Two body parts down – Twenty to go!
Did you know that humans have 22 internal organs and that you can now live without about 5 of them?
Having an operation is always going to be a stressful experience. Unless you’ve been labelled as having hypochondria or Munchausen syndrome in which case it would be like having all your Christmases come at once. Just think of the head spinning satisfied high sufferes must get when professionals finally agree that there is something wrong with them.
I had my operation on the 9th August and expected to be discharged with one of a pair intact. It was therefore, a bit of a shock when I was informed that surgeon was preparing to remove two body parts rather than the one and effectively send my body into menopause. They gave me 20 minutes to absorb that piece of information before they put me under. Being able to run out of the pre-op area, jump on a computer and google menopause was not an option – especially as I was wearing a fetching ensemble of white cloth feet slip-ons, white hair restrainer and white theatre gown (you know the type I mean). So unable to really understand the implications of what I’d just been told and knowing that the alternative would be to say no and risk another op at a later date I agreed.
Three hours later I was on the ward and recovering. Morphine is amazing stuff and I was relatively happy, although the effect was no where near as good as the time I had my wisdom teeth removed when I floated in a golden light above the ward beds having conversations with sleeping patients. Its still a vivid memory. The drugs were so strong that when they let me go home the next day I was still high. Convinced that I could eat an Indian takea away, despite being unable open my mouth, I woke the next day unable to work out why I had Kashmiri rice all over my bed.
As I said, morphine rocks and having been shot full of the stuff a couple of times, I now see why some patients may be reluctant to leave hospital. Someone should develop a new clinical trial based on how different dosages can affect a patient’s length of stay! Maybe it’s not the social workers fault after all!!
On the other hand a strategy that may motivate a patient to leave hospital sooner would be to send the census people around on a regular basis. I distinctly remember having a form thrust in my face and being asked to fill it in as I lay in bed, drip and drain attached, only one hour out of surgery. Unluckily for the officious census woman, the anesthetic lurking in my system took control of my brain and incited a heated debate about the need to fill in the form. A nurse interrupted what, in my drug induced state, I thought was an excellent argument about the responsibilities of citizenship versus residency and rescued her. It’s a pity Florence wasn’t around when I rang a friend a little later and indignantly updated her on the removal of more organs than I had anticipated. Mobile phones and recovery do not mix. Anyway, I have absolutely no recollection of filling the blasted form in – which apparently I did, but do have a vague suspicion that the best kept secret in Australia is that Lady Gaga lives in my house.
Despite all of the anxiety, the good news was that the pathology results were negative. Woo Hoo. So now I’m officially in the menopause and can look forward to hot flushes, migraines, dry skin, wrinkles, brittle bones and any other side effect that I can find on the internet to freak me out. Two weeks after the operation I was convinced that I’d already started the hot flushes and sweats until I worked out that the nights had warmed up and the combination of spring temperatures,5 blankets, two duvets, fleece pajamas and a wrap-over nightgown had the same effect. I do however, seem to have lost a bit of short term memory – I suspect a side effect from the anesthetic. Although when back at work and discussing this with my Nurse Unit Manager she shook her head sadly and informed me that it’s more likely to be old age! Thanks to her I put on some weight before the op as every time I waved my hands about and she slapped, cake, fruit, chocolate or lollies into them muttering “Your too thin” at the same time. This turned out to be foresighted as I must have lost at least half a stone in body part removal.
So I’m slowly getting back to normal and I feel lighter in spirit as well as weight. My only problem now is working out how I can avoid developing diabetes as my manager is still on a mission to fatten me up. Well at least she cares although I’m not sure I like being called Twiggy.