Monday, 11 May 2015

And finally

It's here, it's finally arrived.

Today I left Yeovil and journeyed to Brighton. The day has been interesting to say the least.

Over the weekend I've been trying to get some last minute tasks out of the way while I'm physically able to do them. Fixing the hinges on my son's desk, getting a ladder from the loft so that I don't have to try and haul myself up from the step ladder every time I need to go up there, cutting the grass and getting rid of the grass cuttings as well as some of the other rubbish that was still sitting in the garden. All of that was done by yesterday morning before we headed off to Wales to see my Dad.

We had to come back early from Wales because a certain young man wasn't feeling well. After getting him checked over at the hospital I had the opportunity to put gather together a last batch of rubbish to go to the recycling center, which is where today started.

The garden and patio are now in a state where we will actually be able to sit out in them when the weather is nice during the summer. We might even be able to enjoy the odd barbeque, eat out on the patio table and enjoy any warm summer nights.

On the way to the dump my wife pointed out to me that my son and I had not said goodbye to each other :-o so we headed back to the house to pick him up so he could be dropped off at college while I collected my pre-operation test results. Even after that he almost jumped into the front seat of the car without saying bye, I really think he's taking my operation a bit too much in his stride, but then I suppose that's the result of him spending so much time in hospital and having surgery.

While I was in the doctors my son got dropped off at college, and then it was time for me to go to the train station. Before that could happen we made a quick stop so I could pick up a luggage label for my case and, on a spur of the moment impulse, a present for my son to have tomorrow. Knowing how much he's enjoying snooker at the moment I've got him a new snooker cue with an extension part, case, chalks and extra tips. I'm sure he's going to like that when he receives it tomorrow evening.

Arriving at the train station we sat around for a short while before my train arrived and I started the first leg of my journey. As the train left the station I could see my wife was getting a bit teary, all of this is not just a big thing for me, it's a big thing for her too. This week she will finally be losing the man that she married with no way for him to return.

The train journey itself was pretty uneventful. Two changes of train later and I finally arrived in Brighton.

Leaving the station I was confronted by a mass of taxis. Spotting the taxi rank I pulled my suitcase across and let a woman that arrived just after me have the first available one. The woman that then waltzed up and jumped into the one I was going to grab I did find annoying. Still the taxi I did get into was spacious and the driver friendly.

After checking in at the hospital reception I was shown to my room. Bedroom 14, with a lovely view over the countryside down to the English Channel. Well it would be a lovely view if it wasn't for the fact that there is just a bank of mist out there at the moment that has grown worse through the day until you can't even see the field outside the hospital.

Once in my room I began to unpack and had just managed to put away some of my more intimate items when in walked Mr Yelland, the surgeon who is doing my chest reconstruction (breast enlargement). He wanted to go through the consent form with me and take a couple of pictures of my chest. No problems at all, well unless you count the fact that I couldn't get my top back on afterwards, and had to give up and wait until he'd gone to take it off and sort it out properly. Hopefully he'll be able to manage my sports bra a bit easier tomorrow than I did at getting dressed.

The nurse looking after me popped in after a while and when he did I mentioned that I was supposed to have a mammogram. He disappeared to check and then explained where I needed to go.

If you've ever had a mammogram then you'll understand what an experience it is. This was my first ever mammogram and it proved an interesting experience for both myself and the nurse performing it. Normally you would be able to perform the scan of both breasts at the same time. In my case we had to do each one individually because of the operation I had to remove the tissue from the one breast. With very little tissue to get into the scanner on that side it was certainly an experience. I'm not expecting to hear anything about the results, unless Mr Yelland sees something that I need to know about.

Returning to my room I got settled in, and then my next visitor arrived. Mr Thomas's secretary arrived with a present for me. My post-op pack. Lots of goodies including the all important dilators that will become two of my best friends over the next few months.

As the cost of the pack was such that she needed to get me change I wandered down the drinks machine to get myself a coffee. At this point I got to finally meet Liz, the senior nurse, that handles all the girls that go through this surgery with Mr Thomas. We had a lovely chat as I returned to my room.

Observations, more form filling and an explanation of my post-op care from my nurse followed and then I was left alone. Sitting with my laptop, browsing websites, writing this blog post, talking to my family on the phone, setting up some writing prompts all has taken up bits of time.

Dinner eventually arrived and I got to enjoy my first taste of the low residue diet I'll be on at various points over the next 8 days. Steamed fish, white rice and carrots with jelly for pudding. Having not eaten since lunchtime it wasn't too bad.

With dinner out of the way I then had a visit from a young doctor who asked me a few more questions and then went over some more of my post-op care and also wrote up a prescription for a sleeping tablet in case I want it. I'm thinking that I might take it so that I can get a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow is after all going to be a very big day, how much of it I will remember I don't know but one thing is certain, the day that I've waited for so long will have finally arrived.