Saturday, 9 February 2019

After the op

After getting warmed up in Recovery I was taken back to the ward and tried to get a bit of food and drink down. I only really fancied toast but my mouth was so dry and my throat was sore so it took me aaaaaaages to eat it! The physio came round and ran through some exercises. Because of the nerve block, I wasn't able to do much, but the effort of standing up and then accidentally letting my arm swing around made me go very green... I laid down again and by the time they could see my blood pressure I was feeling a lot better, but it was still rather low - it reminded me of having the tilt table test done!
POTS man courtesy of

The only other thing of note that happened was that, as I leant forwards for some reason, I started choking. It felt as if there was a big lump of phlegm caught at the back of my mouth (I know, lovely!) but I couldn't cough it up. I mentioned this to one of the nurses but given that throat problems are very common after being intubated for surgery it wasn't a major concern for her or me. I mostly felt bad for having made such a revolting noise on the ward!

Anyway, finally I was allowed to go home and I was soooo happy! Back home my lovely mummy helped me with my tea, tied my hair up so I could wash my face, manhandled me into my pyjamas, squeezed the toothpaste onto my toothbrush, sorted my medication out, and helped me with all the other many little tiny things that are seriously tricky with one paralysed arm and a drugged up brain, like tearing off loo paper from the roll!
Heading home!
I'd hoped to have a good sleep because I was exhausted after a long day - I'd woken up early to get a tiny bit of breakfast in before my nil by mouth limit, and although I'd had a few hours asleep in the middle of the day I was still knackered by 10pm. Unfortunately my brain thought otherwise and woke me up several times between 10pm and midnight. I got my own back by knocking it out with two doses of muscle relaxants which was a bit naughty (technically wasn't supposed to take them within 24 hours of a general anaesthetic) but it did get me to sleep!

Since then, my shoulder has got a bit more sore (the nerve block wearing off) but I've been really pleased with how much movement I'm getting. I've only had a few moments where I forgot and tried to put weight through it and then it felt like being stabbed. Mostly, I can't wait to get the dressing off because right now I have one full-on power shoulder, I look ridiculous, and the puffiness and stickiness of the dressings are driving me mad!
It's a bit like having a giant nappy on my arm...
If it were just my shoulder, I'd be feeling good. Unfortunately, we have another problem, related to the lovely lump of phlegm I was choking on. It turns out it wasn't a lump of phlegm, but rather my uvula, which had been damaged by the tube when I was intubated. On Tuesday night it was, well, minging - instead of pink and neat, it was massive and black! On Thursday it had calmed down to just being very red, but since then it has gone white, which means it's infected. Yay.
I'm not going to inflict upon you a picture of my own uvula. It is unattractive right now! For a more fun representation of the uvula, please click here (I promise it isn't gross)
Now, an infected uvula may sound a bit unpleasant. It is sore, and because it's also swollen I still keep feeling like I'm choking. The worst pain, though, happens when I'm eating or drinking, and it feels as if someone is driving red hot pokers into my jaw through my ears. My aforementioned lovely mum has made some jelly for me, which is relatively easy to eat, but I really love fruit and it's all agonising to eat! Because of the infection, not eating properly, and generally feeling a bit meh I'm not feeling amazing. Hopefully it'll improve soon!
With the lovely Puro, putting his reins back on his bridle after he'd finished vaulting.
Yesterday I did get to go and do some coaching for a bit so that was a step in the right direction and good fun. 😊 Today I played in the garden for a bit on my barrel and attempting some turns on my wee floor beam (turns out these are real hard with an arm in a sling) and my lovely friends Helen and Laurie popped by for a bit. I even made it to work on Wednesday and Thursday which was maybe foolish but I'm glad I did! I'm still feeling (even!) more tired than usual and the ear ache and sore throat are getting me down but mostly I'm pretty chipper and hoping to get back to all my old tricks soon... 😁

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