Friday, 6 November 2009

Recovery from the Appendectomy.....

I was on a mixed ward at Frenchay Hospital. In our room there were six other chaps all of whow were recovering from various operations. Gall bladder removals seemed popular and one lad had been flown in from Gloucester after a nasty bike smash and had a cage around his leg where the surgeons had attempted to re build it.
I found the ward very noisy. At night the lights were only dimmed and of course the nursing staff carried on their busy duties. One old fella at the end of the ward was obviously suffering from some sort of dimentia and would spend the entire night shouting and wandering the ward.The nurses struggled to cope with him.
My first night I was still awake at 3 am when a nurse told me I should be sleeping....the chance would be a fine thing!
The following day I resolved to ensure I asked for something to help me sleep when the meds were handed out at bedtime.
The days went by ok. Tracey would be in to visit as much as she could and it was hard on her having to juggle the kids and come visit me,especially as she didnt drive.
I had books and magazines to read and my MP3 to listen too but felt too tired to concentrate on any of these.
I still had a drip in and was on high dose antibiotics as well as taking pain killers orally.On the Wednesday/Thursday I had some kind of reaction to the medicine they were giving me. I felt like my whole body was trembling in time with my heart beat and could feel the blood pumping round my veins. It was a weird sensation I could feel it in my throat and tongue and asked Tracey if I was visably shaking? I wasnt.
It was very subtle at first but that afternoon a drip I was on was turned up and was going too fast. I could feel every drip and felt like my eardrums were going to pop! The nurse came and turned it down. I went down hill from there though suffering halluscinations and feeling very hot and feverish,the trembling intensified.
By the time Tracey and Mum came in to visit me I had gone down hill fast and they left early,Tracey I could tell was upset.
I asked the nurse to give me something to help me sleep as I could not settle with the visions I was seeing when my eyes were shut. She gave me something and it worked, I was out for the count. It was the best night I had slept since I'd been there and only stirred when one of the nurses was washing my cannula in the early hours.
The next morning I felt much better! The lad in the bed opposite said how well I was looking and how bad I looked the night before.
I was now eating food again although only a little at a time. I can stomach most things but the hospital food was grim and I survived on Jaffa Cakes!
That day my stomach drain was removed wich wasnt particularly pleasant but I was glad to be rid of it.
The following day (Friday) I was allowed home and was soon washed and dressed and ready to go. Tracey arrived with my sister-in-law Lisa and my brother Stephen to pick me up. The nurses gave me my meds to take home with me and I was free!
It was great to be home. I stepped in through the front door an burst into tears. I think the mental as well as the physical trauma had taken its toll and they were tears of relief.
Its was great to see the kid again as they came in from school and again there were more tears.
The next few days I made huge gains,just being in the home environment and eating good meals made a massive difference to my strength.
Tracey was an absolute star and looked after me fantastically, helping me with bathing and anything else that needed doing. I'm so lucky to have her.
The next few weeks my stregnth grew further and I felt much better. I returned to work three weeks after the appendix rupturing and got on with things.
I recieved a letter through the post for an appointment at Southmead hospital's Colorectal unit out patients clinic and then was telephoned a day or so later with an appointment to have a CT scan.
"It must be a checkup" I thought, the outpatients clinic for the physical examination and the CT for an internal check on how things were healing.
Little did I know how far from the truth I was and of the bombshell I was about to be hit with...........

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