Monday, 12 December 2011

A Hospital Story

Alright, so I'm feeling and looking a little less like an alien-being after a few days resting at home and I'm ready to bestow pretty words upon you again. I'm still struggling to regain my energy after surgery, not helped by some iffy sleeping patterns and strong, drowsy painkillers. But I'm getting there one day at a time. The pain is pretty rough. It will be with me for some time yet, but I was expecting it to a certain extent. We won't even discuss my leaking wound! It's quite unpleasant, to say the very least.

I had an operation called an eminectomy. It involves cutting down the side of the face, pulling that area slightly apart, cutting through to expose the jaw joint and then chiseling out a piece of bone before smoothing it off and sewing it all back up again. If you're into that sort of thing, there are pictures online. Not of me, I hasten to add. I'm glad I didn't look at them before I went into hospital. I was terrified enough already.

I was so worried about this surgery. It had been cancelled twice during the summer so when I got a letter out of the blue asking if I could come into hospital within a few days, it took me by surprise. With hindsight, having such little time to think about it was a blessing. Much as I wanted it to happen so that my quality of life could improve, I was still very frightened. The ironic thing was, I worried so much about the operation, I didn't even consider the recovery. The surgery was the easy part. The recovery has been far tougher than I expected.

One of the things I was most concerned about was not being looked after properly, but that was just silly. Everyone from top to bottom was wonderful and I'm slightly embarrassed that I even considered such a thing.

On arriving I was given a private room, which was a welcome if unexpected start. My name was strapped to my wrist, a doctor drew on me with a big marker pen, I watched the city go by below me and I tried to relax in front of the tiny bedside TV.

Morning came far too soon and after a quick shower I had a surgical gown and some very sexy anti-blood clot socks applied to my body by nurses. All I could do was sit back, take deep breaths and try to watch some daytime TV and the sunrise instead of the door. I failed at this.

I can't tell you about the surgery. One minute I was being told the gas through the mask on my face was about to change in odour, the next I was awake with a nurse telling me I was in the recovery bay and hooked up to all kinds of good stuff.

I lost my private room to someone else after surgery and ended up on a ward with three other ladies. All three of them seemed to need help getting to the washroom at regular intervals during the night, which created an absolute racket. Sleeping wasn't exactly high on anyone's agenda, especially as the heating was turned up to its 'Tropical' setting.

I had a drain stitched into the side of my head for three days, which is as disturbing as it sounds, but they eventually decided to remove it. Unfortunately, within a few hours of doing so my face did something it wasn't supposed to:

There are fuller pictures, but I can't stand the idea of anyone seeing them, so I think the eye is more than enough. And let me tell you this, there is no joy in having a handsome doctor stroke your face in the middle of the night when you look and feel your most hideous ever!

Thankfully, by the next evening they had pumped me full of enough antibiotics and taken my blood pressure/pulse rate/temperature enough times that they could send me home rattling a big bag of lovely drugs, and on the proviso that I called the doctor immediately if I started feeling feverish.

Since then, I've just been resting, sleeping, having the occasional cry and watching my face gradually shrink back to its normal width. It's almost there.

Within the next week or so I'll revisit the hospital food I was served up. It won't be pretty, but probably more pleasant than that eye up there!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! It is nice that you don't remember the actual surgery, but that puffy face can't have been fun! Has all the swelling and bruising disappeared now? Having to share a hospital room with others is an idea that I hate! Scott was in with pneumonia one time and stayed up playing cards with his roommate all day. Me? draw the curtain please! When do you head back to work?