"The whole experience has been a positive one"

About: University Hospital (Coventry) / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Diagnosed about 5 yrs ago with a 'prolapse' I was not ready to undergo surgery. Eventually, having retired, and knowing that the situation was not going to get better - ever, I decided to 'submit'.

I was referred in March and seen at Rugby by Consultant Mr. Anywanu.

Everything was explained and I expected to be called for admission soon after returning from holiday in mid July.

I was given a date in Mid August and called for a pre admission interview. The lovely Rachel went through everything again to ensure I understood all options and procedures. I signed on the line.

Admission was easy and welcoming even at 7.30 a.m. !.My husband came onto the 4 bed ward with me and we unpacked into the locker. He took away my bag. Nurses all calm and smiling. Breakfast for patients at 8. I just had the 'fast'. Visit by Dr. and anaesthetist. More explanations re detail of how an epidural is administered in answer to my question. Gown and knee high white stockings (never a fashion look ! there is a big gap in the market here!) Taken to theatre by reassuring porter and nurse. Met others on anaesthetist team, one lady with wonderful lipstick !

The procedure is well documented elsewhere so I will just say that I opted for an epidural anaesthetic and sedation ( I really did not want to hear the theatre banter or be aware of anything) Mr Anywanu had advised that there is a more speedy post op recovery rate for this anaesthetic. It was as if I was wearing waders and they were being filled up with warm water !

Back on the ward I felt as if a truck had run over my pelvis... but really it was a big big ache not pain. I had a fluid drip and catheter so bed rest for 24 /48 hrs. Patient remote control for electric bed did not work so the main board at the foot was turned in for me to work with my toes. Told to drink plenty of water. Offered pain killers/oral morphine took advise and anything that was offered. I was feeling very full and just before visiting time was violently sick X 2. It was just all the water I had been drinking , but it drenched me. My husband arrived just as I had been cleaned up. No more oral morphine!

Hostesses were always cheerful and helpful. They had a good 'product' and I heard only good things about the food. They soon remembered how patients liked their tea and coffee etc. I ate the salads and fruit which was always very fresh and the chicken, ham and cheese portions generous.

Once the drip was out and the catheter removed ... night shift day two, I felt much better. Physio visited with post op advice and exercises. Advice is that to avoid straining to open bowels whilst feeling tender raise knees to hip level and lean forward. Fine but a child's 'step up' would be better provided rather than us having to drag the shower chair over to use.

This was elective surgery for me and I am fit and healthy. (The best time to be having major surgery). I need exercise, and was walking the long wide almost empty corridors, wearing the oversized T-shirt I had as a 'nighty', in circuits which I had paced out.

An examination, followed by a suppository on the morning of my due departure date ensured that all systems were 'go' and I felt more confident.

Sent home with a letter to my GP, Paracetamol and Neurofen for 4 days if I needed it.

The whole experience has been a positive one, and from conversations with other patients they felt the same.

Thank you to the whole team.

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