vendredi 17 juin 2011
On Monday afternoon I checked into a hospital here in Marseille for a relatively minor surgery on Tuesday morning.
I carefully read through all the papers, to see if there was a "What to Bring, What not to Bring" section, but nothing. After making sure I was checked in, Alain, Mom, Dad, and I went to the hospital cafeteria for some coffee, then they headed home, and I headed back to my room.

I was unable to have a private room, so shared with a 68-year-old woman named Maurisette.
Neither of us had opted for the TV (thank goodness), so we spent Monday night reading. When it came time for the shower, I learned that towels are not supplied by the hospital. Sheets, yes. Towels, no. Fabulous.

Apparently, towels are never supplied in French hospitals. This is something you are just supposed to innately know, as it isn’t written anywhere. I would think that the hospital would supply towels, rather than have you bring your own germy towels from home, but nope. Luckily, Maurisette had an extra one which she leant me.

We went to sleep at about 10 on Monday night. At 6, they came and woke me up, as I was the first to go. I had to take my pre-operation shower with the Betadine soap, making sure to get everything (including the 'pli interfessier' as the illustration was so helpful to point out). They changed the sheets on my bed, then wheeled me down to the operating rooms. The nurses and orderlies had great fun asking where I am from, what am I doing in France, etc. etc.
I was hooked up to everything, and the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face. Every time I am put under, my last thought seems to be "I really must tell the anesthesiologist that the drugs aren't working, so that they don't cut me open while I am still awake." ZONK.

Woke up several hours later in the recovery room, being poked and prodded endlessly.
They wheeled me back up to my room around 1:30. It seems that every time I am operated on here in France, the male orderlies taking me up to my room have to comment "You are very pretty" when I am covered in iodine, in those ugly gowns, woozy, and a complete mess. This is the second time this has happened to me. I'm not sure what the appropriate response is. Gee, thanks?

My roommate was wheeled in about half an hour later; I guess she spent less time in recovery. I called mom and dad, and they came over, bearing a towel, an extra t-shirt, and peanut butter sandwiches. I'm afraid I wasn't a very good conversationalist, as I kept nodding off. They didn't stay long. I was on a morphine drip, which apparently makes some people nauseous and have hot flashes. Boy did I ever. I was completely drenched and couldn't eat a thing.
Alain stopped by after work, and they brought in my dinner, a piece of ham, some yogurt, and something covered up, I didn't even look. I couldn't even bear to look at it.

Alain left, and I tried to sleep. They took me off the morphine, but I still felt hot and nauseous. The nurses kept coming in every hour to take blood pressure, to change the IV, to take a blood sample. Ahhh!! Just let me sleep!!

Wednesday morning, Maurisette was doing fine, up and about on her own power, able to take a shower, get dressed, and pack her bag. I was still moaning in bed. Her husband came to get her, which is when the nausea overcame me. I had a plastic bag ready, but it might as well have been a sieve. The throw-up went right through the bag, all over the floor, the sheets, my legs, my slippers, my hands. Not a pretty sight. Her husband beat a hasty retreat. I rang for the nurse. What is the matter? J'ai vomit! They came and cleaned up and handed me another plastic bag marked Toxic Waste.

Maurisette checked out, glad to be getting away from me I'm sure. They cleaned up her side of the room, ready for the next patient. I'm not sure why, maybe the smells of the cleaning products, I threw up again. Again ring for the nurse. J'ai vomit encore! At least the bag held up. They took the bag and handed me a bucket, with a bag inside.

They wanted to keep me for another night, but I desperately wanted to get out of there. Mom and dad were leaving the next day, and I didn't want to be in the hospital when they left. I managed to force down some apple sauce and rambled over to the nurse's station (all the other patients and their visitors in the hall were staring at me- I must have been quite a sight, unshowered, smelling like throw up, and moving at 2 miles an hour). See, all better now! I can leave right!

The doctor came and checked on me and decided I could go. Yippee! She gave me a prescription for frickin' Doliprane. Like aspirin. I have three holes in my stomach, my belly button might never be the same again, and you give me Doliprane?
I called dad, and he took the subway down to the hospital, then we took a taxi back. It took all my force not to throw up in the taxi (toxic waste bag at the ready).

Was so glad to get home, lie on the couch, and not be poked and prodded.

6 commentaires:

Mwa a dit…

What a post!

First of course I will wish you a speedy recovery.

But then I will add that I have those same holes! The line in my belly button is hardly noticable any more. I always get very sick from anesthetics as well, and what they don't tell you is that you can tell the anesthesiologist (or whatever) and they can put a little something in your drip, and then when you wake up you still feel really bad but at least not nauseous and you don't throw up everywhere. So, if you ever get surgery again, you should do that. It really helped me.

And Belgian hospitals don't provide towels either. Everyone knows that. ;-)

Starman a dit…

I hope by now you're feeling a lot better. A hospital is no place to get rest.

Ksam a dit…

Whoa, crazy - who would've known they don't provide towels?? And I agree, seems like a potential source of bacteria to me.

Bon rétablissement, hope you feel better soon!

chcmichel a dit…

Hope you are on the mend by now. Doesn't sound like a fun experience. I guess not supplying towels is one of the ways the French health system holds down costs.

Dedene a dit…

I hope you're alright now. Vomitting often comes after anethesia. It's quite a potluck who you get for a roommate in a hospital.

Samantha Vérant a dit…

Ahhhh! What happened? What kind of surgery is this? When I was in the hospital for a minor surgery, I went to a "clinique," where I was given a private room. You have to pay a bit more, but... And even though a clinique is more expensive, they are still no frills--clean but no frills! Yeah, there not much into real painkillers here. I have some stronger version of paracetamol. Meh.

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