Scars and Consolations

22 Apr

Last Tuesday, I checked into the specialist liver unit of the Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital. They prepped me for the operation, warning me that they expected to remove around 60% of my liver, which would be survivable but might require months of careful eating and drinking as it regenerates.

Fortunately my surgeon, Mr Myrddin Rees, came around later in the evening, and confirmed that we were NOT expecting to remove so much liver. There were three lesions, one on the left of the liver and two smaller lesions on the right, and he expected to remove them all with wedge resections – literally removing a wedge shaped portion of liver to remove the nasty part.

The next morning I was taken down, operated on, then spent 24 – 30 hours in recovery – sleeping for short periods between having mad morphine dreams and trying to do deep breathing exercises. Finally I was taken back to a private ward room where I was told (now that I would actually remember things I was told !) that the operation was a success and only 10% of my liver had been removed. Recovery was swift – almost too swift, I felt great and ready to leave by Saturday, once all the tubes and drains into my belly were removed.

But I stayed one more night until Sunday – which was the most painful day of the recovery ! With the anaesthetic lines removed, the pains in my belly started up, reminding me more of my bowel operation when the pain control had not been as good. But I was ready to leave and go stay at my parents, where at least the pain was tempered with mothering and care from both Mimi and my folks. With the dressing removed, I could now see the scar on my belly – a large 1 foot scar starting from the top of my belly (where my bowel scar starts) and heading down and across to the side of my belly. Along with the bowel operation scar, I makes a large number 7 shape šŸ™‚

Three days at home and things are getting better – slowly. Main pain comes from sleeping – it’s hard to find a comfortable position and moving into or out of a lying position is quite a chore. But the days are getting better, I’m getting looked after, and paracetamol is a highly underrated pain relief drug – it really does take the sharp edge off !


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