Monday morning, up and normal routine was undertaken. Kids were dropped off at school by my wife and then she returned to the bungalow to get things sorted in preparation to drive me to the hospital to have the metal removed from my left forearm, approximately one month since I was last in to have the operation which could not go ahead. We left the bungalow with a reasonable amount of time to arrive, park and get to the ward. Parking now is a little more difficult as the new Chucklebus won’t fit in the multi-storey car park and there seems to be a real lack of disabled spaces in the outside parking areas. We arrived at the hospital and eventually found a space, it was a bit of a squeeze as it was not a disabled space but we were finally parked. My wife got me out of the Chucklebus and we made our way to the ward.
We made our way through the corridors and in the lift until we eventually arrived at the ward in which I would be waiting for my operation to happen. The nurse came over to the bed that I had been allocated and set about working her way through the paperwork required to check that all of my details were correct and that I was in for the right operation. After the half an hour or so that it had taken for the paperwork to be completed the visits from the other staff began. The surgeon came round to speak to me, the anaesthetist and the guys who would be taking me down to theatre. I was informed that I would be second on the list of operations which would mean that I would be going in to theatre at around 15.30 ish and would be therefore taken down for the anesthetic at around 15.00. My wife headed off to give my Brother the Chucklebus and take his car home, he would be coming to collect me after he had finished work to save my wife having to return to Taunton in the evening and having to bring the kids out as well.
At around 14.30 I got on to the hospital bed and got changed in to the very fetching hospital gown and waited for the staff to come and collect me. Fortunately I did not have to wait for too long as at approximately 14.50 I was collected and taken down to the room where my arm would be made numb by way of a nerve block. I lay on my bed with my left arm up and folded leaving my head resting on my hand, this ensured that they could use the ultrasound machine to find the correct nerve in order to block it. Very cold spray was used to temporarily numb under my arm while they put a needle I believe it was in to administer the anesthetic. I could feel my hand twitching which was the sign that it was the right nerve and then I felt `pins and needles` in it, after which I could feel nothing in it, mission accomplished, the nerve had been successfully blocked. I was given some antibiotics and some medicine to try to calm my leg spasms down via the cannula in my hand. Hopefully, the legs would calm down or this would potentially cause problems for my surgeon, he would be working in very close proximity to my nerves and veins, the last thing he would need is for me to be doing a rendition of Riverdance while lying on the operating table!
At around 16.00 I was wheeled in to the operating theater, I said hello to my surgeon and we had a brief chat while he reiterated what was going to happen. The `vale` was put in front of my face so that I would not be able to see what was happening and everyone prepared their own bit of the task in hand. Due to the medication I had received for the spams in my legs I was required to have an oxygen mask, not a problem, but there was now a problem with my legs. They simply would not settle down, at this moment, literally all that was missing was music and a long line of Irish dancing girls. I joked that perhaps we should just get some `Gaffa tape` and stick me to the operating table. There was a brief silence and one of the nurses said, “That’s not such a bad idea.” I did wonder at this point what was going to happen and literally a few seconds later, the nurse came back with a long strap. Two of the staff used a blanket which was put over my legs after being being folded in to a kind of a roll and then the strap was placed over the top of this and my legs were then secured to the table. Whilst the spasms were still happening, the rest of my body was still and therefore would not cause my surgeon any other problems.
I was awake throughout the operation. I was happily talking to the staff and trying to figure out what was going on. I could feel when the surgeon was trying to undo the screws in my my arm to release the plate. He spoke to me and told me that the screws were reluctant to come out and that the heads of the screws were rounding, in order for him to be able to remove them he would need to drill them out. This was mainly to prepare me for the sounds that I would be hearing whilst he did it. He kept me updated on the progress, it was quite surreal that I was having a conversation with a guy who was drilling INSIDE my arm, a little random I have to say. There were two screws left, my surgeon was drilling and then he stopped, he told me that the screws would not move and that to remove the plate he would need to take the heads off of the screws first. I could feel the heads being knocked off because it vibrated up through the top part of my arm. A short while later my surgeon showed me the plate and explained that he would now try to drill the two screws out. After some drilling my surgeon told me that he was having trouble getting them to move, it was then that I asked him if they would pose me any problems. He explained that they were obviously ok to be in my bones and that the intention had been for them to stay in and that it was purely the lack of movement in my wrist that they were being taken out. I therefore said that rather than risk something happening while trying to remove them, it may be just as well to leave them in. This was agreed as the best course of action, then I spent the time trying to figure out what part of the procedure we were at, I could feel the clamps release and then could kind of feel the skin being pulled in to place, I was telling the nurse what I thought was going on but let them know that my arm was not back to life to the point it needed more anesthetic. I did ask if what I thought was going on was right and he said that it was.
It took an hour and fifteen minutes for the operation, my surgeon was fantastic just as he was when he removed the metal from my right arm. I thanked him for what he had done and then I was wheeled in to the recovery room. There were two other patients in the room, both were groaning and were obviously coming round from being under for their operations. Because I had not been put under my time in recovery was relatively short, and as soon as they were happy I was collected and wheeled back to the ward. As they wheeled me in to the ward I passed my Brother who was sat waiting for my return ready to collect me. The staff informed us that I would not be able to leave until they had taken three recordings of my obs, this put our time of leaving back to around 20.00. Wasting no time at all, my Brother came over to my bed and got me dressed, then the staff found a hoist and they got me in to my wheelchair, all that was left now was for the third set of obs to be done and then we would be on our way. I was asked if I required any pain relief at around 19.00, to this I said yes as my arm was almost awake, unfortunately this pain relief did not arrive until 20.00 by which time it was too late, needless to say I was a little quiet on the journey home.
When we finally arrived at the bungalow my Brother helped my Wife get me in to bed where I simply lay in the hope that I would fall asleep really quickly. Shortly after I had been put to bed my Mother in Law came over after she had finished work to check how I was and to see if there was any help that my wife needed. we had a cup of tea and then I lay back down to go to sleep. My wife gave me pain killers in the night if I woke but other than that, I slept all night.
Tuesday was a day spent in bed, waking up having some pain killers and going to back to sleep. That was Tuesday apart from getting up and travelling to watch my Son go to his last week of horse riding for the disabled. He was a little upset as he had a headache but he did manage to complete his riding. When we got home, he had a light tea and then went to bed, closely followed by me going to bed also, hoping that Wednesday would be a pain free day.