This is a follow on post from April / May 2018 – You Have Cancer, Coventry Warwick Coventry, Telling Your Family You Have Cancer, Having a Feeding Tube Fitted and Pre-Op Arrangements go back and read those 1st.
My 1st Night in Hospital
If you have read my previous posts you will know I was just about to go in to UHCW (university Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire) in Coventry for a major operation due to jaw cancer.
The Weeks prior to knowing I had a problem with my jaw we had started watching the box sets of House again right from series 1.
We were up to about series 4 when it was looking like I had a problem and as soon as an operation was mentioned we stopped watching House 🙁
I was also reading the Harlan Coben books in order, had just started Caught so decided to take that in to hospital with me.
In the weeks prior to my operation I had been in 4 or 5 times for test, scans, meetings, etc. so new the hospital quite well.
Every time I went with Elizabeth we would drop in at the Starbucks in the hospital and have a cheese toastie with either a hot chocolate or a Tropicana Orange juice, I told Elizabeth that’s where I would be most days once I was admitted.
We finally got to the day when I was to be admitted to hospital, I had all my stuff packed and waited for Elizabeth to pick me up.
Monday 9th July 2018 – 1st Night in Hospital
We decided to get there nice and early, find by bed, unpack my stuff and go for something to eat in the restaurant they have at UHCW.
I was almost in holiday mode and looking forward to seeing my bed on Ward 32 at UHCW I had visions of getting on to the bed and chatting with the other guys in there, then nipping out to dinner before settling down for a good nights sleep before my operation the next morning.
There’s no room at the Inn 🙁
We got to Coventry nice and early to allow for the usual half hour delay waiting for a parking space and made our way up to ward 32 for the 1st time.
As it was on the 3rd floor, and I hate lifts, I took the stairs as Elizabeth took the lift.
We strolled along to Ward 32 to find there wasn’t a bed for me and to be told they were going to make one up for me along the corridor in Ward 35
We sat in the day care room for a while and was then called down to Ward 35 and shown my bed.
It was brilliant. had loads of different settings on it; up, down, raise legs, raise back, etc. It also had a TV, phone, radio and a bell to press if I wanted anything – I’m going to enjoy this I thought.
There were 5 other beds on the ward and the 1st thing that struck me was everyone was older than me but what struck me even more was; everyone looked really ill 🙁
I didn’t bother unpacking much as I knew would be in the other ward the next evening, we asked the nurses if we could go and get something to eat and she said that was fine but to get back before 8:00 as I had forms to fill in and people to see.
Off we went to have the condemned Man’s last meal
Elizabeth had a Panini and I had a Lasagne washed down with my, now usual, Tropicana
It was surprisingly nice and got me looking forward to the hospital meals 🙂
We got back to the ward, I said my farewells to Elizabeth and jumped on my bed playing around with the controls like a little kid.
Not long after 8:00 one of my head and neck team came along.
Michael was one of those guys who had I been gay I would have gone for.
He was tall, slim, good looking, had a lovely smile and seemed a thoroughly decent guy. I don’t know if he was British or not but if I was to guess I would say he was from the Iran region.
He went through the procedure with me again got me to sign some consent forms.
Next to see me was my nutritionist Nigel (Another really nice guy).
He told me no more eating that night, no drinking after midnight but left me with 6 little bottles of pre-op drinks that I had to drink throughout the night with the last one being no later that 2:00 in the morning (so much for my nice sleep before the operation)
After Nigel came another nurse with a questionnaire and a bloody big needle, I was about to have my 1st of many cannulas fitted 🙁
It was now about 9:00, Elizabeth had gone home, I had seen all the people I needed to see so I couldn’t see much point in wandering around to get to know the ward as I was moving the next day so I decided to have the 1st of my pre-op drinks and get ready for bed
Yuck, like most things that are good for you the pre-op drinks were horrible, a thick syrupy, milk shaky glupp but I had to drink it, and knew I had 5 more of those to face over the next 6 hours.
Everyone else on the ward was as good as asleep and I never spoke to a single one of them (so much for my sitting in bed chatting to all around me).
10:00 another pre-op drink, 10:30 a nurse came round to take temperature, blood pressure heart rate.
11:00 another pre-op drink
12.00 another pre-op drink
01.00 another pre-op drink
02.00 Hurrah, my final pre-op drink, I can finally get some sleep.
2:30 a nurse wakes me up take temperature, blood pressure heart rate 🙁
If you can remember the summer of 2018 it was a scorcher, I was woken up again at about 6:30 and it was already warm. had my temperature, blood pressure heart rate taken again and as I was told they wanted me nice and clean for the operation I went of for a thorough shower.
Story continues here – The Day of the Operation