Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First day of my new life

After another sleepless night, I woke up feeling bruised and exhausted, but not any actual pain. W and I had IV fluids overnight and the flotron wraps and every time one or other of us changed position we set off various alarms. Added to that, I needed to get up every two hours to go to the loo (IV fluids!) which meant detaching myself from the flotron pump and then wheeling the IV pump with me. It steered pretty much like your typical supermarket trolley.

I have aches all over, reminding me that I still do have fybromyalgia. I can feel where my head was extended for intubation and where my arms must have been resting on something and even have a bruise under my chin where my airway was kept clear by someone holding my chin up. Princess and the Pea, or what?

Spent today walking, sipping water and sleeping. Just so very tired.

Drank 1 litre of water today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surgery Day

After a night of virtually no sleep – 4 bedded bay with W, empty bed and an elderly lady who slept all day and became a creature of the night the minute the lights went out – up at 6 to shower and put on anti-embolitic stockings. An interesting look, as the gown neck was so big it was off my shoulders and the stockings were much longer than my legs.

Mr Small came to see me and outlined the many ways I could die from the procedure. Informed consent is essential, but terrifying. Then the anaesthetist came and basically did the same thing. By this time, I was terrified.

At 8:30am the porters came to collect me for theatre. I had to go down on my bed so I could come back on it later. This was always an indicator of ’significant’ surgery back in my day. The porters were kind and jokey, making comments about how nervous I looked.

In theatre, I transferred to a trolley and was wheeled into anaesthetics. The anaesthetist put an intravenous cannula in my right hand, I had a BP cuff and a set of ECG leads attached and then oxygen through a mask, held firmly on my face. He said he was giving me something for pain, sickness and then said he was giving me the induction agent. I felt a metallic taste in my mouth and then went out.

I woke up in recovery and saw 11:30 on the clock. My only memories are feeling nauseous but in no pain.

At 12:15 I was back on the ward and had a brief conversation with W. Must have dozed a while, but was able to ring J and j on my mobile by 12:30 and tell them I was still alive.

Slept for a while, then the wonderful Gail (Nursing assistant) helped me get up to go to the loo and change out of my gown into my pyjamas. Started to feel human again.

Had IV fluids and an oxygen mask on, as well as flotron wraps around my legs, which inflated and deflated to minimise the risks of a DVT.

J and j visited at 2pm and I was able to sit up and have a walk around the ward. Felt unbelievably fit. Dozed a bit afterwards. Used a mouthcare pack with little pink sponge lollies to wet my mouth, which was horrendously dry from the oxygen. Later, graduated to sips of water.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Admission Day

Woke up at 2am this morning – actually sneezed myself awake. Can you believe it? I have the beginnings of a cold!

Trying to deal with it with paractemol, fluids and the powers of positive thinking.

Despite the false optimism, I can’t help wondering if they’ll anaesthetise me with a runny nose. Keeping everything crossed.

Rang the ward this morning to check they have a bed and they do. Seems to be just me and W being admitted today.

Packed my bag, again, adding a box of tissues.

So nervous.

I have decided against writing letters to my loved ones, but have left important paperwork in a place where it can be easily found.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Getting ready

I’m suffering a bit from one of the side effects of the pre-op diet, so I’m trying to increase my fluid intake and get more exercise. I also bought a box of these:

Movicol has been recommended by lots of people as something that will be useful after surgery too. I wonder if I can get them on prescription as I have a pre-payment certificate and these cost the best part of £12 for a box of 30.

Packing my bag today:

* 2 night dresses (sleeveless and baggy, very glam, not.)
* 1 pair pjs (elasticated waist)
* knickers and bras (not letting it all hang out a moment longer than I have to)
* toothbrush, toothpaste, dry mouth spray
* spray bottle for water
* wet wipes, face wipes, facecloth
* shower gel (will I be able to shower? I hope I’m not in long enough for it to be an issue)
* shampoo and conditioner (likewise)
* moisturiser
* lip balm
* socks, slippers, dressing gown
* towel
* book
* magazines
* phone/mp3 player
* money (small amount)
* bottled water

Have I missed anything?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nearly there

Well, I’ve made it through my last week at work before the op. People have been very supportive and I had some lovely gifts and wishes yesterday.

