Surgery number 7!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I had my big op a couple of weeks ago, it’s been a really tough time so I’m only now just well enough to blog about it.

So a bit of background, I had developed a hernia in the incision of my old stoma site and had surgery to operate in March to fix this. After that operation, my surgeon told me it was worse than expected and there was another hernia behind my stoma.

Over the next few weeks, these hernias grew and developed and were extremely painful and getting in the way of day to day life and so the decision was made that I’d need yet another surgery to fix these.

Parastomal hernia

It was decided that I’d try and wait till after August for this op, both to give my body time to recover and also as we are going on an American road trip in August and I wanted to make sure I was well for this.

The pain was getting worse week on week, I had a weeks holiday at the end of May to have some time at home around my birthday and I ended up spending that whole week in bed in agony. My birthday was spent having a bbq with our two best friends in a quiet evening at home where I could lay down and rest. Beautiful but disappointing to feel so poorly.

My beloved nan also took a turn for the worse and so I was trying my best to visit and spend time with her.  On Sunday 3rd June, we went and spent the day with her, she was very tired and on medication but it was lovely to spend time with her and lots of my family.

On Monday 4th, I was in a lot of pain, I could barely stand and my hernia was really stuck out, the decision was made that I needed to get into hospital the following day and have emergency surgery. It was a huge shock and I was frightened about it all.

And then I got the worst phone call. My beautiful, incredible nan had passed away. We rushed straight to her house and spent a few hours with her, holding her, kissing her and just being in her presence. I felt everything crashing away from under me. I can’t say much more at the minute, it’s too raw and painful.

The following morning, Timm took me into hospital and on Thursday 7th I had my surgery.

I had repair of two hernias and resiting of my stoma on the left side. It was quite a long and complex operation as I had a lot of adhesions, mesh and scars to deal with. I believe it took around 5-6hours and honestly has been the toughest one so far.

Perhaps it’s my age or the previous scars etc but either way, this one has floored me.

It was a bit of a shock really to wake up from such a big op, I hadn’t been expecting it and I was still reeling from loss and so my head was all over the place. The first day was a haze of morphine, I had very low blood pressure but I was feeling ok.

The pain team came to see me and explained the plan in place for taking me off the epidural, I told them that I was quite scared as I knew from previous experience what a shock it can be coming off the epidural. I was assured that everything would be in place and I wouldn’t have any pain.

The following morning I was given paracetamol codiene and eventually Oramorph, I’d asked Timm to come in to advocate for me as I knew it was always tough coming off and getting it right. We were told I could have oramorph every hour and that I’d be fine. Happy with this, Timm left to sort the kids out.

The pain started to grow and I saw a nurse who gave me paracetamol, she offered codiene but said I couldn’t have codiene and oramorph together and so I requested the oramorph. She went to get it.

Twenty minutes passed and the pain was blooming through my body, I pressed the buzzer and was told they’d let the nurse know. Another twenty minutes passed and I was in tears, I couldn’t breathe, I was sweating and moaning. I pressed the buzzer and told them I’d take anything just please give me pain relief. Again they went away saying they’d tell a nurse.

Another twenty minutes passed. I was crying hysterically and pressing the buzzer. No one came. Another patient came over and said ‘can I hug you? You’re in so much pain and I can’t believe they’re ignoring you’.

Eventually the nurse came over, she asked what all the fuss was about. I said ‘please just give me the fucking drugs!!’. She was angry and said she didn’t have to be spoken to like that. I begged her ‘please just give me the drugs!’  She angrily jabbed me in the arm leaving a painful red lump and stormed away.

Ten minutes later she returned saying I could have another injection, she was fuming and said I was a disruptive patient. I tried to explain that I was in agony and I’d been promised that I wouldn’t be left in pain. That I was sorry I swore but I was terrified and the pain was too much and I’d been left for an hour. She rolled her eyes at me and was so cold and rude. I said she was being really uncaring and she just rolled her eyes and so I said that my husband was coming in.

Honestly I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that I’d been left in that state. It was less than 48 hours after a huge surgery where I have two big wounds and a new stoma. I was left crying on a ward for an hour whilst they ignored me.

After this, I was laid in bed sobbing. I was in shock, distressed and as the pain relief took effect I was shaking. My arm was red and swollen where she rammed the injection in and I felt so low and just not human.

You all know I love our NHS, I wouldn’t be here without it, it’s amazing. But sometimes people let it down. This nurse was the coldest most uncaring person I’ve ever met. She looked at me like I was shit, she hurt me, she made me feel like I didn’t matter.

We complained and the matron came to see us, she was lovely and listened. She understood and apologised. I apologised for swearing, that i wasn’t like that but the pain was so much. She said it was totally understandable. We will be taking this further.

