Kathy Martin’s life story – one of my dreams comes true – part two
By Kathy Martin…
To continue from last week…
On 21st July, as I got closer to my breast amputation operation, sent Dr Buğra a message on Facebook saying:
I hope you had a fabulous holiday in USA!
Understandably, I am getting very excited about my operation on Tuesday 26th July.
Just a couple of things I want to ask you
- What time do you want me to go to The Near East Hospital on Tuesday 26th?
- Can you give me a rough idea of what time my friends must come on Wednesday 27th July to collect me?
At the anaesthetist’s advice (and Denise Phillips), I stopped having any alcohol on 19th July.
Sunday 24th July
Received a message, on Facebook, from Dr Buğra telling me to be at the hospital by 07.30 on Tuesday, so will book my taxi, using the local Doğanköy taxi, for 06.30 (I would always prefer to be early rather than late).
I have always been a great one for writing lists, before holidays etc, so, of course, made various lists:
- Most important Alistair’s photo, he will come with me!
- Clothes to take to hospital
- Clothes to pack for my suitcase going to Gill and Ivor
- Both chargers (phone, which also charges my kindle, and PC)
- PC itself – so I can write this blog
- Various drinks e.g. cider as a present for Gill and Ivor, Tuborg for me – after a week of being tee-total will enjoy this! (little did realising that I’d still be restricted after the operation, so Ivor gained some Tuborg!!)
Monday 25th July
Met Gill and Ivor Moon at Happy Valley and handed over my suitcase, laptop and booze for my recuperation holiday with them at their beautiful house in Bahçeli. Friends, not in the know, just being told that I am going to have a short holiday with them!
Tuesday 26th July
Woke very early (05.15) with my overnight bag, took final rubbish bag to biffa bins at 06.20 and the taxi arrived about 06.25!! Consequently, arriving at the Near East Hospital at 06.50!
Had NOT been told that I should have taken my passport with me! Minor panic attack as I expected them to send me away! But, as I was able to answer the questions, i.e. name, DOB (Date of birth) etc without it, I was NOT punished!!!!
Taken to my room 307 on third floor. Within no time my anti-DVT stockings were on!
At 10.41 (I can be so precise because I sent a text to my great friend Gill Moon “I am going now! See you on the other side!”) was wheeled from my room to the operating theatre. It is very strange seeing the world from a prone position! Conscious of people passing us in the corridors! I was expecting (watched too many medical TV programmes!) they would tell me to count backwards from 100! Nothing like that, the first thing I remember is a nurse leaning over me and saying (in English) “Hallo, how are you?”). I was very thirsty, so asked for some water, I was only allowed a mouthful, if that!!
After a short while, no clocks so no idea how long my operation took, (I asked Dr Buğra afterwards, so I could let you all know! He told me as he remembered it lasted nearly 2½ hours) they wheeled me back to my room. Despite my desperate thirst I was told no water until 18.30. So I spent the time going onto Facebook via the free WiFi! When I asked the nurse to put my phone on charge (could only see a socket across on the other side of the room) she plugged it in behind my bed!!
I was gently teased by my great friend Gill, as she referred to her really tasty cold drink!! Clock-watching I rang for a nurse as soon as 18.30 arrived and was brought some water, UGH! It was luke-warm! But it quenched my thirst!
My lovely friend, Kiymet, asked if she come to visit me, of course, I said yes! Apparently, she lives about ten minutes away from the Near East hospital in Lefkoşa!
She arrived about 19.30 and we spent a wonderful 2 hours or so renewing our friendship in the “real” world! We originally met through the Frozen Cypriots group on Facebook and she had come up to Girne on Tuesday 19th January 2016, when we had a lovely meal at the Delta Bar getting to know each other in the “real” world!
Update on the first day of the rest of my life!
I am feeling fantastic!
The photo shows my ex-boobs in bags weighing 1.4kg each, 2.8 kg in total! (Or 3.5lbs each and 7lbs or half a stone in total!!!) No wonder it was a nightmare carrying them on my chest!! I had no pain!
I was not allowed out of bed, so throughout the day and night, whenever my bladder alerted me, which friends will know is very frequently, I had to ring for a nurse to get the bed-pan! This was a new experience for me. The only operation, where I was bed-bound, a catheter had been inserted. Dr Buğra said he was reluctant to do that as too many times infections follow! For those of you who have never had to use a bed-pan………..suffice it to say I hope you never have to!
Managed to get through the night, without too many calls for the bedpan, but was on FB very early the following morning, as I gave up trying to sleep! Put this down to the amount of sleep I had had the day before!
Having only had a small bowl of cold rice pudding last night (all day in fact), was very grateful when my typically Turkish breakfast arrived. Started with the very tasty almonds!
Dr Buğra came to see me about 09.30 and told me he was very happy with how the operation went and I could leave whenever I liked. He wants to see me at his clinic in Girne on Tuesday 2nd August for a check-up. I messaged Gill and she told me Ivor would be here to collect me at midday.
I had a window, which had a blind covering it, so once Dr Buğra had said he was very happy for me to start walking around, I took my phone to the window hoping to get a photo of the city of Lefkoşa spread out below me! Imagine my disappointment when this greeted me!
Obviously, knew I had to pay, so about 10.30 rang for a nurse, the young male nurse Huysein (who had told me that he loved it when the ward had English speaking patients, as he liked to practise his English, which was considerably better than my Turkish!) came and said “No problem, I will get someone”! Well, I must have rung the bell about twice more in the next hour with the same result! Then, did what with hindsight I should have done straightaway, I rang Ergin and he really did come straightaway! He called a wheelchair porter and we went to the office to pay! Ivor arrived just as we finished and rang me, I was able to tell him we were on our way down!
My overall impression of the Near East Hospital was very good! My Turkish was more than enough for the pleasantries and minor requests! I did not know the Turkish for Bedpan but sign language sufficed!! My room was very clean.
The only problem I had was when the person who delivered my evening rice pudding left it just inside the door (Luckily Kiymet was with me and she reprimanded the porter, who informed her that he is not allowed to enter the patient’s rooms! Kiymet agreed with me that it made it hard for a bed-ridden patient to get their food without ringing for a nurse!)
I was very grateful to see Ivor and sat in the back of the car as I didn’t fancy a seat-belt over my chest!
Next time I will tell you about my recuperation in Bahçeli with Gill, Ivor and their three delightful pets