Friday, April 8, 2022

And Then What Happened?

Having explained the first part of the Surgical History Tour, I should finish the story with what happened next.

I survived the fasting which, looking back, appears to have been my biggest worry. Actually, the biggest worry was drinking water after the midnight before the operation. Drinking water is such an automatic thing when I am thirsty that it was difficult to refrain from doing it. I would remember not to drink, only to forget and have to remember again seconds later.

It was the cats’ fault! I am used to taking them for their dental procedures and other operations, which prohibit food – but not water - up to eight or nine hours before. Why can’t humans drink? It’s discrimination, I tell you!

Anyway, I arrived at the hospital at 8.30 a.m., was set up in a partitioned ‘room’ (there were only two other patients aside from me awaiting surgery at the time) and allowed to rest. I find hospitals very relaxing, perhaps because everything is done for me, and I don’t have to do anything. They hooked me up to intravenous fluids, to compensate for lack of water during the night (Tucker, the recipient of many doses of sub-cutaneous fluids, must’ve been snickering at that one), and put leggings on my calves that massaged my muscles and blood vessels; this was to keep me from getting blood clots through lack of movement.

I was retrieved for surgery at about 11.45. My identity was confirmed numerous times (initially, I had to bring photo i.d., in case I slipped in a substitute…) and I was repeatedly asked which side I was to be operated on; a nurse marked my left shoulder with a pen – which he then dropped… The anaesthetist explained that I would be knocked out by something given in my i.v., and then given the real anaesthetic to breathe. I would be intubated (unfortunately, we all know what that means these days), the centre-piece of which would be removed after I woke and it was confirmed that I could breathe on my own. I was apprehensive about this but the doctor said I would not remember any of it. He was right. I recalled nothing between seeing him adjust a switch on my i.v. and seeing a nurse come into my ‘room’ afterward. It was as if I blinked from one scene to the next. I had no reaction to the anaesthetic. Well, except for being unconscious for several hours.

I left the hospital at five o’clock, I think. A friend had attended to the cats in my absence and found them most cooperative. I nonetheless gave them more food before bed-time and, of course, scooped more crap from boxes. I slept well. I thought I would be hungry, but my appetite was not great, even after almost a day without food, which is a sure sign of my body being off kilter. I did eat, and realised that I needed the food, but I still wasn’t enthusiastic about it.

This morning, I was sore, and likely will be for some time. My appetite was back to normal, and I had a good, unrushed breakfast. My biggest challenge now will be not lifting anything over ten pounds, such as any of my cats. One doesn’t consider how unthinkingly one lifts heavy objects; if it feels heavy, we adjust our grip or simply carry it to where it needs to be faster than if it were light. This is where being wealthy and having servants would come in handy. All the hospital gave me were pain-killers.

It was quite an adventure, and I must admit that it was not bad at all. I was very lucky, of course, in having to undergo something that was not life-threatening, either in cause or remedy. My surgeon did write in his report that it was a “challenge”, and because of that I could expect bruising and swelling. I am not sure what this involved; possibly kicking and punching. I will learn more when I speak to him in the ‘follow-up’.

Now come the two weeks’ disability leave, the best part of the entire process. This will be like a prologue to my holidays, but without bicycling. But at least I’ll have more time to spend with these this lot.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that things went well with your surgery, John. And from the above photos, it looks like your 4 nurses are all set to give you excellent care. However, I was surprised to read that you find hospitals relaxing. I thought it's standard procedure to wake patients up just to give them a sleeping pill. :-)

    1. That's probably the human equivalent of waking my cats to tell them it's bed-time. Yes, I've always enjoyed my hospital visits, though I've never been in one for anything truly serious, so of course I know that others' experiences - and my future experiences - may be quite different.

  2. Glad to hear your surgery went well,and that you are at the beginning of the recovery road...Looks like your home care gang is ready and waiting to be your bedside/chairside assistants!

    I have been in hosp for both serious and not so serious needs, and I am always a bundle of nerves in there...I have to wait to get home to do my relaxing...which rarely happens there either, LOL!

  3. That was good news that you made it through the surgery and are home ready to recover. I hope your heavy nurses behave themselves, and don't need lifting. Take it easy, read some books and watch some movies.

    Julie and poppyq

  4. HeHe! Bless! So pleased to read it ALL went
    well for you John..Matter of healing time
    now l suppose..! Sould be o.k. after all,
    you've several nurses on hand to watch over
    you..! :).

    And, not lifting anything over 10lbs, hope
    Neville does'nt miss out on his cuddles!
    Be interesting around the Cosy Apartment
    for the next week or two..! :).

  5. I'm glad for the update, and hope your recovery goes smoothly and quickly. I hope you won't have to wait long for the follow-up with the surgeon.

    My one surgery was many years ago and I was quite worried about it (hence asking for a "happy pill" before being taken to the OR). All my visits to the ER have been so stressful that my bp has been through the roof and I've feared I would stroke out. :-D

    Anyway, take it easy and take good care of yourself. I can see the cats are at the ready for nursing duty! :-)

  6. You sound as if things are going just fine. And I hope as the weekend continues that your body feels that way. If so then it was all a success. It does sound as if your biggest challenge now will not be so much recovery for yourself but how to handle four cats without picking them up. Hopefully all four will find a way onto your lap without help. Instead of Dr. Bellen on duty for the next two weeks, it will be four aides.

  7. Happy things went well and that you shared about it 😊

  8. Glad you are not one of those patients who get horribly nauseous from the anesthetic.I was with both my sister's after their surgeries and they were horribly sick and miserable. Like you, I have no after affects.
    Hope your recovery is a relaxing one with your fur family helping out. Yep, we all know how that will go! At least Renn is in bed getting it warm for you!! That is always helpful.
    Take it easy and wishing you the very best during your recovery.

  9. Have a comfortable (and quick!) recovery. I know the cats will enjoy having their dad around all the time. :)

  10. We hope the healing happens quickly for you and yes, lifting things seems to be on autopilot so think first, lift later!

  11. *GASP*
    Oh yes...good to read that you slipped the bonds of the hospital lure and are now in the bosom of your clowder, whose healing purrs are going to make you the model patient.
    Sending healing vibes from Down South...well, sorta South East...

  12. YES! ALL is well! And looks like Renn is keeping a supervisor's eye on Madam! Or is he the Floor Walker? Well, that's rather supervisory. It made me smile..still am, seeing Renn overlooking Mme. as she contemplates her dish. I see that she is not enrobed. Oh! Perhaps she won't be for the duration. Huggles to the beasts and I hope you allow them to do all their duties for you with no complaint.

  13. Like anything, it's a relief when the deed is done and over. I am glad you are back home with the loving kitties and that you're doing well. I hope the rest of your recovery is quick and painless!

  14. We are glad to read that your surgery went well and you are home with the crew, who all look happy to know you are back to keep the feeding&scooping on schedule. If it makes you feel any better, my vets have always prohibited water after midnight for anything my cats have had to have done. (So I usually arrange to drop them off at the clinic the night before, as they appreciate the drippy faucets we have.)

  15. Glad all went well. I don't understand why we can't drink so long before either.

  16. I'm happy to hear your surgery went well, the cats were taken care of in your absence, and...I'm amazed that scooping poop was high on your priority list on your return.

  17. I am glad that everything went well and you didn't suffer the awful nausea. The first time I had a GA I was violently sick for several hours. They did put it on my records those and I have always been given an injection of something beforehand which works well in preventing it.
    I have been on holiday for 2 weeks so am reading your oldest posts first.

    1. I think they routinely add something to the i.v. now that reduces nausea.