People often ask me (they don’t) my Top Ten Tips to surviving a major operation that one doesn’t actually need. So, here it is (in absolutely no particular order).
1. Trashy reading material. Books are a no-no, at least for the first few days because you probably won’t be able to concentrate on anything too heavy and thought-provoking. What you require is a friend or two with a love of trashy, celebrity focused magazines and hope that they’ll come and visit you with the biggest pile of easy-reading rubbish you’ve ever seen. If the thought of reading them fills you with queasiness you can at least look at the pictures.
2. A litter-picker-upper-grabber thing. I didn’t have one of these and I later found one in a charity shop (too late). It saves bending down too much (sometimes it took me five minutes to bend down to pick something much needed up after dropping it) and probably has the added bonus of giving you the enjoyment of pretending you work as a litter picker for the local council.
3. An iPod (or equivalent). It drowns out Hospital Noise.
4. A mobile phone. So that you can text your family/friends and update your Facebook status (you will need Internet access for the Facebook bit.) It also saves on paying extortionate money to use the telly-phones and means the nurses have more time to check your blood pressure because they’re not having to answer the phone every time Great Auntie Nellie wants to check up on you. Be sure to keep it with you at all times.
5. Sweeties! You probably won’t eat them and you’ll find them in the cupboard two months later, but the packaging is often bright and luvly and just the thought of knowing that they’re there is comforting. You can also offer them to visitors as a way of getting them to stop talking for a few seconds.
6. Pain relief. Be sure to have a cupboard full of little pills before you go into Hospital because you really won’t want a long walk to the shop to stock up whilst in oodles of pain. And you will be in pain, despite what the other numpties proclaim.
7. Tins of soup. I lived on soup for the first week I was out of Hospital. It’s perfect ‘get well soon’ food, comforting yet nourishing too, and quick and easy to prepare when you just want to get back to watching that awful daytime tellybox show which is successfully aiding your recovery.
8. Bendy straws. When you get back to the ward after giving away your kidney they’ll give you water with a straw so that it’s easier to drink. Continue to use a straw throughout your stay and be sure to have some at home too. There is no real reason for this; I just like straws. And so do my cats.
9. Bio-Oil. Ensure you have a brilliant friend who will buy you some of this as a gift. Then use it. If you don’t have a brilliant friend you’ll have to buy it as a gift to yourself. Look for a good deal online, somewhere like Amazon. Then use it.
10. A Mummy (or Daddy, Spouse, Lover, Granny, Sibling, Friend, Neighbour, Colleague, Random Stranger, Hitchhiker, etc.) Anybody will do, but preferably it needs to be someone who you feel comfortable with because they will have to help you put your socks on, and you’ll probably spend a lot of time talking to them about bowel movements and suchstuff. They’re the most useful item to have, simply because they can help with all the previous Top Tips, although you may draw the line at letting them rub Bio-Oil on your scars.
(Day 56 and still NO DIALYSIS!!!)