Monday, 26 April 2010

What I learnt pre, during and post op

Fashion really has no place in a hospital. Style is probably useful to employ to distinguish oneself from all and sundry; but being fashionable in hospital is pointless unless you are celebrity exiting the Portland with baby as new accessory to the waiting paparazzi.

I realised this when a couple of weeks prior to my minor operation on the 22nd of April to remove a 'pearl ganglion'. For those of you interested in medical matters a small hard ganglia called "pearl ganglia" may occur on the flexor tendon sheaths of the fingers. These are very tender and painful when gripping objects. Mine was at the base of my left index finger. When I went for my pre op - which was a MRSA swab under armpit and in nose - I was very fashionable. Even in a private hospital (thank you Mr MDS for our medical insurance) I looked 'overdone'.The only reason I was getting the thing removed was because it hurt. It hurt when driving and working, think carrying clothes removing hangers, undoing buttons. It popped up last September and when I went to the doctors the NHS waiting list for ganglion removal was probably years down the line due to it being non essential z list medical stuff. If there was a leaflet on it, it would read try hitting it with a heavy book in the hope it bursts and goes away. If not come back to us and we'll try book option. Then after all book option hitting sessions have been exhausted there may be a consultant we've dragged out of retirement who might do it.

So I opted to use our medical insurance and having stepped over that line it is actually quite addictive. Mainly due to the carpets, the receptionists focused on their job and not drinking a cup of tea talking to their colleagues. They smile in private hospitals and look you in the eye. The trouble with entering such a world it is like an upgrade to club on an aeroplane, you always hope for one and the moment you get on it spoils travelling for ever as it really highlights the misery that is economy.

When I arrived for my operation even though it was a minor one under local anaesthetic, I was shown to my room. I had decided to use my time productively and engage my focus on a script. After my pre op talk by the consultant who found me sitting in the chair working on the script I abandoned such nonsense and watch ITV's 60 minute makeover. What worried me is this is not the first time I've seen it. On the few occasions I've been to the gym I've watched it on one of the screens whilst listening to my ipod. What I've now realised is you must have a hard luck story told by family and freinds to the production team to get help, plus be in possession of a really old, preferably ugly, gas fire in your living room.

As the local anaesthetic worked and I watched TV, I found out I didn't have MRSA, that my blood pressure is still 110/60 (low stuff) and amazingly I've lost 2kilos. In my hospital operation gown I wished I'd done matching underwear or something more exciting, and had a better pair of slippers and a dressing gown. The only style advice I would give is go luxe on the underwear, slippers and gown. My cosy Celtic Sheepskin slippers and Toast flannel dressing gown might cut muster in a highland log cabin but when it comes to that catwalk stroll to the operating theatre I wish I'd selected a few lovelies from Net-A-Porter.

As they've yet to offer slippers I'd opt for these from Holistic Silk.

After my walk of style shame to the theatre, I was able to marvel on the insides of a hospital theatre, having not set foot in one before. Whilst laying down as the prep started (it was like being in a medical drama), I noted that the varying medics are graded with the colour of their gowns, trousers and clogs. The clogs were the only on trend feature, although the clumpy cut and the white (hue) were not the most flattering. Not a double C in sight. Also the fabric and colours range from a green for one type of person and then varying shades of blue. They were all very nice and tried to engage me in conversation to allay any fears but I was far too busy imagining animal print, nude and even an injection of double denim for them to wear. Even if they stuck with all the necessary uniform , the headgear could go fashion. Personally I'd want a Pucci headscarf rather than the paper shower cap number despite the hygiene issues. To my eternal shame I thought this would be an improvement.

With the operation under way, one of the team hit the music button and despite Holby City and Ian McEwan giving us dramatic consultants who choose their classical music to assist them during the op with the music creating a crescendo to their surgical brilliance, I was treated to a random selection of film scores.

Moi: The music is film scores
Consultant: Is it? Right we're just starting.
Moi: Yes this is from The Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.
Quiet for a few minutes. My left arm is encased by something which is blown up to stop the blood flow.
Consultant: Ok, it is out now
A few more moments silence whilst proper work matters going on.
Moi: You'll all recognise this one!
Consultant: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?
Moi: Correct, directed by Serio Leone and music by Ennio Morricone.

Thankfully I stopped at this point as I had begun to feel slightly done in. More proper medical stuff is conducted and then I sit up, alight off theatre bed into waiting wheel chair.

Moi: So how big was it?
Consultant: Oh yes I forgot to show you (I actually am glad I didn't see it!). It was the size of a small grape.
Moi: What! That's hideous!
Consultant: Yes is was bigger than I thought. But it is a pearl ganglion so it moves and hides a bit.
Moi: Did you not thing it was slightly freakish?
Consultant: No (laughing) it looks like a pearl.
Moi: Seriously I would have thought what a freak with a lump the size of a small grape .

I was given some more medical spiel and advice on post op matter regarding care of hand then wheeled back to me room. I spent a while recovering which meant having coffee and biscuits and slightly regretting not selecting a sandwich, as I was surprisingly peckish. I settled down to watching Countdown which I haven't seen in years. The young whipper snapper who's the new Carol Vauderman was either wearing Miu Miu or a Miu Miu-esque swallow print dress. It was very short I thought for Countdown. And exactly what place does Miu Miu have on a Channel 4 show in the afternoon watched by students, retired people and the hospital bound.

