When we were last on my magical carpet ride, I had left the story when I had been admitted to hospital.
It only seems fitting that on my third anniversary of my first surgery (and my 100 post!!) that we hop back on again and I tell you about the two weeks I spent in hospital, and the lead up to having my colon removed.
Gosh I don’t even know where to begin! When I was in there, I didn’t for a second think that I would end up having surgery, even after I had been in there for a week, I still didn’t think surgery was going to happen, I was just looking forward to when I could get out!
The days were extremely long. I’d get woken up for my observations and to have my blood tested and then I was pretty much left alone unless it was to take tablets or have my obs done again.
I wish I had taken pictures because by the end of my stay in the hospital my arms were black from the bruising from having my blood taken every day.
No one knew why my temperature kept spiking, which was why they wouldn’t let me leave. I know this is why they wouldn’t let me go because I kept asking, like a kid on a car journey “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
“Can I leave now? How about now? Now?”
It wasn’t until they found the virus in my bowel that they realised what was happening.
Not only was I being pumped to the max with steroids for my UC, but I was also on something for the virus. My skin turned a really weird yellow, grey colour and I was always sweating because of my fever. Yet I dressed in a hoodie and jeans because I felt cold all the time.
I should have stayed in bed but every day I’d get up, have a shower, even if it did take me an age and I would go for a walk. I’d sit outside or go down to the cafe just because I couldn’t bare to be in my room. I refused to be the “sick one”.
Once I went to the hospital shop to get a book and I was so light headed and dizzy I thought I was going to pass out. My vision went blurry, my heart was racing, I felt sick, I couldn’t focus on anything and my balance was off. It was so strange but I still kept pushing myself. Looking back it was really stupid but I refused to let myself believe I was really seriously sick.
When the surgeon came to see me and said he might have to operate I felt relief. I was so tired of being sick all the time and here was an opportunity to be well again. My gastroenterolgist came to see me and asked how I felt about surgery and I said
“I just want this all to be over”
I had been in hospital for over a week when the surgeon came in and said “If you don’t get any better over the weekend, we’re going to do an emergency operation” He patted my leg, he looked very sad that would have to be operating on me.
That weekend I remember going for a walk, and when I came back there was a doctor waiting for me. He was an on call doctor who didn’t know any of my history and he looked at me and I genuinely could not believe the words that came out of his mouth.
“Well your obviously not that sick if you’re not in bed, I don’t know what all the fuss is about”
Because I had been discussed in all the meetings regarding my condition and what was to happen next.
I stood there with my jaw open, and I struggled back on my bed. My breathing was shallow and my heart was racing, not just because I was outraged but because my body was fighting off this virus and also trying to fight my UC. I just couldn’t get over how rude he was to me.
That weekend the stoma nurse came to see me and showed me what my stoma would look like, where it would be on my body and to ask me if there was any questions.
I remember sitting there thinking what the hell? I knew that I was going to have a bag, I knew that my intestine would sit on the outside of my body, but for some reason it never sank in until I saw those pictures. The first meeting with my stoma nurse, Fiona, was a massive, massive shock and I couldn’t quite take it all in.
Everything was happening so quickly, I didn’t have time to process it. I guess in hindsight perhaps it was better this way for me because I know if it was scheduled, I really would have worried about it. I think the countdown of “I’m not going to have a colon any more” would have been too much for me to handle!
The night before my surgery my mum was with me, and we were still unsure as to whether surgery was definitely happening. So instead of focusing on the “Will it/won’t it” scenario, she took my mind off it by joking around and being silly.
Waking up that morning, the surgeon came in bright and early and told me that it was happening. I was first in theatre and I should be down by about 9am.
I called my mum, and my first words were
“Its happening. I’m having surgery. Please come”
Obviously I knew that my mother was coming, but I was so, so scared. Was it too late to back out now? Did I even have a choice in the matter? Can I do this?
Being wheeled down to surgery, my mind was all over the place. This is it, its actually happening literally all I could think was “oh fuck, fuck fuck fuck!”
We paused at the theatre doors. My mum was told she couldn’t come past that point and tears started to well up, my throat was constricting. I was trying so hard to be strong but I wanted my mum with me. I wanted her to hold my hand and tell me everything was going to be okay.
I said a short good bye, I would have loved for it to have been longer but before I knew it I was being pushed through the doors, and I turned around to see my mum standing there waving.
I still hadn’t let the tears fall yet. Must be strong. I’m going to be okay.
But what if I’m not okay? What if I’m allergic to the anaesthetic What if there’s complications. What if, what if I… God I can’t say it, what if I die?
This was all running through my mind, and the nurse bless her, she held my hand and I was shaking. The anaesthetist came in and talked to me but I can’t even remember what he said. All I remember was lying there feeling so overwhelmed The tears started to fall and he asked me to count back from 10.
Please God. Let me me okay.
And then it went black.
I could leave it there, but its overly dramatic because we all know that I live haha! I joke, it actually didn’t all go black, to be honest all I remember was “10, 9, 8” and bam I was groggily coming round in the recovery area.
It was such an intense time. I wanted it done because I didn’t want to have UC any more. I didn’t want the pain, the medication, the colonoscopy’s, the time and effort I had to take out for numerous hospital visits, the money spent on medication, all the unwanted side effects from the medication. I didn’t want it any more and here was a chance to be free of it all.
That day was not just about a major operation, it was about hope. The hope that eventually I might be able to lead a better life than what I was living. A life without pain. Now some of you may know the struggles I have been through since that day but I’ll never regret the journey that I have been on. It’s moulded me into the person I am today and just think, if I hadn’t of had all these life experiences, I wouldn’t be able to help out you lovely people and write these posts.
I’m not a believer of everything happens for a reason, but I can’t change what has happened to me, I can only make the most of it.