wow, why has anyone ever told me how wonderful a general anaesthetic is? i have not slept as well since forever and somehow even managed to sleep nearly through the night last night as well. once up for 2 painkillers and straight back to bed. all went well except that he had to take bone out of my palate and back gum to fill in for some bone loss. the titanium pin is now in the mouth and I have lots of stitches and everything fine EXCEPT for the fact that the false cap (have to use it for 6 – 12 weeks until the bone regenerates) does not fit properly because of all the stitches. not really a train smash but no big smiles for me until the stitches are out, i suppose. i also cannot understand why they have stopped making chicklet chewing gum – remember those pearly white squared gum? – every bloomin chewing gum is now a colour. 1 chicklet would have been ideal to fill the gap.
i had the most interesting time in the ward waiting to be taken into theatre. nothing to eat or drink since 9.30 the night before, told to get there at 7.45 and only ended up going into theatre at 11.45. anyway i was in the ward for so long and heard everyone’s medical history. just up my street.
1. young girl next to me needs to have her wisdom teeth out – nothing unusual there except she confesses to the anaesthetist that she does use recreational drugs and has a problem with her nose (serious sniffer). he did not bat an eyelid to her confession and went straight on to the next question. quite interesting is that she was having her wisdom teeth out and had one rotten molar which they took out as well and replaced with a wisdom tooth that was in perfect condition but too cramped - a tooth transplant - amazing.
2. older lady diagonally opposite having plastic surgery to remove a cyst on her hand. quite a luscious young plastic surgeon in to examine her and questions her as to who did her breast implants “they look great”. she then went on to praise dr d and gave all details of this operation to this new kid on the block. then her anaesthetist arrives and she gives him her medical background. she only takes 2 valium a day.
3. lady on the other side of me is having liposuction done on her double chin. does not chat much and is not gone for very long. comes back into the ward with bandages and ice pack covering her head and shoulders.
4. lady directly opposite me – around 40 – having a melanoma removed from her shoulder. very quietly spoken so i could not hear all her details and she was very involved in the “dragon tattoo” and not very friendly.
5. this is the lady that was just the best. 83 years old, botanist, lives in rondebosch has a growth on her nose. refuses to take her clothes off (an entire patchwork outfit - jacket (with hood), pants and knitted cap) until she gets extra blankets “once i start shivering i cannot stop”. she gives loretta, the admittance nurse and my new best friend (she grew up at 9 st denis road and needed a run down on all the neighbours) a hard time but nothing compared to the poor lady from security who locks away your valuables. the security lady came in with a plastic courier bag (“where the hell are you posting my stuff to?”), she opens your purse and lists every single card (“you don’t need to write that one down, throw it away it is a used gift card”) and counts your money. this all became a bit much for her and she called for her daughter. she snatched everything away from the security lady and told her daughter to look after her purse (“don’t spend anything , i know how much is there”).
the daughter needs mention too (wild curly hair, rucksack on her back, 54 years old). doing her doctorate – nutty professor type, “i don’t have time to sit here all the time mummy, i have to study”. but i am about to hear more about her because after giving loretta a couple of tips about what to feed her mother when she comes around she leaves in a huff. mother shouts out to daughter as she leaves “ok go, i love you darling and remember not to let michael get hold of my car keys”
loretta now has her clipboard and starts asking the questions. it took me about 5 minutes before i realised that if I did not take notes i would never be able to remember these answers and would miss out completely on some interesting stuff. so i am now referring to my little orange diary (quite the journo, hey?):-
after taking her blood pressure and being told it was on the low side but not abnormally low:-
“that is good, last week it was 55/33 and my chemist would not let me walk home”
on telling her that she would be taking her temperature in her ear:-
“in my ear? that's a new one but better than having it up my bum!!”
allergies (and sorry i could not get these all down):-
“bread, milk, nuts, ……… just bring me black tea with lots of sugar. i am not supposed to have lots of sugar but i need it. i have a tin of condensed milk every day.”
“oh my god asprin, don’t let it anywhere near me. if i take it, 2 minutes later it is out of my system, rushes through my body, straight out – i have a damaged rectal nerve so do not have good control”
“pencillin is not good for my stomach either”
any psychiatric medication?:-
“lucky not me, my daughter who was here, she is psychotic. we have a whole cupboard full of medication that she is on.”
make-up, nail polish, piercings?:- (this question she is asking a woman who has bright orange lipstick which is bleeding in her wrinkles up to her nose and onto her chin)
“i did put on some lipstick this morning, is it still on? nail polish – my husband died 10 years ago and i have not bothered since. piercings – only my ears, one on my nose closed up ages ago.”
diverticulitis, pacemaker, low blood sugar, deformed colon, rectal nerve damage, hiatus hernia – please keep me propped up when i come out of theatre or i will be vomiting phlegm... i often vomit up phlegm in the night..................”
“pacemaker, one of those things where they scrape out your womb and a trigger thumb operation”
“yes only 10 a day. was 30 a day but far too expensive now”
i then missed the rest but when i woke up she was already getting dressed to leave, she was given a hot lunch “meat loaf, very bland and rice, not basmati but ok. i live on rice you know, chop my home grown spinach into it, lasts me for a week”. she had her operation done under conscious sedation “you know that stuff they use for date rape – wonderful stuff”. when michael came to fetch me at about 3.30 she was fully dressed on her bed waiting for her daughter to come and fetch her. i was tempted to offer her a lift home but thought it would complicate things as her daughter had left rondebosch to fetch her in claremont “over an hour ago”. very "o double d". wish i had taken a picture of her for you.