I arrived at the Hospital mid-morning as requested and the usual checks were done and dusted very quickly.
I was a small ward (four of us) in an old cottage hospital in the pretty countryside of Newark in Nottinghamshire.
All the other three patients on my ward were all having some form of foot surgery and we were all under the same podiatrist and all having the surgery done with a local anaesthetic.
The podiatrist came to see each of us to go over the surgery that we were having done and then we were all given a sandwich and a cup of tea. A lovely change from the usual starvation before a GA.
Then, the podiatrist registrar came to give us all our local anaesthetic by way of four injections into our ankles which was repeated. A tad uncomfortable at first but the second lot you can’t feel.
I was first on the list and was then taken down to theatre. Everyone was getting ready to start the procedure only waiting for the registrar to come and check my anaesthetic.
Unfortunately, mine had not worked properly so I was given another four injections and polite conversation and banta carried on for a few more minutes to see if the third lot of injections had worked.
Yet again they had not worked so I was then taken into recovery where I was given another four injections and my foot was wrapped in a blanket. Apparently your foot should be very warm and mine was still cold.
I had a lovely nurse in recovery with me who chatted away about his wife who had similar back problems to me. He then explained to me that probably once or twice a year they have a patient who’s local anaesthetic had not worked, like mine, and had been sent home and then brought back in again for a GA.
That was the last thing I wanted so all I could do was sit and chat while the next patient in my ward took my slot in theatre. It seemed an age but I am sure it wasn’t until it was my turn to go back into theatre.
This time it had worked so it was all systems go. I have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive when they started drilling that I might feel it but I had nothing to worry about as I didn’t feel a thing. Apparently this can sometimes happen to people who are on a large dose of pain medication, which is me to a tea.
‘The operation’, said the registrar, ‘went very well but it was very inflamed so we needed to discuss a pain relieving package for me’
I revealed the different meds that I was taking and she said she would have a chat with the podiatrist to see what they could give me. Unfortunately they could only offer me some anti-inflammatory but this would definitely help the inflammation.
Soon after being taken back to the ward the nurse who was checking all my obs said I had to do three things before I could go home. Eat something, drink something and pass some water. No problem I thought so I rang hubby to get on his way over to pick me up.
With me being the first to go down to theatre I had missed the Physiotherapist so I also had to wait to see her to show me how to use the crutches. The nurse then explained what I could and could not do over the next few weeks.
For the next 48hrs I was only allowed up to go to the loo. No showers for two weeks. Foot up all the time and the hard shoe put on at all times when I needed to walk. Exercises for dvt every hour and the stocking worn on the other leg 24/7.
While I was still waiting for the Physiotherapy my other ward mates were starting to get ready to go home and didn’t seem to have any pain at all and were sent home with pain killers and an anti-inflammatory so I was really surprised when the Physiotherapist finally arrived that I had an awful lot of pain when I first put my foot down.
I asked the nurse if I could have a pain killer for it, but she said that because I was on other pain medication (Tramadol) all I could take was a couple of anti-inflammatory’s with a biscuit. Anything would help so I was happy to be given these.
Hubby arrived and he wheeled me to the car where I had to sit in the back with my foot up. As neither of us really knew what was involved in the post operative treatment of this operation we were both in a bit of shock as to how little I could do.
I arrived home early evening but soon felt ready for bed with the pain getting really uncomfortable. In fact so bad that I decided I could not face trying to get upstairs with my crutches and to sleep downstairs.
My first night was restless and painful which I am sure my ward mates also suffered from, the only difference being that their pain medication would work and mine made no difference whatsoever.
I made a conscious decision before I went to sleep that after my foot had recovered from the surgery I was going to make a real effort to cut my pain medications right down and to visit my pain specialist to have a chat about it, as this is the second time this has happened to me.