Saturday. Day 3 in my single ward on the vascular unit at Addenbrookes hospital. Thank gods that my Raven was spending so much time with me. I think every day she would spend maybe 7 or 8 hours with me, looking out for me. Just having her there was a blessing especially as I am not the best of patients. Also in these early days I would sleep a lot too.
Saturday morning and I had a visit from a physiotherapist. A cocky little git of about 25 I guess. I still remember he had really fancy colourful trainers on. Now remember it is only a day and a half after a serious op and he immediately tries to get me out of bed to exercise. He says I have to get my legs working. Also remember that I am attached to drips and tubes and monitors galore, also a catheter so I am not too mobile, but I give it a go and he and a nurse help me from the bed. I cannot stand unaided much to his frustration. I think he wants me to run laps around the hospital but it aint gonna happen so they get me a walking frame.
He suggests that I march on the spot but the pain from the 18 inch wound on my stomach is agonizing when I try to move a leg up. This frustrates him even more and he gets quite short with me. He tells me that I have to get my legs working. I politely explain that my legs are OK and it’s my operation wound that is the problem. He gives up after this and leaves. The nurses then put me in a wheel chair and push me into my own private shower room. I manage to clean my teeth. Not easy with all my attachments and a tube in my nose. They also give me a sitting down shower and hair wash. It feels so much better and I am allowed back to bed after this.
The other problem is of course I am on nil by mouth. No food although to be honest I am not really hungry but I would sell my own mother for a cup of tea. I try to wheedle one nicely. It doesn’t work. I try getting shirty … it doesn’t work either. I am not allowed juice even, just 60 millilitres of water per hour. For the next couple of days I suffer such thirst. Sometimes my mouth was so dry I could hardly talk. I did manage to get ice cubes to suck occasionally.
But soon my baby arrived and things were better. I did have trouble with my IV line and so a doc was called. Yet another damned needle but it meant my pain relief button worked again. I also got TV; one of those over bed units with a phone. My mum paid £30 for a 5 day card as it wouldn’t accept my debit card for some reason,which I never ended up using. I was so tired and drugged up that I just never watched. All I could do was listen to Radio and that was free anyway and a relief. BBC radio was such a blessing. Radio 2 & 4 and even Radio 3. I actually listened to some classical music. That was a first for me but I enjoyed it.
I still spend most of my time dozing or sleeping but another problem I get is from the tube in my nose. It is attached with adhesive tape and this itches incredibly. Inevitably I manage to pull it partly out in my sleep which wakes me up with a yelp. Damn it hurts. Raven gets a nurse who pushes it back down. Bugger me that hurts even more but Raven helps and I get a proper plaster on it eventually … relief at last.
After that things settled a little. My baby even gave me a back rub and made me as comfortable as possible. Day three done and dusted although of course this is hospital so I never get a full night’s sleep. I am awoken every hour or two for meds or to take my blood pressure and temperature and as I am mildly diabetic I get the pleasure of my finger pricked. I am also wracked with thirst and make sure I get my hourly dribble of water. Hospital beds are not designed for comfort either. The plastic covers make me sweat like crazy. I wake up soaked and of course I can hardly move to find a better position.
But I remind myself … I am alive and I will recover.