A Day and a Night in Hospital

If I was going to have an accident, breaking my wrist yards from the A&E entrance of Tommy’s was about the best location for it to happen.
Although it would have been nice to have my op straightaway, it was also nice to go home, and I was told that as it wasn’t a clean break, the team would want to discuss who was best to do it. Of course I wanted the best. Who wouldn’t? But by half past nine yesterday morning, with no word from the hospital and my blood sugars sinking rapidly, I was becoming wobbly and weepy. Just before ten, to distract myself, I went onto the landing with some recycling. Naturally I missed the call. While I listened to the message, my mobile rang, but by the time I reached it, it had stopped. The message left bothered me. It implied the caller thought I had been ‘phoned already and might be in the hospital, but if not, to call and speak to the on call surgeon. If anyone from Tommy’s reads this, please note that it would have been helpful to leave a direct number to call back, as my stress levels rose trying to reach the right person and being put on hold several times.

Once at surgical admissions, time stood still. Celia, who accompanied me on the bus, stayed and kept me company, and played an exhaustive game of I Spy, for what seemed like hours, before a lovely nurse, Ingrid, I think, called me to take my details. That used up the better part of an hour and I had hopes of being in theatre by two. But two came and went. The consultant came to see me and said it would three thirty at the latest, and the nurses would get me ready. I said I write and my wrist is important for my income, I am concerned about deformity and reduced mobility. He looked serious and said I had a significant wrist injury. This was not like an elderly person falling and breaking a bone; on a scale of one to ten, he put my fracture at seven point five. Apart from my stres fracture a couple of years ago, I have never broken anything. It seems I have decided to collect all my points in one go. He then showed me the x-rays. I don’t recall what he called it, but using my own vocab, I said it was like the Portland Vase. He nodded. Just so. He then showed me the ‘divot’ in one bone. Is that a medical term, or could he be a sporting man? Golfer? Rugby player?
The plan was to use a metal plate to push the bone back together and then I’m afraid I have forgotten the technical details. I felt he was a man I could trust.
An anaesthetist came and talked to me. Then nothing. I dozed, one eye on the clock. At three fifteen the nurse came back and said I should get into my gown, disposable pants and special socks. She gave me some lovely warm wipes and instructions how to wash myself. I was just struggling into the pants when there was a flurry of activity outside the door. I was on the day surgery list and unless I got to theatre by half past three, there would be no op for me.
We made it, with the nurse fretting that she hadn’t given me slippers, so no chance of a surgical Cinders act for me. The theatre seemed cosy, the team smiley. I don’t remember anything about the anaesthetic. Last time I counted to two. This time I was unaware it had been given. And then unaware of anything until I reluctantly opened my eyes in a very bright recovery room. A straw in a cup of water encouraged me towards wakefulness, and then I was taken to the ward. Not George Perkins with the promised fabulous view where Celia and Octavia had been waiting for me, but a private ward. So my first ever overnight stay in a hospital may have given me a false Impression. I imagine that on the NHS wards, while it is the same staff, the coffee would be instant, and I might not get my own toast rack. Also, I might not get a pair of nice red slipper socks, a comb, eye shield or earplugs.
However, as the treatment is the thing, I don’t think it is much to complain about. And the thing that has made the biggest difference to this experience has been the support from friends. Celia, Olivia and Lovely Neighbours have freed me from anxiety. Words cannot express how grateful I am to them. My virtual friends’ messages have buoyed me, and just having access to the big wide world via this page, twitter and texts has been amazing. I hope I miss out on the post op blues, but forgive me in advance should I post something miserable in the next few days.


18 thoughts on “A Day and a Night in Hospital

  1. Isobel I totally understand the experience believe me……friends certainly help as do caring “carers” but mostly I know you’re glad the op is OVER with and now is the recovery/physical therapy phase. You have lots of support so USE them!! 😉 As for us through the blogosphere – we’ll be here when you need us. MasterB will make a most handsome nurse…….

    Hugs, Pam

    • Handsome, but not trained. Mind, I had to use some ingenuity to feed him, tearing open his sachet Mon night with my teeth! Lively neighbour then opened a tin for yesterday, but I think I shall find sachets easier for the time being.
      Thanks for being there Pam. I think this will slow me down for a while, and definitely get in the way of photography.

  2. Isobel so great to read your words. It does sound like a significant injury but I kept thinking how strong and healthy your bones probably are with all the walking and cycling you do. You “sound” great. Thanks for giving us an update. You have been so much in my thoughts! So greatful you have such kind and thoughtful people there to watch over you. Hugs Isobel!

    • Thanks Pix, believe me, I appreciate your support. It is lovely to know people are out there. Cycling will obviously be out for a while, but I shall be walking. In some ways it is easier to walk than be one handed on the bus!

  3. So glad to hear you are out of hospital and on the road to recovery. Don’t forget the protein bars to promote bone growth (I am very sick of protein bars at this point). Be kind to yourself about this happening. And excellent one handed typing!

  4. I am so happy you survived the multiple, stressful, and boring delays and that the surgery went well. I will look forward to hearing more on your healing.

  5. Good to hear you’ve been dealt with, Isobel. Are you well and truly plastered? Or just lightly bound? Take it easy now, eat well and heal! 🙂 xx

    • Thanks Jan. Octavia looked it last night (she cooked me supper, delish) and was pleased to note it is only underneath that is plastered while the top is padded and bandaged so as the stiffness and bruising subsides, I should get more movement more quickly.

  6. glad to hear you are now on this side of surgery. may you recover quickly and not even have any time at all to feel the blues. sending you hugs – and Timmy is sending you purrs. and all the best to MasterB as he works on his gentle, caring side. amazing how our animals do have that side when need be.

    • Thanks Kris. I am extraordinarily easily tired. I suspect that is the effect of the general anaesthetic. As soon as MasterB can be persuaded to come in, I shall go off to my bed. He is being v sweet a d companionable, but he does need to race about and enjoy his spring freedoms.

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