Andy Goes Pop…
Sorry it’s been a week or so since I last posted anything, I’ve been recovering from a bit of surgery. It all started just over a week ago. I had been to a local bonfire/fireworks/music “extravaganza” at a local club and had a bloody good time. Anyways, after the event I got home for about 11pm having taken a shit load of photos and seem some pretty good bands perform. Once home I uploaded a few of my pics to FlickR and relaxed in front of the telly to watch a few films and eat some good old junk food.
At around 2am my stomach started feeling less than normal which I just put down to the possibility of having eaten a dodgy burger at the bonfire or something. Not being one to worry about things like that I headed off to get some sleep at around 3am. Shortly after I got a visit from the squits fairy and rushed to the bathroom bum in hand (as you do). This happened on and off pretty much every half an hour until around 6am when I finally managed to get about an hours kip. At around 7am I woke again – this time in a lot of pain. The pain was located in the lower part of my gut so I lay in bed holding my stomach and waiting for my girlfriend to come home.
The missus finished her late shift at 8am and arrived home shortly after. She could see I was in pain but having been working since 9am the previous morning wasn’t an awful lot of help even when I thought it could possibly be my appendix on the way out.
So while she got some kip I rang NHS Direct for some advice. They thought it was probably food poisoning and advised me to rest and drink lots of water. by 11am I was still in pain and rang them again for further instructions. They then advised that I ring NHS primary care to get an emergency GP’s appointment. It turns out that ‘emergency’ means an appointment three hours later and even that was delayed by another 45 minutes.
So while I sat their in agony the NHS prioritised people that seemed to have no physical symptoms – several of which only seemed to be attending to get repeat prescriptions signed off and the like – hardly an emergency ey?
At about 3pm I finally got to see a doctor who took a urine sample, poked me a bit and said that it was most likely that I had appendicitis and that they would taking me straight to a ward to have my appendix removed. Great – my first ever operation. How cool is that? So a porter came over and wheeled me (despite my protests) to A&E for further checks. After an hour waiting at A&E I was taken up to the ward for the operation where I was starved, had pipes put in both hands, three separate blood tests, ‘internal’ examinations and was made to piss into a little jug rather than using the little boys room when I needed to go.
At about 10pm they finally decided that I really had a problem with my appendix (after being checked out by FOUR different doctors) and began to prep me for surgery. This basically involved putting me on a drip, making me where a little nighty and getting me to sign a consent form. It seemed to be going all rather fast considering how long I had spent waiting around so far.
The trip to surgery was a very surreal experience, lying flat out on a gurney being wheeled to the operating theatre was just like you see it in the movies; people all around you (two pushing – one holding the drip), doors slamming open and lights passing overhead – I wish I’d been able to video it cos it was so strange. In the prep room I was given a couple of injections and put on oxygen and prepared for what happens when they knock you out. I had a laugh and a joke with the anaesthetists while they monitored me. Then one of them pumped gas into me while the other one leaned on my throat (apparently it stops you puking).
The next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery with an oxygen mask on and feeling slightly disorientated but otherwise fine. I was still pretty drowsy and a few minutes later fell asleep again. When I woke a couple of hours later I was back on the ward I was on before the operation. I didn’t get much sleep that night – for some reason I kept waking up with an urge to piss, I’m guessing that’s because they were still pumping fluids into me to keep me from dehydrating. Despite feeling ok to walk the nurses insisted that I stay in bed and do all my pissing into the little jug again.
I don’t know about you guys, but I find pissing in front of other people a bit off putting, especially when it’s people I don’t know. They pulled the curtains around my bed but I was still very conscious that people would be listening in.
Anyways… later that day I was moved to a different ward with a guy in his 40’s who had a bowel problem, an old deaf guy who found it necessary to shout “Janet – get my coat!” every 15 minutes all night long and another old guy who was seriously jaundiced. I was shocked when I saw him – he was nearly as yellow as the guy from Sin City! A couple of crappy hospital meals and an overnight stay later and I was finally released.
A week later the opening that they removed the appendix from is healed up nicely (see pic below), but I’m still a little bit sore and taking it easy. I don’t think I’ll be doing any heavy lifting or exercise for a couple of weeks – but it’s not like I do much of that anyway. The only time I really experience pain now is when I sneeze as that tends to invoke a severe belly crunch which leaves me kinda sore again.
The whole experience of being in hospital was very new to me, but all in all wasn’t all that bad. The doctors and nurses were all pretty nice (in a strangely Scrubs/Greenwing kind of way) and the food was mostly edible. Anyway… I think this post has gone on long enough so I’ll end it with a few photos, mostly from the bon fire / music night.