So after 12 days being an inpatient in Whiston Hospital I finally got home on Tuesday 7th June! I was beyond relieved to be home, not to knock the staff, the vast majority were amazing with me and I fully loved meeting every single one of them (Dr Chadwick, Rob, Kira, Jade, Lisa and Paul to name a few as if I was to name them all, this post wouldn’t end!). My relief came from the fact of how limited I was whilst in hospital. I’m someone who is quite adventurous, enjoys to do different things every day and I always have to be doing something, so having to stick to a routine of only nipping downstairs for an ice cream then having to return to the same old boring room had started to get me down. However, the long stay was desperately needed as if I’m honest, the few days before my discharge were definitely the worst.
Getting discharged didn’t come without a struggle. There were plenty of times they were ready to send me home because of how well I was coping but my stoma hadn’t started functioning, therefore not everyone was happy with me leaving, resulting in me staying in. I can’t explain how much I needed this time for my stoma to work, as when it finally started to work Sunday (5th June), I had plenty of pain ahead of me the following days. The pain was unbearable, severe cramping pains coming from my left side, all around my stoma and around my scars. I then started violently throwing up. I was in complete agony and I didn’t know why and I was absolutely terrified. I had so many thoughts going through my head of what had went wrong or if me throwing up had something to do with my Liver tumours getting worse and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere as the on-call doctor wasn’t even available to come check on me. I was due to leave so had my cannula taken out in the morning meaning that there was no way to quickly put any painkillers or anti-sickness in me so they tried me with tablets (which I then threw up) and then an anti-sickness jab in my arm, both of which didn’t stop my sickness or constant pain. Finally, after 5 hours of suffering, they got a cannula back in after a struggle with my barely visible veins and fed me morphine, paracetamol, fluids and anti-sickness. Within half an hour, I was sat up, no sick bucket needed and laughing and joking with my mum. Although now it was around 10pm, an emergency doctor finally arrived and gave me a quick assessment to assure me everything was alright and even though he did tell me he had no concerns, it still left me wondering why I was so ill during the day. I slept through that night well and the next day seemed to go alright also. I had my fears, meaning I was asking for anti-sickness just incase and was back to not really wanting to eat, but I was drinking which was something. The morning still left me in a bit of a panic as I hadn’t yet received an answer for my sickness and my morning visit from my consultant ended up being delayed to the afternoon. Thankfully however, when talking to the doctor and the ward sister, I was reassured the pain would have been down to how bruised my bowel will be from the surgery and the sickness will have been from that pain, meaning that there wasn’t anything actually wrong with me. I couldn’t have been anymore relieved as I was searching all over the internet for why I was in so much pain and couldn’t find anything yet my consultant said that this is a completely normal thing therefore I shouldn’t be concerned… So if anyone else who is/recently got a stoma and is in pain or does receive pain, don’t panic like I did! Of course report it just in case, but hang in there and just make sure you get the meds as that definitely helped me.
Once I had calmed my anxiety down, I got the news that if I felt well enough, I was allowed to be discharged to which my reply was “Well, I’m not staying another night”. So to cut an already long story shorter, I had a nap whilst my boyfriend, dad and mum packed my things up and I got my freedom! I can’t explain how happy I was on the journey home, if I’m being honest which I said I would be on this blog, I constantly felt like crying. Unless you’ve been through a relatively long hospital stay, you probably wouldn’t understand it but I genuinely felt like I was in a prison in the end. Of course, I had people staying with me every night but I hated having to see people come and go, knowing they could go out and live their lives and do what they wanted whilst I was left to repeat the same routine.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve had visits from district nurses to check my scars and a stoma nurse to check my stoma, ordering my colostomy bag down a size to Midi (At the moment, I have the largest Coloplast bag) and stocking up on my products. I also had a PET CT Scan today (Thursday 9th June) by request of Aintree Hospital which as far as I’m aware, was just out of precaution. But finally, tomorrow (Friday 10th June) I am having my first official day with no appointments, no visits and hopefully a good lie in!
And to end this extremely long and dragging post, I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting me by following my facebook page and blog during my time in hospital and thereafter, especially to my wonderful mum, dad and boyfriend who made the difficult visit to the hospital EVERY day to see me, I couldn’t be as strong as I could without you.