... I was nervously awaiting my trip to theatre. Generally, I felt OK (think I got my freak out, out of my system a few days previous) but I was still terrified. It had been a bit of a manic few days prior to this so I shall fill you in.
On Saturday, we decided to go to the cinema (to see The Artist, which I did enjoy but think it's been 'over-hyped') and once we left I had a rather sore stomach. I decided to tackle this with peppermint tea and paracetamol but it would not budge. After a few hours of debating whether to go to hospital, we packed up some stuff and went to Wishaw. I was expecting the A & E department to be full of Saturday night drunkards but it was empty. However, it still took forever to be seen and a very cautious junior doctor only giving me 2.5mg of morphine.. After explaining countless times that this would do nothing and I know my own levels of pain blah blah blah, I got sent to the ward. This was a good move as I got all the morphine I wanted there! Hurrah! This meant no sleep at all due to all the itching from the morphine.. I chose no sleep over pain. By Monday morning, I was still pretty sore and hadn't eaten anything (which is unusual as this pain normally goes within 6 hours) so they decided to CT scan me. I popped down for one and when the results came back it appeared that I would need a larger operation. On Monday morning I was asked to decide if I wanted to go ahead with the op as planned OR to have a larger one which would involve opening me up again (nooooooo) and snipping away at any adhesions they found. I made the decision rather quickly to go ahead with this larger operation as I was told it was inevitable and it would need to happen anyway. So, Monday passed with me even MORE nervous about the next day. With the original op I was only going to be under anaesthetic for an hour but with this new proposal it was expected to be quite a few hours. In the evening, my surgeon visited me and said that she had reviewed my scan with a radiologist who told her I didn't need this larger op.. Talk about messing with your head! So, she left me saying she wanted to go ahead with the straight forward op and see what happens.
As you probably all know, I am not good AT ALL with things being changed last minute and always need time to get my head around a situation. On Monday I realised pretty quickly that I had to try to 'go with the flow' which I found very difficult indeed.
Now.. I have a rather embarrassing admission.. I own a pair of 'lucky pants'. I know, I know, this is RIDICULOUS and I have no idea why but I do OK! I am in no way superstitious, I don't believe in luck or jinxes, I think starsigns are rubbish etc but I still have lucky pants.. Don't worry, I don't wear them for all of my hospital admissions (one pair of pants for a month stay? No no), just the big things like scans or big check ups. I stupidly told the lovely nurse who was taking me up for my Op and she proceeded to tell EVERYBODY. She made sure the anaesthetist put them in a labelled bag for me and when I came back to the ward she wanted me to show the other nurses... I realise I am now telling all of you but that's only because she let my secret out of the bag. I now wish they were nice ones. Unfortunately they're very faded flowery ones. CRINGE.
When I came out of the op (after realising my pants were safe), I was told everything went well and my surgeon found an adhesion right at the opening so managed to snip it away without opening me up any further. Here's hoping that's the end of all my stomach pain! I had a morphine pump so was itching away like crazy and talking total jibberish. Mum took a picture to send to James as he wasn't able to come. Not my most flattering angle but oh well. I was attached to a million things - not fun when you need the bathroom.
I was transferred to a different ward (one down from high dependency) where the nurses were amazing. They were so lovely, kind, caring and made me feel like I was never asking a stupid question (even though I totally was). The day after, so many nurses, doctors, hospital folk passed and popped in to say 'hello'. It made me realise how many people I now know in the hospital.. It's A LOT! The nurse who was looking after me was great and made a comment that they don't generally see people who have done so well and come out of the other end of treatment - she then said that I touched a lot of peoples hearts.. AWWWWWWW. Totally gushy but I thought it was incredibly sweet of her.
After this wonderful ward I was transferred to a ward that I HATED. The second we walked in I felt really uncomfortable. It was a huge room with high ceilings and six beds. I remember going to sleep and feeling really unsettled as it reminded me of somewhere but couldn't think where. Mum made the comparison with Charing Cross Hospital and the ward I was originally in there. Bingo - that was it. It wasn't exactly the same but felt so familiar. I think, subconsciously, it brought back how much I hated it there, how scared I was and how terrifying the whole situation was. I was completely miserable, sore (morphine had been stopped.. waaaa), tired (hadn't slept for days) and surrounded by women discussing how many great grandchildren they had. Normally I love this kind of chat but I was just angry at everything. Mum phoned my surgeon to say I was a bit down and she said, 'if you think Mairead looks OK, take her home!'. Mum didn't hesitate so called me and told me to pack - hurrah! This really perked me up so then I started blethering to all the old ladies (who were all lovely) and getting everything gathered up. One of the awful things about Wishaw is the strict visiting hours - I am NOT used to this and hate spending so much time by myself. So, I had to wait until 3pm to be picked up and then off home we went! I was only out of surgery for two days and in quite a bit of pain but would much rather have my recovery on the couch watching Masterchef.
So, to end this very long post, I am now home and very happy. I tried to refrain from getting sentimental and mushy when I left/got home but I know everyone's hoping that was my last hospital admission and I will only ever need to go for check ups again. It feels completely mental. It's been 20 months since I was diagnosed and probably about 2 years ago since I was symptomatic. I'm not entirely sure what's next but I really hope it doesn't involve hospitals.