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Saturday, 13 April 2013

My First: laparoscopic cholecystectomy

Well, that sounds impressive doesn't it!lol All it means really is that I had my Gallbladder removed via keyhole surgery this week! I thought I would share this week with my friends this way, it saves me explaining what happened a few times and might make interesting reading to someone looking up the subject online as well :-)

As you all know a few weeks ago I had an ERCP which removed a load of gall stones which had become stuck in my bile duct and replaced them with a stent to prevent it from happening again while I waited to have my gallbladder removed. Well, Saturday night I started having a lot of pain again but nothing that I've not become used to so Dave went to sleep and left me to it as I asked him to. At 4 am I woke him and asked him if he would take me to the hospital, I'd just been sick and there was some blood in it, not much but it made the pain I was feeling so much worse and I knew there was something very wrong inside me.

When we got to the Hospital some of the staff seemed to recognise me even though it was months ago I last went through there, they understood what I was telling them and gave me some painkillers to help (and then even more when they didn't work!lol) After a couple of hours, some blood tests and X-rays I was admitted and moved to ASU and from there on to a surgical ward where for the first 3 days I shared with the same 3 women and had a a good time with them.

When I saw the doctor in the morning, he said I had an infection and because I was already being treated by someone over there he was going to prescribe some antibiotics and get in touch with my usual consultant for him to take over my care since he knew my history better and there was a chance that since I was there anyway he might want to do my operation if he could fit me in!

When I saw him he explained that sometimes the stents could cause infections and I was unlucky enough to be someone that this happened to and I don't regret having it put in as it solved a lot of my problems so I would not go back and not have it put in even with the problems it caused. He also said that he would like to remove my gallbladder while I was there and I was put on the list for the next day (Tuesday), sadly there were a few emergencies that came in that day and I was moved to Wednesday but I was kind of relieved when they said I wasn't having it Tuesday as I'd had an odd thing happen which at the time was annoying but looking back it was quite funny!

In the afternoon my pain was getting worse so I asked for my oral morphine to be switched to the injections which worked a bit better for me, the nurse agreed and went to prepare it. When she started to inject it into me, the syringe exploded and covered both me and her with the medicine! Sadly this meant I had to wait an hour to see if I'd gotten any of it before they could give me any more but looking back it probably looked quite funny for anyone seeing/hearing about it and it does put a smile on my face thinking about it now and that wasn't my only needle mishap either!

On Wednesday I was second on the list so was taken down to theatre quite early. I had a few laughs with the staff who were there to look after me while I was got ready and being anaesthetised and was complemented on how calm I was, having had a couple of operations in the past, I knew that if you were stressed or worried it just makes it all so much worse, keeping calm makes all the meds work better and means a better outcome for me and probably a better time for those looking after me too :-)

After I came to I had to stay in recovery for a bit longer, I'd had my other needle incident! When they tried to administer the paralytic drug there had been a problem and they'd had to put another needle into me and give me another dose so they had to make sure I came out of it all OK which I did. I was moved back to the ward after lunch and was soon well enough to call Dave and text Cathy and Dawn to let them know I was back in the land of the living and all was well.

I saw my consultant the next morning and he told me he'd left a tiny piece of my gallbladder behind to keep the stent in place and from causing any more harm but that small piece would do me no further harm and the stent would be removed in 6-8 weeks. He also told me my gallbladder was very seriously infected so I'm so glad I listened to my body and went back last weekend as if I hadn't things could have been so much worse for me. He had put a drain in which he said could be removed Friday morning and if there were no problems I could go home YAY!

I spent the rest of Thursday continuing my work which I'd started the night before, I was determined to get better and back to normal as soon as possible and so with the approval of the nurses on the ward I was up and walking around as much as I could without doing too much. By the end of Thursday I was walking normally and able to get in and out of bed unaided, the nurses actually complimented me on how much I was helping myself get better and how well I was doing with it so I figured I was doing a good job :-D

Friday came around and so did my last visit with my consultant, he was very happy with me and my progress and said I could be discharged after having my drain out and set about prescribing my meds and after care so I set about getting myself ready and late morning the nurses came and removed my drain (which wasn't as bad as last time I had one out thankfully!) so I went and got washed up dressed and set about waiting for my drugs to turn up and discharge paperwork. As soon as that came I called Dave and got picked up and brought home.

I now feel so much better, I cant feel that pain anymore and it's such a relief that I know I'm never going to feel that again either. Yes, I'm a bit achey and I have enough tablets I need to take for the next week I think I'm going to rattle but I'm glad it's done now. I know some of you reading this will feel upset for me getting the infection from the procedure that I had done but please stop and think about the big picture. I needed to have that done, the infection was not intended it's just something that can happen in a small number of cases and without me having that, I'd still be in pain every day until June/July when I was scheduled to have my operation. So yes, it was a dangerous thing to happen but I'm glad it did as the end result was so worth it.

Finally, if any of them are reading this, I would love to thank the staff of Southampton General Hospital and especially the nurses from F6 and all the other doctors, nurses and other staff involved in my care who helped me so much, you're all amazing!

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