(Note: I had intended to write about Wudhu, Salah and how it affects those of us with an ostomy but my writing spiralled out of control and before I knew it, I was writing about my surgery last year. Sorry about that.)
I remember the morning of my operation quite well. I was asked to be present in the Admissions Lounge at 7.30 AM and once I got there, I was told that they couldn’t yet tell me when the operation was – it could still be cancelled if an emergency arose. Doesn’t really fill you with confidence, right? I was nervous, hungry (not allowed to eat for a while beforehand), fidgety, acting like I really couldn’t care and cracking the most awful cheesy jokes with my brother.
I was called through at 9.30 and taken to see a nurse who told me to change into a hospital gown. Eurgh I HATE those things. They badly need redesigning! I wonder who came up with the idea… It must have been someone who really didn’t like hospital patients and had never been one.
After I had changed, the nurse came in, asked to see my tummy and drew a big blue dot on it so the surgeon would know where to put the stoma. I remember running my hands over the area afterwards and thinking: ‘this bit is never going to be smooth again, it’ll have a bit of my insides sticking out!’ Yep, weird thoughts were running through my mind.
The nurse was quite nice, she praised my tummy for looking so lovely 😀 it definitely helped put me at ease. Not the fact that my tummy was receiving more attention and praise than me, but because she was so warm and caring.
After I’d been marked, I was taken to see the anaesthetist. The only thing I remember saying to him is that I didn’t want an epidural lol. I know people who have ended up with back pain with epidural and I wanted to avoid that if I could. I signed some forms, stating that I understood the dangers and I was happy to be cut up and have my guts removed. (Definitely!)
Then it was back to the other room and I was taken through to the theatres on a trolley. My mum was pretty upset at this point and I’m SURE I saw my brothers eyes full of tears… He’s been vehemently denying it. I’m not sure I believe him.
And me? I was so relaxed and calm… It can only have come from Allah. Looking back, it’s one of my happiest memories. I knew that my life was in His hands and He wouldn’t burden me more than I can bear. I had complete trust in Him. I was smiling as they wheeled me towards theatre. I’ve longed for that feeling of calm again, it was complete contentment but I don’t think I’ve come close yet.
At this point, I was reciting an Ayah from the Quran, the one Prophet Yunus AS recited in the belly of the whale:
My veins didn’t let me down.. They behaved like their stubborn little selves so it was close to impossible to get a line in me. Five failed attempts later, they decided to put my arm to sleep and jab a bigger needle in. It worked and alhamdulillah I couldn’t feel it!
That’s when they gave me one of those oxygen mask things and told me to count to 10. I could feel the drug working.. I remember thinking: ‘this is stupid, I’ll be out of it before I get to 10..’ And started reciting the Ayah again. It was 10 AM.
I came round feeling groggy and immediately started reciting again. Then something clicked and I realised I’d just had surgery. I was waiting to be transferred to ICU but first, they needed to get me off the trolley I was on. Cue a man coming up to me and asking: ‘can you just shuffle onto that bed?’ I kid you not.
NO I BLOODY WELL CAN’T JUST SHUFFLE ONTO THAT BED! I’VE JUST HAD MAJOR SURGERY!! I CAN’T MOVE!!
You’ve got to wonder what on earth made him think that I’d be ok to do some shuffling when I was clearly shuffle-less.
I asked him the time.. 6 PM. They transferred me to another room then took me up to a high dependency unit on the ward. I can’t even remember if I was in pain… The morphine was pretty strong. I started blubbing like a baby and said I needed my family. I also begged for my mum to stay.. InshaAllah it’ll be different this time!
Phew I think I’ve written enough! I have to go for my pre-op assessment tomorrow. Hoping that it goes well. Only one month to go until the big day…