day three

This morning I didn’t get to see the sunrise. Why? Because I was sleeping – hooray! Apart from a being woken by my beeping IV machine, and by the nurses feeding me more drugs, I slept all the way through. Last night I was watching Mandela, it was only 8pm but I was feeling sleepy. The nurse had given me a selection of drugs with strict instructions to take them at 10pm, so I set my alarm on my phone. Lucky I did, I was fast asleep.

It was just past 7am before I decided to get up this morning. Now that it is my third morning in hospital, I have worked out a morning routine. I order breakfast then get in a lap around the ward. I have been given orders to do at least four laps per day, so I like to do one first thing before breakfast – work up an appetite (ha). Today I was feeling good so I decided to take in the North wing as well as my East wing. I was feeling comfortable and noticed my speed increasing… by the end of the week I might have to start wearing my Garmin to keep an eye on my pace. The hallways are usually empty but last night, on my walk, I saw another young woman.I might have to go on a stealth mission to find her room and see if she wants to start a walking club. We could be called, The Tenth Floor Wanderers. Anyway…

My nurse for the day has just arrived to hand me my next lot of pills. I think I’m going to like this one… she seems to know what she is doing. I know that sounds a little harsh but yesterday the nurse was asking ME what she needed to do. My nurse today complimented me on how well I look! She is also impressed with how my chest looks and how little pain I am in. See, nothing to worry about. She was a little concerned I was doing work on my computer, but I assured her I was just writing.

Now that I have done my first workout for the day, I am looking forward to my breakfast. I have chosen the healthy option today, egg white omelette and natural yogurt. I’m saving the pancakes for tomorrow.

The Sunday Mail has arrived, room service should arrive shortly. Remind me, where am I again? Oh yeah, hospital.

 

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ten-oh-oh-nine

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I lay here in bed watching the early, morning light filter through the blinds, marking day two since surgery. Through the night I managed two lots of three hour naps, an improvement on the previous night. It’s not because I’m in pain, I’m just not used to sleeping continuously on my back – I’d do anything to roll onto my side and curl up with a pillow. In exactly seven minutes room service opens; it reminds me of being jet lagged on a work trip, waiting for the breakfast buffet to open. Now it’s only six minutes…

I’ll rewind a little and give you an overview of how the day of surgery played out. And before I do that I’m going to tell you a (very brief) story about another surgery I had four years ago. I was living in London and having surgery on my veins. The olds and I had planned a trip around the UK and I used those holidays to recover from surgery. I was in hospital waking up from the anaesthetic and the olds were being annoying – they were taking silly photos of me and laughing. I told the doctors to send them away… I wasn’t joking. The point of this story is to highlight their behaviours when it comes to these situations. I’ve worked out they get a bit delirious when hospitals are involved. Thursday was no different. They were signing a random theme song in the car (I can’t remember what it was).

We arrived at the Mater and the foyer is just like any hotel lobby, suitcases, luggage trolleys, a long reception desk. Once my registration was complete, a volunteer came to take us to the Welcome Lounge. I thought only one person could join me, so I had told the olds I would go alone. The volunteer, a sweet, little old lady said they could both come up. Ok.

The lounge is like a Business Class or First Class lounge – minus the free flow champagne and canapés. It was a small room with soft, leather couches, a section to watch TV, iPads and newspapers. We chose three rocking chairs in the centre of the room and sat down, each with a newspaper. I was starting to wish I had a boarding pass in hand, instead i was waiting for a name badge to be strapped around a limb.

My name was called to see a pre-admission nurse. I went in solo as there was only room for one parent – it’s only your basic questions, weight etc… I’ve done it a few times now through this journey, I got this. After all questions where answered the nurse said someone could stay with me a bit longer. I told the nurse that we could send the parents away now. She looked a little confused but accepted my wishes.

So we walked out and told the olds it was time for me to change and time for them to go for lunch. Mother tried to pretend she wasn’t crying, but she cries watching anything (last night she cried when an imaginary kangaroo was killed in a comedy movie) so I hurried the goodbyes and sent them on their way.

