I'll start off the post by saying I'm doing okay, as far as I know the surgery went well.
I arrived bright and early at the hospital at 7:30am, I was worried I was going to be late but Mum did point out, they couldn't start without me! I managed to crutch my way into the surgical admissions ward and was in the bay within minutes. My nurse was lovely, she did my obs and gave me my gown ready for the op. I met with Mr Surgeon who went over again what the procedure would be and then met Mr Anaesthetist who again was so kind. He was funny and was happy to have a bit of a laugh; he, along with my nurse, definitely put me at ease.
Mr Surgeon came back with a friend, Miss Student Dr, he asked that I explained my Crohn's story to her to give her a bit of a back ground on everything, before she watched my surgery.
At 9am I was wheeled down to surgery. I didn't cry saying bye to Mum which I was very proud of. My lovely nurse made sure I was all nice and settled before leaving me in the anaesthetist room. Mr ANaesthetist got my cannula in first time & hooked me up to lots of machines. He then explained it was sleep time and as he put the medicine in my hand he said, "a nice gin and tonic in the morning". I a bit too enthusiastically replied, "Oh that sounds good to me!"
The last thing I remembered was having the oxygen mask put on and explaining that my new buddy would be called Margaret.
I woke up in recovery really quite scared, cold and in pain. Next to me was a man with a really kind face who assured me he would look after me whilst in recovery and make sure I was okay. He gave me four blankets to warm up and slowly upped my dose of morphine. That along with some liquid paracetamol really hit the pain on the head and after about 45 minutes he thought I was ready to head up to the ward to continue with pain relief and get settled. The ward had other ideas... There was no bed for me.
At first I didn't mind, but by hour 6 of lying in recovery, watching patients come in and out and staff start and end their shifts, I had started to have enough. The recovery staff were incredible. I was never once left on my own, always having someone sat beside me to chat to. I was allowed water to drink as my mouth was so dry I was eventually slid on to a bed rather than a surgical trolley. Everyone made sure I was okay and comfortable, especially the kind faced man (Mr I) and his colleague Mr C.
At about hour four, Mr C turned to me and said if I was there much longer he'd get me some scrubs and find me a job to do. Brilliant I thought! By hour 5 many jokes were being made about how many weeks I had been there. The fact I was stuck in recovery meant I hadn't yet seen Mum or Matt, I was worried they wouldn't know I was okay and was desperate to see them! I also had not dared look at Margaret, different nurses came and checked on her and said she looked brilliant but I still couldn't bring myself to take a peek.
Eventually 6 hours after surgery I was found a bed and was wheeled up to my bay. Once there my nurse, Miss H, did my obs again; I swear they were all obsessed with my blood pressure. I also realised how much I needed a wee, it was no surprise really after the amount of water I had sipped through. Miss H slipped a bed pan underneath me, which was the weirdest thing ever. Trying to pee whilst sat on a flat bucket type thing whilst lying near on horizontal is not natural. Nothing happened... I was sure it was cos of how weird the whole thing was but was told, after an ultra sound of my belly that it was retention caused by the anaesthetic. Fantastic! This only meant one thing.... A catheter.
Whilst they got everything ready I was allowed to see Mum and Matt for the first time, they had started to get worried about me! Miss H and a fellow nurse then returned with their tools and Mum and Matt made a swift exit. So there I was 10 minutes after meeting them, lying with my knees spread, having the catheter fitted. Like I have said before, there really is no dignity when you have Crohn's Disease. Both nurses were so kind though and I didn't feel too embarrassed at all. I think I was quite high on pain killers as I told them I felt pregnant with wee and what a relief having my wee baby would be. Once it was all done and the bag started to fill one of them proclaimed, "IT'S A BOY!".
It was after all of this and once I was all tucked up ready for Mum and Matt that I had my first look at Margaret. Here we were meeting for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised. She is quite a cute little thing, or as Miss H put it, a lovely little tomato. And that is exactly what it looks like, like half a cherry tomato stuck on my tummy, surrounded by a bag. I was also fascinated that she was so soft and squishy and I could poke her without feeling anything. Mind blown!
A momentous occasion then happened, Margaret farted for the first time. I felt like a proud mother and found it very funny. Obviously like everyone else my gut still produces gas, but now it goes into a bag, luckily without smell. I hadn't realised that she would be quite so noisy and for the few hours she continued to make the funniest noises. Apparently this all slows down once she is settled!
I had my pain killers topped up a couple of times and tried to relax with Mum and Matt holding my hands until it was time for them to leave. This made made cry a little bit, I was exhausted and in pain and didn't want to be left on my own but I sucked it up and was okay in the end. I met the other ladies on my little bay in the ward, who are all very nice and friendly, which makes things easier.
I have since been trying to sleep, it is now 4:42am and I would guess I have slept an hour at most. My body is incredibly un comfy and Margaret is giving my jip. I can currently only lie on my back, which I really hate, and my knee and the catheter tube also makes it tricky to get in a good position for sleep. My bay is so quite, which is such a bonus! So far we have no snorers, just some heavy breathers; which is weirdly comforting as it reminds me of Matt.
I am so sorry this is such a long post! Thank you all for reading and for everyone who has sent me good look messages, everyone being so kind has really got me through all of this. I will carry on updating you all as much as possible, as me and Margaret get to know each other.
Lots of love