I woke up the following morning after a few hours (8) In surgery, feeling very strange as the life had been sucked right out of me In fact It nearly had a few hours left untreated It would have been, I was in this strange room (hdu) attached to so many pipes and tubes doing their thing to sort me out. I was so weak couldn’t really lift my head off the bed but had to try, I was falling in and out of sleep not really understanding what had happened to me. every now and again someone would come in do their thing and try to make conversation with me, but I didn’t have the energy to respond. after a few days in that room the physios came In and had a chat about getting me out of bed. OK, this should be easy!!!
It was the hardest emotional thing I ever had to do at this point in my life. 1, my body didn’t work. 2, I was upset with myself for not being able to do something that was taken for granted every single waking day of my life. I had to learn how to get out of bed, once I mastered that I had to then stand up, this was no easy feat. because of the cut through the middle there was no core strength. I eventually stabilized enough to be moved back onto the ward. If I’m totally honest It wasn’t too bad the fellas that were in there were a talkative bunch, always talking, praising each other for the small goals we achieved each day. At that time I was the youngest in there not that It worried me at all. I set my goals out for my recovery. First thing was to understand and learn I needed to adapt to my new stoma life, and pretty quickly.
I had two new Items attached to me hadn’t a clue what they were for and for the first few days even a week I never had anything to do with them, my first night back on the ward was ok, everything seemed fine, apart from sleep as the nurses had to come In every 3/4 hours to change or give me medication, I was finding that sleep was hard to come by and my state of mind was slowly breaking down. I had to be strong I wasn’t going to let this destroy me but not being able to eat or drink apart from sips of water was not helping either, especially in the morning at breakfast time the smell of toast was eminent.
The first couple of days on the ward went by in a daze, I was drifting In and out of sleep, not really wanting to entertain the new adaptations to my body or anyone for that matter. the second night back on the ward and having no affiliation yet with my Ileostomy and mucous fistula, I was grumpy and just really feeling sorry for myself I didn’t really care. I was frightened to move I had drains coming out from the left I had I pipe going through my nose and of course the 2 things I didn’t want. then at about 2 In the morning I thought what Is that! I could feel something running down the side of me, of course you put your hand down to check, Instinct, I guess. absolutely disgusting poop everywhere.
I felt so helpless, I felt dirty, hot and sweaty and smelled bad. I pressed the nurse’s button and to be honest with you I couldn’t thank them enough at that point, they somehow changed my sheets and my gown re applied a new stoma pouch/bag and off they went as If It was nothing. so with all the other self-destruct Issues I had I now had the feeling that I didn’t want this to happen again, so the anxiety levels went through the roof. this was to be the pattern for the next 2 weeks. all I wanted was a shave and a wash, but it just wasn’t happening.
After a couple of weeks of my hospital stay I was on the fine line of giving up! all I wanted was to go home but knew it wasn’t happening anytime soon, I was still attached to pipes feeding antibiotics into me every 6 hours, and draining other fluids from various parts of my body, I had forgotten what my legs were used for apart from wearing the most tightest socks every worn by man or woman! guess they were like most things doing some good but I didn’t think so. So 2 weeks in, laid in a comfy bed with all the twists and up and down buttons a bed could possibly have, I needed to shower, I’d been sweating on and off and needed a shave but knew the situation I was in this wasn’t an option I had to make do with a wash in the bed as I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed, I was stinking but was to stubborn to ask for help, but eventually I gave in and had a wipe over but nothing in comparison to a hot shower. all this time I was fighting my emotions like no other time before, I was only allowed jelly and some ice cream, and I kept asking the same question each meal time “can I eat” same answer each time “not yet”. my family came in everyday but now I was starting to get an idea in my head that they were finding it boring coming to the hospital day in day out, I did suggest that they came in every other day but they didn’t, which was a good thing.
Then it happened one morning “Breakfast” ? I asked with some hope could I have a piece of toast, the nurse went off to ask and walked back into the ward I knew what the answer was going to be, but no I was allowed. I can honestly tell you that was the best piece of toast I have every eaten. This was it; this was my chance to start my focus my chance to start the fight back. fighting the negativity going on inside my head, this was going to be the day of that first goal of getting out of the sleeping chariot and into the chair.
With the help of a nurse and the physios a moveable bed I found a way of moving the bed so that it would give me leverage and the right height to stand up and take 2 steps to the chair, it was hard but had to be done and help to challenge the I can’t do it nonsense going on in my head, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do I used all the energy I had in my body to accomplish it but it was done, only 30 minutes but that was enough, that’s all was expected of me but it was the start. I felt so chuffed with myself I wanted to do it more but small steps lead to big strides.
I was now starting to learn so much about myself emotionally and physically, learning how to deal with things I would stress about but now putting them into perspective of what was important and what wasn’t. so my challenge now over the next few weeks was to set goals to leave hospital and go home.