I got my life back

So first things first. I didn’t die. Large point of winning there. I am now sat at home I my own bed finally, surrounded by mountains of medical supplies and medication.

I spent 13 days on ward 13D in the Royal London Hospital. It was an interesting if slightly longer stay than I anticipated.

I arrived at 0700 on the 31st to be admitted to the ward. After being told I was about to be dragged downstairs for surgery that was it I cracked up and could not stop crying. I was beyond shitting myself. I got taken down to the anaesthetic room pretty quickly where I was cannulated and given a first drug to make me a bit woozy. “I don’t think it’s working I feel……oh wait, ‘fuck that’s working” I dribbled as time slowed down. I was then told the next one would put me out. “PLEASE JUST DONT LET ME DIE!” I desperately asked before I blacked out. “Don’t worry you’ll be fine the anaesthetist replied. Then it all went dark.

Woke up about 5 hours later, with 1 drain in my stomach, a bag for life, an NG tube, 2 drips, a catheter and 1 drain where the sun will never ever shine again. Oh and bout 20 staples up my stomach. To say I was a little bit fragile is being generous. I don’t remember much of the first 2 days other than trying to reply to text messages and only being able to type absolute drivel, that and the fact that my morphine button appeared to be doing fuck all for my pain relief. Cue the anaesthetist. “Hrmmm ok” says he “we shall try you on fentanyl see it that makes a difference”. It didn’t. So I was switched back to morphine at which point they say “hrmmm, maybe you are just very tolerant to it” so the anaesthetist stood there and continually upped the dose until I could feel it starting to work at which point I take over with my magic button. He informed me that although fairly normal to be tolerant to it, I did have a higher than normal tolerance, one that you would usually see in drug addicts. I guess there goes my career as a drug addict, I couldn’t afford the amount I would need.

The next couple of days passed in a relative haze. I was obviously a lot more drugged up than I initially thought, I could have given Amy Winehouse a run for her money. On day 4 I think, the morphine pump came out and I was on oral morphine if I requested it, tramadol and paracetamol. Now as good as morphine and tramadol are as pain killers they also slow down your digestive system. Unbeknownst to me, I had a nice case of ileus which is basically where your digestive system is still asleep from the operation and general anaesthetic. However the doctors hadn’t discovered this yet and I was feeling good so out came the NG tube and down went water and soft food to test out my ability to keep stuff down. A litre of bile later and we work out I failed. I can confirm vomiting after major abdominal surgery is one of the most painful things I have ever done. So back down goes the NG tube. Now this NG tube was quite thick and during the process of putting it up my nose and down my throat into my stomach I threw up pretty much the entire contents of my stomach so I couldn’t help but think it was a bit of a redundant exercise as there was now nothing to aspirate out to stop me from being sick.

So due to the fact I for want of a better expression, had not had a shit, my guts were still declared asleep. I honestly thought they were going to have to call in some form of rectal exorcist. “I COMMAND THEE SHIT TO BE EXPELLED FROM THIS VESSEL OF THE LORD!” and then projectile shit everywhere as I climbed the walls of the ward and made my head turn 360 degrees. So I was back on fluids in the form of an IV and back off soft food and only sips of water. I was formally told that they suspected I had a case of ileus and I would just have to wait about for my guts to perk up and they would encourage them along with some laxatives and other bits and bobs.

I found where I had written in my diary on the 6th day.

“I am 6 days post op. I have just had one drain removed, need one more removed, which will hopefully be tomorrow. As soon as my stoma starts working and I can hold my food down then my NG tube should come out hopefully along with the catheter. I was in a lot of pain last night but slept from about 10 till 4am the I passed a bit of gas which instantly felt better, but it feels like there are pockets of trapped gas in other places which are agony. Now we have catch 22. To get your insides started you need to be up and moving, however doing that feels like you have been hit with a mid size car, possibly a small mini bus. I’m going to get up and wander around in a bit with my visitors later as I would love to start eating and drinking again.

The view out of the window is amazing here. Just a shame it’s so bloody hot. I want to be out in the sun relaxing. I’ve changed my bag on my own twice already. It’s easy and quick enough. Part of me can’t help but wince when I look at it and think it’s disgusting, but fuck it. It’s really not that bad and its kept me alive which generally is a plus point unless I’m due to be the next Hitler. There’s a couple of nice older blokes on my ward who have also had quite serious ops. There is a guy called Peter who is somewhat less sociable and I have come to know him as chunder man. As that is all he seems to fucking do, and I had a feeling it was self inflicted (I found out later, it was, he’d nearly killed himself with booze, even though he was apparently a qualified nurse). I’m sure he had some very genuine problems and serious things wrong with him but he was such a fucking moaner and so fucking rude. I could count the no of times I heard him say please and thank you on one hand. He had such a dull monotone voice, so I suppose it was a good thing he decided not to speak to the rest of us really.”

