The plan was to spend a maximum of 4 days in the hospital pre and post surgery. See, I was to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy which simply means the removal of the gall bladder without being cut open. But I spent 8 days! And I was very mad I had to. I hate hospitals, surgeons, doctors, nurses and patients as ironic as it may seem! I was never gladder being discharged from a ward like this time around. After giving birth to my daughter and really getting the best post-op care, I was so confident it was going to be the same process and care but I was very, very wrong I have never been wronger about anything health wise in my life!
Tuesday 19th April, 2016, was the date set for my surgery but I was to come in for official admission on Monday 18th. I came in the morning hours for their surgery clinic which takes place on Mondays at the Specialty Annex and it was a very long tiring day; before I could get my file (I still don't see why non-hospital staff patients can't go home with their files?! I believe they'll be more careful and with it and it'll cause less commotion during next appointment). But God sent me Dr S who did just about all the pre-admission process for me saving me a lot of stress which I didn't need pre-op! Later that evening I arrived with my trolley, carton of water and a 'basket' filled with plates, food flasks, water thermos, spoons etc... Left to me I wouldn't have bothered about that aspect but the lady, my colleague at work, Madame A who offered to stay with me (patient-relative) said I would need them. Women just like load *hides face* Madame A came in a few hours after I had with her own load too (LMAO) but was told by the nurses and matron that I wouldn't need anyone on the first night since no surgery was done and I wouldn't be needing anything I can't get myself. Oh well, it's their hospital, their rules so she stayed till nightfall promising to return very early the next day. We were told that I would be taken in first, we were two scheduled for surgery that day, and so by 08:00hrs I was to be wheeled onto the theatre. Madame A came pretty early as promised, to help me get ready but I had already cleaned up and was generally ready; no jewelries, hair neatly made, no metals anywhere on or in my body... I've had surgery before, I know the drill *winks* Oh yeah, the Dr's came in at night to question me, you know: if I have allergies and other relevant questions so as to know the drugs they would use on me and I told them everything: an ulcer patient, react to tramadol, don't use NSAIDs, of course a sickle cell pt, had surgery once; CS, was transfused after it, two pints and before that was transfused so many times during pregnancy and transfused the first time at 7yo, was addicted to pentazocine and I don't really react to it or morphine...phew *inhales & exhales* I feel like I wrote all that in one breath LOL! Well, they said that was very comprehensive information and I should get some rest before the next day. But after all had gone and till about 02:30hrs I couldn't sleep and so I entertained myself by watching movies and series on my laptop.
I almost forgot, I was placed on Bed 26, located in the first cubicle on your left when you enter and pass the Amenity rooms, Nurses station etc of Female Surgical Ward. There are 6 beds in that cubicle, Beds 25, 26, 27 to the right and Beds 28, 29 and 30 to the left. Bed 25 had a pediatric (2-3yo) female whom I heard drank poison and so had surgery, her plaster was on her neck and over her stomach. Bed 26 had me. Bed 27 had another pediatric (16yo) female who had been in there for 6 months came in with burns but was considerably healing only problem was, according to stories, when she was told she'd be discharged soon she stopped moving around and out of bed, stayed in a position that had her knee angles at 90° and as the days went by she kept healing and then got 'stuck', couldn't move her legs again. So while I was there her Dr's came by and said she would need to undergo a surgery that would release the tendons to help her move again. Her mother had to beg for assistance, a lot of money needed. Then bed 28 was empty till my third day when an old Fulani-like lady was brought in she had surgery done on her throat region, was told what it was, can't recall. Bed 29 had an Igbo lady, very kind, who seems to also have been in hospital for long, she told us a Calabar woman poured acid on her because she (the pt) asked for her money from her (Calabar lady). Her husband came in everyday, he's a soldier in the Nigerian Army and they lived somewhere down East in a cantonment where it happened. She said the other woman was locked in jail for life and her husband was to be dismissed from his position in the Army but she asked her husband not to bring him into the case for after the mother goes, the kids will have no one to take care of them! But, Alhamdulillah, like I mentioned earlier, she was healing well and had even started physiotherapy sessions for her arms *clapping at her progress*! Final Bed, 30 had the second lady that had her surgery same day as I did. Her CS site reopened or something like that and so she had to be re-stitched back. She was discharged on Saturday! *me wailing* Those were my cubicle tam *Does the cheer-leader stuff* Of course there are several other cubicles which contained different patients with different cases; RTA victims, Domestic accidents such as burns and the rest...I was anti-patients so I didn't interact with anyone!
