Friday, 3 February 2012


New to this? Check out the First Post

I dozed on and off until 5.30pm - my neck felt a little achey but I was quite comfortable. I was then taken to Ward 107 where I had my blood pressure, temperature and heart rate taken and written in my red folder They put the remote pain control in my hand and left me to float around the room. :-)

Pretty soon it was visiting time and when Nathan and Laura came in I said "Look I can move my arm!" I had discovered that I could quite easily move my right arm above my head and wave it around. I was very happy about that. I did it quite a lot - just to make sure. I guessed that Mr Hughes had managed to save my muscle and leave it intact. Actually he came to see me while N and L were there. He said that it had gone well, he'd found "a lot of lumps" right round to the base of my skull, but he was confident that he'd got it all. He said they'd decide about the radiotherapy in a couple of weeks. It might not be necessary.

I can't remember too much about that evening but a kind nurse found me a chocolate custard pot out of the fridge and it tasted like the most delicious thing I'd ever eaten. It was smooth and cool and slipped down a treat. I can feel my tongue but it doesn't work like it used to. I can't make it go into the right side of my mouth so eating is going to be a little tricky. I'm sure it will improve though. I can eat custard already - so it can only get better :-)

I didn't use the morphine so they took it off the next day. They also took off the fluids drip although I was still attached to the catheter and the drain coming out of my shoulder. This is a surprsingly wide tube going into a bottle which I have to keep by me all the time. I did manage to sit in my chair for most of the day - though hadn't walked about much yet. I had various liquid food including more custrard, yoghurts and lots of tea. I am feeling better all the time and the pain is just like a bit of toothache, earache and neckache topped off by a headache.Paracetemol is keeping that at bay though so I'm quite happy. I haven't been allowed to the bathroom yet though, had a bedbath this morning - so I haven't seen my scars and swelling yet. The nurses say it is all good when they inspect it every few hours.

Nathan has lent me his Kindle so I have lots to read, I manage to send a few texts too - although there isn't much signal now that I'm in a different ward in the basement. Had a couple of naps to pass the time.

Today I got mobile again! They took out the catheter at 5.30am - which is when mornings start in hospital!  The drain bottle fits in my dressing gown pocket so I can just go off for a walk whenever I want to. I put on my slippers and went down the corridors to the main door, It was lovely to have some cool fresh air.

They give me three large cardboard bedpans - it seems have have to produce three good-sized samples before they are convinced my waterworks haven't been damaged by the catheter. They've even marked them Berni 1, Berni 2 and Berni 3. I very proudly present them with one each time I manage to fill it.;-)

I have also noticed that I don't have a dry mouth at all. So maybe the salivary glands were saved too? I must remember to ask Mr Hughes when I see him next time.

I have lots of visitors today. My mum and dad come in the afternoon, as well as Nathan and Laura and then Janet popped in for a while too. Then in the evening I see brother Dominic and Sharon and Nathan comes too. He's been amazing organsing everything and letting people know what's going on and how I'm doing.He deserves a medal! It was lovely to get all the news and gossip (not to mention the cards and flowers - thanks everyone!). I told them the the head guy from ENT had been to see me that morning and said that if I can produce less than 30mls in my drain tomorrow then they'll take it out and I may be able to go home. They do check this bottle very carefully. They put a bit of tape on it each day to show how much has come out each day/night. It's like marking your port bottle when you suspect the servants are stealing it - only in reverse.

I don't sleep much in hospital - there is always something going on all through the night. There's one lady who wants the loo all night and a new arrival with a very swollen face. I'm guessing maybe impacted wisdom teeth? But I'm not sure. She says she feels sick, then asks for some food. I don't think she is long out of theatre. They only have soup at that time of night, so she goes for the vegetable. Hmm I'm sure you can see where this is going. It didn't end well...

Don't worry - she was fine the next day.

The early morning nurse measures my drain, declares that it IS 30mls and gives me the thumbs-up sign. I try not to look smug.

Anyway this time when the head guy comes round he says opens my file, squints at the figures and says "Is that 180mls?" I declare that it actually says 30mls.Then he laughs and says the drain can come out and I can go home! Yay!!I ask him about the stitches coming out and he says they are all internal and will dissolve. By now I have had time to look at myself in the mirror and can see bruises and a lot of swelling and another line where the first one was - but longer and this time taking a detour down to my collarbone. If I'm feeling brave tomorrow I'll take a photo and put it on here  for comparison, Maybe...

A nurse later comes to my bed with a tray full of instruments and dressings, pulls the curtains around and says "Have you ever had a drain taken out before?" I gulp and say No. it seems the only stitches that DO need taking out are the ones that are holding this fat tube in place. She tells me it is best if she counts to three, then I hold my breath and then she'll do it. She counts, I hold and she pulls for what seems like ages as the tube comes out. Luckily the shoulder is completely numb so I don't actually feel any pain. but it was a very strange sensastion. She looked concerned and asked me if I was okay - but I was fine .

After that it was just a matter of getting washed and dressed in real clothes - and shoes! Then I walked down to the door where Nathan was waiting to take me home. Bliss :-)

My should is hurting a bit now - though I'm sure typing is good exercise for it. I'll write more soon. xx

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're back out, m'dear! Looking forward to resuming the film nights! That bit about the radiotherapy perhaps being unnecessary sounds very promising.