Thankfully I have a voice, and I have a husband to come and fight my battles with me but there are many who don’t and it’s for them that I must take the complaint further to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Sam Cleasby surgery blogger

Once the pain relief was under control, the rest of the stay in hospital was quite normal. Timm came every day, he was my hero. I was struggling as I had no appetite, but the nurses were wonderful and really supportive which was a relief after such a poor start.

My blood results weren’t great though and there was concern about infection but then they dropped to within normal limits and I was let home on Tuesday 12th June.

Sam and Timm Cleasby

As far as we know, the surgery went well. I have a large scar up my middle and the old stoma site has been left open and is being packed every day by the district nurse. It’s a bit of a shock to see a big hole in your tummy though!

This has ended up being a super long post and so I’m going to end it here and I’ll do another post about recovery at home AKA it all goes tits up and Sam thinks she’s going to die… (spoiler, I obviously don’t die)


Sam xx

7 replies
  1. Tony Mason
    Tony Mason says:

    Sam, just read your latest Blog following your latest surgey and im effing fuming that you had to go through this, please, please do report the totally useless Nurse, i too am suffering with 2 large incisonal hernias and need yet another Op after already had 3 since my first Stoma Op so I know how you must be feeling, ive always said that in all professions, jobs etc there are good and bad and that includes Nurses, Doctors and Surgeons ive came across a few nurses that were so lazy it beggared beleif that they were even employed, hang in there and i do hope you get strong and well soon, dont let this Nurses treatment of you drop and report her please, stay strong as you are an inspiration to us all.

    Tony M

  2. Clare Mee
    Clare Mee says:

    Hi Sam, I totally get where your coming from. I love the NHS but have had the odd person be uncaring. I am about to have my fourth surgery which is a big one and I am very scared, but we have to do it , Clare ( Tomas the stoma ) xxxx

  3. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    It disgraceful you were treated like that. Happy to see you’re coming out on the other side. Wishing you all the best for the rest of you’re recovery.

  4. Pam
    Pam says:

    Gosh Sam, you are have been to hell and back!! So pleased you stood up for yourself re the nurse and pain killers, this should not have happened!! I have been through similar with a doctor and would not allow him to treat me, I’ve found you must stand up for yourself, it’s your body and you are your own best doctor. Thinking of you!!
    Pam xx

  5. MCL
    MCL says:

    Sam I’m so sorry you had to go through that, that sounds horrific! It’s not acceptable. I hope you’re feeling a bit better than you did x

  6. Marie Gray
    Marie Gray says:

    Hya am just read your latest blog and I’m sending you a big hug and lots of love you’ve been through so much and are an inspiration to lots of people. I also had almost the same surgery as u had it was 2016. I’m an endoscopy nurse and have had crohns disease for 23 years I have an illeostomy and had a paristomal hernia repair on 9th of Jan 2016. It should have been a routine op lasting aprox 2hrs . 10 hours later I came out of surgery I was in an unbelievable amount of pain and was prescribed morphine for pain relief and like yourself the nurse that was looking after me wasn’t very nice at all my veins collapsed so I was put on oral meds and my surgeon specifically told them I had to have it every 4 hrs .NO DELAYS . So when I was moved from I C U to the ward my pain relief was withheld every time i asked the answer I got was in busy just now wel get to u . So by 8 o clock at night I had missed 2 rounds of drugs so I explained to the nurse about my surgeon specifically saying I had to get it every 4hrs and she went ballistic throwing my case notes at me and said I DECIDE IF AND WHEN YOU GET PAIN RELIEF NOT ANYONE ELSE. And walked away so u can imagine i was in a bit of a mess i foned my husband hysterical crying wanting to come home he foned my surgeon at home and made him contact the hospital which he did and sent his junior to see me and give me pain relief. The next day I put a complaint in about her I was disgusted by her behaviour nd I’m a nurse and all of my surgeries are carried out at the hospital where i work all it takes is 1 rotten nurse to ruin the reputation of the ward and other nurses some of us do the job because we love it and it’s a vocation in due to go back in for more major surgery this year this will be number 12 and I’m dreading it because o know how much pain in going to be in . Keep your chin up your doing great and so many people are thinking about u. Xxxxx

  7. Susan Kline
    Susan Kline says:

    I remember when our Human Resource manager was hospitalized with incurable cancer. The tumor on her brain was going to be removed so that she could remain coherent until the end. Her roommate was in a lot of pain and the nursing station was ignoring her so Kelley pressed her own buzzer. A voice responded and said, “Whaddaya want?”. Kelly said, “First I want a nurse to tend to my roommate who has been buzzing you for a while. Then I want you to look for a different career, because obviously you are not suited for this one!” God bless her, Kelly was a Human Resource person to the end and also a caring person.


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