Saturday, 6 September 2008

Little Bird flies the Nest

My Little Bird holding Wayne the Chavfinch after his run in with the French Windows

This weekend is a difficult weekend; I had planned it so scrupulously, not realising that even the best laid plans often end up in the waste bin. My daughter leaves home this weekend for University. I had spent the summer scouting around the sales, buying her bedding and pots and pans, and all the things you need to set up your first home away from home. I was totally oblivious to the circustances that were going to overtake me, I had it planned to the most minute detail, so that in my heart I knew she was well provided for and would settle into her new surroundings quickly and easily. She is renting a house along with a group of other students as Halls accommodation at her Art School is very restricted. I went through this exercise with my son a couple of years ago, and it helped me a great deal to know that he was well equipped, and comfortable in his new home. This time I can't help, all I can do is watch as they load the car and plan what's going where in her new home. I find things like this so difficult, I so want to be part of it, plump the cushions on her new bed, run a duster around at the last minute, spring a home baked cake on her as we leave; but I can't, and it fills me with a huge sadness. I feel as if I have been robbed of sharing essential part of my daughter's development from madcap teenager, to self sufficient adult. It's moments like their first words, their first steps, their first tooth, they are moments you can't repeat, and I feel robbed and bereft as I watch the last load of books and clothes disappear into the boot of my Husband's estate car, ready to transport her to her new life. I shall just wave goodbye as they disappear down the lane.

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.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Today's the day

West Wittering, 30th August 2008