Tuesday, 25 August 2009

JLS, coleslaw and Mrs Alan Pokey

Hello world!

Woooohooooooo, I'm three sheets to the wind and life is grand.

Tom's just woken me up as he's back at work today and so i thought before i went back to sleep again I'd update with a bit more about my ordeal at the hospital.

The good news is that this morning I only look about 4 months pregnant instead of 6 so the fluid is dissipating already, although I haven't inspected the wounds again today - might wait until mum comes round to do that as it made me go all funny when i did it yesterday (I'm more than a little squeamish, can't even deal with a raw chicken without heaving, let alone my own body butchery.)

I feel on top of the world, although that may be the amount of drugs that I'm on; I seem to be resembling one of those rainmakers that you buy for babies - if you turned me upside down (which is not advisable at the moment as I'm likely to spring a leak) then i think i'd just gently rattle with the hundreds of tablets I'm having to take. In fact, I think I'd be less of a gentle rainmaker and more of a full on downpour.

I can't believe how much better I feel today and I think the big challenge will be not doing stuff too quickly and then setting myself back again. I'm still incredibly sore but I'm not hulking round a great big tummy full of swishy fluid that was making me feel sick. I even had to do that trick last night that my pregnant mates had to do where you have to put a pillow under the bump if you lie on your side. Oh well, good practice I guess maybe.

I still feel as if I've been working as an assistant for the world's worst knife thrower though and must admit that I'm more than a little upset at just how many scars there are and how big and sore they are. Without going into too much gory detail then I'll just say that one of them is straight across the front of my "ladygarden"!

Imagine the "triangle" of the front of your ladybits if you stand and look straight on at the mirror... well i look like I've been whacked across mine with a machete. I also resemble some kind of David Beckham fanatic too. I had a very large horizontal scar from my appendix that went wrong and they couldn't get in through this old scar as it was too tough so they've gone in at an angle near it. Unfortunately this has meant that the new and old scars have formed a giant number "7" across my front, a la Mr Beckham's shirt number. Twin these two with the another two entry scars across my abdomen and you have something which is not dissimilar to Egyptian hieroglyphics. I reckon I've got a full addition of the "Pharoah's Daily Mail" across my tummy, complete with sports highlights and an in depth interview.

Although I'm gutted about the scars (a very flat, toned tummy was always my best feature seeing as I have a big bottom and no boobs) it really is a tiny price to pay for possibly sorting out my fertility, although doing any sort of bedroom bump and grind at the moment is enough to send me screaming (or rather limping) for the hills. I can't imagine anyone coming anywhere near my knickers with anything other than savlon and cotton wool at the moment.

Tom's now feeling terrible though as the stress of the last few days catches up with him. I really do believe that it's more stressful for the person who's doing the "looking after" rather than the poorly one. He spent all of monday living on his nerves as they did my operation and then he had to watch me be really poorly after it, be kept in and then sort me out all day yesterday. He was an angel though and along with my mum, kept a round the bed vigil as soon as I came out.

I was left alone in the morning though. Tom came with me and booked me in and it turned out that i was last on the schedule - typical! This meant that it was half ten but I was not due to be in until half two at the earliest. Tom stayed for an hour or so but the day room (blokes were not allowed on the ward) was so bleak that we decided he'd go into town for a few hours, do a bit of work and come back later. This gave me a bit of quiet time to just read a book, relax and chat to the anaesthetists and surgeons when they came round.

Well you'd have thought so wouldn't you...

Of course, in my bay of the ward, things were slightly less than peaceful. The two ladies opposite me were lovely and I ended up feeling so sorry for one girl who had to have both her tubes removed and she is only 26. She was devastated and had to have the curtains pulled round all the time because she couldn't stop crying. The other lady opposite was just really quiet and very nervous and just read a book all morning. She was first to go down so we didn't really see much of her as she was then knocked out for most of the time.

However, the lady next to me was an entirely different kettle of fish. For a start she kept hotching her chair really close over to mine and tapping me on the arm. Turns out that she was both deaf and could not speak at all, as well as being very confused and quite elderly. She had a copy of "Bella" magazine and repeatedly kept ramming a recipe for coleslaw under my nose, pointing at it and then rubbing her very swollen tummy. I couldn't make myself understood at all when trying to reply to her and I don't know if you've ever tried explaining to a highly medicated deaf old lady that you can't accept her generous offer of a half eaten kit kat chunky because you're nil by mouth but it's quite difficult.

She carried on with the poking and pointing conversation for about half an hour, including writing down on her pad over and over that she wanted a shower and to find someone called Alan with curly hair. I would have told the nurses that she needed a shower but one of them had been showering her as I arrived on the ward so I knew she was just confused. She then got at least 3 healthcare assistants involved in hunting for Alan. She repeatedly tried to describe him and they all tried to work out whether it was a doctor, a family member or a friend. Turns out it was a character from a story she had been reading and she liked his curly hair. Thank goodness we got to the bottom of that one. After two nurses had asked her to stop poking me (their request, not mine - I used to work in a care home and am more than used to the peculiarities of older folk) and to get back in her chair, the poor old dear stood up and wet herself everywhere. As she had decided to pull her chair right up next to me, this meant that i had to evacuate my bed area as it was in danger of filling my flip flops and was already forcing me to make diving save to retrieve my overnight bag.

