I expected to stay overnight, and be discharged the following morning. However, the damage was significantly more than expected. My surgical wound ended up being left open until a second surgery on two days later to close the wound. Now, we often see patients coming to theatre, and returning a few days later for a similar situation. You can't fully understand the stressors of this situation until you've been in their shoes.
My expected one night in hospital turned into three nights in hospital. Seeing and talking to the other patients was a really eye-opening experience, and invaluable for a nurse.
As a theatre nurse, we are in the theatre environment every day of lives, and it begins to feel normal. We all work hard to provide excellent and safe care to our patients. But, when I return to work it will be nice to draw on my experiences and provide a more holistic experience for my patients.
A lot of nurses, doctors and visitors were asking me why I chose to have spinal anaesthesia instead of general anaesthesia. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to share my personal choice. For me, general anaesthesia is risky - loss of airway reflexes, apnoea, and decreased cardiac output are only some of the risks that general anaesthesia poses. Even for me, a reasonably healthy young male, I felt a spinal to be more appropriate. Spinal anaesthesia still poses risks such as - the spinal not working, post dural headache and hematoma. But, I was awake, and talking to the surgeon and the staff. I was able to eat and drink immediately after my surgery, and there wasn't a long period of feeling 'hung over'. Spinals provide long lasting pain relief, and typically allow for earlier mobilisation.
The worst part was the tiny amount of local anaesthesia prior to the spinal needle (so really not that bad!). And, the weirdest feeling is not being able to feel or move your legs.
Let me know your surgical experiences in the comments!