When Madame A came the next day, she began to get bored of waiting for it seems somehow the minds of the Dr's changed and the other lady was taken in first. I was upset, it would have been kind of them to inform us of the change of plans *rme*! Since I didn't sleep much at night and nothing inspiring to do, I slept back. By 10:20hrs, I was woken up to change into the theatre gown and I had to look for Madame A so she could know I was going in, had to call her and give my mobile to the nurse who escorted me. I hate such confusion! I hate it! To be honest, I was a bit angry and it made my heart beat faster. We got into the theatre 10:40hrs and the place was so cool and quiet, I wouldn't have minded staying in there forever!!! By and by, after asking me some questions, again, if I had artificial teeth or crown, if I was I scared...I laughed, how could I be scared at that point in time? Then finally I was told to move from the wheelchair before the line to the cart across the line and then I can't remember if I was moved again...I should apologize at this point, I can't seem to remember a whole lot of things after I fell ill and became unconscious at The National Hospital, Abuja. A lot of things are not clear again! I'm really sorry. Anyways, there I was on the operating table looking around me, enjoying the cold and quiet, with my pulse, heart rate and SpO2 being checked, injections being prepared, IV line being set (those guys should be given awards for setting lines effortlessly and with a green cannula!) Dr. T came in and asked me "Fati when will you be returning to my OR?" Now that I think of it, I think he was codedly asking me when I intended to wake up after anaesthesia bl I remember my BP being 117/85 and one of the Dr's teasing me. He was standing over my head with the face mask I knew what his job was but I didn't know which Dua to perform, I just said all and any that came to mind and I checked the time, it was 11:00hrs. This is it, Ya Allah, I said as the Dr on my left began injecting and he got to a whitish looking injection and said codedly to the gas mask man to be set I checked the time again, it was 11:03hrs!
"Fatima, Fatima how are you?" I opened my eyes a bit and saw Dr T, the head surgeon standing over me and said to him "Both my shoulders are aching. I dunno if it's crises" and I think he tried explaining what was causing the pain, something about air having gone above my diaphragm and something, something else "oh my God, my shoulders are aching" I kept moaning in between sleeping and trying to stay awake. Then he gave me pethidine, yes I know because he told me he's going to give me pethidine to help with the pain so I remember that! Anything that helps with pain I do not forget! A couple of hours later I was being told by an annoying man who kept interrupting my sleep to close my mouth I remember telling him "My mouth is open because I'm thirsty and I want to drink water!" then going back to sleep. I was taken to the FSW not too happy about that for the ward was hot and noisy and I just wanted cool and quiet! I have nothing interesting to tell you dear readers about my first 24hrs post-op just the parts that piss a patient off like how no surgeon came to check on me the 1st 24hrs, how no haematologist came either and how without me eating, the Dr decided to give diclofenac after I specifically told them I have ulcer, how I had to keep calling a consultant I know to call any surgeon to come and attend to me because any Dr I called said "I'm not your team Dr" oh I'm happy to say, I said the same thing to another Dr, he was getting on my nerves so I told him to get away he's not my team dr! All Dr's that heard said that was not a very nice thing I did. Yeah but it's nice when a Dr does it to a patient. I get the whole "brother's keepers" things, after all we're just patients, one dies, ten more come in so the patient is not important!
Finally a consult was sent to the hematology department when I started having fever at night, crises and headaches from Thursday after I was cleared to be discharged on Friday by the surgeon. And I assumed things couldn't get any worse, I need to accept the negative vibes Nigerian Hospitals and staff send out. It took them a long time to show up but they did and I was very happy and proudly told Madame A, "My people have come, they will know what to do!" LMAO (accept the negative vibes). I'm not sure I want to write anything about them except I told them "Baku yi ba!" (You people are NOT it!) Why is Fati so rude to persons who are trying to help her? Some of you could be asking. Here's my answer: Honesty and truth usually present themselves in form of rudeness! I had four more night's of fever, headache and crises. Was transfused once when my PCV dropped to 18% and after transfusion no one bothered to check it again. I really wanted to go home, I was tired of their mess and I put my foot down on Monday 25th April, 2016 I was going home I couldn't bare the ward and all the screams at night and very nonchalant attitude of the Dr's. I had enough! That's when the hematology team decided I wasn't fully cleared to go home my X-Ray showed some pulmonary whatever infection and they needed me to be under their observation. Excuse me dear readers while I scream WHAT A LOAD OF TRASH! I WANT TO GO HOME! ALL THESE DAYS AND NO ONE PAID ATTENTION TO ME EXCEPT I CALLED SOMEONE TO CALL SOMEONE TO CALL THE TEAM AND NOW YOU WANT ME UNDER OBSERVATION? OBSERVE MY EXIT, IF YOU PLEASE!
Still took my appointment to see them on Wednesday! I'm a good patient, never forget it!!!!!
Still took my appointment to see them on Wednesday! I'm a good patient, never forget it!!!!!
Thanks for your patience dear readers! I hope to 'see' y'all in my next hospital series *winks