D-Day was approaching. I’m not going to lie, I was scared shitless.
I returned to work the following day and cleared my desk. I didn’t know how long it would be until I came back (and in all honesty, a small part of me knew I wouldn’t be returning). I tied up all the loose ends, handed everything over and took a deep breath.
That Friday morning I drove with my Mum to St. James Infirmary in Leeds. My heart was in my mouth. I was just there for a pre-assessment. I had swabs taken to make sure I wasn’t bringing anything dodgy into the hospital. They measured me, weighed me and took blood. A few hundred questions later I was set free.
There’s a “hotel” at the top of the hospital. Who knew?! So we signed up to arrive there on Sunday night so I was there bright and early for my surgery on Monday morning.
We went home.
It was very strange to think that the next time I’d be back to the hospital I was going under the knife.
I was exhausted. Emotionally and physically.
Friday and Saturday were spent packing up my room at Rosie’s house. I’d been sharing my room since my Mum had arrived earlier in the week so I banished her to the spare room which had appeared. It was nice to get a bit of breathing space and have a good cry.
On Friday, Mum and I met some friends at a fair and watched the fireworks. Getting cuddles with these guys was the best and a very good distraction! I have a lot to thank this beautiful family for, oh just so much love!!!
On Saturday night Rosie and I went out into Holmfirth. She arrived late. I was miffed (but hey it’s Rosie, we all love her lateness and I should’ve been used to it by now so I got over pretty quickly). We went into The Winking Stag. We drank gin. A fuck tonne of gin. And if I remember rightly rum cocktails in teapots, but I could be wrong.
We talked and cried and talked and cried and pretty soon we had the basement to ourselves. To be fair we’d probably scared everyone off. The staff we’re fantastic, they could see we were obviously upset so they kept on bringing us very tasty drinks and checking up on us and even gave us free shots at the bar. This all seemed like a great idea at the time.
The next day, Marshal arrived to pick us up and take us to Manchester where we were meeting some friends for a crepe party. Yes, a crepe party. They are great. It is a party where everyone brings toppings and we make lots of crepes (similar to waffle parties of which I am also a fan). I was determined to go because I knew it would be the last time I saw some of my friends for a while.
Waking up the morning after, fully dressed after the night before, always a good sign and great way to start the day!
I was hungover. Really badly hungover. Alcohol on a reasonably empty stomach the night before had not been a great idea and my new veggie gluten free diet of not very much didn’t give me much opportunity to soak up the fumes of the night before. My mum came to my rescue and make a sort of ginger chia seed fruit mix, which was very strong and flavoursome and super tasty, so tasty I ate quite a lot of it hastily and dashed into the car. The journey over Saddleworth Moor was pretty bumpy and I was pretty green by the time we got to Ashton-Under-Lyne and I can only apologise to the drivers behind us who had to witness me being sick as we stopped at the Asda traffic lights. Classy bird me, but hey, I managed to not vomit in the car, chia seeds would’ve been a bitch to clean up! You’re welcome Marshal 🙂 So after a little diversion to Asda to get wet wipes and paracetamol we made it to the party.
I stayed in the car for a while, had a little nap and mustered up the courage to face people. It wasn’t the best crepe party I’d ever attended. Mainly because I didn’t eat anything apart from blueberries because… well newly I was newly gluten free… I’d forgotten about that so no crepes for me and I felt like death warmed up so I spent most of the afternoon curled up on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket chatting to lovely people, trying not to think about the adventure to come.
When I got home that evening I packed my bag, said my goodbyes and I drove my Mum and I to Leeds. We got to the hospital quite late. There was no one around. It was fun trying to figure out how to get into the “hotel”, lugging my bag around with me filed with stuff I in hindsight really didn’t need.
We finally got into our room after bumping into a very helpful cleaner. Huzzah! I got into my PJ’s and tried to sleep.
The room was pretty good to be fair, like your average Travel Lodge. Didn’t feel like much of a holiday though. I’m so glad my Mum was there with me. She’s a super hero!
In the morning I packed up my stuff and sleepily wandered to my ward on the Bexley Wing for 7.00am. I felt slightly begrudged at having to get out of my pyjamas to put on sensible clothes to then have to undress again, put on a beautiful, dashing robe and of course, the sexiest socks of all time.
Not long before my diagnosis I had invested in the softest, warmest dressing gown of all time. It was the best present to myself I had ever gotten so I was quite happy to be snuggled up in that as I waited. I had more bloods taken and chatted to the doctor. I then was asked a million and one questions by the anaesthetist who then disappeared and I waited again. It wasn’t long before another doctor arrived, I gave my mother the hugest hug of all time and walked down the corridor to the operating rooms.
I was lead into a waiting area and told to make myself comfortable on a bed.
Going for an operation means you have a shit load of small talk to do. Seriously, so many people to chat to in such a short period of time when you’re panicked to hell!
I sat a chatted to a lovely woman about nothing in particular and then another person in scrubs arrived. It was my surgeon. I apologised to him for “not recognising him with his little hat on”, I think that went down well. He asked how I was. I said hunky dory. He said great and he handed me over to Gina and Tina, two nurses who made a joke about being the dream team, G&T. I think my joke about the fact I could do with one or three of those at 8 am in the morning went down like a lead balloon, their loss. I got wheeled off to the anaesthesia room… (I don’t know what else to call it). I had one person trying to get a vein in my right hand and another person trying to get a vein in my left hand and another person looking at the crook of my elbow. Everyone was talking at once and occasionally people would talk to me and it was taking forever for me to register they were talking to be because I was terrified and trying to focus and SO much was going on at once. I was being told to keep really still and then I was being told to pump my fist and of course I was getting the instructions the wrong way round with the wrong hand and someone wasn’t able to find a vein, which hurt like a bitch and gave me the hugest bruise so the anaesthetist had to come and find a vein else where. It was all go. Finally the faffing seemed to be kind of done and the energy in the room became more focused on moving my bed and other things in the room. I was told to start thinking about that G&T and counting backwards and before I knew it I was out for the count.