What an unusual title?…. we’ll come back to the relevance of that later.
Firstly it is great to be back, and in control of some of my marbles….
The last 4 days are a bit of a blur, some I wished were more blurred than others but I’m here and so far so good. Being of an inquisitive mind it fascinates me that a body that was reasonably fit (I did say reasonably), and pretty healthy is now so weak that even the most simplistic tasks like ‘getting from a bed to a chair’ takes a herculean amount of energy requiring more sleep afterwards . The operation itself places the body under a whole heap of stress and ‘nastiness’ and lets face it it is not a normal routine to have your entire abdominal organs manhandled and washed by hand in chemotherapy. Subsequently it throws in the white towel, and , after a period of time gradually comes back to life. The body also requires a vast amount of calories to enable this repair, and this is where the ‘Total Parental Nutrician’ (TPN) comes in. This calorific bag of goodness is currently going in through my veins bypassing my stomach completely. You are not supposed to be hungry when on TPN or crave food this early…. really, I don’t think so, this is one area where I am still match fit.
It is also a completely amazing that at various times nurses and doctors appear as if by magic to ‘ top up your magnesium’ or ‘give you some more potassium’ this process happens hour by hour based around the continual blood monitoring the overall aim of getting the body back to equilibrium. This along side the almost endless topping up of anti sickness drugs, pain relief and fluids.
Which brings me nicely onto the ‘Green’ reference, green really does seem to be the in colour around here.
Firstly the Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA)
Many of you will already be familiar with PCA if you have already had an operation. This little gem can can be found by even the most disorientated hand to be pressed to release instant gratification in the form of a fentanyl shot in my case.
I’m sure there’s film staring Tom Hanks with this title?
Actually in terms of yuckiness this is not too bad (trust me there is strong competition)
Whilst the stomach is rested during it hibernation a naso gastric tube (NG) continually drains the stomach of lovely luminous green bile. During the early stages pressure is also aspirated from the tube as any build up of pressure causes the most frightful nausea and vomiting (trust me it’s not nice)
You join our journeyman as he faithfully undergoes said aspiration whilst discussing life in general with the lovely Konstantina
I’m going to level with you I’m not really a jelly type of guy. Ice cream yes, but not jelly .
But when you have been a good boy and very brave Jelly is ‘introduced to see how it goes’.
The introduction of this innocuous pudding is both laborious and delicate, if it’s too soon then your body tells you so by wanting to eject it back up through the NG tube, tiny tiny morsels are taken a spoon at a time with Ali and I spending an entire hour just eating the one pot (that’s me not Ali) .
Each morsel is followed by a long pause…
“Feel sick? … feel Nausious?” .
It’s a game of trial and error, don’t rush and don’t expect too much too soon.
This clear fluids policy eventually leads to promotion to the rank of ‘Free fluids’, this aspiring rank means things such as ‘ice cream’ and ‘potato and leak soup’ now take centre stage, and when you become an officer, well the world’s your oyster!
Onwards and upwards