Well, I’m glad THAT’S finally over. Out of all the things which could have gone wrong after the operation, I honestly didn’t think it would be this!
It’s been seven weeks since surgery.. Goodness. That’s a heck of a time. It doesn’t feel like seven weeks!
This whole saga started when someone made a mistake when writing my discharge letter at the hospital – they forgot to tell my GP to remove my stitches in 2 days. When I got home, I was worried about my wound. It wasn’t seeping as such but it was painful so I wanted it looked at. I referred myself to the District Nurses and they’d see me once a week. By Week Four, they decided to remove the stitches as it isn’t safe to leave them in for so long. That didn’t go too well… I had a panic attack after five stitches and we decided not to continue. It WAS awfully painful when the nurse was tugging them out after cutting, but I feel it was because my mind had connected it with previous trauma and decided nope, I’m not having any of this, thank you.
Firstly, there was the sigmoidoscopy when I still had my rectum. The sigmoid colon is the very last bit of colon that connects to the rectum. I’d already had my colon removed so there weren’t many inches of it left.
I was wheeled into the room and given gas and air or laughing gas. Once I was properly relaxed and giggling, the consulant started the sigmoidoscopy by inserting a scope up my butt. By ‘scope’, I mean a tube about the width of a finger with a light and video recorder at the end. It would be uncomfortable for anyone but with a rectum like mine that was spewing blood every few hours and also badly inflamed, it was excruciating. I decided to be strong and see it through but my resolve faltered when the consultant started taking biopsies. You see, the camera also has a lovely pincer attached which can tear off cells, called a ‘biopsy’. Don’t let the cute-sounding word fool you, I reckon even MPs would pull up their socks and do their job properly if faced with this threat. And everyone knows they’re the laziest, most eager money-grabbing gits around.
Back to the sigmoidoscopy… The camera had gone in about 7 inches when I asked her to stop. Actually, I started crying, forgot how to breathe and started gasping and choking, trying to say ‘stop!’. They got the hint and stopped there and then and I was quickly given more oxygen. I know they were trying to talk to me but my mind had gone blank. Completely and utterly blank, I didn’t have the ability or energy to talk.
Around 15 minutes later, my breathing slowed and I became aware of what was going on around me. It was a hugely traumatising experience, one I’m not keen to repeat. Actually come to think of it, it’s not one I CAN repeat, given the sewn up barbie butt 😀
The second time I felt this way was when I had the drain removed after surgery. It was inserted into the cavity where my colon/rectum used to be. I was fine during stitch removal but when the drain itself was pulled out, it felt as though the suction was pulling my insides out along with it! I start panicking and couldn’t breathe, my mind went blank and I felt as though I was going to faint. The nurse was very comforting but it was a while until I was back to normal. A doctor came in and started chatting to me about going home the next day. I just stared at him. It was quite strange, I could hear the words and I even knew what they meant but they weren’t connecting and I seemed to have lost the ability to speak. Cue both of them holding my hands and telling me I’d be ok.
So this time, when it came to the stitches, I started having the same experience. The nurse left after telling me to call the hospital the same day. But me being a scaredy-cat, I kept putting it off. I have a deep-rooted belief that if I ignore a problem, it’ll go away. It’s never worked in the past but it doesn’t stop me from trying it every time! It’s pretty silly but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. I call it the Ostrich Approach.
Finally, I plucked up the courage to call my surgeon’s secretary this Monday, two weeks after I had the first five stitches removed. She promised to pass on the message ASAP. I had a call from one of the surgeons later that day but I was sleeping. I suppose I should have returned it..
On Wednesday, the secretary called again and told me to come into the emergency surgery ward that day. This time, they managed to remove two stitches before my breathing became very ragged and shallow. Being told that I’d faint if I didn’t take deep breaths and relax had no effect. Not to mention that I tensed up every time they wanted to take a look. They suggested I come back the next day at 6AM to have the remaining four removed under general anaesthetic. Oh boy. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with myself and hated that I was causing such a fuss. I would have carried on beating myself up over it if it wasn’t for my fantastic friends. I’m truly blessed to know them, Alhamdulillah.
So I was at the Short Stay Unit bright and early yesterday, feeling quite hungry because I was nil by mouth from midnight. They took me through to theatre at around 8:45 am. I told the nurse I was looking forward to a nice hot lunch later. She laughed and told me the Short Stay Unit didn’t do hot lunches, just sandwiches. Pants. On the upside, I was given those ultra cool dark blue hospital stockings and a gown 😛 I DID tell the theatre doc that I have terrible veins and could he please put me to sleep using the gas before sticking a needle in me, but was that enough? Nope, he had to try at least once. It wasn’t successful so he used the gas to knock me out before attempting to put another needle in.. I counted 5 attempts in total, when I came round at midday. Three of them in my right wrist. OUCH. That’s one of the worst places for me! It was agony as I still had the cannula in me but they told me they couldn’t take it out until I was discharged in a few hours. Pants 😦 I woke up at around 2pm to see my dad sitting there. I might have asked him to leave me to sleep as I was very comfortable! In my defence, I was really groggy from the anaesthetic. Both sides of my inside top lip are really sore and feel cut. I’m told they used a tube so I could breathe. Never had that one before. I was discharged around 4pm, came home and slept some more. That’s why I’m lying in bed writing this at 05:30am!
But the best thing is that the stitches are FINALLY all out. Alhamdulillah. I don’t have to feel sharpish bits of plasticky wire every time I go for a wee. I can move on and start to heal properly InshaAllah. I’m not angry or upset with the person who made a mistake, I’m just glad things are now sorted. We’re human and we make mistakes. I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate. Nothing happens without the Will of Allah and everything He decides for us has a reason. He doesn’t let the pain of a believer go to waste. I’m hopeful that He’ll reward those who went through difficulty and remained patient. I’ve mentioned before that patience isn’t about being happy all the time, it’s about going through difficulty, realising it’s from Allah and having faith in Him, beseeching Him to deliver us from this difficulty.
Sorry if this post is rather boring, my mind isn’t back to its usual self yet! When I wrote the last post, I was having serious withdrawal from Tramadol, suffering from PMS and had sleep deprivation so standards can only improve from here!
JazakAllah Khair and thank you to everyone who made dua for me and thought of me 🙂 And a massive thank you to my wonderful friends who are simply awesome. You know who you are ❤ I couldn’t have gone through this without you. Love you lots, even more than chocolate, books and lollipops.