This time was very brutal and rough, much worse than the first time round.
The day started off with my fiancé and I turning up to the hospital at 10.30am, waiting a while to be checked in and then half an hour later being called through to check stats, weight, medical history etc. It was now I was told that the operation may not go ahead, due to there not being enough beds!!!!! Apparently if it's a day case or you are first on the list you will be ok. I was third!! I was so unhappy and panicky. I can not wait any longer for this. It will ruin everything!!
Eventually my consultant came through and before we could discuss anything I told him of my panic. He made me feel less anxious by saying he was hopeful and was going to press a few buttons after we had spoken.
He asked where we had left things last and I reminded him of the choice of place for battery and that I preferred the chest, so as to avoid many of the same issues. I asked if he could make it low and use the horrible bumpy scar, but he looked and didn't think he would be able to. Obviously I was disappointed but I accepted it. At this point I just wanted it done and over with!! He explained that I am having two leads put in the head, and the old one removed. These leads will both have the burst program that can't be felt, as we are using the new prodigy stimulator and that one lead is similar with straight contacts on it but the other has the contacts 360 degrees around the lead, meaning that the frequency can spread easier and perhaps not be so intense.
He then marked where my bra strap sits to avoid this area.
I also shared with him the issues about work and he agreed that there isn't much support for me and that they have been rather pushy.
He then went off to sort things out.
After what felt like ages later, but it was probably 15 minutes, the nurse came back to say it was good news and it would go ahead. I then spoke to the anaesthetist. He was very understanding about the sickness issue I have had previously and explained that there are 5 different types of anaesthetic that work indifferent ways, but only 3 can be used during the procedure. He said I hold all the risk factors for potential sickness from anaesthetic, as they are being young, fit and a non smoker.
Anyway, I felt listened to and in good hands. So I got into my gown and TED stockings and it wasn't long before I walked out the room, round the corner and straight into theatre. I think it was about 2pm.
I climbed up onto the stretcher, as they untied the gown and stuck the sticky pads on me to monitor heart rate etc. They then put the cannula in the back of my hand. The anaesthetist explained that he won't use gas to keep me under during the operation, as that is one part that can make people sick. He kept putting stuff through the cannula, I felt woozy but not gone. Then he attached a bag of white liquid to me saying I'll be going off very soon. It seemed quite a while that I thought I'm not asleep for, but then I must have gone!!!!
Next thing I know, I'm back in a little room with oxygen on my face. I really struggled to come round and think I tried 4 or 5 times before I could keep my eyes open. Eventually I asked the time, which was 5.20pm!! Where did that time go?? There must be things I can't remember because that is far too long!!!!
They seemed to be fussy a lot about my obs and eventually I heard the nurse say that I has weakness to one side. She said it could just be because of the anaesthetic but kept checking the pulse on my feet, marking crosses on my TED stockings to be able to check again later.
After a while of going in and out, I heard someone say that my fiancé was outside pacing about, so they let him in to see me. Usually they wouldn't allow visitors in the recovery area but he stayed until I was ready to transfer to a ward. I was in recovery for quite a while, being given a lot of drugs through my cannula. I tried to go to the toilet on a bed pan, but it isn't easy to go whilst lying down.
At some point my consultant and another member of the team came in to say that surgery all went well and they are pleased with it. He mentioned that they did use my old scar on my chest, so I'm really hoping that that will eventually be much less noticeable and neater.
But the pain!!!!!! My chest area, where the battery has now been placed, was super painful and heavy. My head felt pretty numb and massive. My abdomen didn't feel too bad but was obviously painful.
I ended up in IR (Itermittent radiology) as that was the only place there was a bed for me. I was the first one there but more people, who had had a range of different operations, arrived during the evening.
I realised that this time round I didn't feel sick. This was such a great feeling to know that I would have to go through physically being sick whilst being in so much pain.
I managed to eat quarter of a sandwich, which I didn't expect and made me have hope that the sickness wasn't going to happen this time round.
Later on in the evening, I needed the toilet but just didn't feel strong enough to get up. They brought me a bed pan, but I just couldn't go....AGAIN! They then talked about having to have a catheter if I didn't go, so I asked them to help me get up to go to the toilet. Getting up was really painful. My head was so painful and my shoulder seemed to pull back on my chest meaning I had to hold my arm across my body, as if it was broken. Despite all this, I managed to go to the toilet and getting back into bed was easier than the getting up.
I had a difficult night, trying to sleep with pain and all the noise. I think I had maybe two half hour sleeps. During the night, I realised that there was a patient on the ward who had cluster headaches and had had the same operation to help with that pain.
So, with the operation over, now it's just time to recover.
I feel hope and relief.