Soon afterwards I was released from my fashion rage and pondering back out into the world with a sling. Slings are not a micro trend.


  1. We are almost twins! My hand bump was at the base of my left middle finger! it got a different diagnosis though. First they thought it was what you had but it wound up with some other name in the end. I had the best rest I ever had from the anesthesia.

  2. Hi there-wow, so pleased you had a pleasant stay in hospital and the op went well too. The Countdown girl certainly knows how to flaunt her stuff, she is always in something either short, tight, sheer or a combo of all, LOL!!

  3. Love that robe ... glad you are ok.. I have also done the walk of shame recently .. luckily had been pre warned and wore my taupe silk kimono which I got a few years ago from of all places Habitiat xx

  4. Love your outfit! I once had a gangion removed from my wrist under a general. Earlier this year I had to have surgery and a general in a private hospital and it was very flah but I myself looked and felt like Death. Fahion was Hardcore Absent. The nurses were like angels. My blood pressure was crazy low too. Twins.

  5. Great story. I LOVE film scores. Probably my favorite music because of the association.

  6. Naugthy lady you never said you were going into hospital when we talked last week! Love that you had a non precious small grape sized pearl.. always with the great fashion accesories! Glad it is all fixed Love the slippers, Love The Way we Were Robert Redford is a dish in that film (but not as hot as in UpClose and Personal)Also happen to Love that song!
    My only hospital experience ended with me fainting after having an operation, but the first thing I knew about it was when I woke with my knickers round my ankles and a bunch of nurses helping me up from the toilet floor.... all I could think was lucky I flushed!!

  7. What an ordeal! So glad you're OK, and if anyone can make slings a microtrend, it's you.

  8. I had my share of surgeries too. Twice actually. First was for appendectomy and second was for dangerous cyst on my left hand palm that was dreadfully painful, itchy and terribly annoying. I found though, that even if it's very hard to have a hand job when you wanna do your necessities, it still is a lot better than having a surgery inside the abdomen. Guess what? you cannot even walk properly. It was more embarassing to have to walk so slowly. You cannot even stand straight. but mind you, I was still glamor before and after surgery. I knew I would be stitched so I went to a parlor a night before the appendix fully erupted. Had my hair rebonded so that even if for two weeks without comb, it's always looking perfect. It was so perfect because my surgeons and nurses turned to be handsome young men. Why? Because I had the operation at a military hospital. Go figure... :)

    I had added your link to my blogroll. As for my link, it's okay, just take your time. Hope your hand will get better soon. Take care :)

  9. it's great to hear that everything went well! I love your op ideal choices, especially the kimono! so stylish!

  10. If anyone can make slings a trend it is you. Sorry you had to go through this. Happy it behind you.
    Your wardrobe choices makes me think of once when I had surgery and a creepy MD saw my black panties as he was examining me and he had the nerve to ask me if I wore them for him. CREEPY!!!
    Get well soon, gorgeous!

  11. Years ago I had one of those in my hand and when I went to the Doctors he bashed my hand really hard with a massive thick book, he said that was all you needed to do and sure enough it was gone. Imagine now if a Doctor did that they would be up for assualt! I guess if you have BUPA you may as well use it!

  12. That's so funny I tend to find a dark dressing gown works in hospital and any slipper by toast keep your feet really warm as they freeze when you're in hospital. You really do think of the most random things when having an op! I was once threaten with a big heavy book for my cyst but a few months down the line it disappeared which was really irritating as I had the surgery all lined up!

  13. I am happy you are all right and back home...but, for sure, you are so right, even at the hospital is nice to look nice...however it is the last thing you remember when you are sick....

  14. Glad everything went well, darling! Love the net-a-porter picks!


  15. I enjoyed this post! I have an outpatient surgery in two weeks, and I've been wondering about what to wear- probably because it helps me not worry about the procedure :)

  16. You are the chicest post op lady! And I have a couple of ganglionic cysts I live with. Are these the same as the one you've had removed?

  17. I've never been to hospital but if I did I would pick an outfit like yours! Glad you're ok and it all went well. I did laugh about Barbara Streisand playing! xx

  18. Glad everything went well, It is amazing reading the comments how many people have things like this you never hear of! Me? I have a cyst in my lower left shin, it is only painful when I am thin and doesnt have any fat to padd around it LOL. They were going to remove it but since gaining weight again it isnt bothering me at the moment, who needs scales! x

  19. Well, even with your arm in a swing, you rock your outfit. Hope it gets better soon!

    That kimono is gorgeous! I need one ASAP!

  20. Glad your op went well. Loved this post and it resonated with me! I was in hospital on Tuesday this week having a lump removed from my breast. Thankfully it turned out to be a cyst as they thought, so relief all round. But I too noticed the clogs etc as it was my first time in an operating room being awake for a procedure. My surgeon was chatting to me about my blog and said he was going to look for my write up of the hospital gowns! The hideous open back gown coupled with no make up, nail polish, jewellery or dignity does not an on trend look make! x

  21. I just love the kimono robe, combined with a silk eye mask and I can drift away to other worlds..


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