July 29, 2008

Perspective (3)

In just over 41 hours (and counting) I will be going into hospital for an elective operation that I've been alternately dreading and planning for over a year. If all goes well it should take about 4-5 hours, and require a few days in hospital followed by a couple of weeks strict recuperation at home. 
[You'll understand that I don't want to go into public details, but it results from exercise, not disease or malfunction (thank goodness), and relates to comfort rather than appearance.

I have re-used the "Perspective" title for this post because I will be experiencing hospital as an in-patient for the very first time, and I am sure you've heard the truism that 
"doctors make the worst patients":
  • we know precisely what can go wrong in even the best-run hospitals
  • we understand all the risks and complications in scary detail
  • we know that even the most competent doctors make mistakes
  • we may be embarrassed to be cared for by former work colleagues
  • ... and we are often reluctant to admit how frightened or uncertain we are.
Because I have never had to stay in hospital overnight (as a patient), I don't even know what to take with me, or how mobile/awake/uncomfortable I'll feel afterwards.  Am I being hopelessly optimistic to take books, laptop, iPod, DVDs, headphones etc as if I were going on some sort of holiday? Very likely, but planning for my post-surgery days helps me stop thinking about the actual operation.

Naturally I've spent many hours on the internet, reading learned articles about the exact procedure. [Eeeek! Those blithely described incisions will be into ME!]  
I've also pored over umpteen patient accounts, many with scary post-op photos. My camera is one thing I am not taking into hospital, by the way. So you will be spared any richly illustrated blog posts proudly describing the number of stitches or the extent of bruising.

Initially I thought I would come home as soon as I could totter about, regardless of pain, tubes etc. But numerous more sensible friends have advised me to stay as long as I can, because not only is pain control likely to be far better in hospital, but I will be forced by boredom (not to mention scary nurses) to rest as instructed. There will also be an absence of large happy dogs hurling themselves enthusiastically at me or trying to turn me into a warm pillow. Owwww. Good point.

So cheerio for now, and rather than sending the usual "Get Well Soon" wishes to me, please send "Hand-Steadying" thoughts to the surgeon, and "Paying-Attention" thoughts to the anaesthetist. 
Thanks!

6 comments:

kazhar said...

I hope you'll be back soon.

report said...

Good luck mak, everything will be OK, don't worry.
If you were in Geneva Switzerland, you could take your laptop with you, there is free Wifi at the Cantonal Hospital ;-)
Bring it anyway, you could watch some DVDs or work on some softwares, tutorials, etc.
Do not forget good books, iPod or MP3 readers, for the long nights! Oh, and perhaps bring some anti-pain drugs with you, in case "they" will forget to give you enough. (hide it!)

Courage, and come back soon.
Cheers.

Lindy said...

I'm sending BIG hugs and "get well" wishes from the US!

jeff said...

Get real. Take the opiates. God made them for you to ignore the pain, and relax during the recovery. All kind wishes.

budalata said...

As jeff said. And to add something - add some icecream, chocolate, and white wine. Dont listen to doctors - you are one of them, so you know what I am talking about.

Best wishes

cherel said...

Hang in there. It's got to get better. Nowhere to go but up.

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