After learning that my surgery had been cancelled I was told it would be another few days until the surgeon would be working again. If I remember correctly he only worked Tuesdays and Thursdays. So I had to wait until the next available day.
The next available day for surgery was much and such like the first one that was cancelled. I woke up to have no breakfast, the last thing I ate was at 1 am the night before when I was given toast and jam. Then it was a wash up with the surgical soap stuff they give you to wash the area with. The surgeon came in and marked up where they would be cutting me. This time round I was a bit more panicky, I felt like I was definitely getting surgery that day. By midday I was really nervous and sweaty. They old boy, Archie, came over and spoke to me to calm me down. He just stood at the end of my bed and said everything would be alright. He put his hands on my feet as he stood there and said “you’ll be fine, you have nothing to worry about” and all the other cliché phrases you say to someone worried about something like this.
I think I found out what time my surgery was going to happen at and let my mum and dad know. They said they’d be there for me waking up. The surgeon told me the surgery would only take about 40 mins to 1 hour and that I’d be asleep for probably 2 hours. He said if there were any difficulties during the procedure, such as the need for a blood transfusion, that they would have to give me more anaesthetic and I would be out for a bit longer.
When they came to collect me they wheeled me down to surgery in my bed and then I waited outside a room that seemed almost like a corridor until they took me in. I’m not sure if this corridor type room was the theatre or not but it seemed like a strange room to put me into so I imagine it was. The anaesthetist was a different person to who I’d met before, I think these guys could be taught a thing or two from nurses about bedside etiquette and how to talk to a nervous patient. I know they probably deal with dozens of patients a week but it was all too formal in my case and I was quite nervous. He gave me the needle in the arm with the drip or whatever it was (I hate needles so just looked away) and said to count backwards from 10. I can’t remember hitting 5.
I was taken to the recovery unit but I can’t remember waking up there or being anywhere near alert there. The first thing I remember is the nice Polish nurse speaking to me when I was back in my own ward and my mum being at my bedside. The nurse asked me how I was feeling and I responded, still completely out of it from the anaesthetic, with a joke from The Simpsons. She said “how you feeling?” And I said “good, but will I be able to play the piano after this?” She said “of course”, to which I responded “well I couldn’t before”. I don’t have a clue what made me think of that but it made her laugh so that was nice.
When I started to almost sober up I realised my dad, my mum and my mums partner were next to my bed. This was was a bit weird for me as my mum and dad don’t usually get along when they are together. They’ve been separated since I was 2 years old and divorced a few years later. A day or so before surgery my mum had mentioned that my dad once owned a Rangers shirt. This was like a cardinal sin in my view since my dad always taught me to hate Rangers. So I took full advantage of the fact that I was completely out of it to ask him and to embarrass him and not get any repercussions. I asked him and he told me it was true. I think he thought I’d forget but I didn’t. It felt like a bit of betrayal, like I’d been lied to all my life. I just thank him for not making me a Rangers fan as a kid.
When I realised what time it was I asked why it was so late if my op was only supposed to be 40 mins. I had been unconscious for about 4 hours. I thought this meant I would have been given a transfusion and that there would have been complications. I later found out it was because of the anaesthetist giving me too much anaesthesia.
Immediately after the op they gave me more opiate based pain medication. It didn’t agree with me and for the next 12 hours I was vomiting constantly. They tried to feed me but I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. They tried a few different anti sickness medication but eventually I told them to just take the drip out and to give me something for the pain that wasn’t opiate based. Lying there in bed felt horrible and constantly vomiting was causing lots of distress. It was the first time in my life I can remember my mum and dad getting on or at least not arguing and I had to tell them to go home and leave me alone. I told them it was weird seeing them together, it was a little but what I should have said was “it’s stressing me out having lots of people around while I’m in this much pain and vomiting so much” but the drugs I was on wouldn’t let me say it for some reason.
I spent the night of my surgery in pain, vomiting and basically just completely out of it.