Thursday, 9 December 2010

Hot Footing It To Surgery ;)

So the day of surgery arrived in all its glory... a sunny winters day, pavements covered in a light dusting of frost...

I had planned a grand breakfast, toasted muffins, streaky bacon topped with eggs benedict.  

Unfortunately with everything else going on, it didn't quite work out that way.

At 11am, I finally sat down with a couple of crumpets, XO Marmite and a glass of fresh orange juice.

With me all showered and my bag packed, I left for Hinckley and District Hospital.

Arriving on John Atkins ward, I met my nurse Dee and had all my obs done... 

Then it was time to be the trendsetter that I am ;)

Anaesthetist Joe arrived to work his magic.... numbing the foot ready for surgery. He started off by marking by foot with arrows so the surgeon knew he definitely had the right one! He also dotted where my pulse points were...  

It wasn't too bad to begin with, a sharp scratch and then intense stinging as the anaesthetic worked its way.... The nerve blocks were not the nicest of things... especially when Joe explained that I should have a sensation on the sole of my foot when he came across the nerve.  "It could be a fizzing sensation, a warming sensation or you could get an electric shock type feeling" he said.... "although if you get the electric shock try not to jump"

Guess what one I got?? and yes my language was quite colourful! 

About 8 injections later, my foot was ready to rock 'n' roll... The foot looks quite red because when the anaesthetic (bupivacaine) takes hold, there are increases in capillary blood flow.  

It was at this point I realised I needed a wee!

Walking very steadily down the corridor, it felt like I was walking on fluffy candyfloss, cushioned every so often with marshmallows... a pretty bizarre sensation!

So the surgery I had opted for PIP Joint Arthroplasty.  This is where an incision is made over the bent part of the joint. Once the surgeon can see the joint, the end of the proximal phalanx is removed to shorten the toe and relax the tightness around the joint. 

As the joint heals, scar tissue forms, connecting the two bones together and replacing the area where the joint once was. Surgeons sometimes refer to this as a false joint (or pseudo joint) because the scar tissue allows a bit of motion to occur between the two bones while keeping them from rubbing together and causing pain.

So, at 3.40pm, my porter arrived to whisk me away (and no he wasn't wearing a white coat!!) 

The operating theatre was as expected... although not as dreamy as Holby City but my surgeon does have better taste in music than Michael Spence ;)

My foot was swabbed in Betadine antiseptic, which is a gorgeous brown colour that when dries resembles a TOWIE tan

An inflatable tourniquet was put around my calf and then the screen went up between me and the surgeons.  

I was going to be a bit cheeky and ask if I could take my phone in and tweet while I was there but with all the fun of the injections, I completely forgot!

Instead, the theatre team and I had a good ole chat and quite a few laughs... I also noticed that I could watch my surgery in the reflection of the window ;)

When the surgeon realised, he asked if I wanted to see the end which of course I didn't refuse!

The screen was moved down and the surgeon showed me what he had done... My toe was looking a bit like a fat sausage but lovely and straight.

We had initially discussed pins being put in to secure the bones but it wasn't needed which turns out to be a good thing.  My bone quality is pretty poor and if pins had gone in and then been knocked, I'd have a pretty bad break...

Once I was stitched up and the tourniquet deflated (its used to stop blood flow to foot during surgery), I was taken back to the ward...

Here I tucked into tea and toast while waiting for the surgeon to pop in and give me the all clear.  

For the next 6 weeks I'll have a closed dressing on and a funky shoe.. Stitches should come out next Friday.

All in all, having an op done by local anaesthetic was a pretty good experience.    Its not as traumatic as you'd think, or as gory.  If you have a chatty team, some good music then its actually pretty fun!

After having my tea and toast, I got dressed and headed home.

Got to take it easy over the next week... Keeping leg elevated and then every hour, having approx 5 minutes walk around.

Oooh and seeing as I missed out on my feast of a breakfast yesterday, I'm making up for it today :)

Huge thanks to all the staff at Hinckley and District Hospital who looked after me and made my stay a comfortable one... You are absolute stars!

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