Thursday, 4 September 2008

Home Again

Taken earlier this year; Roses and clove Pinks from my garden

Sorry I haven't let you know how I am sooner, I have been rather dopey and have been sleeping rather a lot! I went in for the surgery at 7.45 am on Tuesday. I was greeted in the foyer of the Diagnosis and Treatment Centre (DTC) by a Theatre Nurse, and taken to the female locker room, where I was asked to change into a theatre gown, my robe and slippers, and then to wait in the Pre-Op waiting room. I duly did as bid, and scurried off, book in hand to wait to talk to the different Doctors and Nurses who would be checking me out before I went down to Theatre.

It is all very relaxed, its a bit like sitting around in a GP's waiting room; Radio 4 was playing in the background, and around the room were doors leading to 4 small consulting rooms. First to call me in was the Anaesthetist, who went through a routine set of questions about my general health, how I got on with anaesthetics and so on. Next a Nurse came to check my pulse, BP, and all the usual signs and placed tags on my arm and leg so they remembered who I was! I was also given some very glamorous stockings to wear; I am sure they will catch on eventually! I also had a Pre-med and some anti-emetics, as I was keen to go home that day. Once all the standard procedures had been carried out, I went up to the Breast Care Unit to have the wire inserted. This was a bit uncomfortable, but once it was in place and taped down the pain went away, and it was just a dull ache.

I then returned to the waiting room; now filling up with various shapes and sizes of patients in for different procedures. I caught the eye of a lady across the room, and she mouthed silently 'Breast?' to which I nodded, and went to sit by her. We established we were both being treated by Miss Stebbing that morning for an identical set of circumstances. It was reassuring to have someone else to chat to, and we soon forgot why we were there and discussed anything but surgery. She went down to theatre before me, so I bid her well, and waited on my own, reading the novel I had taken with me. Around about 10.30 the Theatre Nurse came back to get me, and said it was my turn. We walked down to the Theatre and I hauled myself on to the table; I think they were expecting someone taller! Everyone introduced themselves and talked me through everything they were doing, and I gradually drifted off to sleep singing 'Octopus's Garden' silently to myself.

When I woke I was aware a considerable pain in my right side, and the nurses very quickly sorted that out with an infusion of Tramadol, followed by morphine. They helped me put on the monstrosity bra, and made sure all the dressings and the drain were secure. I dozed on and off for quite a while, whilst they took my BP etc and made sure I was recovering well from the anasetic. I was then taken around to the small DTC ward, where I slept for a while, and then was offered some water. I was very chuffed, it usually at this point the day goes wrong and I end up disgracing myself, meaning I cant go home. Thankfully, this time the anti-emetics did the trick, and I followed the water with a coffee, and some digestive biscuits. These ALWAYS taste so good when you have been fasting for a few hours. I slept a bit more, and was soon feeling hail and hearty ( ish) but well enough to ask to go home. I was given the once over again, and told I could go. I got myself dressed and waited for my iGit to come and get me and take me back to the luxury of my own bed. I pretty much slept the next 12 hours without interuption.

Yesterday afternoon, the District Nurse called by to remove my drain, and generally check my dressings over. They have to stay in place until Tuesday next week. How am I feeling? I am sore as you might expect, but it is manageable, and I have tablets at home to help with that. I have been doing the exercises religiously, and think this helps a great deal. I have been resting and reading lots, and because the painkillers are quite powerful, find it hard to concentrate for long, and often start dozing off to sleep like the proverbial Dormouse.

Tuesday next week I have to go back and see the Doctors, and it will be then I find out exactly what I am dealing with. The waiting is the hardest part, but I am trying hard not to think about it, and just taking each day as it comes. Thank you for all the good wishes and kind thoughts, they mean a lot to me.


Tattie Weasle said...

Been thinking of you and wishing you well from Suffolk. So pleased you were able to get home - I would be just the same. There's nothing like your own bed...take it easy gather your strength and really would like to know what you read...:)

toady said...

Zoe thanks so much for keeping us posted, we've all been rooting for you on PC. Continue to take it nice and easy and be assured of lots of support from the Purple troops.

Julia said...

Thank you for the update Zoe - so glad the surgery went smoothly. It must be a relief that the anti-emetics worked (my mum often has a bad reaction to anaesthetic and it really does knock her for six).

elizabethm said...

