No. I am not pregnant, or sitting at the window waiting for my ‘Date’ to arrive. I am actually keeping myself busy preparing for vitrectomy eye surgery at the end of the month.
Once I make a decision to go ahead with a particular surgery, I then work out what I need to make the recovery period as easy as possible. Six years ago, I was booked in for hip surgery (can you believe it was that long ago?) and prepared myself for every eventuality. It was worth it. I was totally on my own pins and independent after six weeks. All due thanks to Elly, George and a few friends.
Nurse Hitler Elly will don her matron’s cap once more and move back in with me to nag me back to normality care and help me through the awkward few days while posturing – head down for 55 minutes in every hour. Hopefully the posturing will not last more than a week, but I accept it might be longer. I have been told that “The vitrectomy patient’s daily routine will be much more manageable with the help of friends and family members”. Do I need to hide my camera?
Bathing should be fun. Would I find it easier to take a bath rather than a shower while keeping my head down? Next week, I’ll move the soap, shampoo and any other bathroom necessities to a low spot where they will be easily reachable. How soon can I wash my hair? I hate unwashed hair, but they (whoever ‘They’ are) say that if you leave hair long enough unwashed, the natural oils do the cleaning for you. I am not anxious to try that one for size!
My usual trousers with buttons and zips are not recommended or any clothing that needs to be pulled over my head. The jumpers and tops can all be washed and put away for the duration.
I have been shopping. I now possess a couple of pairs of trousers with elasticated waist bands and a couple of button through cardigans. I already had two button up shirts and I purchased a couple of night shirts, if I am cold, then my pyjama bottoms will pull on easily. Hell, I’ll have a great excuse for hanging about in a bath robe OR to join the world of the ONSIES!
All day facing floorward, might not help my back, I wonder if I pretend to be Buffy and go around on all fours, will it help or just confuse Elly? I have no wish to be fed dry doggie food or to lick my fluids out of a bowl. Woof! Woof!
I am told that swallowing will be easier if bending more from the waist than from the neck. All drinking should be done through a straw. Do they make straws suitable for hot drinks? If so, I have not found them yet…. I need to do some more research. If I drink more than two sips of cold water, my body goes cold from the inside and I stop. Give me boiled water and I will drink it by the bucket full. What a picture: me drinking with a bendy straw from a bucket!
The sleeping schedule has been tried. Sleeping face down will take a little getting used to. I have a V shaped pillow and I already made a start to get my body used to that idea. I managed one hours sleep face down on Wednesday. I hoped to increase by an hour each night and maybe by the time I go to surgery, my body will be comfortable with sleeping face down. Thursday night I managed to remain face downward all night but my back played merry hell most of Friday. Friday night was a total wash-out and I never slept at all. As Fagin sang: I think I need to think it out again! Mind you Elly tells me she has gone ahead and rented a Face Down Sleep Support. It is due to arrive a couple of days before I go to the hospital, so I’ll have a chance to practise with it.
I have a long low coffee table that will be useful for setting my food tray, drinks, tissues et cetera on. The leaflet given to me suggests ‘The patient may prefer softer foods which are easier to swallow’. That reminds me of a guy who had his jaw wired following an accident. He was a fan of McDonald’s – I am not. He bought his Big Mac and a Coke and brought them home, put everything in the blender and had his meal through a straw!
The actual operation will take place in day surgery under a local anaesthetic. Just like my previous cataract surgery on both my eyes, I will be wheeled into theatre in day clothes and the whole procedure will last about an hour while I am awake. It is most lightly that I will stay over-night in the hospital. I suppose that will depend on how things go on the day.
Now what more do I need… Plenty of tissues, straws and more meals for the freezer and a few wee treats for matron.