Here are some photos taken on my OH's phone of my posh private room. It's a newish hospital with no wards and only single or double rooms anyway, but my level of supplementary health cover meant I could have the top of the range room. I won't bore you with how the system works here, as it's rather complicated, but I was happy to have this room. Here are some pics showing it the evening before my surgery. Even tea and coffee making in the room and a fridge/mini bar! The second photo shows the other end of the room so you can see how big it was.
Several days later here's a pic of me still in intensive care, although I had lost the oxygen tube up my nose by then. Those heart monitors really stick, and I had to get my OH to remove the residual glue with white spirit when I got home. To start with I was linked to an epidural machine, heart monitors, two IV lines for drips, oxygen, a catheter, and drains from my wounds. I think that was it!
I was only without food for two days before they started giving me light meals, but I managed to lose about 5kg (11 pounds) over four days, which is quite incredible (I didn't know my arse was so heavy, haha!). Thankfully I'm slowly putting it back on again.
Three days after surgery I was back in the posh private room, but really noticed the difference in level of care between the normal part of the hospitalisation area and intensive care. But it was great not to have nurses coming in every hour through the night checking on me, cos you don't get much sleep. By this time I was on solid food and getting bigger and bigger meals which were a bit offputting to start with, but I have to say the hospital food was very good, and during my stay I saw more veggies than I've been served in 17 years of eating out or in French peoples' houses. They truly are a bizarre race of people who just don't seem to eat (or serve) vegetables, other than chips and the occasional baked tomato, or if you are lucky, my favourite, pommes de terre dauphinoise, yet all manner of veggies are sold in supermarkets and markets! I still don't know what they do with them....
My family bought me pretty flowers to brighten up my room and I had a nice visit from a virtual friend, who I met on Facebook some while back, as she and her husband were in Rennes visiting their sister in law, who was in another hospital. They brought me yummy chocs. An unlikely manner of meeting someone for the first time, but hopefully in the future we'll have a happier get together in healthier circumstances!
A few days later once I was up on my feet and after I had had a blessed shower and washed and blow dried my hair! I had no idea I was going to be allowed to shower with stitches in, but boy it felt good and I looked and felt human again! In my last four days I started venturing out into the corridors with a physio who got me climbing stairs, which wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. I also had a good walk around in the afternoons when my OH came to visit. One sunny afternoon I even ventured outside to get a few rays of much needed sun.
My Photoshopping friend, the one who did the arse tours graphic, came up with this little gem. :-)
And now back in more familiar circumstances! No I am not working outside, only walking or supervising my OH doing a few garden jobs. I really am incapable so there is no chance of me overdoing anything for the time being. The earliest PSB is sprouting really well, so I supervised cutting a bagful for some friends who are coming to visit this afternoon. We haven't eaten any yet, because all things cabbage related, along with many other veg, are on my list of things which give you gas, to be reintroduced into my diet one at a time. So I'll have a little taste soon, and see how it goes. Even if we don't eat much of it this year, it won't be really wasted, as I'm thinking ahead to when it's in full, glorious flower attracting all manner of bees..... And that's one kind of photography I can do upright, as the flowers grow tall. They are a welcome blast of colour too.
Here's one of the 'Rudolph' variety in full glory. Yes I even took a few photos yesterday, but just using my little P&S camera. I'd forgotten how difficult it is in sunshine without a viewfinder, to see what on earth you are shooting.
Now I just have to take it easy and do as much gentle walking as possible, and get myself better slowly. The only possible blot on the horizon is if I have to have further chemo, but I'm still waiting to hear back on that.
As for my bag? Well it's easy to change and won't be too big a deal, I don't think. My stoma makes some interesting noises and lets rip with some good fart noises occasionally, over which one has absolutely no control (hence being careful of the gas inducing foods), and my belly will never look pretty again and is quite lumpy and swollen at the moment, but I guess it will all settle down eventually. I wasn't going to be wearing a bikini ever again at my age, anyway! I have a special belt like a weight lifting belt to wear for the first month, making me look about five months pregnant, but which provides a good amount of support. I'm in discomfort around the perineal area where I am having my stitches out slowly this week over three sessions by the local nurses, who come out to give me an anti blood clotting jab every evening for 28 days after leaving hospital, and two blood tests a week..... all a bit of a palaver, but the best thing about my op - no pain when I poo any more!!!
By the way, how many people can say that the Mayor of their town or village has looked at their private parts? Well I can, cos guess what, our Maire's (mayor) day job is as a nurse! He's the most gentle of the lot too. No wonder they voted him in as our mayor!