Sponge change #8

Today was the eighth sponge change. Also my eleventh general anesthetic since the start of June. It’s also the first change since my surgeon switched the regime around to use his radically modified endosponges, and realistically it’s the first opportunity for the surgeon to see if that is having a significant effect or not.

I ended up first on his surgical list, which is both good and bad. Good, because it means I don’t have to be awake while I’m fasting, but not so good because I have to be in the hospital at 7am. That represents a bit of a challenge while we’re also trying to get kids to school, and it also means I won’t get any immediate feedback until he’s finished off the rest of his list for the day.

So I went back into hospital late last night, which made the logistics work, at the expense of not being able to sleep in my own bed, and (I expect) adding a bit more to the bill. And then I promptly had one of those nights where I fell instantly asleep. At least six or seven times. So by the time morning came around it was a relief to have to get up and get ready for theatre. At that stage of the game I was much less worried about the state of my dressings (since they were all about to be replaced) so I started the day with an indulgently long soak in the shower, before a shave and a fresh pair of TED stockings & gown.

I figure I may as well at least face the surgeon and his staff looking my best!

I met my anesthetist first, who was a lovely chap that I’ve not met before, who I suspect was a decade or so older than me. We ended up having a really nice chat about places we’d each visited on business in the States, while we went through the standard checklist, and discussed what was being done to me, and what anesthetics he was going to use on me.

And then it was down to theatre, and through the usual routine of a cannula in a vein in the back of the hand (right hand this time, because my left is covered with needle holes and bruises, and generally rather sore) got attached to various machines, put an oxygen mask on, and drifted off to sleep on a wave of intravenous drugs.

I do remember coming around in the recovery room this time, and chatting with the recovery staff, including a couple of whom I recognised from previous occasions. But interestingly that memory is already becoming fuzzy and indistinct. Welcome to the effects of midazolam, which the anesthetist had mentioned that they were going to use in the mix today. And then it was back up to my room, where once they’d established that my vital signs were all normal, and that I could eat and drink and wee (this seems to be the holy trinity as far as getting released from hospital is concerned) I was allowed to come home again.

And the outcome of the procedure? I don’t know yet.

My surgeon had to finish his list, and is going to ring me tonight once he gets home to talk to me about how I’m doing. So I guess I will know more later tonight. However, I’m quietly telling myself that the fact that he’s replaced the existing modified sponges with two more must be reasonably positive news. Because I suspect if it wasn’t working to at least some degree, he would have simply discontinued the treatment.

I hope.

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