crypticgirl: (tired)
( Jul. 16th, 2008 10:01 pm)
I had surgery yesterday. It appears to have gone well, though I'm saying 'appears' because the nurses weren't able to tell me anything beyond handing me the standard post-general anaesthesia information sheet and telling me to get to a doctor if the dressing comes off before I see the specialist next week. I think I overheard one of them saying something about my blood pressure getting really low during surgery, low enough that they were concerned. It's normally near-perfect in spite of my weight, so problems there may help to explain why I threw up post-op. Nausea is a common enough response to anaesthetic, but this was my ... eighth? Ninth? time under a general and to my knowledge the first time I've had that reaction.

The hospital I went to was really run down and under-resourced. So under-resourced that people waiting for patients going into day surgery were able to get past all the STOP! DANGER! THAR BE SURGEONS! signs to the hallways just outside the theatre area to hang around wondering why there was noone else there. The nurse who took care of me when I got back to Recovery was also an indicator of just how stretched things were; she'd obviously just come to the unit straight out of uni. I worked that out after about the fourth time the blood pressure arm band came undone and her only response was "Oh. I don't know why it keeps doing that." I managed to bite back my drug-and-pain induced response, which would have been: That would be because I'm very fat and you're very stupid long enough to simply suggest that she go and find a larger armband like the one the male nurse had used on me earlier.

After hunting around for forty-five minutes to get a doctor to sign a doctor's certificate for work (I had just assumed this would be a standard feature, otherwise I would have advocated for it before I went under), she then had to chase down a wheelchair to get me out of the hospital. Apparently that unit doesn't even have its own chair, and they keep having to nick one from somewhere else in the hospital. We got to the front of the hospital and she left Matt and I to our own devices to find a taxi so she could get the chair back as quickly as possible. That turned out to be harder than you'd think at a hospital taxi rank right on a major road. We had several drivers who simply argued that our fare would be too short before driving off, and two of the cabs at the rank had no accompanying drivers. By the time we got back I was ready for sleep, so that's exactly what I did.

Today I'm sore all over, but otherwise mostly okay. I'm flabbergasted by how under-resourced the public health system is here, though. The nurse I had should have been better supervised because she was new, visitors shouldn't have been able to get past severely overworked staff to supposedly secure areas, and surely it shouldn't be asking too much for each unit to have a couple of dedicated wheelchairs and an exit procedure that doesn't involve leaving people who've just had surgery out on the front pavement. Having said all of that, I'm not pissed off with any of the individuals I dealt with. All the staff were kind and attentive, just under more pressure than they should be in my opinion. I'm angry that our State government can always seem to find the money for new freeways, but a better hospital system? Who needs that?
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