The day finally arrived. I hadn’t slept much, I guess due to the anticipation, nerves and excitement. I got up at 6.30am to have my breakfast and a drink (porridge and a pint of water). From 7am I was nil by mouth. After a few last minute preparation and collecting some arnica tablets I set off on the hour commute to the hospital.
It is a lovely private hospital in North London. I’m quickly shown to my room. Over the next four and a half I am visited by nurses, the anaesthetist and my surgeon. I’m dressed in surgical stockings, a gown (ah the joy) and slippers. They take my weight and height, heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. My surgeon then comes along and draws on my face.
At five thirty; hungry and thirsty; I am collected to go to theatre. Once on the bed in the preparation room I suddenly get really scared. I have to concentrate hard to stop myself from crying. The anaesthetist talks to me about actors, trying to distract me while he injects me with a few syringes worth of fluids, each one pushing a wave of cold tingles around my body, slurring my speech and clouding my thoughts. Blackout.
I awake in recovery over an hour later, woh my face hurts! My throat is red raw, glands swollen and nose is cast and packed so breathing is restricted. I burst into tears whilst I try desperately to ask if everything went ok. I am reassured by a kind man in scrubs that everything was fine and told not to touch my eyes (something about having cream on my eyes or something). I’m brought back to my room to the relief of my boyfriend; who had gotten into a panic because I was an hour longer than expected.
He kisses my forehead and I burst into tears again. Spaced out I slip in and out of consciousness. The porters move me from the theatre trolly to the hospital bed “I feel sick I mumble….I’m going to be sick”. I’m passed a pan but nothing. I lie back whilst I’m tucked in and checked over. The porters and nurse leave me with my man. He helps me to sip some water through a straw; no sooner had it hit my stomach and the nausea returns. This time it’s for real and to my boyfriends horror I’m vomiting blood. He buzzes for the nurse. She explains that’s it’s normal and nothing to worry about.
Finally my man leaves me for the evening to recoup in my hospital bed. Having thrown up blood many more times I began to feel at 11pm that perhaps I could try to eat. I assumed wrong…poor little porter who enters with my tray announcing “Your dinner ready”, only to hear the response “I don’t feel well” and then the red flow. Needless to say, I haven’t eaten today at all. Time now to try to sleep this off.