Firstly, thank you so much for the wonderful comments and kind wishes – these have meant so much to me, I can’t tell you just how grateful I am. These have been from those in the blogging world, and also ladies in a group I know online (they know who they are). Also a shout out to Elaine for sending me some of her wonderful digital art to cheer me up. Thank you ♥
The stoma surgery seemed to go well. This was to ‘refashion’ or ‘reform’ the stoma for my ileostomy. The surgeon said the small bowel was tight and angled sharply so this was straightened to help on a day-to-day basis, and this will hopefully prevent the kinking and twisting of the bowel that’s led me to A&E before. The stoma has also been brought out a little more as it was retracting; this should help with the bags and my skin, so all around the surgery should be of benefit. While it doesn’t help with any of my other problems, and this is something I found disheartening at the beginning to have to go through more surgery and to know I wouldn’t come out feeling heaps better in terms of fibromyalgia, the other possible surgery needed, migraines etc, I‘m instead starting to appreciate the good it can and will do instead of focusing on what it can’t help.
Sadly, the whole experience at the hospital from start to finish was awful.
From a misprinted operation list at the start, meaning a 7 hour wait when I was told I’d be first in, to ‘losing’ my bag and inhalers after the op. Then there were nightmare nurses, and a lot of them, who didn’t listen and didn’t believe me on matters from pain relief (telling me no IV morphine because they wouldn’t look on the surgeon’s notes) and my chest (saying it was probably anxiety and that nobody, apparently in a hospital full of doctors, would be able to help, ignoring my issues recently with breathing and recurrent chest infections) to needing to wee. Nurses said I didn’t really need to wee, then eventually did a bladder scan, before 2 nurses spent nearly an hour trying to catheterise, which was more painful and humiliating than I wish to think about. They eventually got in a doctor who actually knew what he was doing, and a litre of wee was recorded, so it’s no wonder I was in more pain!
There was no bed on the ward so I was in recovery or a corridor at other points overnight and if it weren’t for two angel nurses and one student nurse, I don’t know whether I would have got out of there in one piece. I was a crying, horrible mess because that’s what morphine does to me but trying to fight my corner with nurses who didn’t seem aligned to the caring profession in the slightest was difficult.
I was told from the beginning “it’s very busy here so we’ll have you out as soon as possible” and for it to be repeated several times made me feel more than unwelcome. With stoma surgery, you should be kept monitored well to ensure the stoma works adequately with food and drink, so turfing out so quickly was a little off-putting to say the least. Another doctor raised the point that I should perhaps stay, but I said it was fine. I’d had enough. I got a taxi home and let them have whatever bed would be available for the next patient.
I was told all paperwork and medications were ready to I could leave, only to be told it would take 2 to 3 hours for the pharmacy to get it ready. Maybe they make it from scratch down there. Who knows. I left without it and spoke to my GP on the phone the next day who prescribed proper pain killers plus antibiotics and steroids for my chest. It’s not my first rodeo so I’m looking after myself at home.
I had to come home with a catheter for a week. I now have two bags, including the temporary wee bag. Honestly, I couldn’t look any cooler if I tried!
I didn’t sleep at all last night and moving around is a bit tricky, and pain is quite relentless. There’s a big difference in recovering in hospital to recovering at home, the latter where you’re more mobile (probably a good thing) because you have to get your own drinks and food and such, but it’s all too easy to find yourself feeling you need to do things, to get restless despite being exhausted. Pain and lack of sleep are, I’m sure, going to win in the end.
This hospital visit was not an experience I wish to repeat ever again. Of course, I’ve experienced plenty in the way of nightmare nurses and bad experiences in hospital before, either after surgery or during A&E trips, but this was just a little too much when throwing in the running and state of things at the hospital in general. It feels quite traumatic, even thinking back through everything that happened.
I will gradually try to catch up a bit on other blogs and emails, so I’m sorry for the delay. Right now, I feel exhausted and I’m not sure whether much of this post makes any sense, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed it’s half way to understandable! I do hope everyone is as well as possible – Have a good rest of the week!