Went into hospital Sunday afternoon - was pretty much left to my own devices, had obs taken - blood pressure, pulse and temp. Was measured up for anti blood clot stockings and left to loiter. Doctor came to see me and told me when they'd take me down and the anaesthetist came by, but other than that I was pretty much left. At 8pm I was given an enema - this had been causing me huge amounts of stress, what actually happened was I laid on my side, the nurse inserted a tiny nozzle and squirted a tiny tube of gloop into my bottom. Took around 30 seconds start to finish. I then sat there bottom clenched until such a time as I could wait no longer - then visited the facilities. Painless and relatively unembarassing.
I sat up until 2ish reading - was so not in a place to be sleeping, let alone the woman in teh bed beside me who snored. Really REALLY snored. I was allowed to drink until 5.30am and I was awake at 4.30 anyway, so I sat and read and drank until I was no longer allowed to. I was sent to shower at 6.00 and was ready in hospital gown and stockings by 7. Then I sat there and watched the endles cups of tea and breakfast etc come round. I was quite calm at this stage. Read a complete book and loitered. Was commented on by the lady in the end bed who'd had her hysterectomy the previous Thursday, suprised at how calm I was. (I compartmentalise!)
They came and collected me about 15 minutes after they said they would - which is when I started crying. The bed steerers(!) were very nice and were trying to console me, but I couldn't talk and just wanted to hide. They did keep asking me what was wrong, was I scared etc, which is rather disingenuous, but there you go. The anaesthetist was asking what my favourite drink was so he could send me to sleep - obviously trying to jolly me along, but hey ho. They sedated me a little, then sent me to sleep.
The recovery bit was the worst. It hurt so much when I was coming round and I was too heavy limbed to move into a position to ease it - I needed to bend, I kept pleading with them to help me bend, but they couldn't. They were nice though, gave me morphine and were consoling. I got sick then though, really nauseaus (sp) and was vomiting - which really didn't help with the pain. They gave me loads of anti emetic drugs though, and stood over me, making sure I didn't choke I guess. I was in recovery a long time and was sick a long time - a couple of hours, I know I delayed them going for their break 'cos I could hear them talking! This was unpleasant, but I felt that I was being looked after. I heard them talking about me and it was here I realised they'd done my operation vaginally rather than abdominally. It was also here I heard them complaining that the anaesthetist hadn't given me any anti sickness drugs in with the anaesthetic and why "hadn't he thought about the patient". But I was too busy trying not to move to really pay attention. I had to tell the 'carers' not to lean on my bed as it wobbled it and made me sicker!
I went back to the ward eventually and was left there to sleep. I had a pain relief pump (which my consultant seemed cross about the following day, saying I shouldn't have had it and it had 'lost me a day'). I was on oxygen for teh first 24 hours. They took my obs frequently through the day and night. I had a catheter and a drain. At some point I had a vaginal pack in, but I don't recall them taking it out.
I was allowed visitors the first evening. I had phoned my Mum on the first afternoon to cry at her (!), and my parents came over in the evenng to see me for a bit, but I was zombied and not really with it.
I was allowed to drink as soon as I stopped being sick, although not much, but I didn't get to eat until the Tuesday lunch time (op on Monday mornng) and then only jelly and ice cream - I didn't get proper food until Wednesday.
Tuesday I had the catheter removed and that wasn't painful at all, just felt slightly wierd. A few hours later I got up to go to the loo - I was on a commode the first time as they didn't want me walking, but after the first time I was able to walk out with assistance to the bathroom. I had a wash the Tuesday too and got to put my own nightwear on and to feel cleaner.
The pain wasn't as horrendous as I feared. Ironically it felt/feels like terrible period pains. My movement was a lot easier than anticipated - although it's very cautious and uncomfortable.
I had the drain removed on the Tuesday evening - and that hurt horribly - yet only for 30 seconds. It was stitched onto my labia, so I had to have the one stitch removed, then it was pulled out. That hurt. It felt wrong and I cried out. But like I said, only 30 seconds long. I cried a lot though. I think all the emotion, pain, fear and tiredness had built up by then and I cried a lot on Tuesday.
Tuesday the consultant came and listened for bowel sounds - apparantly the trauma of the op 'paralyses' the bowel and bladder and that's why they measure the urine and don't let you eat until everything starts working again. The practicality of this is trapped wind and an inability to trump, which whilst sounding amusing is actully uncomfortable and painful.
By Wednesday I had my canula removed and was told I could go home that day once medication and sick note were delivered to the ward. I had a visit from a physiotherapist to tell me what I can and can't do - the short version of this is "NOTHING" for 10 days at least. with no standing and only 10 minutes walking a day, which is basically one's trips to the loo. I'm bored already.
I had anti-clotting injections daily, and needed extra anti sickness drugs injected on the Tuesday morning after I got up.
It seems very quick to be home so soon - Op Monday morning at 11.30, home by 3 on Wednesday But I don't need to be in hospital. I'm now at my parents being looked after, only missing the multi pose bed - 5 pillows don't work as effectively in posing one pain free!
So. I've still to have a real emotional reaction to the reality of the op, and it's certainly too soon to feel any of the promised benefits. But it is over. Having to op vaginally instead of abdominally means I have no scar and shoudl recover quicker, which is good.
Oh and the practicalities of hospital living? I was on a mixed ward/bay in terms of medical disgnosis. So there was one other gynae lady, an old lady with some sort of chronic condition. Two women with gall stones, one heart problem and one lady detoxing. The bays along were full of women who screamed or wailed throughout the night. One lady who wandered around with her trolly and had to be returned to bed every hour, the snorer from hell - who on Tuesday had a visit from her abusive hubby who started shouting and yelling in the midst of visiting hour. It was .... interesting.