So here I am, I made it to the other side and a different adventure begins here. I genuinely feel that writing is helping me process everything that is happening so please forgive me as I ramble my way through (oh and please forgive the typing… my excuse is that I only have one eye now!)
Saying goodbye to the kids on Tuesday night was possibly one of the worst experiences throughout the whole of this. My rational brain knew that I was going to be ok, but the irrational side of me made sure that I squeezed them extra tightly and smelt their hair just in case it was the last time. An emotional goodbye and we set off to Sheffield. It was really strange arriving in Sheffield to the hospital that was pretty much closed, visiting hours had just finished and there were streams of family and friends coming out of the hospital as we picked up the keys to our overnight accommodation. A basic room where every single spring could be felt through the mattress, but very grateful that we could stay in the hospital ready for the next morning. I think that watching ‘The Great British Bake Off Stand Up to Cancer’ may have been a mistake though as my already fragile state was sent over the edge with their story of a child battling with the a dreadful form of cancer.
Another sleepless night and I was up early on a beautiful Spring morning ready for the day ahead. I’ve always said that the NHS staff are bloody amazing and today was no exception. They gave me time, they were patient with my silly questions, tears, dreadful sense of humour and random anxieties and helped calm my nerves (I was also quite pleased that Mr Salvi wasn’t wearing his jazzy socks to theatre…) they made sure that I understood what was happening and drew extra arrows towards my left eye, just to make me feel comfortable that they had the correct one….and then it was time for me to go… a huge bear hug from Mr Me-Myself-and-Eye and then the long walk to the theatre.
There are a LOT of people involved with an operation, more than I expected and certainly more than is depicted on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy… (note to self, do not take what you see on that programme as gospel as to what happens in a hospital) The theatre itself was really quiet as they asked me again to confirm who I was, checked my QR code on my wrist band… yep really, you get a QR code! and then the Anaesthetist popped in the cannula. The last thing I remember is Mr Salvi wiping the tears away from my eyes….
Coming round, I felt like I had had an AMAZING sleep, I had a cracking head ache and the oxygen mask was annoying (as was the whopping great eye mask that I had on) but I felt like I had had a great nights sleep! I must have dosed off again because before I knew it I was up on a ward (either that or I had time travelled…. I actually like to think that it was the latter) I brought the average age down on the ward by 40 years (there is a theme to me being the youngest…) and the heat was approximately a billion degrees, which was pleasant…. and just to add insult to injury I was placed by a window that wouldn’t open, so I could see the beautiful Spring day and right across Sheffield, but there was no way I could access it….
I didn’t have my phone on me to send amusing messages or mindlessly scroll through facebook and so I had to just lie there and chill out before the hubby arrived. Time passed by being offered 4 cups of tea…which were all passable, thank god, and making friends with the lady in the next bed who was 80 and had 3 children, 6 grandchildren and was one of 11 herself.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful and I was surprised at how good I felt… It could have been because it was international happiness day, it could have been all of the positive thoughts and love that were sent my way or it could have been the wonderful drugs that I was on…. I think it was a combination of all of them!
Mr Me-Myself-and-Eye arrived with my phone and Sushi and we both sat and chatted and took some silly selfies…. it’s actually quite possibly the longest time we have spoken without being interrupted since having the chiblets….. good to know that we don’t have to do that again for at least another 7 years…. I was especially grateful when he informed me that he had packed his running kit to go for a little run the next morning and he was looking forward to his award winning breakfast in his boutique hotel that he had booked….. I had a feeling that this was turning into a mini city break for him….
My lovely nurse Rhona popped up to see me before she went home, as did my Dr who had a massive smile on his face and told me that it was his best operation that he had had in a month! Not really sure how to interpret that… did that mean he was utterly s**t before hand or had messed up a load of ops in the month before….? I had reliably been informed before my op that my Dr was ‘world class’ and the ‘best that there could be.’ Obviously that made me feel great, but also got me thinking that they must say that to everyone? They are not going to go around saying…”Well, we couldn’t get you the world’s best, so we got you the second best…. they are a little bit c**p but they get the job done…”
Once visiting hours were over and everything started to wind down for the night, I could feel the panic starting to descend. I am really good at quietening down my Siren voice in the day and pushing away negativity, making sure that I fill my heart with positivity, love, life and Mini Mermaid, but at night, Siren can get loud and wants to take over my heart and head. Hospitals are really strange and eerie at night time, it’s when the cries and pain are at their loudest and sleep isn’t really an option. The last time I had to stay in hospital was when I had my kids and the night was filled with the cries of the new lives, mumma’s walking the corridors settling their new charges and midwives and nurses chatting happily and helping feed the little bubbas. This time is was very different, the cries were from people in pain, lonely and scared and it was hard to block the sounds out, I wanted to go and help comfort people but couldn’t. In the end I plugged my earphones in and listened to radio 4, waking up probably every 30 minutes or so but feeling comforted by the shipping forecast, the world service and the classic, farming today.
So there we are, it’s done. A new stage of my life now begins. It’s going to be a bit different and at times challenging, but my cousin reminded me of a phrase I said to her when I took her out on a very pleasant 3 mile run 13 years ago ‘You’re a Corne, we don’t give up’ I am certainly going to embrace this with each new stage that this one eyed business brings… thanks Becks!