After a few days I began to get really, really anxious about getting out of hospital. I was desperate to leave. I didn’t realise how much all of it would change my life. I think I still thought that I would suddenly make a miraculous recovery and didn’t think my body would feel different for years to come.
A surgeon finally came to visit me after a few days and told me I would need surgery. He said that there would come a time when I would barely remember what had happened, that I would struggle to remember how many days I spent in hospital. He was wrong. I remember pretty much everything and I remember exactly how many days I spent in there.
I can’t remember the surgeons name but my mother had met him before, I think he operated on both my dad and my step dad. He told me I would be moved to the cardiovascular ward and I would get my op within a few days. I think this was a Saturday he told me this and said it would be a Tuesday or Thursday that I would get the surgery.
I was told to prepare to be moved to the other ward which was in another part of the hospital. They allowed me to wait until my mum came in for visiting time to help me move wards. We packed up all my things and the porter pushed me on a wheelchair to another part of the hospital. I felt helpless having a woman carry my bags and another woman pushing me about in a wheelchair.
When I got to the new ward they put me into the corner bed. My mum told me my step dad had been in the bed next to mine when he was in a few years before (pancreatic cancer), and my dad had been in the room next to my ward which was pretty spooky when you think about it.
The first thing that happened when I lay in my bed for the first time was that I saw this old man propped up in his chair staring at me from across the room. I started to wonder if he was blind or had a problem with his eyes. He kept staring and staring. I was beginning to get annoyed. At this point I wanted to burst so any reason to start an argument or cry would have been welcomed. I stared back at this oldie and spoke to my mum and said “what the fuck is this old boy staring at”. I was making plenty of expressions at him and getting more and more wound up until just as i was about to burst when my mum put the curtains around me. And thank god she did, because a couple of hours later a nurse came through and I realised the old boy had just recently came out of heart surgery and had been completely out of it on the meds. He didn’t even know I was there.
When I woke up in the morning he spoke to me for a while and I realised he was a really, really nice guy, he helped me a lot in there. The “pain team” had been organised to come and help me treat my pain. They sent up a girl to have a chat with me. She asked how much pain I was in, where it was and how often, all the usual questions. Then she looked at the chart that had the list and strengths of the meds I was on already. She was shocked. The last ward had been giving me way more than double the strengths I should have been getting. No wonder I had been sick all the time.