Monday, 17 May 2010

Stoma closure day +4 Tues 11th May

The nurses awoke us at our usual time of 06:00. I was tired from a busy night walking back and fourth to the bathroom wheeling my drip stand and holding the drain for the N.G. tube. I stayed in bed and dozed,quietly content that things were finally working as they should. I felt much better, the acidity and gastric reflux I was suffering from had gone I felt completely different.
The doctors came around about 08:30 and advised that the N.G. tube could come out and that the drip could also come out when it had finished. The timer on the stand showed another five hours yet though. I couldn't wait to be free of all the attachments and get in to the bathroom and have a nice long shower. The nurse was prompt and she came back pretty quickly after the doctors has left to remove the N.G tube. This was far easier to deal with than having it put in. The trick as with allot of these things is to just relax and go with the flow. A few seconds and it was all over with and felt so much better. You could constantly feel the tube in your throat when it was in and it was made worse when you turned your head as the tube moved. But I was free now and it felt great!
I sat in the chair at the side of the bed and waited for the drip to finish. I kept myself amused with books and the DVD player and waited patiently for the drip to empty. I found myself watching the digital countdown on the drip getting more and more excited as the time drew near for it to finish. Before long the alarm sounded to show that there was less than five minutes remaining and I notified the nurse. She arrived back not long after and removed the drip, capping off the end of the cannula. One trick I have found useful is that if you have a cannula in not being used get the nurses to put some tubigrip over the top, it stops it getting snagged on clothing and so on.
I called Tracey and we arrange to go for a walk before lunch was served. We strolled down to the foyer and sat in the chairs for a while watching the hustle and bustle of people coming and going. I headed back just before lunch, I was feeling really well and apart from the odd stomach cramp was in no pain at all. I was told I may suffer from cramps and indigestion as the bowl returned to life.
Lunch was served and this time it wasn't just a drink I was given. I had soup, jelly and ice cream. I have to say that hospital ice cream is weired stuff, it doesn't melt, just gets warm and still holds the same shape and texture. Not sure what its made from but was very welcome to someone who hadn't eaten for days.
The nurse came around in the afternoon and changed my dressing again. Shortly afterwards Tracey arrived and we sat for a while and talked with Paul next door. We went for another stroll, I had a craving for some chocolate and bought some Cadburys Giant chocolate buttons. Yum!
To help the time pass throughout the afternoon I scheduled in a number of tasks at certain times throughout. I wouldn't let myself do the said task until it was time so as to try and keep myself as busy as possible and string things out. The best thing I did was go take the long awaited shower. I started first with a shave as to have the shower first would have meant that the mirror would be steamed up making things difficult. Once shaved, I stripped and then prepared the shower. It was at this point that I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror for the first time properly since the operation and it was a poignant moment. I no longer had the stoma bag hanging from the right side of my abdomen. I felt quite choked. In its place was just a small post op dressing. I hadn't realised just how much "the bag" had affected me, I'd just blocked it out as part of the coping process and now I was free of it. It felt good, I felt almost normal again. I enjoyed that long hot shower.
I sat quietly the rest of that afternoon waiting for dinner to be served and then to see Tracey again. Tiredness was catching up with me but I couldn't sleep,there was just a glimmer of excitement that I might just be going home in the next day or so. That evening Tracey and I took a walk again, we took the stairs rather than the lifts to get some additional exercise. I'd missed the doctors on their rounds somehow as I'd assumed they might not come around as they would be busy in surgery as Tuesday is MOAS day. However we bumped into Mr. Moran on our walk, he was busy chatting to some other doctor dressed in his scrubs. He saw me and waved "your looking better"he said with a smile.
"thanks" I replied and he carried on chatting with his colleague.
I was desperate for some fresh air in my lungs so Tracey and I made our way outside of the main entrance and sat on the benches. The rain had stopped and the sun had come out and it was a nice evening, cool but refreshing after the stuffy air of the ward. We sat for half an hour, my arm around Tracey.It felt good. Mr. Moran then breezed past this time in his suit and on his way home. He tapped me on my knee as he passed.
"Good to see you looking so well" he said and kept walking.
"thanks" I replied.

Tracey and I made our way back to the ward shortly afterwards. My eyes were dry where I was so tired but still I couldn't settle down to sleep. Tracey left and I led on the bed. I grabbed my MP3 and put on some nice relaxing classical music. It felt good, I was so relaxed the music was amazing and I led there like that for over an hour just chilling to the music, feeling good, feeling relieved, contemplating what the future might hold. Was this ordeal now over?

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