The toast popped up from the toaster, slightly burnt around the edges as usual. I cover it in a light layering of chocolate spread then stare at it. My tummy is rumbling but I don’t feel hungry, I feel nervous and sick. I force myself to eat regardless as today is my operation day and I’m not allowed to eat from 7:30am.
My Grandad arrives at 9:20 and we head off to the Stay & Play. I’m desperate to take my mind of the surgery and the sedation. No matter how much I have read about today and what to expect I have no idea what it’s actually going to be like. Am I even going to survive this?!
We’ve left home at 11 and said goodbye to P2 and P3. P2 told me to behave myself at hospital and I gave her the biggest hug fighting back tears. I’ve nipped into Tesco for some Ribena (£1.25 instead of 99p at our local mini shop up the road, first unlucky bit of the day) and sanitary pads. It feels like forever since I spent any time with my Grandad and his driving has certainly deteriorated bless him.
As soon as I see the hospital building my heart thumps and my stomach does backflips. I have never felt so incredibly terrified in my life. We struggle to find a car park and I feel my luck isn’t particularly fantastic today already. Eventually we find one at the very back of the car park. I do love our local hospital Tunbridge Wells, it’s a brand new building and everything instead feels so modern and on the ball. So far we’ve not had any issues visiting, from A&E to the Children’s department, women’s clinic and maternity suites.
I sign in with the Short Stay Surgery Unit and my Grandad and I take a seat amongst a nearly full waiting room. The tv is on, BBC 1, and everyone is very quiet nobody talking to partners but just staring up at the telly. I’m sure they are all feeling just as nervous as me, you can tell. I try to make conversations with Grandad to take my mind off things and I’m nervously giggling every now and then.
There’s three different people I need to meet before I have my operation and not long after 12:30 I see the anaesthetist. She tells me that I’m actually last on the list which makes me feel horrid and panicky. It wouldn’t be until 5pm before I have my procedure but lucky it was just 45minutes so I wouldn’t be home too late. I think I was more worried about when I’d get to eat again and I was mindful that my Grandad had travelled so far to just be sitting about waiting. I told him to go and get food at this point as it was past 1 now.
I didn’t have to wait long to be called into the nurses room. She explains to me that I would have my op and be taken back to their care. I answer some questions about my medical history and sign a consent form. She’s lovely so that’s reassuring. The surgeon barges in before the nurse is able to get my urine sample and check my blood pressure. I found my surgeon very abrupt and rude when we first met, today is no different. She tells me that I’m going to be in so much pain after that I won’t be able to sit down and was I sure I wanted to go ahead. I was also told I can’t wear leggings and just skirts/dresses.
I was now waiting on my own for a little bit so decided to make conversation with the lady sitting by me and a younger (my age I’m guessing) girl too. It was nice to get chatting and sharing our worried with each other. We had the same surgeon, the younger girl was 2nd on the surgery list, the lady 4th and I was 5th. We had a little giggle and gradually the waiting room reduced to be just the lady and me, plus a few relatives who had come back to wait.
Hubby arrives at 3:30 after dropping the girls with my MiL. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive family and having the two men that are my world by my side when I need them most. At 4:12ish, I get called in. It’s my turn. I feel shaky from hunger and obviously nerves play a part. I’m shown my gown and told to undress. I then I’m lead into theatre waiting room. It is empty, quiet and I suddenly get thoughts that I may never see those men that are waiting for me in the waiting room, or my beautiful children that are blissfully unaware being bathed by my MiL and having a wonderful time.
A few minutes later I get taken into the anaesthetic room. The surgeon examines me once more making sure she’s doing what I’ve asked for, a skin tag removal from just inside my vagina. The room is small and seems quite crowded by anesthetists. One lady behind me is holding an oxygen mask over my face, another two to my right putting a cannula in my arm. I jinxed it when I said I have good veins as the lack of food and drink made them shrink up slightly so I had one lady squeezing my arm and the other trying to insert it.
They keep asking me if I’m ok, I reply yes, feeling my legs tensing up from nerves and I stare up at the ceiling. She then says “I’m suspecting you’re not but you’re hiding it well” I laughed. I was then told to expect some stinging as the medication went into my hand. I didn’t feel a thing. I don’t remember falling asleep.
I woke up in a completely different room, there is a nurse/doctor with a surgical hat on leaning slightly over me. He said hello. I asked if it was over and whether I’d been asleep long. He said it was all over and that it was 5:30pm. now and that I had woken up a little while ago but had said I was tired and went back to sleep. I have no recalation of that and giggled. I told him that I did remember something, a song. I thought hard about the tune and then hummed it out to him. He went over to his computer and played Pitbull’s “Timber”. It was that. I had been dreaming about one of the songs that my girls dance to in our lounge.
I was transferred round to recovery by 5:40 and I was greeted by the nurses I’d met earlier in the day. I really started listening to my body now, I didn’t have any pain just what felt like a plastic bag between my legs and I don’t feel ill. I feel absolutely normal. As the minutes passed sickness starting to come over me. I ask the nurse whether I can have something to eat as I’m sure this is the problem.
I’m in the end bed and the beds next door to me are empty but I can hear two familiar voices, an older lady who was in the waiting room asking the nurse if they had any sanitary pads and then I could hear the other young girl my age. I was given a Chicken Tikka sandwich, the nurses laughed at me for choosing such a flavoursome choice straight after an aesthetic. Of course, I waffled my food down and then was helped to the toilet.
My obs are fine and I have no pain or dizziness so I’m allowed to go home. I am finally reunited with Hubby and my Grandad. Instantly my Grandad wraps me in his arms. EastEnders is on the telly in the waiting room so it must be 7:30pm. Hubby goes off to get the car and I stay with my Grandad in the main hospital entrance. He hugs me and says “I’m glad you’re out and that I stayed. I was quite concerned”.
My procedure wasn’t life threatening at all yet I was absolutely terrified. Hubby told me on the way home that he too way really worried and emotional during the day. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved. The people who have rallied round to my aid; my Grandad travelling over 100 miles in total, my Hubby going backwards and forwards sorting childcare arrangements and taking time from work, my MiL for being the childcare arrangements and bathing and feeding them, for all the kind words I’ve received from real and online friends.
This morning I’m still in no pain and generally I feel ok. If I stand or do too much as once, little things like getting my lunch or tidying the toys, then I feel a little wobbly but just sit down. I’m going to rest, I’m not going to be stupid about this because although I may feel OK in myself, my body has been put through a lot of emotional stress and physical. I hate these compression socks I’ve got to wear though!
My experience of having surgery under General anesthetic pretty good. So far I’ve gone against the odds with regards to feeling a bit drunk as I fall ssleep, feeling hungover when I wake and feeling pain. The worst pain I felt yesterday was the cannula being put in and out. Obviously I had a very minor surgery but it was still surgery all the same. I really didn’t need to be so worried.