Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Back on the ward

Once I woke up after my endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenoma resection surgery (that's what they called it on the forms!) I had half an hour or so in the post-surgical recovery area to rehydrate and have regular neurological checks. I had these throughout my time in hospital, with decreasing regularity. They ask you where you are, what year it is etc (it usually takes me until at least February to readjust to a new year so I had to concentrate for that one), then there are physical tests; squeezing hands, pulling and pushing with your hands and feet etc. to check that nothing weird's going on in your head.

The last time I had pituitary surgery, I was pretty perky afterwards, probably because I had a whole bunch of morphine when I woke up. This time however, my head barely hurt when I woke up, so no morphine, so I was rather more subdued... Which I think everyone else was probably thankful for. I was taken onto the ward and my parents arrived not long after. A nurse brought me a yoghurt to eat and then a tuna sandwich - I only managed about a quarter of it, but it was really nice to have some food, and when the tea trolley came around I was practically in heaven.

At first I had to have observations taken every half an hour for the first six hours, then once an hour for six hours, then every two hours, and so on. Observations involved measuring blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing rate, pupil response to having bright light shone in them (usual response: argh, get that light out of my face), and the aforementioned neurological tests.

I was really not in much pain at all, I had some paracetemol and that was all I needed with regards to painkillers - I was up and walking to the loo within two hours of waking up, so I did pretty well I think. They start you on hydrocortisone, a steroid medication, immediately after surgery (via IV drip initially) because there's always a risk that your body will stop producing steroid hormone after the operation, which may be temporary or permanent.

The most exciting thing to happen was a ninja nosebleed, which suddenly appeared from out of the blue. A nurse ran up to the neurosurgical theatres to grab a selection of bandages wrapped up in bandages, to tie around my face like an attractive surgical moustache and catch any unexpected oozing.

1 comment:

  1. Great to have you blogging again and with some positive improvements to your health after surgery. And you have kept your sense of humour/wit!
    These recent posts are so close to home for me, even though my surgery was two years ago now. Reading these makes it feel like it is happening now -even just the hospital routine. So the are very cathartic !
    So keep up the journalling, It is good to know you are writing it all "after the event". Keep it going