Thursday, 16 February 2012

Spa therapy...

Many of you may remember Melissa and her online Meanderings. Sadly she is no longer with us but when she was she could often read my mind and one day out of the blue wrote to me saying that she did not want to switch on one day to find out that I had sneaked away and had my plumbing repaired. As open as I have always been online I had long suspected that a countdown clock was never going to be on my blog page and no fanfare  announcing my surgery date.
I have never been lucky with surgery. My appendix scar was a mess where the two sides were out of level by an eighth of an inch and was still a lump twenty years later. My orchiechtomy had an internal bleed and the sac looked like a black and blue grapefruit by the time I went under for the repair.
There are a lot of things which you are warned can go wrong in the complicated process of making a silk purse out of a pigs ear, which one was I going to suffer?
My Sex Preference Affirmation, Spa treatment was performed in Brighton on the 3rd. Of February. I had checked in midday the day before as calm as if I had come for a short seaside holiday. My room was spacious with a view across the South Downs to the sea. They brought me an omelet for lunch, the start of a low residue diet, various folk came by to ask questions get forms signed and do various tests to see if I was still alive. I unpacked the few things I had brought with me to wear during the recovery and some electronic readers and music. Once online several people came on to chat, some phoned and the time vanished. A sleeping pill was requested else I would be online when they came for me in the morning…

At six in the morning there was the joy of an enema being squeezed into the lower bowel which is the only part cleared at this facility. Once empty I had a thorough shower and slipped on the gown. Within two hours of waking I was being wheeled away through the chill corridors to theatre. A quick check of the wrist band to ensure that they did the right op on the right patient and a needle was going into my wrist for administering any drugs. Still dead calm. Something went into my wrist and instantly felt like a hundred bee stings, it was being massaged but I was out! Never even got to count backwards, no dreams and before long I was finding my way back to consciousness in my room with an oxygen mask on and tubes going in and out all over. Other than a change to a tube under the nose for gas that is how things were for the next two days with clear liquid diet.

On the third day the view out of the window was a winter wonderland with children sledging don the hills, somehow my sister and brother in law managed to drive two and a half hours to visit and found me in a good mood and we had three hours of happy BIL watched the end of a ball chasing game which his team won so his day was a great success. They returned at midday the following day having stayed with a relative a few miles away then left to drive home in the daylight. Their timing was impeccable since lying with an empty gut gives you wind as it tries to restart, I do not pass noisy gas but that day I was delighted when it all came out! Back ache is also a problem until they let you raise the head end of the bed. The gut pains lasted nearly three days, not everyone gets them. From the operation site, no pain at all.
Once the visitors had gone two nurses came to remove the pressure bandage, during this the urethra started to bleed. Pressure was applied in relays! My friend Lucy eventually joined us and added to the conversation since she had been in my position just eleven months before. Numerous times it appeared to have stopped bleeding but on subsequent checks found to have restarted, this repeated all through the night for eighteen hours before the surgeon arrived and did something and left a drained and exhausted me holding a small pad in place. My hand and arm finally went numb so I called the duty nurse who declared it stopped and I passed out exhausted and in tears. By leaving this small wound to heal before getting me out of bed I only had one day to get up and start to walk about, first round and round the room then along the hospital corridors. By the end of that last day everything was working well and I had stopped walking like a patient and with music in my ears was almost dancing along.
I met up with another patient at this time, they were only a day out of surgery but had their boyfriend to distract them  from the back and gut pains. We all have a different path but here was someone almost my age who had found hormones when twenty one and ou would have thought her a natural born, for decades she had let people believe the surgery had already been done thinking that it would be impossible to ever find the money to fly to the UK and be repaired…
I was allowed to stay on a few extra hours on checkout day and I needed them to rest! Lucy collected me and drove me away in style for a restful lunch at her home then on to the airport south of London. My booked help worked well as I was wheelchaired speedily through to departures with only a small delay for frozen plane from Amsterdam. Louise did her relay section from Edinburgh to home where she stayed overnight with us. The journey was hard and when I paid a visit to the bathroom on arrival blood went everywhere!
It is ow nearly a week since I returned home. Most of the recovery is going well but a small section of graft which the surgeon showed some concern over has failed to take and will take considerably longer to heal over especially since it gets peed upon many times each day. My local nurses are having great fun fixing me, something new and a chance to talk directly to Brighton while working on me helps. I have been replumbed to keep things dry so that they can apply wound dressing methods. So close to being right first time but my usual luck came into play…
Would I sign up to do it again knowing what I have had to go through? Without a moments hesitation!


  1. Congratulations on crossing the threshold! I'm sorry for problems, but hopefully they are minor. Great smile on your face! Hope recovery goes well and speedily.

  2. You sneaky wotzit! You had me well fooled with the Spa thingy!

    But well done for getting the op so quickly and I am sure all will be fine. Liz is pretty good at sorting stuff out remotely.

    I am quite jealous of course!

    Take things easy for now as it can take a while for everything to settle down properly. Give yourself the full 6 weeks they recommend.

  3. She fooled me too! Congratulations Caroline! Welcome to the club. Hope all gets back to normal for you soon. In the meantime take great care and take things easy. Love

    Shirley Anne xxx

  4. Congratulations, Caroline!

    I hope you have a speedy recovery.


  5. Congratulations Caroline!

    I'm so happy for you!!!

  6. Most of us natal women only look that happy in a hospital bed after having given birth to a healthy, wanted offspring. Congratulations on your much desired event.
    I also want to say that I would have been very disapointed with myself if your 'Spa Tale' had been true.

  7. Good to have you back, and well done! :)

  8. I hope that the healing is continuing. There really is no place like home. glad you managed to dodge the travelling problems because of the snow.

  9. Dear Caroline,

    I am adding "Spa therapy" to my lexicon as of today and will use it as a litmus test when checking on seaside vacation possibilities for myself about a year from now. Congratulations, and may you heal quickly!


  10. Well I now know what I have to do to generate a lot of comments!

    Thanks for all your thoughts, far from recovered but I am feeling better each and every day.

    Two weeks ago deep snow now snowdrops...

  11. Organic Spas, Holistic Treatments

    Day spas have become a fixture in today’s health and beauty market. In developing this market niche, day spa operators have introduced a range of services and products that are new to the mainstream consumer such as holistic treatments and organic beauty products. Aging baby boomers that are hanging on to the vestiges of youth have become more accepting of practices that were previously identified with the New Age. As a result, day spas are one of the economic hot spots in the personal services market.

    Day spas provide the types of thorough body treatments found at traditional spas, which tend to be destination sites for weekend stays. In keeping with the harried pace of active professionals, day spa services require a commitment of hours rather than days. The spa business in this country exceeds twelve billion in annual revenues, and probably three quarters of that business was done by day spas.

  12. It's so nice to have close friends there for you. I know of many who have had to go through this wonderful "correction" by themselves, virtually abandoned by friends and relatives. Just seeing the mention of good friends warms my heart. I wish I could have been there for you, Caroline, to assist, but also to enjoy the moment.

    I'm glad that everything went reasonably well.

    [you know I was quite worried for a few days!]

    Btw, maybe I'm missing something but I see no way to subscribe to comments.

    Calie xxx


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.