Glad to know you are home again. It is the best place to be to make you feel like yourself again. I have just been catching up with your blogs and seeing how firmly you are not in "patient" mode, good for you! I remember so clearly how wearing nighties and lying in bed seems to strip you of some of yourself.
Fingers crossed now for the next stage. Thinking of you and sending you all the good wishes I can through the ether!

Elizabethd said...

You will continue to be in my htoughts and prayers.

Pipany said...

Thank you for thinking f all of us while you should only be thinking about you Zoe. I am glad it went as well as it could have and will be thinking of you over this dreadful waiting bit. Rest as much as you can/need and dormouse away. Much love to you
Pip xxx

Preseli Mags said...

I'm glad to hear you're back home now and getting plenty of rest. Best wishes xx Mags.

Frances said...

Zoe, what a wonder you are!

Writing this very strong blog, posting the beautiful picture, and showing such spirit.

It is so good that you are sleeping, and also doing the exercises.

It is our very great pleasure to have the honor of knowing you. We are definitely here to offer continued support to you on this journey.

(Loved that you were singing Octopus's Garden!)


bradan said...

Have been thinking about you, Zoë, thank you for the update. Sending you tons of vibes and good wishes for next Tuesday. xx

bradan said...

Hvae been thinking of you, Zoë, thank you for the update. Sending you tons of vibes and good wishes for next Tuesday.

Milla said...

Wow, Zoe, have just read the lot and my heart is thumping away. I was on hols when you started posting this blog so had a bit of catching up to do. How strong of you to be able to write it all up like this. You seem in good hands and to have a fantastic attitude so I continue to vibe and twitch and and and and wish you all the very very best - and I can all but smell those pinks from here. But really, iGit? at a time like this?? Tut tut.

Pondside said...

It's good to know that you were able to get back to your own bed, Zoe - the luxury, indeed!
It sounds as though you are coming through this first portion with flying colours and are a model patient. Fingers crossed for Tuesday - keep on doing those exercises - you ARE a model patient!
Thinking of you....

Magic Cochin said...

Best wishes Zoe. I smiled when I read your comment about the socks - my thought when I put on mine was - just like Japanese schoolgirls wear!

Hope the iGit is providing lots of TLC.


snailbeachshepherdess said...

Hi Zoe, so glad you are home and comfortable in your own bed. Thats the fist few hurdles done and behind you and we are all here ready to clap you over the next...and if it comes to it we will haul you over and kick a*se until you are clearing them with at least two feet to spare! DO NOT LAUGH ZOE WILL hurt!Told you so!

Withy Brook said...

Oh those socks - they really are ghastly - but they do the job.
What a wonder you are to be able to write all that, not that I was surprised! We are all thinking of you through the next few waiting days - I expect it will feel like months. And you know we will be with you next Tuesday. Prayers still for you. Love, Rho

CAMILLA said...

Hi Zoe,

Thank you for keeping us updated, have been thinking of you. So pleased to know that you are back in the comfort of your own home.

Best of luck and fingers crossed for next Tuesday Zoe. What gorgeous flowers you have posted.

Lots of love and and hugs to you Zoe.


Peterwf said...

Zoë, thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, thanks for the update - I have been thinking about you.
Beautiful, beautiful flowers

mountainear said...

Have only just caught up Zoë - so glad you are home and getting over this hurdle. Hope you are feeling a little stronger today - and perhaps a little more awake.

Those flowers are beautiful - I can almost smell them.

Look after yourself. x

Exmoorjane said...

Oh Zoe......big lump in my throat reading this. I had NO idea you would be blogging.....just been waiting and hoping all was well. Thinking of you all the time and sending you a ton of love.
How good to find a kindred spirit en route to surgery....a good omen... we need our friends.
Still totally STUNNED you've managed to blog. But then, hey, this is you - and you can do ANYTHING!!!! Believe it, my good friend. janexxx

VP said...

Zoe - I think that time and sleeping are our best healers, so sleep's a good thing!

I smiled when you said about your stockings - they're awful aren't they? So glad the anti-emitics worked for you. There's nowt like home and your own bed is there? I can remember going in for surgery so determined to be sent home the same day - passed the wee and eating tests with flying colours, only to have to stop the car on the way home. At least I got out - the rest of the patients that day didn't!

Wooly Works said...

Good! Step one is over. Heal well and expect good news from the doctor.

Niels Plougmann said...

Oh Zoë. I am so sorry and sad that you have to go through this. Best wishes for you recovery.

Sarah S. said...

Hi I am coming over from Lime Juice. I read you post and was transported back to my surgery. I had a double mastectomy last February. Hope you are feeling well and are recovering quickly!