I set my alarm so I could have a drink and some food before 6.30am the time when you are not allowed to eat or drink anything if your operation is later in the day. I didn’t feel like eating so I made a hot chocolate to drink to fill myself up. That is normally a very occasional evening drink.
As my operation was later in the day, I left some easy errands to do to keep my mind off the thought of the operation.I cooked a moussaka for when I came home, made my husband a packed lunch, went to buy some magazines, and packed my suitcase.
-changed into the surgical gown and pants,
-was weighed and had the normal medical checks of pulse, blood pressure etc
-was checked to see that I didn’t have any cuts or bites or bruises which could cause an infection
-was given an identity bracelet and another special red one as I am allergic to penicillin
-had a TED stocking put on my non operated leg to prevent DVTs
– I was to be given a spinal anaesthetic which would paralyse me from the waist down
– I would be sedated which would feel as if I was asleep and would not know what was going on
-this is preferred for lower limb joint replacements because it is easier, more effective and much safer.
-I would still have control of my airways and breathing and be able to cough and swallow, just like when being asleep.
-When I woke up, there wouldn’t be any after effects as you may get with a general anaesthetic.
-asked if I had any incontinence issues in case I would need a catheter after the operation (three people asked me afterwards if I had to have a catheter and the answer is you don’t one unless you have continence issues)
-explained the consent form which I signed it for my agreement to the procedure
– drew an indelible arrow on the leg to be operated on.
-I was wheeled in silence along a seemingly never ending corridor to an ante room to the operating theatre. This was the scariest bit.
– the anaesthetist gave me the injections for the spinal anaesthetic and the sedative for the operation
-Sting was playing on the radio; ‘Every move you make, every breath you take, I’ll be watching you.’ As the sedation took hold, I was floating happily down a psychedelic staircase. I woke up to the sound of people wrapping bandaging round my knee.