I was whisked back to RUH at around 10.30pm on the night of the 16th Jan.
This had followed a bitch of a day at home.
I had woken in the morning in huge amounts of pain. The hospital had only sent me home with codiene. A bit of a come down from the cocktails I was on when I was in there.
I rang my GP and got an emergency prescription for painkillers and by the time she came to see me a few hours later at lucnhtime I was no longer in pain but was incredibly uncomfortable with a swollen stomach.
She examined me and whilst she was confident that I did not have an infection, she wanted the district nurse to come and dres my wound and catherterise me.
Look away now if you get a bit icky about lady bits and details!!!
The condition that I had to meet before I left hospital was to either wee independantly or learn how to self catherterise. It is a very common side effect of this surgery for your bladder to take a few weeks to get back to functioning normally, likewise your bowels. All the stuff they cut out of you is so close to both that they hoik you bladder and bowels out of the way as much as they can and it takes a while for them to settle back down.
Weeing independantly was a no go so I had to learn how to self catherterise. This means I had a to stick, what looks like a slightly thinner, shorter drinking straw up my urether. If you’re reading this thinking ‘Blimy that must be tricky’ Imagine trying to do it with a belt of barbed wire on, and numb from belly buton to top of your thighs…..yeah….not easy.
But I like a challenge!! The prize for doing it was huge. I got to leave Hell. So in hospital I did it, I think it was beginners luck but I digress.
I was able to ‘wee’ when I got home. I would sit on the loo every hour or so and have a dribble!! When the GP asked for a wee sample I could give one to her. I expalined that it wasn’t a ‘wee’ as such more of a dribble. Hence the GP’s request for teh District Nurse to come and catherterise me make sure I was actually doing ok.
The district nurse didnt arrive until 7pm. She dressed my wound which was a little ‘wet’ and catherterised me. She hadn’t bought her own so I leant her one of mine! She told me my bladder was empty and there was relief all round.
It was about two hours later when my son came into my room and said ‘Mum your stomach is huge’ I rubbed my tummy and said affectionately ‘Don’t be so rude’ and as I did i found that my pyjama bottoms were sodden at my wound site. As I dropped my trousers liquid was literally running out of my wound.
There then followed some faffing about with 11 year old call handlers at 111.Computer says No anyone?? Finally someone saw sense to call me an ambulance. In hindsight I should of just called one myself.
3 lovely men took me off to Bath and into A&E. I was feeling ok in myself and had enough time to wind up the student paramedic…..sorry mate…all part of the learning process!
In A&E I was seen by a lovely nurse who gave me pad after pad to soak up the liquid that continued to come out of my huge stomach. I honestly looked 9 months pregnant. Eventually a doctor from gynea came to see me. I had met her before on the ward, but it was very early on and I was a bit morphine happy! Her name was Kate and she was fab. She called over a colleague to help, an A&E doctor. What happened next was probably the surrealest 45 minutes of my life.
They decided that even though they weren’t 100% sure what the liquid was that was coming out of mhy wound was it was definietely better out than in. They only way I can describe it was that they squeezed my stomach like a huge zit and caught the liquid in a bed pan!! There was loads of it…….
There was some bizarre moments as I lay on my back, accusing Kate of enjoying herself far too much, as she had a grin of glee on her face as she squeezed away. I bet she’s the type that likes to squeeze spots!!She kept asking it if hurt and I said ‘No it’s lovely just keep going!’
The humour left the situation for a little while as both doctors tried to work out what the liquid was. They smelt it….no smell. They looked at in plastic bottles…..clear, watery, very pale yellow. Was it urine??? If it was it spelt huge trouble. If it was I would be back in theatre before I knew it. I rang my friend in a panic, sorry for waking you up!!
Then clever Kate decided to work out if it was urine or not we needed some urine to comapre!! She catherterised me and two things became very clear. The liquid wasn’t urine, and I really really needed a pee. I emptied 1.8 litres of urine over the next 8 hours.
After that I was readmitted to the ward feeling about 7 stone lighter. Thankfully I was not in the same bay as last time and managed some sleep, some breakfast and a chat with the woman next door.
Around 11 o’clock my consulatant came to see me. He asked when I wanted to go home.
He asked if I wanted to self cathertrise. I told him I couldn’t, the straw thing was too short.
He said ‘You’re good but you’re not that good’ I told him to check in with Kate to hear the story and he assured me that he already knew all about it!!!
So off home I went, with my hospital catheter, and my snazzy piss bag strapped to my thigh.
Back in on Wednesday to see if I can pee on my own and more importantly to find out the results of the biopsy from all the stuff they cut out of me.
Until then, I am hiding at home, mostly alone, dozing, reading, writing, and generally looking after myself in peace and quiet!