So, I left Mrs. Coleslaw and her beloved Alan and returned to the day room, or "hell" as I shall refer to it from now on.

Not only was this room the day room for the ward but it was also the waiting room for anyone who was having any sort of gynae scan. This beautiful piece of organisation (and I can only assume a man would have planned this out as no woman would ever decide to do this) meant that all the women who were waiting to have infertility operations, all the women who were currently miscarrying and waiting to see someone, all the women who were having to have extra scans for fear of it being ectopic were alongside all the healthily pregnant ladies who were waiting for their normal scans. It was a hotbed of fraught nerves and upset in there. Half of the ladies were in gowns ready for ops, some were in their nighties or Pjs in wheelchairs from other wards and the rest were just in there in their everyday street clothes. Pile into this mix a load of screaming toddlers and kids (as school is still off) , CBeebies on full blast and you really do have complete and utter hell.

I therefore had a choice of either the CBeebies hellhole or Mrs Alan Pokey and her coleslaw recipes back on the ward. I sat it out for an hour in the day room but hearing the ladies share horror story after horror story about miscarriages, births, abortions, piles and morning sickness was making me feel both a mixture of fear and envy - and believe me you know you're losing the plot when you become envious that someone has pregnancy induced piles; so, i decided to return to the ward.

Mrs Alan Pokey was engrossed in trying to explain for the fiftieth time that morning to a different healthcare assistant that she needed a shower (despite having just had the second of that morning) so I was free to sit on my bed out of poking distance and read my book.

Half two seemed to come around so slowly and when the nurse eventually did come, it was to tell me that i would now not be done until half three. So, i had been waiting for 5 hours by the time I did go down to theatre.

It was in the anaesthetic room that things went their usual bonkers way. I was asked to get up onto the bed, which I did with only minimal bum flashing, and the younger anaesthetist of the two began to try and get the needle in my hand. After ramming me with it repeatedly as though he was a drunk trying to thread a needle, he announced that it was stuck and he couldn't move it and it "wouldn't flush". Although I know very little about medicine, i knew that this toilet related comment and the fact that something was "stuck" was not very good. The male nurse who was holding my other hand told me to try and relax whilst they sorted it out and to listen to the music on the radio.

Well I did.

And I laughed.

a lot.

I don't think there's many songs that would be less appropriate for a theatre than the two that played during the "stuck needle" incident.

Whilst waiting for an operation, with a needle "stuck" in me, I heard these calming lyrics waft across the theatre...

"They're telling me
That my heart won't beat again

Won't beat again
It's killing me
Hey, hey, hey

If i died,
Yeah would you come
To my funeral
would you cry?"

Many thanks then to the lovely JLS who belted this out for me to listen to whilst waiting to be carved up like a Christmas turkey.

"Oh great, a song about death," I said and the male nurse was laughing. He apologised and said that it was just the radio so they had no control over what was on. Whilst he was doing this, the other anaesthetist managed to work out what was wrong with the needle in my hand.

Apparently it had managed to get hooked like a fish hook on one of the valves of the vein and so was wedged. They then had to stick it in further to try and hook it back and at this point I hadn't even had the slightest whiff of pain relief so i was feeling more than the tiniest bit queasy.

Eventually they got it out and asked me if I was OK. I genuinely thought I was going to faint with both nerves about the procedure, the pain and squeamishness of them snagging a needle on my vein valve and the bloomin death song from JLS. So, the nurse pulled the sides up on my bed in case I fainted and they tried the other hand.

By this time, I had one anaesthtist holding my left hand up in the air because it wouldn't stop bleeding, the male nurse attempting to stop me from fainting and the other anaesthetist on her knees with my right hand hanging down near the floor to try and get a big enough vein up for the needle. JLS had thankfully by now finished although I'm not too sure how professional it was of the male nurse to burst out laughing at the next song...

Robbie Williams and angels.

"Oh great" i said, "another bloomin death song!"

Luckily, before Robbie got to his second verse, the anaesthetist had decided to use a children's needle instead so I didn't have another fish hook drama and they had managed to get a line in that was not caught on any valves. The younger anaesthetist then said "Oh, she did it first time - that makes me look rubbish!" I laughed and just said that he wasn't to know that the only skinny part of me was my veins and that although I had a bum the size of belgium, I had the veins of an eight year old.

I then had the big mask put on my face - not those nice little ones with the straps that go round your head, oh no. I had the one that almost covers your whole head and has a massive tube the size of a fireman's hose coming off it. They told me to breathe normally and that I'd be drifting off to sleep soon. So, I did as I'd told Tom i would and imagined all my family and friends, told them quietly in my head that i loved them very much and imagined Tom holding my hand. This was lovely until the anaesthetist shifted the mask slightly, i did a big gasping breath, the rubber on the side of the mask flapped and my last memory as I drifted of to sleep was not my lovely Tom but the thought of "I just did a massive pig snort."

