WARNING: This Blog is about hospitals, operations and stuff so if you are squeamish don’t read it.
Before I go any further I want to say thanks to the nurses and doctors at Caerphilly Miners Hospital who looked after me for the last couple of days. They were awesome and proved beyond a doubt that the NHS is service to be proud of.
Friday morning at 7:30am i checked into hospital to have my Gall Bladder removed. This “minor” surgery should cure these crippling bouts of pain I have been having for the last 2 years and stop me from feeling like i have eaten a 4 course meal when all I have eaten is a slice of toast. i had also been told that as it was a minor surgery I would be in and out in the same day, so all things considered I was feeling pretty upbeat when I got there.
About half an hour later after changing into a rather fetching surgical gown and paper underwear the surgeon came to see me. He explained what the surgery was for and why i was having it, all good so far, then he explained all the things that could go wrong. Now i know they have to do this legally but the complications didn’t sound to great to me. It may not, for example cure the pain i was having, the Gall Stones may have slipped into my pancreas and i may possibly have pancreatic cancer. Oh and they may still have to cut me open and not do it keyhole style. Which would result in all sorts of tubes and wire being in me for days. Thankfully the Surgeon was confident none of this was the case and it would all be straightforward. He finished his little pep talk by telling me that that I was up next for surgery so to get ready.
Before I knew it i was in the pre op area begin fitted with machines that went beep and pumped full of anesthetic. Now i don’t know if anyone has have had modern anesthetic but damn does it work quick, literally the last thing I remember is thinking my hand felt cold as the pumped it in through the handy little tap they had attached to me. Just over two hours later (so I am told) I was being woken up and told everything was a success.
Back on the ward there was a dude who had gone in for surgery after me who was already up and about. Now i have to admit i admired the guy cos i felt like crap and he was already walking about. Of course I knew why he was doing it and I was going to make damn sure i attempted to as well, you see it is all to do with letting you go home. If you can drink something (normally tea) eat something, walk about and use the toilet without issue they will let you go home, if not they will keep you in over night. Now our friend Superman (He had the same op as me so trust me he must have been) had already done all these things and was itching to go home.
So when the nurse asked me if i wanted a cup of Tea and a Sandwhich I said yes, I didn’t care that it was the driest Sandwich i had ever eaten in my life, or that the Morphine they were pumping into me made it taste funny, or that i had to drink a glass of water with each bite just to swallow it I was going to eat that damn sandwich cos I wanted to go home. Once finished I asked the nurse when I could go home to which she said with a smile, not until tomorrow and only then if the drain had gone down to less than 20 mils.
It was then I noticed the drain.
Seriously I have no idea how i missed the fact that I had a big ass tube coming out of my stomach filling a bag with a liquid that looked like cranberry juice. Said bad was also ( I noted) at 120 mils so It was draining quite freely still. Why did i have said tube and what was the liquid? Let me explain gentle reader.
You see when performing keyhole surgery they fill the area with gas to make it easier to get to the item in question. Yes, that is right doctors do in fact blow you up like a balloon to operate on you. Apparently they remove said gas after the surgery but some remains and will come out naturally over the next few days, and by this they mean you will belch like a pirate and it will taste strangely minty. As for the drain what sometimes happens is that they need to clean the area after surgery so they put a liquid into you to wash away the blood and stuff into a handy bag you have to carry with you everywhere and try not to sit on or get tangled up in.
It was at this point I realized I was staying there for the night.
Which wasn’t as bad as I feared. I was in a small ward with one other person (who had things a lot worse than me) a brand new bed which was really comfy and I basically slept for 24 hours. Well I say slept, they wake you every hour to check on you so i dozed for 50 minutes each hour and then got woken up. The Wife slept beside me in a makeshift chair/bed combo.
Morning came and the drain had stopped significantly and I was told i could go home, which was good news until they told me that removing the Drain would in fact hurt. I hate it when doctors and nurses say things like that cos normally they tell you things won’t hurt and they do, but if they say something will hurt then you can be sure it’s going REALLY hurt.
Thankfully thanks to the joys of Morphine it didn’t really, it just felt a bit weird having a foot long tube pulled out of me. Let me say that again in case you missed it, a foot long tube was pulled out of me! No wonder I felt weird. Anyway with that done I was packed off home with a bag of powerful pain medication and a promise the operation had been a total success.
Recovery is going ok. for the next two weeks i can’t drive or lift anything but once i have had the stitches out i should be fine. Recovery has also been great for catching up with films and TV. I have now watched the last three episodes of Chuck, the first V mini series and I’m working my way through V The Final Battle. I have also finally watched The Untouchables which I have been meaning to do for ages, damn fine film by the way and easily my favorite Gangster flick.
So forgive me if this entry is a little off, I’m still on the morphine and feel stiff and sore but a lot better than I did and well on the way to recovery.
One other person i must thank in this is my wife, who has been amazing and pretty much been doing everything for me.