Saturday, November 06, 2010

First Operation - Excision of Tumour

During the first surgery, apart from asking my friends and family to pray for me, and saying “Oh well, I’m sure it’s nothing” a lot, I didn't think too much about it.

September 20: In the morning, I checked into the hospital and was given a four-bed room female surgical ward – Room 504. After the nurse had checked my blood pressure and measured my weight (57 kg at this point of time) and height (166cm), I was allowed to go back home to get my stuff for my stay at the hospital; but I have to be back by 8pm.

So I went out for lunch with Azmir at our usual spot in Desa Pandan (little did I know that eating will no longer be a pleasurable experience for me after the surgery) and then headed back home to Shah Alam to pack. The whole family drove me back to the hospital later that evening and we had supper at Old Town White Coffee (opposite APSH); they sat with me while I had my favourite kaya and butter toast and then sent me off to my room. Looking back, I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them to say good night, knowing that I’m going in for surgery the next day. I slept alone at the hospital; I was feeling a bit more nervous now.

Supper at Old Town White Coffee.

With Sara the night before the surgery.

With Mom the night before the surgery.

September 21: The day had finally come! The surgery will be performed by Dr Amin jointly with an expert head/neck surgeon from Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Dr Mohd Razif Mohamad Yunus. Surgery was scheduled at 4pm later today and I was asked to fast from 8am onwards. As the hospital was a little late in sending my breakfast, Azmir had decided to drop by with McDonalds’ Egg McMuffin at 7am before he went to his physiotherapy at ISN Bukit Jalil (Thank God he leaves nearby!). A few people visited me during lunchtime but whenever I was left alone, I’d performed ‘Solat Hajat’ and would read the Yassin to pass the time and to calm my nerves.

At 3pm, the nurse came to inform that the Operating Room was ready for me and I was required to remove all clothing and donned a green backless surgical gown. I waited until Mom and Azmir reached at 3.15pm to settle in bed. I was wheeled by two nurses through a long corridor, with Mom and Azmir by my side. I felt quite emotional when the nurses asked them to wait outside as I entered the cold clinical theatre where some other nurses greeted me. It was so cold that they covered my feet up to keep me warm (I was glad I had been to the toilet earlier and emptied my bladder!). I was moved across onto a narrow surgical bed in the Operating Room, above me were large twisted metal bars with massive over head lights; it’s like a scene out of Grey’s Anatomy! I was rather apprehensive but I knew God was with me all the time and He would see me through.

APSH' green backless surgical gown.

Being wheeled to the Operating Room.

Being moved across onto the narrow surgical bed.


Later, the Anaesthetist, Dr Arul Balasingam greeted me and asked if I was feeling all right. I told him to please be extra careful and make sure I wake up. After asking me to sign a consent form, with Hari Raya songs playing in the background, he smiled as he injected anaesthetic through the cannula into my vein. Another nurse asked me to breathe into a mask and after catching a glimpse of the white round clock on the wall (it was 3.45pm) and a few deep breaths, I was out.

The next thing I found myself being awakened in the Recovery Room. “Cik Aida Munirah, bangun cik. Operation dah habis. Boleh dengar tak?”. My instant reply was, “Betul ke? All right!”, and all the nurses laughed at my cheerfulness. The clock on the wall shows the time as 8pm. I felt a bit drowsy and nauseous. The nurses continued to monitor my heart rate and blood pressure. There was a tube that was put into my neck, attached to a drainage bottle – to remove any fluid which might build up in the gap that they had left.

Once Dr Arul was happy with my progress, the nurses asked me to move from the surgical bed to the hospital bed. It was excruciating! As I moved across, I saw a large stain of brown Betadine (I think) with some blood on the surgical bed. I was slightly tearful as I was wheeled out of the Recovery Room, only to be greeted with happy faces of my family (Ba, Mom, Dad, Sara, Amir, Hafez & Ibu) and Azmir, and I knew I was going to be all right now.

Right after the surgery.

Being moved back onto the hospital bed.

The area that was cut open.

Tube from neck, attached to drainage bottle.


September 22: I didn’t sleep too well with the IV and the tube hanging out from my neck, and the nurse waking me up every 2 hours. My head was beginning to hurt and my neck stiffening up. It was hard for me to lift my head, so going to the toilet was a real challenge. In the end, Mom (who spent the night at the hospital) agreed to the nurse' suggestion to put me in adult diapers. Haha, I felt like a giant baby! It was so uncomfortable to pee in it, but I did it anyway.

Around 8am, the nurse came to help lift my head and I’d managed to sit at the edge of the bed for awhile and felt light-headed. Then I’d tried to walk to the toilet; it felt good to walk, but I was weak. I had breakfast (porridge, of course) and it took me a while to learn how to open my mouth without forcing it too much.

Having breakfast (porridge). On the phone with Azmir.

Nabihah and Rizal came to visit.

As the day wore on, I felt better. I had a few visitors, it was a real blessing. My table was piled high with flowers, fruits, chocolates and magazines. Thank you all! Dr Amin made his rounds in the evening and came to explain that the surgery lasted for three hours and went very well – they’d removed the tumour and already sent it to the lab. He told me that he took some photos during the surgery with his iphone and will e-mail the pictures to me. He checked the bottle attached to the tube from my neck – the bottle was slowly filling up and if it doesn’t continue to fill I will be discharge tomorrow.

Exhibit 1 : Excised tumour (photo courtesy of Dr Amin)

Exhibit 2 : Taken during surgery (photo courtesy of Dr Amin)

September 23: Well today was much better. I can actually get in and out of bed by myself. Dr Amin came in the afternoon to check the bottle and told me that I can go home this evening! Hurrah! Later, the nurses came to remove the tube from my neck. It was so painful, I was crying in agony so Azmir tried to distract me by asking me what do I want to eat when I get back home. I'd told him that I want to eat KFC. Good distraction - but still I could feel the tube moving under my jaw as the nurse tried to pull it out. After settling the hospital bill, I was given a week’s course of Augmentin (again!) then packed my stuff, thanked the nurses for their cheerfulness and efficiency and went home. It feels good to be back.

P.S.: Bad news - I'd failed my Taxation paper, unfortunately. Boo hoo.

3 comments:

Mohd Razif said...

Dear Ms Aida , good to see that you recover well from the operation. I hope you are in the best of health. Dr Mohd Razif Mohamad Yunus

Mohd Razif said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

amazing operation. strong spirit !!! bod bless you amen....