Thursday, April 7, 2011

Post Op

On Friday the 25th I had an appointment with my hematologist. She was pleased with the fact that my platelets were at 226. She told me to stop taking my garlic and fish oil supplements as these thin the blood.

My folks finally arrived on Sunday afternoon after an extended stay with my brother on their way south. I had to go into the hospital that evening for a blood sample to be taken (in case they had to give me a blood transfusion) and I was also to have an injection to thin my blood.

When we got in to DPH they told us they were no longer going to give me the injection. We couldn't help feeling a little peeved. We'd driven all the way into town and they were only going to take a blood sample which they easily could've taken the following morning.

My hubby dropped me off at the hospital just before 7am and I headed up to the 4th floor trailing my little purple suitcase. I was given a lovely set of hospital pjs, a stylish gown and boxers. "One size fits nobody," the nurse joked as she handed them over.

I was first on the list for surgery. As I'd requested I was given a little pill to help me relax. At 7.30 was taken down to theater and asked to climb on to the operating table. My memory at this point is a little hazy, no doubt the de-stressing drug was beginning to take effect. They gave me a mask to breath into....

.... and the next thing I knew someone was saying, "You have to wake up. You're in the recovery ward. The op has been done, it went well and you need to wake up."

The next thing I was aware of was pain.

I admit I moaned and grizzled a fair bit after this.

I think they gave me a few oral pain killers. Then I remember someone saying it wasn't enough and they were going to have to give me something else. Another someone started giving orders. A pain pump was pressed into my hand and I was told to pump it as much as I needed to. The pain eased quickly after that and I think I went back to sleep.

My next memory was waking up on the ward with my Mum sitting beside me. Apparently I'd been awake before this and had a conversation with her and my Dad when I'd first been taken to the ward, but I don't remember any of it or that my Dad had even been there.

The pain pump was brilliant! It was my very good friend for the next 24 hours.

I was very unsteady on my feet, and pretty spaced out for much of the first day. I remember being fairly proud of how coherent and with-it I was, but apparently reality was a little different...

The next morning (Tuesday 29th) the surgeon and his team came round first thing to check on me. This was the first time I'd seen what they'd done to me. I think I was a bit scared to look before that. I had four wounds/incisions. Two small ones just below the line of my lower left ribs, one more towards the center of my tum and another larger one on my side.

Because my platelets had been so high there had been no need for me to have any infusions of platelets. The surgery had gone well with no complications, he was pleased with how it all looked and thought I could probably go home the next day if I was strong enough.

My platelets were are at 230.

My Prednisone had been given intravenously during the op and increased to 30mg (up from 15mg) to cover any post-operative stress my body might experience. I was then given 30mg orally on Tuesday and it was dropped to 25mg on Wednesday. The plan was to decrease the Prednisone by 5mg every two days until I hit 15mg.

I'd also been given my first dose of antibiotics intravenously, but now I started taking them orally. Pencillin VK 500mg twice a day for the rest of my life.

The pain pump was taken off me at about 10am and I was given oral pain relief; panadol, codeine and tramadol. I'm not allowed to take ibuprofen or asprin because they thin the blood.

I was encouraged to eat, though I really didn't feel like it. Mum came in with Dad in the morning and spent the day with me, chatting, drinking coffee and generally just hanging out. Dad went off to potter and do a few odd jobs he'd managed to find that needed doing.

Mum helped me shower in the morning (the nurses were so busy there was no way they could have found time to assist me) and read a book while I snoozed in the afternoon. My Dad brought the kids in to visit for a short while after school and my hubby dropped in again after work. A couple of friends also popped in.

I slowly began to regain my strength and by the end of the day I could hobble to the bathroom and back to my bed without assistance as long as I had something to hold on to.

On Wednesday morning my platelets had dropped a little to 219. I was given the all clear and told I could go home. My wounds were cleaned and dressed and by the time the house surgeon had got all the paperwork together it was after lunch. I was wheeled down to the entrance and left the hospital at about 1.30pm.

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