As I walked through my anaesthesiologist (is that what they are called?) arrived, so I was taken in to have a chat to him. He talked about his plan for me – I didn’t know giving anaesthetic was so involved. He asked me if I wanted something to calm my nerves. No thanks, I’m good.From there is was the usual shuffle from getting de-robed, onto a chair, then onto a wheelchair, then into a bed… I was now in the holding bay. My anesthesestic returned to prep me by inserting my cannula, and somehow, through random conversation, we discovered that we used to live a street away from each other in London (but over 20 years apart.) I was his new star patient. Dr O, my plastic surgeon, arrived and out came the marker pen. You could think by now I would be staring to freak out, but I wasn’t.

I was then wheeled into the theatre. My surgeon was standing by, I jokes about him being famous now as he was interviewed on TV, then they pressed GO. The drugs infused and I was out.

Surgury only took about three hours, but I took me another five hours to wake up. The poor olds had a long day of waiting around and called it quits when I was still not responding. At 9:30 I was finally able to keep my eyes open.

Now that I was alert and awake, I decided to have a look at my chest. When I looked down and saw my stitched up chest I felt nothing but relief. I am not mourning the loss of my breasts. (Although my surgeon and breast care nurse have both assured me it’s ok if I do. Is it not normal to be ok about it?)

Without turning this post into a novel, I will end by saying I am not in pain. I am up walking around the ward – doctors orders, I am showering – with the help of a nurse (still waiting for the hot male nurse, oh well….) and I am enjoying the food on offer. I have received some beautiful flowers and am in my own private room. I also had a visit from a breast care nurse who gave me a few supplies and gifts from Mater Chicks in Pink. Anyone who has been involved with a charity run or walk for this organisation, thank you! They really do make a difference.

I am working my way through the movie selection. The computer has yet to be turned on, mainly because it’s too heavy for me to pick up. I’ve managed to type this whole blog on the touch screen of my iPads! I think that deserves an award.

That’s all for now. Today I am expecting a few visitors, I better go do my hair…

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Holiday Time

A year ago today, I jumped on a plane from London to Milan, navigated two trains, and ended up in one of the main towns in Lago di Como – Lake Como. There to greet me was my faithful travel companion, Jacqui. We were spending two nights cruising the lake before Jacqui headed back to Australia – any excuse for a rendezvous somewhere in the world. We partook in all the standard Italian activities: we drank Spritz, we ate pizza, and we harassed Italian boys. Life was good.

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Today I am going on a different type of holiday, and it won’t be like any other holiday I’ve had in the past.

  • I won’t be drinking cocktails; however, I will be offered a cocktail of drugs.
  • I won’t be spending long hours soaking up the sun; however, there will be topless activity.
  • I won’t be having long, lazy siestas; however, there will be a lot of drug-enforced slumbers.

It will be the first time I go on holidays and I don’t have to debate over taking my gym clothes and shoes. Will I be needing them? Not this time…

Today I will be checking in for a weeks stay at the five-star Mater Private Hospital. There was no option of booking a sea-facing suite with king-sized bed or twin. There is, however, rooms service and on-demand movies. Close enough…

My bag is packed: pyjamas, study workbooks (am I kidding myself?), iPad, noise-cancelling headphones, and once I sign off on this blog, my long-serving Macbook will be added to my belongings.

This morning I had the intention of going to the 5am CF session, but after a failed attempt at running last night, I decided my body was telling me I should take it easy. So I did.

I had a favourite treat of Buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. Don’t worry, I was allowed to eat until 7:30. The joys of private treatment. Uncle Gary stopped by with a few treats for hospital – I think the nurses will love me. The hips, not so much.

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Am I nervous? Just a little – it is major surgery. I look forward to waking up and cracking on with things. And I never thought I would say it, but I am looking forward to having a lazy week staying in bed. I’ve been so busy lately with work and training that I don’t feel an ounce guilty for my upcoming bed-ridden state.

If you’re local, come say hi. I’ll have the tea ready. And just so you know, pyjamas are the dress code.

I’ll try to wait for the drugs to wear off before I post my next blog – could be very interesting otherwise.

Time for a shower and last minute pack.

Thanks everyone for the messages of well wishes. I know I have a lot of people sending positive and healing energy my way, and a lot of people praying for me. I feel very loved.

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