They removed my catheter later on that day and I went for a stroll and even made it outside however the river del urine, failed to flow. Hour after hour passed by which point I am absolutely busting for a piss. Nurses are starting to give me worryingly sorrowful looks like, “I know what’s coming next!” and of course they did, and what was worse that was so did I. If I didn’t have a slash in the near future one of two things would happen. I would damage my bladder, possibly tearing it and causing the need for further surgery, or I was going to get re catheterised. You’ll never guess what ended up happening. The calming convincing words of the nurse were “don’t worry, I’ve got lubricating anaesthetic gel” Fantastic me thinks. Not so much. I can promise you that it felt like a combination of deep heat and chilli powder being projected up my japs eye by a pressure washer. To be totally honest its wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be but it still wasn’t nice. That catheter stayed out till 2 days before I had to go home and I slowly regained the ability to urinate under my own power without the need for flowing water audio CD’s.

After a few days my guts perked up after a long walk and a couple of cigarettes (they always make my guts go like clockwork, ironic cigarettes contributed to me getting out of hospital) my guts finally kicked in, but obviously we had to make sure it wasn’t a one off. So I had to remain in for a few more days. Now came learning to change my bag, I swear to god the first few times I did it I thought it was the most disgusting thing I had ever done in my life and I was like fuckkk. This is for the rest of your days. But I thought to myself “have a can of man the fuck up and get on with it you pussy! this shit is keeping you alive” no pun intended. So I volunteered to do my first one and it was pretty easy to be honest, just needed getting used to what looks like an angry dogs penis covered in poo sticking out of your stomach (on a bad day). However my favourite day was when my stoma nurse came to watch me do a bag change my stoma decided this would be the best opportunity to kick off and projectile shit all over me, her and the bed. Half a degrading hour later and its all relatively clean and new bag on, so the stoma nurse leaves. Alas I notice a leak, so I inform the nurse who insists on helping which was lovely of her however when she cut my bag to size she unknowingly clipped the inside of it, thus creating a hole. So we carry on unawares and finish off with no dramas. 10 minutes later “My god what smells like decaying corpses being cooked in a vat of tramp sweat?” says I. Ah that would be you , you dickhead. I notice the leak so time for bag change no 3 within 20 minutes. I decided to fly solo on this one and managed to do it with no problems. That was my baptism of fire for bag changes and touch wood I haven’t had anything as bad since. I mean I even managed to change a bag recently in underworld in Camden with no lock on the door, piss and sick everywhere, no toilet seat. So with shirt over head, foot on the toilet and back on the door I proceed to have the worlds quickest bag change whilst using everything out of my man bag as there was no where to put it. So I’ve come on some way from 30 minute bag changes in the hospital bog.

2 days later and I was declared fit enough to release, beating my projected discharge date by about 3 days. My god I cannot tell you how good it felt to be home. Since then, I feel like I’ve gotten my old life back and I am some semblance of the person I was before all this utter bullshit walked through the front door of my life, bent me over and repeatedly arse raped me. I got on the tube and buses for the first time in 7 years. My god I have missed that. Did remind me how wanky and rude 90% of the British public is though. Anyways that’s enough for now. Much love I’m off to do a bit more living and what not.

[I have had this blog post open on my laptop since I left hospital but I literally have been too busy actually having my life back and being able to do things that I haven’t been able to concentrate and sit down and finish it. I also blame my blatantly undiagnosed ADD problem. But this is where I am going to leave this for now and will whack another post on later in the week as I have been concentrating on other writing stuff at the moment and now I managed to get this one up it like and can now go back to random smaller bloggages. Apologies for the absence, I’m not used to having a life you see.]

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10 thoughts on “I got my life back

  1. Pingback: I’ve been writing this post for days! | Read it to absorb my awesomeness

  2. Hastie, you have such a brilliant sense of humour!
    Glad to see life is easier for you nowadays & kudos on the camden toilet bag change! As annoying as leaks in public are, the more challenging an environment to change it in, the more fun. haha. Xo

  3. I think I have PTSD because I couldn’t read this whole thing. I know what it feels like to vomit after surgery and it is the worst! That happened during my second surgery and I thought there couldn’t be anything worse. During my last surgery (3rd), my surgery site swelled shut and they kept making me eat. I posted a blog about the glories of an NG tube because I had lost the ability to vomit and food and gross stuff was backing up my throat. Crohn’s is so awful.

    One nice thing about the US is that you get a private room! No looking at other patients or listening to them complain. 🙂

  4. Shot for the update dude. I honestly thought u had a complication and snuffed it, cos u hasn’t posted in so long. Glad u have ur old life back. R u on Facebook? And how can we find u there? Wat other blogs do u have?

  5. Excellent. If I could click this I would (QOTW ref). I really benefited from reading this (as a chronic sufferer of another condition and as a med student). Thanks

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