath entailed and my word did I have the shock of my life.
“Yes sure that would be wonderful” I actually can’t believe I had agreed to that. I was not sure what time Vince would be back to help me have a shower, so she can just help me wipe down my face, chest, arms and legs and at least I would be fresh. BEEEEEEEEP WRONG!!!
I got to wipe my face with a warm face cloth which was wonderful it made me feel like a new human being, I got to brush my teeth, and then she continued to wipe me down. She was getting lower towards my nether regions and I started to clear my throat. She handed me a clean wash cloth and said “You can clean that” pointing to my bikini area. Oh my word I have never in my life been so embarrassed. Really that could wait until my shower……..
Dignity – 0, bed bath – 1. Listen I have had 2 water births and there is absolutely no dignity in giving birth and many many gyane visits for my annual check up so I am so ok with things but this, this was taken to a whole new level. So as a good patient does I washed “THAT” and got over myself. I was then rolled onto my side which was incredibly difficult as I was starting to get a little sore around the op area and found it very difficult to sit up with out if feeling like I was going to open up again. I noticed 2 pipes coming out of the big bandages strapped to my side. I would have a proper look later but for now I wanted to get this damn bed bath over and done with.
The next minute the kind nurse decided while on my side that she would give my butt a wash. Well I never. I think the last time someone did that was my mother when I was 3 years old. My golly. I don’t think anything can quite top this. I was so relieved when it was all over. She was very sweet and very respectful but shoo this whole process was the last thing I ever expected. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!
By this time it had started getting light and the tea and coffee trolley came clanking and squeaking into my room. I was so glad for a cup of coffee as I was so starving I didn’t know what to do with myself. It wasn’t the greatest coffee but I was so glad for it whether it was great or not. The morning ordeal had made me somewhat exhausted so I thought well nothing much to do, so I will have a little nap. Just as I was dozing off a nurse came in to give me pain meds which I was very relieved about, next was hand over from night staff to day staff and next was breakfast so that nap I was going to have did not happen.
I was able to have a look at the drains that were now coming out of my body. 2 bags, 1 for the armpit where they removed the lymph nodes and 1 for the breast where they removed the tumour. It was really gross, blood draining from those areas. I felt so sexy right now, long compression socks, hospital gown, drains, no hair and bandages and a thorough bed bath he he.
After a little walk around the ward and some really difficult physio I was seriously ready for a nap. I was shown some lymphatic drainage techniques for my left arm. With having my lymph nodes take out I run the risk of developing something called lymphedema. Lymphedema is when your hand and arm begins to swell. This happens because the major lymphatic system that sit in your arm pit is no longer there to take care of draining all toxins out of your arm. I had no idea how important this little disregarded system is. All our blood vessels run through this little bulbs that take out an infection, disease or toxins in your body.
This I would have to do every day for the rest of my life, ho hum but I am so worried about getting a fat arm that since the day I was shown these techniques it has just become part of my morning routine just like brushing your teeth.
I was visited by my hubby and my sister that brought me a cappuccino yay!!!!!! So excited about that. I managed to get the hospital food down. It looked very pretty but the taste was, weeeelllllll you know.
Dr Reddy my surgeon popped in to see how things were going. Had a look at my drains. He was happy that the arm drain was draining well but was concerned that the breast drain was not draining as much as it should be. He did some suction thingy as there seemed to be a slight blockage and it started draining which I was very relieved about.
I felt so loved on Wednesday. I had my darling friends pop in the afternoon to spoil me with chocolates and beautiful flowers and kept me company and then in the evening I had more friends and family pop in with more treats and flowers. I truly am very blessed to have such special friends and family!!!! Thursday morning came around at 4:30am this time whoooo 15 minutes extra to sleep in after a very noisy night of someone typing what felt like right outside my room door by hey this wasn’t the Oyster Box Hotel 🙂
I was so excited to see my breakfast tray being delivered, eating at 8am in the morning is pretty late for me. I love my food. As I was about to eat my oats the nurse came and told me that I must only eat my oats and the doctor might was to take me back into theatre as he wasn’t happy with the rate at which the breast drain was draining. My heart plummeted to the floor. It had been such an emotional roller-coaster ride that I just burst into tears right in front of her. She must have thought I was pathetic but I didn’t care.
I called Vince, my hubby trying to explain between big loud sobs what was happening and in a heart beat he was by my bed side calming me down. Once I was calm I just resigned myself to the fact that I was definitely going back under and it would just been another long day of no food or water 😦
When Dr Reddy came in after lunch I was HANGRY. I told him that I was not happy about going under and only if he thought it was 100% necessary would I do it. He looked at the drains again and we calculated the total amount drained and he seem happy with what had happened. I was so excited I could eat lunch I almost kiss him ha ha.
Thursday evening my hubby brought my kids to see me. No children are allowed in the ward so I had to go sit in the waiting room. I was in quite a lot of pain that evening so sitting upright was difficult. My poor kids look on their faces when they saw me with 2 drains filled with blood was a sight but as kids do they asked so many questions and then was quite content with everything and after half an hour was bored and wanted to go home. I was given 2 very special cards, big kisses and off they went.
Friday morning arrived and I was offered another bed bath which I very swiftly declined. I waited for Vince to pop in and he helped me have a wash in the bathroom. Dr Reddy was there bright and early which was great cause I was really hoping to go home. He told me that they had taken 21 out of 36 lymph nodes out from under my arm. Non of them showed any sign of cancer. YAAAAAAAAY! There were 5 that were fybrotic which meant 5 were diseased but the red devils kick their butts and got rid of those nasties. So all the sickness, all that time in bed and the hair loss was worth it all.
That they managed to get a great clearance around the tumour. When you are able to have a lumpectomy they need to ensure when they remove the tumour that they get a 1cm clearance of healthy tissue around the diseased tissue to insure that there are no relapses because of diseased tissue being left behind. He was pleased with the operation over all and pleased with the drainage from the breast drain. He removed the under arm drain. By doing this they just pull the drain out of the hole that is made in your side. It wasn’t sore just a weird sensation but such a relief when that drain came out. The pipe was quite stiff. The breast drain he said he would like to leave in for the rest of the day and he would be back in the afternoon to check it all out. If he was happy he would send me home today if not 1 more night to make sure it drains properly.
Friday afternoon rolled around and I had had my fingers, toes, legs, eyes cross. Whatever I could cross I crossed. As he walked into my room I said if there is anyway I could go home this afternoon I would really love to take a shower and see my kids and get a damn good nights sleep. He had a look and said that I could go home. I was so happy to hear those words. Quickly called my hubby and as soon as he was done removing the drains and giving me instructions I hopped out of my bed packed my bags and waited for Vince to arrive to fetch me.
Happiest day of my life to be snuggled up on the couch with my girls, my Vinnie, blankets, take away and movies. What more could a girl ask for……….