My only worry is that people seem to be expecting me to come back to work after the Easter holidays as a size 10. There isn’t a great deal of understanding about what a Roux-en-Y actually is and most people seem to see it as ‘a band’ or total-body liposuction that will address my weight overnight. If only!

People have noticed the weight that has disappeared during the last few weeks, particularly the seven pounds that have gone so far on the pre-op diet. I did expect to lose more so far, but seven pounds is seven pounds. I can’t complain.

I’ve been very surprised at how easy the pre-op diet has become, after a difficult weekend at the start and a psychotic episode involving an omelette (not mine, I hasten to add) at the start of the week. I could easilly go on like this a lot longer and I’m starting to get an insight into how something like anorexia can creep up on a person. I forgot to have my ‘dinner’ last night and remembered after I’d settled down to watch TV. I wasn’t hungry and actually had to force myself to eat something. Smoothies go down best.

I’m sorting things out in preparation for Monday’s admission at the moment. I’ve made a list and crossed lots of unlikely items off again. I’ve been having some problems with my phone so I bought myself a new one on the way home from work. It has a big memory so I can download lots of games apps and fill it with my iTunes collection. Even has a radio, so I think that’s me sorted for my hospital stay.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dark thoughts

Long chat with j last night about weight issues, eating and the impending surgery. I know he’s worried about my having elective surgery and the 1 in 500 deaths that we have been quoted.

Tried to reassure him (and myself) that I don’t plan on dying, but there is always that worry. J and I have wills that have been carefully written to provide best for j. I’ll have to show them both ewhere the life insurance papers are etc. It’s not a pleasant idea.

I’ve read that some people write letters to all their loved ones before surgery, just in case. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to do that or not. When I start to think about how I would start and what I would say, I start to cry and it hurts so much I have to stop. I do tend to catastrophise, but I don’t know whether this is something I should follow through with or not.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pre-anaesthetic Clinic Appointment

Feeling a bit better about the diet, but can’t seem to get warm. Might be related to the long walk from where we managed to get parked at Sunderland Royal this morning to the actual hospital. Car parking there is ridiculous! J came with me so he’ll know where to find me next week.

Anyway, pre-anaesthetic check appointment this morning:
Oxygen saturation,
MRSA swabs from nose, throat and perineum (I did that one myself).
Everything was ok, except now I’m paranoid that I might have MRSA and get my surgery bumped back.

Must remember I still have a urine specimen in my handbag… they didn’t need it after all…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 3

Day three in the milk diet house and Gill is getting tetchy and irritable…

You should have heard the swearing in my kitchen an hour ago! I tipped an omelette (for one of the lucky family members who can still eat) onto the hob top instead of the plate. Aaaarghh!

Can you tell I’m suffering a bit?

It’s the headache that is the worst thing. I’m not dehydrated as I’m managing to get plenty of water in. Must be something to do with the lack of carbs.

Nevermind, I’ll get through this. Everyone else does

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pre-op diet

Well, after what seems like an eternity of waiting, I’m nearly there. The pre-op, liver-shrinking diet starts today. This makes the surgery feel real.

There are lots of stories around about people’s quest to eat their ‘last’ of everything: last Big Mac, last chocolate, last… whatever. I debated this. Even sent W a text asking what she was going to eat last night.When I got home from work J and j offered to take me out or get takeaway, but I settled for a salad and some oven chips. I was planning a couple of glasses of wine, but I was so exhausted I fell asleep in front of the TV instead.

So, no last blow-out for me. I think I was worried that I might trigger a binge or overeating. I was also thinking I didn’t want to cancel out any of the benefits of the pre-op diet.

All this sounds a bit pious, I guess, but I think it’s not really about self-denial, but more about acceptance. I’m more comfortable with food now than I ever have been. Nothing is banned. There’s just some things I choose not to eat today. 12 step principles?

So, this week I will mostly be eating:

2 pints of milk
2 Muller light yoghurts
4 pieces of fruit
Unlimited water

each day