Trying to recall the fear from this morning is difficult. For a start is was a good 14 plus hours ago and seeing as the secret operation was a success, I feel like there is less for me to complain about it. I would not be me, however, if I did not complain. I am British after all (with a little mix).
So, once the operation was explained to me and I was fortunate enough for a consultant to afford me some time to consult before he operated. Let’s be clear about this though, the consult was not before the theatre had been booked, procedure diarised, I was showered and disinfected and what else, yes, I had been asked to sign a form of consent.
Man, at 08:00hrs this morning, I felt like one lucky girl…. I like to think of the operation as a procedure as it appeared to be minimally invasive. Big Sister had already decided this yesterday after a search on Google yesterday. Google is our real best friend. Anyway, the purpose of the operation was pain relief. The surgeons explained it to me as follows:
1/ I had a fractured vertebra. It was my L4. The fracture was in the middle of the vertebra and there had been some collapse, which was creating increased pressure and obviously pain. There was also an outside chance of further, more permanent damage.
2/ So, after consultation with my medical team at UCL the talented doctors here, because of my age and good health, had decided to operate. It is unfortunate that these Doctors are surrounded by inept night nurses (I had another 90 minute wait for my emergency pain relief this evening) and communication errors or as I rather angrily and inarticulately referred to it this morning as ‘the worst patient care I have ever experienced’. I really have not experienced a lot.
3/ The operation involved placing two biopsy needles in my back, through the fractured vertebra, then inflating a balloon to create a space in the fracture and then filling said space with, what I am sure is, medical cement, whilst all the time, trying not to hit a nerve. Hitting a nerve, I am told, may have resulted in permanent paralysis including bladder and bowel problems. FYI, this would not have helped in my quest to get special cuddles.
I have replicated the procedure in the diagram below.
So, operate they did. Needless to say, I was petrified and desperately wanted my Big Sister with me.