Operation day

The day of the total knee replacement finally arrived. I had to be at the hospital for one o’clock in the afternoon with the operation scheduled to start imbetween 3 and 4pm. This meant that I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything after six thirty in the morning. I made myself a schedule so I was not running around and panicking all day long.
 Alarm, 6.10am, Breakfast by 6.30am, Leave house, 12.15pm Arrive hospital 1pm. 

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.

On arriving at the hospital and the admission ward, I -:

-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

The anaesthetist came and explained how -:

– 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.

The surgeon came
-and checked my identity and asked if I had any last minute questions

-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.

When it was time for the operation-:

-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.

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