Progress-ively getting tolerant to Fentanyl

I managed to squeeze my third operation of the week in this afternoon. To be fair, operation is perhaps a little strong; it’s really more of a “procedure”, done under general anaesthetic, but even so – they all count.

This time I was taken down on my bed, whisked straight into the theatre, and found the whole theatre staff assembled and waiting for me. Straight up onto the table, wired up (to the inevitable machines that go “ping”!) and the anaethsetist popped a small dose of Alpha-Fentanyl into my vein through my existing cannula just to relax me. Really slick teamwork.

And zero to about 6 pints inebriated in well under 2 seconds. Amazing stuff that Fentanyl.

We then had to wait for my surgeon to finish gowning up, which gave me a great chance to chat (as best I could!) to all the theatre staff, who really are unsung heros in all this. Usually we barely get a chance to see them, as they’re busying themselves with preparing the theatre for us, while we are being put out. So it was nice to actually have a chance to thank them all for a change.

Then had a quick bit of banter with my surgeon and anaesthetist, who mentioned in passing that I was starting to exhibit a bit of tolerance to the Alpha-Fentanyl that he’d just given me. At which point he grinned, gave me some more, and then I woke up in recovery. So I’m clearly not that tolerant 🙂

This time they swapped out the original Endosponge for two replacements, and at the same time carried out a thorough examination of the sinus at the same time. This seems to have stirred everything up quite a lot, as I’m continuing to churn out lots of unpleasant gunk through the drain, and also had a mild temperature when I got back from theatre. Some doses of Paracetamol seem to be dealing nicely with that.

Overall the surgeon is pleased with the way things are going, which naturally means so am I. But I’m very conscious that this is still early days. We’ve got the Endosponges in action, and made it through one change. But the plan calls for up to another 10 changes yet, so I really am going to be in and out of operating theatres almost continually for the next 20-30 days, even if rather briefly each time.

Of course, fundamentally what we really want to see is positive signs of healing starting to occur. But that is probably a way off yet. And it’s noticeable that in the meantime the discomfort from all these procedures is steadily rising, which doesn’t bode well for later in the process.

Speaking of which, my next sponge change is provisionally scheduled for the very first thing on Saturday morning. No rest for the wicked, it seems.

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