Saturday, 5 April 2014

Days 14 to 17 - BAM. Game on.

It really did happen as quickly as I had hoped for at the end of Day 12. There was no time to psych myself up (or, more to the point, psych myself out).

Also, I apologise in advance for typos and writing style - I'm writing on a tablet pc which a quite foreign to me, plus I'm on drugs, plus it's evening and my energy is flagging badly. But I'll try to edit it with my phone before I post. 

Day 14 dawned bright and early. And I can attest to that, cos I was up at the crack of arse to have a light, pre-op brekkie, after which I slept for another two hours. 
This was a good sign as the previous day - also a "maybe" day - had not involved an early breakfast. Before I knew it, they had me packing my bags and had shipped me off to Royal Melbourne's day surgery clinic. The brown laminex tables clued me into the fact I wasn't in Kansas anymore, Toto.

It all happened so quickly that nobody had time to come wait with me  There may have been an irrational chin-wobble when I realised I'd be alone, but I got over that as soon as the (tall, hot) anaesthetics registrar showed up. And in all seriousness, despite his hotness, I was simply reassured by his calmness, his professionalism, and his ability to insert a cannula in one of my crappy veins in two seconds flat. I wonder if I can hire him as my personal Needle Dude next time I'm in hospital... He also didn't underrate my intelligence and took my concerns on board - namely, that I'm a spewer, and that I had to be resuscitated last time I was operated upon.

The next thing I knew I was in theatre, regaling the theatre staff with some witty anecdote or the other (or so I imagine; truthfully, it was probably the drugs!), and not long (by which I mean 3 or 4 hours) after I woke up in Recovery in quite a bit of pain.

My surgeon was there and he said it went really well. I have to admit I've developed a soft spot for him (in a fatherly way) - he is very sympathetic and has the most expressive eyes, so you can tell he gives a damn how you feel. He squeezed my arm reassuringly and suddenly I felt confident that I would be looked after and that I wouldn't be left hanging for painkillers. 

I felt every bump from Recovery to the CCU, where my dad was waiting for me. I posted a Proof of Life selfie on Facebook, and it is now abundantly apparent to me just how high I was in this picture. Of course, I was also happy cos I had a sandwich in one hand and my daddy by my side, but yeah the, drugs were still in full force, to the point that I was moving almost completely uninhibited. Perhaps I also knew how many people cared - thanks to everyone for all the support and good wishes and love over the last few weeks. 109 likes! Wow! Hah, unless everyone likes my bad hospital hair and even worse hospital skin ;)

The morning of Day 15 wasn't so bad, once I convinced them I needed at least one more night and lots more drugs. Dad came and I was shifted back to Melbourne Private, where they did the hospital bed allocation equivalent of being a cock tease. They told me I could have my old bed back... and then changed their minds, just as I sat on it. Booooo. Mind you, dad saw the guy who got my bed, and it seems theyweren't exaggerating when they said people pretty much get given that room to die in. No wonder my feet would get inexplicably cold in there at night...

So my new room is outside the monitoring station and is noisy as hell, but does not appear to be haunted ;) Sadly, though, in the move I lost my semi-formal thongs, that is, my black Havianas with Brazilian flags on them. I got them in Rio, back in the days that was the only place you could buy them. Sad face :(

Dad left and Kirsti showed up with an awesome gift from Kat from Lush to help me feel a bit less gross in hospital. Thanks, Kit-Kat! :)

Kirsti showed up at a really good time, too - just in time to feed me! Cos, yaknow, I'm at risk of fading away to a shadow ;) My right arm was now cactus and my left elbow still had a cannula in, rendering it useless for anything requiring bending. 

Kirsti is such a trooper and has such impeccable  timing,  that, over the years of my hospitalisations, she has fed me, blown my nose, been within 2m of me peeing, scratched my itches, seen me resuscitated, heard me discuss bowel movements in great detail to nursing staff, seen me spew and seen me get my boobs out for ECGs. Poor bugger! Hopefully it never comes up, but if Kirsti ever needs the favour returned I reckon I owe her big time! What a legend. MWUAH xo

After she left, my night went downhill quite quickly as the pain caught up with me. My Night Two selfie was somewhat less peppy...

Day 16 was spent in an opiate-induced haze, during which I emailed the anaesthetic registrar and asked him out  Yes, I really did that. As it turns out a) I'm quite courageous when I'm on painkillers, and b) he was married! Never mind, it's just served to prove that nobody thinks any lesser of me for trying to hit quite a bit above my weight ;) And most of the email was thanking him for a job well done, which I genuinely appreciated, so it's all good. 

Rachel popped by at lunchtime, dad and Paula came for a little while until it became apparent the Endone was ruling the conversation, so they left me to sleep. And that's where I was at when my surgeon came to see me. I prised one eye open, gave him a dopey half-smile and tried to shake it off enough to make a little sense.

I think that's when he decided to put me on Tramadol and reduce the Endone, so I wasn't asleep all day. The potential side effects include hallucinations, but none to be seen (yet!). He gave me another arm squeeze - I'm starting to think he doesn't normally see people in this much pain - and went on his way. He did call this morning to see how the drugs went, though. Fast becoming my favourite doctor!

Today - Day 17 - was pretty slow, besides a visit from Ness and mum, and a friend I made in a bar in Tassie - we bonded over whisky and The Hawks. He was in town for the footy so he popped by to say hi.

And here I am. I've done nought all day but sleep, eat and shower, OOH andI'm wearing clothes again!!! Gone are the hospital gowns and the PJs are back.

The flavour of the day is cherries, oh and sorry about the grossness of the wound.

HAH, tricked ya! Not sorry at all!

If anyone reading this needs shoulder or chest surgery, though, the secret is to step into singlets not try to get them over your head. Much easier!

Right. I'm off to find drugs, then it's bedtime for me. Night!


  1. You left out the part where I had to phone the Consulate AND your mother! ;) (Not this time around, though)

  2. I'm so glad you're ok! I've been so worried when you stopped posting, I was checking here every chance I got to see if you had written anything, just to know you were ok. Seriously relieved. I hope the recovery all goes well xoxo

    1. Thanks Tania, yeah, I made it through ok. Recovering at mum's in Eltham now so if you're still in this neck of the woods maybe we could catch up for a cuppa xo


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