Monday, 16 February 2009

Leaving the hospital

Monday morning I was woken up by Dr Suporn at 6am to have my internal packing and catheter removed. He assured me it wouldn't hurt and I was feeling fairly relaxed anyway. He started to pull what I can only describe as a 'ribbon' from inside me. It seemed endless and I lay there thinking it must be the end soon, but it kept coming. When it finally ended, Dr Suporn said he was going to remove the catheter. I'd heard mixed reactions about whether or not this hurt. He removed the bag and inserted a syringe into the tube. Its contents was to lubricate my urinary tract to make removing the catheter easier, and when he squeezed it in, it gave a pleasant feeling. Then he pulled the catheter from within me and much the same feeling was achieved. Next it was time for him to show me how to dilate. I wasn't looking forward to this at all. He told me the depth that he had achieved in surgery (sorry, that's for me only), and placed a condom on the dilator. It was then covered in KY jelly for lubrication and I was told to sit up at 45 degrees and relax my tummy muscles. I did what I was told and just relaxed, it slid in really easily. I guess that's to be expected as it's been held 'open' for a week. Either that, or he's done this before me thinks lol.

I was left to rest for another hour and the nurses came once again. I had to drink lots of water now that the catheter had been removed. I was told about 3 hours would fill the bladder and that as soon as I went for a "pee pee", I could leave the hospital. So I drank.... and I drank.... and I drank. Sure enough, about 3 hours later I was feeling ready for a wee. I pressed the buzzer for the nurse and as usual, they came within a few seconds. "You pee pee", they asked. "Yeah, pee pee", I replied. Again, the routine of getting off the bed started and I toddled off the toilet. I sat there, nothing new, but this newly re-arranged part of my body doesn't have a drivers manual. So I sat there, and sat there... I turned the tap on to see if that helped, but still I sat there. My next plan was to think of Wales. I know how odd that sounds, but in the past when I've had trouble peeing, I've always thought of Dolgoch Falls in Wales. So I sat there imagining all that water flowing and the sound that it makes, and also the peacefulness of the area. I was totally relaxed. I must have been on the toilet for about 10 minutes at this point and my bladder felt like it was about to burst. The nurse then poked her head round the door and said, "no pee pee?" I told her I needed to go but I hadn't yet, and off she went. She came back with an icepack wrapped in a flannel and it was placed onto my bladder. I held it there and it soon started to flow. The relief I felt was just fantastic and at the same time I was peeing like a girl for the first time. To just have it 'trickle' rather than 'blast' was a truly wonderful feeling for me, one that made me feel feminine again after being here for a week in an almost 'drab' mode. Then it was back to the bed for a lie down.

I sat there thinking, thank god, I can finally go back to the hotel. Well that's what I thought... I had drank so much water, which wasn't a bad thing, that I had to get up and 'pee pee' 4 more times before I was actually ready to leave. That done, my wheelchair arrived and I was pushed to the Suporn clinic minibus. It was quite a task getting back to the hotel, but I managed it easy enough. I think the key is to take things very slowly. I had a bottle of water on hand as the heat soon hits you. The air con in the minibus was on and I needed all the vents blasting onto me. I felt light headed and a little dizzy at times and it was such a relief to get onto my bed. Again, the exhaustion was back and so I slept. Jib came to my room at 4pm, to make sure I was ok with dilating on my own for the first time. There were questions I wanted to ask, and she was only too happy to answer them. We started, and she explained everything as we went along. It all went fairly easily but the hour seemed to take ages to pass.

When the hour had finally passed though, it was time to clean up. This in itself is very important and involves a few tasks. First, I take a syringe and using bottled water. Squirt 60ml into the vagina 3 times. On the fourth one, I take 50ml of water and 5ml of Betadene and squirt. This is always done while standing in the shower, to allow any lubricant, dead skin and free stitches to easily evacuate the vagina. I then clean the outside of the vagina with Hibiscrub and wash the rest of my body as normal. Its such a relief to get back to the bed and lie down, as the whole process from getting things together to getting back to the bed took about 2 hours. No surprise, I slept after room service delivered my spaghetti carbanara, which tasted truly fantastic in comparison to the hospital food.
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