"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Pain relief

This will be my 3rd night on the sofa. No marital tiff but my insides and incision outsides are too sore to sleep on my side as yet and the bed is no good for sleeping propped up. Well more accurately I'm sure I snore. It is nice to wake up to a late summer misty view of White Nancy.

It's 2 days since I stopped pain killers. I'm definitely a wimp so Mr o'Blimey was obviously as particular and careful as the staff said he was and has minimsed damage. I was supposed to have an epidural abdominal block for post op pain. When I came round in recovery it wasn't numbing the right bits. I had sensation on my abdomen but lost muscle control above the diaphram and in my legs and arms. Not helpful when you try to breathe or move! After a couple of attempts at with/without the epidural it was obviously not right so they took it out. Self inflating lungs - hurrah! After that total blank for about 4 hours. Whatever care I was getting it must have worked as I by-passed High Dependency and woke up in the evening on the ward. I got a PCA infusion pump with my personal morphine supply. 'It won't work more often than every 5 minutes' says the nurse. In my stupour I took that to mean I should press it at least that often. Didn't take long to twig that I could try leaving it as long as possible and was chuffed to be at 2 hourly after a short time. 'Did I use too much' I asked when the nurses took it off me. Nope, only the equivalent of us giving you one injection.

I did prefer it to oral codeine though. This left me spaced out, "sleeping", definitely with mouth open, drooling and with a squint. Goodness knows what adding a sleeping pill would have done to me.

I got in a right tangle with the lines. A nasal canula with oxygen battled with the jugular IV. Tubes from elbow, wrist and back of hands. Drainage tubes etc. PCA buzzer looped over my wrist (my choice, if I dropped that no-one would notice for ages) and nurse buzzer tucked under pillow. Plastic 'cat's cradle'.

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