5 November 2008

Hospital world... (part four)

Be aware that this will be another long post as have been most of the recent posts with the title of "Hospital world" So, here we go. I finally got admitted into hospital and put in a bed. As I mentioned before I had been given a private room but shortly after settling into the room I was told I would have to move to a shared room because the nurses and doctors looking after another man thought he might have TB and he had to be isolated. I was moved to a shared room with four other men. I did at least get the window seat. I got to look out over the city which was especially nice in the evening watching all of the lights in downtown Sydney.

As I had been told there would be no surgery on Tuesday because I apparently was stupid enough to eat something at lunch. (Okay they didn't call me stupid to my face but I felt as if they did earlier in the day). It would have helped if someone had told me not to eat. Anyway, lets get past that bad memory and move on. I spent a quiet night Tuesday and slept as well as one can while in hospital. It is a bit hard to get a full night sleep because the nurses keep coming in to take your temperature, blood pressure and your oxygen saturation. Basically they needed to make sure you hadn't died on their shift. If you had there would be so much paper work to fill out which would mean they would have to work a bit of overtime to get all the forms filled out. After a nine hour shift the last thing they wanted was all of that paper work much less a dead patient. Okay that's not really why they take all those obs (observations). They take them to keep track of all those basic bodily indicators while your there and to make sure everything is moving along smoothly. Well, that's what they told me. I still think it's all about the dying and the paperwork.

Wednesday was a quiet day as the surgeons told me that there would definitely be no surgery that day. Thursday was the day had an 95 percent chance of surgery so from Wednesday night at midnight it was no food and only enough water to take my tablets. I have to admit that I had to take a bit more water than they probably wanted seeing that I take 16 pills first thing in the morning and a little water just isn't going to make the medicine go down. Thursday morning rolled around I waited anxiously for word that the surgery would happen. The nursing staff told me that the would let me know as soon as they knew something and that they would probably hear something around breakfast time but no later than noon. About ten o'clock the nurse that was looking after me told me that surgery would be a no go that day so she asked if I wanted anything for a late breakfast. I said no and spent the rest of the day watching television or staring out the window. At midnight on Thursday night I started my fasting once again hoping that surgery would happen on Friday. I had an 85 percent chance for surgery on Friday so it was fingers crossed and what ever will be, would be.

Friday morning I took my pills with as little water as possible and waited anxiously for word from my nurse about the surgery. It must be that ten o'clock was a time in which things happened because at 10 o'clock a surgeon arrived at my bedside and told me that it was all happening. He told me that some one would be up to collect me in about an hour and that the surgery would happen around noon. Needless to say I was ecstatic. Well as ecstatic one can be when it comes to having surgery.

I was wheeled down to surgery as they normally do, bed and all. I was first taken into a pre-surgery room in which they prepared me for my anaesthesia. The anaesthetist explained everything that would happen and of course asked me if I had any question, which I didn't. He was hooking up lines to my already existing cannula which had been put in on Tuesday when I was first admitted. They next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. The anaesthetist had put me to sleep without even telling me he was about to do it. No "Now count to 100". No "Now count backwards from 100". No "You should start to feel sleepy". No "How are you feeling now?" No anything, nada, zilch, nothing.

As I said I woke up in the recovery room. However, unlike the first surgery and remember this is the third surgery, I felt like I was dying. The pain was out of control. I don't know what the doctor did differently this time opposed to what he did the second time but I had to assume he did basically the same thing. All he was going to do was to seal a hole that was leaking spinal fluid to stop me from getting headaches, fevers and possible infection. He also needed to remove the growth next to my spine so as to take the pressure off the nerves that it was pressing on and that was causing me amongst other things leg pain and numbness. So as far as I knew the surgeon did the exact same surgery. Now mind you the surgeon was different from the two previuos surgeies only becasue this time I was having the surgery in the public hospital opposed to the private hospital. This surgeon was the senior surgeon/registrar of the doctor who did the first two surgeries. In some ways the originally surgeon was involved in this surgery by giving the new surgeon some pointers/ideas as two how to fix the problem this time around but he just wouldn't actually be doing the surgery. In some ways I was actually happier with this new surgeon. He was young and vibrant but most of all he came across as competent and I believed/felt that he could fix the problem.

There was pain to be expected as the anaesthesia wore off and because the pain would get worse over time they gave me, as they do for all major operation patients, a button to push that administered a measured amount of morphine. I tell you what, I was pushing the hell out of that button and it was NOT helping. One of the nurses came over and I told her how bad it was and I mean bad as in "crying" bad. She got permission to administer an additional dose of morphine on top of what I had given my self. All in all they ended up giving me four more top ups before the pain started to subside. After that I was able to control the pain easy enough with the button also know as the PCA (patient controlled Analgesia).

I was finally wheeled up to my room which was on a different ward and in this room I only had one room mate. This ward was specifically for patients who had had surgery related to neurology. I was soon to find out that this ward was straight out of the "Twilight Zone" and I wondered if I was ever going to get out of it alive. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking it was the morphine talking. I've got news for you. I know exactly what happened for the next four days, and in the next post I'll tell you just what happened on ward 7 North.


cinde said...

What a rude ass anaesthetist. He should have the same thing done to him a few times and see how he likes it.

Ur-spo said...

i hope your pain and suffering ends and you never have this ever again.

tornwordo said...

I can't believe you've endured this three times.