Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hospital days

Hospital days are never fun. They generally start with no food or drink, which for me is never a preferred way to start the day.

On Friday morning I thought a lot about the first time we were going in for a curette. I felt a lot like I did the first time, the suddenness and unexpected nature of the diagnosis were just like the first time. It was August 2009 - I remembered as I was being wheeled into theatre the anaesthetist was with me. Big tears were welling up in my eyes and began sliding down my cheeks. He looked at me and asked something along of the lines of "what's wrong? are you scared?" I told him I was sad. The anaesthetist had nothing to say to that. I also remembered when I woke up the first thing I did was start to cry. At least the nurses in recovery were a little more aware of why I might be crying.

Today I didn't want to cry so much. I'm not sure if that is healthy goal, however I knew that not being able to control my emotions in the setting of QFG day theatre was going to be very uncomfortable for a lot people, including myself. At QFG you wait for the short while before your surgery in a joint waiting room. I've waited in there before egg pick up, before 3 embryo transfers and now 2 curettes. It is a mixed bag of people, some are there for wrist surgery. A crying person would really stress everyone out.

On admission to the day theatre the nurse has to ask me all the questions again about how many times have I been pregnant - how many children - any live births - etc. Attempts to not cry fail at the first step. You see, I've already had to write all this down on the admission forms in the morning. I had to go through it with the new obstetrician yesterday. It's a horrible story and it is our life. I cover my face. Matt starts to give the answers. I pull it together and proceed with the blood pressure and pulse tests. The nurse says I'll benefit from having a good sleep, I deserve a good sleep. It takes me a while to realise she means, assisted by anaesthetic sleep.

Matt and I part ways - I'm going up to the open waiting room, he is going home to wait for the call to come and pick me up. Deep breathes. I must calm down. I am calming down. There is nothing to be done for it, it is over, I must deal with this. I can cope with this. This isn't the end of the world. Life goes on. Matt and I will go on. We will have more chances. I don't know what to do, but uncertainty is just a part of it for us. There will be other opportunities. Deep breathes. Be calm.

Before the surgery I am calm. I meet the anaesthetist, the doctor is there, I'm walking into the operating theatre. As per usual my veins are impossible to find. A jab here, a jab there, another jab and another, and finally I feel the anaesthetic taking hold. I'm breathing in the oxygen. I'm out.

I wake up in recovery. I don't feel too bad. I'm a little sore, but nothing unmanageable. It takes me about an hour from the time I realise I'm awake to being functional. They ring Matt to come in to get me. I get up and get dressed and happily chomp down my hospital sandwiches and ginger ale.

Warning - at this point I hit some fairly gross stuff - so tune out if you don't enjoy the gross bits.

When Matt gets there I've already been through the discharge process so we can head off straight away. I'm pretty slow on my feet as we make our way to the car. On the way home we decide to stop and rent some DVDs. We are in the video store for about 2 minutes when I realise I'm feeling wet around my crotch. I touch my pants and my fingers are covered in blood. I call out for Matt, I show him the fingers. He says holy crap. I've got to get out of here. Matt unlocks the car - I shuffle out and find a grocery bag to sit on in the car. Matt has quickly rented the videos we had in our hands. I tell him I'm not sure what has caused the overflow. I'm wearing a hospital issue surf board size pad. I wonder if it has had an absorbency problem.

In a flash we are home and I am shuffling inside with my grocery bag. I throw the bag in the bin and shuffle to the bathroom. I want to jump into the shower without leaking on the floor. In the end I have no choice but to get with my pants on. When I take them off a massive blood clot hits the shower floor. It is clogging the shower. The hospital issue surf board size pad had no chance of dealing with this! I'm try to pick it up. It is massive. It is the size of my hand and 1cm thick in parts. More, smaller clots are coming out. This is really disgusting and again, I need Matt's help. I ask Matt to bring me a zip lock bag for the clots - they are so big I'm wondering if they are the placenta. I ask Matt to pop them in the fridge until I can speak to the doctor. Poor Matt. This is so gross and he is fully taking it in his stride. When I ask him to put the clots in the fridge his face is a little grossed out. So I suggest they go in a non see-through bag.

It didn't take long and the heavy flow issue passed. I rang the obstetrician and she asked me to lie back down again for a half hour or so and then get up again and see if the issue repeats itself. It seems she expected these types of clots would have passed before I left the hospital, or have come out during the curette.

Matt pops back out to finish the things we were going to do on the way home and I rest up. The doctor rings me back and I tell her the bleeding has settled and there hasn't been any repeat of massive clots. When Matt gets home he takes my clothes and puts them in the wash.

All gross bits finished.

I feel a bit better after the curette. I'm still sad, but it seems manageable. Having a physical issue to deal with takes my mind off the mental side of it all. It is over.

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