In Hospital, Day 0
St Joseph’s Ward, St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle, Cornwall
Despite being an inveterate note taker and writer, I have few notes of my days in the hospital but here goes:
That first morning, 29th December, the day of the operation and called Day Zero, was filled with visits from the surgeon who, on being told that I want to be able to resume sailing, said he would review the kind of joint he would be using; the anaesthetist who confirmed that I could have a spinal anaesthetic plus sedation; the Doctor who came to get me to sign the consent form, telling me of awful risks that are ‘very rare’; the physiotherapist who told me that I would be up and walking about that day if I was back on the ward before 4pm or early next morning if it were later than that and the nurses and care-workers who were monitoring me. I was third on the list so would be going down at about midday.
All gowned and stockinged by noon, I became colder and colder despite being brought an extra blanket. By the time the porter came at 12.30 to walk me down for my operation, I was thoroughly chilled and the anaesthetic room had no heating! They apologised and wrapped me in bubble wrap into which warm air was blown and the extreme shivering came under control. The anaesthetic team comprised three young women who were friendly, reassuring and brilliant!
The next thing I knew I was in recovery with the bubble wrap and blower being used again to stop my shiveriness. I asked if my bones had been kept for me but, sadly, they had gone already. I thought they would have been interesting to see! I think the Grandchildren would have found them interesting too. Next time!
Despite the actual operation taking only one hour and ten minutes, I wasn’t back on the ward before 4pm which is when the physios leave but that evening, at visiting time, with a sandwich and a cup of tea inside me, I felt just fine, relieved it was done and looking forward to getting back to being me, the one full of energy and enterprise, ready to take on the world!