I don't remember much after this as obviously I was quite groggy. I vaguely remember the consultant coming round and speaking to Tom about IVF and of seeing some photos of my insides that they'd taken during the procedure. It was here that i learnt that I had adhesions and infection scars around most of my major organs including my liver and kidneys. They'd freed the trapped ovary and untwisted the fallopian tube and apparently both my fallopian tubes are clear and not blocked at all. This was such good news as I was utterly convinced that i was going to have to have them both removed. I was so overjoyed at this news that I kind of didn't take in the fact that they'd had to make so many incisions to try and cut away the scar tissue. The consultant spoke to Tom and told him that although my tubes were clear, the chances of ectopic pregnancy were still extremely high and that if we ever thought we were pregnant naturally then we were to phone her secretary directly and be admitted to EPU immediately (early pregnancy unit). I was just so so so thrilled to hear that there was a chance to conceive naturally that I didn't really think that the EPU thing was a problem. However, having thought about it in a bit more detail over the last 24 hours, it's not great is it!

After the surgeons had gone, mum and Tom sat with me for a bit and Mrs Alan Pokey Coleslaw began her second round of shower and Alan searching. Mum was a bit worried that I wouldn't get any rest if she carried on like that but luckily she fell asleep pretty quickly. But, this was even worse than the poking! Tom snores like an earthquake but Mrs Alan Pokey knocks his efforts into a cocked hat - i thought the building was collapsing. I also decided that i needed a wee if I was to be let home so Mum tried to help me up onto my feet. Unfortunately, my body did not want to play ball and I ended up fainting and was in such agony that I had to stay in overnight after all. I had so wanted to come home and kept trying to get out of bed to prove that I was OK enough to go home but in the end the sister told me that she was giving me a very strong painkiller and I wouldn't be allowed home if i had that anyway so i might as well get used to the idea of staying in. This was a very loud conversation as it all had to be conducted over Mrs Alan Pokey's world record breaking snoring.

Mum bless her, asked the sister if there was any chance i could go in a side room as there was no way i was going to get any sleep next to Mrs A and her prodding and snoring combo. Luckily they did have a side room free and so i was wheeled off into there for the evening. Tom and Mum were also allowed to stay for a bit longer now as i had been knocked out for most of visiting time so, unlike the ladies who'd been done earlier, hadn't had a chance to see anyone.

The nursing staff tried to make me eat too as I'd been nil by mouth since the morning but a dried up chicken and stuffing sandwich in an already dry anaesthetic mouth is virtually impossible so I didn't have anything in the end, although my mum enjoyed the sandwich!

They left me about 9pm and I settled down for a nice rest.


My room was right next to the nurses' station and had the buzzer bell mounted right by my door frame. This meant that anytime anyone on the ward pressed their buzzer, a massive beep and buzz went off right outside my room which reverberated round the door frame and made me jump out of my skin. I was also opposite the loo which seems the place in hospital that everyone goes to collapse in the night. It seemed to be a non stop merry go round of ladies being sick or passing out in there and so I was party to not only everyone's requests for the nurses but also most people's bodily functions too. I genuinely didn't sleep a wink all night and spent most of the time just staring at the city lights from my window.

Luckily though, i did manage to eat some breakfast and go for a wee myself without collapsing so it meant i could come home. Although I did nearly scupper my chances as I screamed at the top of my lungs when i had a wee., It didn't hurt but no one had told me that the dye from my tube check would make it fluorescent turquoise!

Anyway, my dad came to pick me up after the nicest bowl of Rice Krispies and cup of tea that i think I've ever had and I'm now all tucked up at home.

in fact, after typing all of that i'm now a bit shattered so will call it a day for now and update again soon.

Thanks to all of you who e-mailed me with good luck and well wishes.



  1. Great to here everything went well and you are home again! Im sure you are glad not to have the operation over!

    Take it easy for a while and get plenty of rest!


  2. OK should really have read this one first... Sorry, thought you'd have only the normal laparoscopy scars which do settle down well usually. Feel free to disregard previous comments! Except the massage one when they've healed (fully!) - it really does help. And you make sure you look after yourself - thinking of you.
    Mary xx

  3. Hi Emmy

    I'm so glad to hear that it all went well, if rather painfil. These things are always so sore for a while. My sister has had loads of gynae ops and always says her stomach looks like a map of the london underground! However, her beautiful dauhter makes it all worthwhile. Please make sure you get plenty of rest and don't rush things.

    Senidn you lots of love and hugs
    Rita R

  4. PIG SNORT!!!!! Ha ha ha, laughing my head off picturing that!!

    So glad it all went well hun and you're on the road to recovery. I'm sure one day it will all prove to havwe been worthwhile and the pain will be long forgotten,

    Kerry M xxx