Helloooooo! Well today is two days post op – it’s been a tough couple of days and I’m struggling a little but thought Id attempt a post.
Tuesday was op day, thanks to Mr C for updating the blog. I went down to theatre around 2pm and after getting my sexy surgical stockings on and going through consent forms etc, the anaesthetists put in an epidural for post op pain relief. She was fab and from Barnsley and sounded *just* like my sister in law Nancy so it was so comforting having her with me! We were talking whilst I got sorted and so as I drifted off under the general anaesthetic, she told me to imagine laying on a beach in Australia next to my sister! What fab personal and kind care!!!
I awoke in recovery a few hours later to my first question ‘Is Caroline here?’ She wasn’t but whilst I was out I had overheard a nurse who sounded just like her discussing the programme Doc Martin… I have to admit that I was a little disgruntled that she was talking about Martin Clunes over talking to me!! Haha!!! Poor Caroline!!!
I had a little pain when I woke, the nurses soon got it under control by altering my epidural and then Timm was there. It was amazing to see his face smiling down at me, he held my hands and made everything feel better.
Around this time there was some concern over my lactate levels, (genuinely described as ‘deranged’ LOVE it) they were on the high side and so needed to keep me in recovery for a whole longer, but Timm could stay and so all was fine. A couple of hours later the levels were still rising and so the decision was made to move me to the High Dependency Unit. Timm went home as he needed to get back to the kids and the staff needed to do their job.
I was moved to HDU which was a little scary and movie like – they explained things really well and though I was frightened, they kept me informed and I felt safe and comfortable. I had a nurse with me all the time and the care I received was just outstanding. I was covered in monitors, tubes and wires including an arterial line that was inserted into my wrist and SEWN into place!! Eek!!! But they did give me a local and so I had no pain.
Wednesday saw my levels improve and so around 2pm was moved back to my ward to recover. My potassium levels were off and so I still had to keep an IV with potassium in it. I had my epidural for pain relief that I have a button to add extra relief if needed and a catheter in as I couldn’t get up and down to the loo.
I felt shattered but on the whole, ok!! The nurses are fantastic here, so warm, caring, professional yet open. They make a difficult time so much easier, it’s embarrassing to be cared for, washed and have your toilet needs to be sorted by another person but they’re so relaxed and laid back about it that you feel at ease. It’s an amazing skill to have and I salute our nurses!!
Turns out IV potassium BURNS like its on fire!!!! Really really hurty arm after this one so trying the oral version (tastes awful but not painful at least!!)
Wednesday also saw my meds being dropped! Hooray!!! The 8 Pentasa I have been taking a day since June have been stopped! I know this may not seem like a big deal but it really gets to me having to take so many tablets every day so it felt like a real landmark. My IV steroids have been replaced by tablets that we have to taper down from now over the next few weeks.
To be honest, I think I was still on a bit of a high on Wednesday – Timm and Caroline visited me in the evening and I think they were surprised at how well I was. I mean, I felt exhausted and drained but emotionally I felt relief, happiness and quite elated that the ‘hard bit’ was over. I didn’t sleep particularly well but on the whole I felt in a good place.
So it came as a bit of a shock that today (Thursday) kind of hit me like a thunderstorm. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster today. It’s been kind of tough – there’s a couple of small problems with my stoma – it’s quite small and flat and it’s close to my wound. This means that the stoma itself doesn’t have enough of a ‘spout’ to sit in my ileostomy bag and is leaking.
This afternoon it leaked for the first time. My mum and sister were visiting and I looked down to see a lot of waste all over my stomach. I was devastated. I think it was shock more than anything and I just burst into tears. The nurses were AWESOME they came and cleaned me up, wiped away my tears and offered me comfort, support and kindness.
I was embarrassed and the reality of what was happening hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like a baby, I felt dirty amd humiliated.
I had a big cry. (A snotty Chinese baby cry!!!!)
Then I manned up and got it sorted! The nurses cleaned me and discussed why it was leaking. They told me to trust them and let them care for me. I did something I’m probably not great at doing and let go of control.
Unfortunately I have leaked quite a few times since. The lay of my wounds mean that my stoma is leaking INTO my wound so I’m feeling very sore and I’m having to be cleaned a lot.
It’s just going to be a bit of a learning curve, trying different bags and seeing what works for me. They say it will be much easier once all the swelling goes down and my wound heals.
The wound!!! Scars are cool, right?!
Timm and the kids came to see me tonight which was fab but a little overwhelming. It was great to see them but difficult as I don’t want them to see me upset or in pain. Once they’d left I had a visit from my two oldest friends Tania and Hannah and had a bit of a weep. I just felt really emotional and ragged. I had to let go and it was good to have my old dear friends there to make it better.
What I’m finding from this situation is that my struggle is in being out of control and I need to learn to accept this and be ok that sometimes you can’t paint a smile over it. Sometimes it’s ok to say ‘I’m struggling’ because you know what? It feels good to have people around you who love you and who say ‘that’s ok, let me help’
So ill leave you with a couple of things, firstly is the shot of my ileostomy pouch…
And secondly, a nurse told me I should name my stoma!!!