Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Day 7 - Surgeons are Definitely People, Without Magical Superpowers

So today I was supposed to go under the knife at about 3pm. They stopped me eating at midnight (and yep, there was a brownie crammed in my mouth at 11:59pm!), and I didn't sleep well. I was pretty stressed about the op, in case you hadn't gathered, and I slothed about all morning. Didn't even bother going for a walk around the ward.
Eventually, upon the request of my nurse, I had a shower with the antibacterial wash to sterilize my skin, got into one of those Godawful hospital gowns and sat around waiting.
My brother showed up.
My dad showed up.
My mum didn't - but I didn't expect her to, on account of her bad back - and sent a series of obviously guilty text messages, and then made it all about her when I called her just before the time I was due to go into surgery.
I went down to X-ray for the world's quickest chest X-ray (turns out the secret is to be wheeled in on a bed, with a heart rate monitor on!), came back, waited a bit longer... and then my surgeon showed up.
I knew when he walked into the room that something was up. He looked defeated. He was a bit more hunched than usual (he's tall, so I imagine a lifetime of working on operating tables has done that to him), and just shook his head. I think he was almost as disappointed as I was.
I took it pretty well. I didn't want him to feel bad about it when it wasn't his fault. The theatre list had gone on and on, and the first operation of the day had taken forever, so there was no way they were going to get to me by the end of the day. He said he had no idea when they'd be able to get me in, but he'd try and find out.
He delivered the news and then left the room to change out of his scrubs and make some phonecalls. The nurses went and got me a sandwich, seeing as I hadn't eaten since midnight, then they shunted me to a room much, much further from the nurses' station - kind of parked right up the end of a hallway, really - and left me to my own devices.
My brother and dad went out for a feed, and brought me some Chinese take-away back to make up for the 15 hours of not eating. Nom.
My surgeon came back in his normal clothes, and said he'd try to get me a room back in the private hospital so as to not waste resources. I offered him a comfort brownie, and he accepted. And this is where he became more human - he said that he doesn't normally accept them in case they were laced with hash. And then he said that chocolate was a cure for depression, and made reference to JK Rowling's dementors being a metaphor for depression, and chocolate being a cure for contact with dementors. He then critiqued the use of raspberries in brownies and I explained why they were there (to balance the sweetness and create an illusion of health), and he carefully considered that and nodded his approval. With that he left and said he'd see me tomorrow.
To recap the experiences with my surgeon over the last two days, my surgeon has a sense of humour, is familiar with Harry Potter, loves chocolate, uses running apps, has a twinkly personality (when he lets his facade down), and has a heart *flails excitedly* (As a sidenote, the nurses also tell me that his oldest son is hot. Unfortunately he is also 21, which is pushing it a bit!)
So they wheeled me back up to my old ward. The nurses were all like, "you again!" and were pretty sympathetic. I haven't really digested it well, so that may happen once I power this laptop down and go to bed. I'm bothered by it because I'd just reached a point where I was at peace with the surgery, and wasn't thinking too negatively. And now I will have to go through the process of psyching myself up again for it, whenever that may be.
I've been saying that everything happens for a reason, you just don't always know the reason. For now, the reason seems to be that I now appear to have the only single, totally private room on the floor, with a pretty darned good view, and a nice, squashy sofa chair in the corner. Hopefully they don't kick me out of here, because if I'm stuck waiting in hospital then at least they should leave me here. I'm tucked up the back corner of the floor so it's a bit more quiet, plus my nurse is letting me shut the door at night which makes a lovely change. The road outside is a bit noisy, but it's a million times preferable to the infernal beeping and coughing and clattering you get elsewhere on the ward.
So that's good.
I spoke to Rachel, my regional manager, and she suggested that I use the time off to do things I wouldn't otherwise have the time to, like write a novel. She thinks I have the talent to write, so perhaps it's something I should consider. I guess at worst I could bash out a quick Mills & Boon novel (or, as I like to call them, Thrills and Poon)! If I was sure that I would get to keep this room, and knew that I would definitely be going under the knife on the 4th, I'd get someone to bring my sewing machine and quilting gear in. I could probably have a queen-sized quilt top made before the surgery!
So yeah, there are positives, but my mind is starting to wander and I'm starting to feel like a patient. As in a sick patient, not as in an otherwise healthy person who just needs to be under observation.
The part of my mind that has less confidence in this surgery has me wondering whether I've just been given more time to talk to people I care about and say my goodbyes. I know that's silly, but I guess if this is designed to make me appreciate life more, then that would certainly be one element of it.
I guess the flipside of that is that it is also making me think about the things I want to achieve in my life. It has also occurred to me that if I am ever going to get a body piercing, then post-surgery, while I'm high on painkillers, is definitely the time to do it!
Anyway, that's it from me. I'm a bit meh, but tomorrow I've decided that I'm going to be more structured and productive to try and get myself out of this funk. For now I'm just glad I'm not in pain.
Nighty-night, all, and thanks for your support so far.


  1. You can reassure him that the brownies contain only butter, dark chocolate, flour, eggs, vanilla, raspberry extract, baking powder, white chocolate chips and raspberries. No hash whatsoever!

    Also, Mum has decided that you should write an article about what it's like to have Long QT and try to get it published. Probably not as easy to write as Mills & Boon though!!

    1. Noted :)

      I've actually been thinking of offering my services to the electrophysiologist to talk to younger patients who are diagnosed. I know that when I was, I felt like the sky had fallen, and it probably would have helped at the time to talk to someone who had been through it. And judging by what the nurses have said to me over the years, quite often the younger ones don't take it so well, turn to IV drug use and end up with horrible infections that wreck their heart completely, so if I could stop that for one person it would be a good thing. But yes, perhaps I could try for an article, too. Might have a wider reach!

  2. Hey Ness,
    There's not much I can say to help you in any way, but for as long as I've known you you've always been able to get through things, even if it was just with sheer will and determination (like building an ikea wardrobe with that screw driver thingy that looked kind of like an egg beater...). This is no different, you'll pull through this, and it might take you a while, but you'll always be you and you'll bounce back. Nothing could ever keep you from the things you love doing for very long. Stay positive, I know it's hard, especially whilst feeling trapped in a hospital, but I know you can do it.
    I'm here if you need me.
    Tania xo

    1. I'd forgotten about the screw driver thingy! But I definitely remembered using a rock as a hammer :)

      Thanks Tan. It's good to know you're there xo


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