I have oxygen pumping gently in my nose. An IV drip in my arm. No feeling on the outside of my left jaw. Raw throat from breathing tubes through my nose down my throat during surgery. The facial swelling has started. And the pain inside my mouth at the biopsy site is beginning to stir.
But I am awake. I even feel in much better shape this time. I asked for and ate my dinner: mashed potato, soft pizza, steamed veg, bread and butter pudding, custard and apple juice. Not too shabby in this hotel, as Darren kept accidentally calling it as we filled out the admission forms.
Do you mind hanging on there a tick while I find Kevin, my nurse tonight?
They are on their pain meds round, the little assistant tells me. Pain out of ten? Oh five, maybe six.
I can wait. I’ve had practice at that today. I waited about four hours before I heard the dulcet tones of Dr P strolling along the hallway. Relief. I was overwhelmed with relief. He will take it all in hand now.
Ruth and the porter took me down to theatre. Dr P wandered by with coffees for the operating team. Good to know they are taking a break and will be ready to go again. The anaesthetist Kirsten (good sign) and operating nurse Bev were lovely about my needle phobia and followed the worst bit quickly with a dose of the good stuff.
Helen, the nurse in the intensive care unit, called Darren for me as soon as I asked and I could speak to him. By about 4pm, maybe a bit later, I was back in my room and on the cockpit phone to Mum when they waltzed in chirpily reading her new book from today’s mothers group combined first birthday party.
Alannah wasn’t super keen to get close and burst into distressed tears. Then moments later she was enthusiastically shoving in one mandarin, then a second, and high-fiving me from the armchair. Tiredness overtook her after not too long. She is a trooper, my little girl. Virus, long day, much change already from the rhythm she knew and loved.
Time for pain meds. I can hear Kevin now.