It was on Thursday 11th September 2008 that I travelled up to St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, if you’ve ever watched 24 hours in A&E, you’ll know what that hospital looks like. It’s flipping massive, I remember my Mum opening the car door saying that she had sent my Dad off to go and get a wheelchair. I thought, why? I can walk alright, yes I’m a tad wobbly and sometimes need some support, but my Mum insisted and I thought well this might be fun, so I sat down and in we went. I just remember it seeming so big, I’d never been in a hospital this big before and I don’t think my parents had either as we had no clue where to go. We went up to the reception desk and a lady gave us directions, at this point I began to feel a bit embarrassed to be in a wheelchair as I didn’t think that I ‘qualified’ to be in one.
We eventually found our way to the department where we were meant to be and sat down in the waiting area, well my parents sat down, I was already quite comfy in the wheelchair. It seemed like forever that we were waiting there, a lady was wheeled past us on a hospital bed, my Mum said to me ‘I swear that was your Brown Owl from when you went to Brownies’, oh no, I thought, I never liked that woman. Eventually someone came and found us and we were taken to a room.
Sitting on the hospital bed it all started to feel a bit weird, I shouldn’t be in bed, I thought, it’s the middle of the day. Having never had an operation before, this process was all new to me, I didn’t know what was going to happen next.
I remember Dr. Stapleton walking in (the brain specialist), he was going to be performing the biopsy, he checked that I was feeling okay, and that I hadn’t been feeling unwell the last few days. The next thing I knew I was being wheeled into a bay, with my Mum by my side talking to me so I knew she was there and holding my hand. I knew what was coming, that dreaded injection that would knock me out, I felt really nervous and Dr. Stapleton noticed this, my Mum explained how I was with needles and he did his best to keep me calm. They put a mask over my mouth and told me to count from 10 backwards to 1, I started to count 10, 9, 8…. and well off I went!
Of course I don’t remember anything from the operation, but my Mum has told me some things. I had a big bracelet round my wrist stating that I was allergic to Septrin (a type of penicillin), however the nurses didn’t seem to notice this and gave it to me anyway. When I started to turn blue & purple they panicked and went and fetched my Mum, who immediately knew what the problem was. ‘You didn’t give her any Septrin did you?’ Mum asked, the nurses said that they had done so and well my Mum wasn’t happy, but apparently it got sorted and they commenced with the operation.
The next thing that I remember was waking up, I was in a strange room that I didn’t recognise lying on a hospital bed looking straight up at the ceiling, I must have made a grunting sound or something as some nurses rushed over. ‘Lucy, Lucy don’t sit up, stay where you are’, one nurse said, ‘Are you feeling okay?’, I suddenly realised that I desperately needed the loo. ‘I need to go to the toilet’, I said trying to sit up, so that I could get up to do so. ‘No no’, said the nurse, ‘Stay lying down you can wee in the bed, we’ve got something to allow you to do that’. She rushed off and I wondered if she was going to fetch a bed pan, ewww I thought, why won’t they just let me get up and wee normally? The next thing I knew a nurse was showing me a thin tube and said that I could wee through that, I thought I surely can’t aim that well and the next thing I knew they were trying to shove this tube up my wee hole. I screamed out as it was really painful and wriggled to try and stop them from doing it. ‘It’s fine, keep still’ said the nurse ‘If you want to wee we have to do this’, she started pinning me down on the bed to try and keep me still. I started to panic and shouted out for my Mum over and over again. I saw her rush in from the corner of my eye and saw the nurses usher her out, telling her that she couldn’t be in here’. I started to shout louder and louder for my Mum and I was really scared and didn’t trust these nurses at all.
Unbeknown to me at the time, my Mum was in the corridor where she had been shoved by the nurses, sobbing her eyes out. Dr. Stapleton walked down the corridor and saw her, ‘It’s alright’, he said ‘The biopsy went well’, my Mum told him what had happened and he heard me shouting out for my Mum. ‘Right’, he said and he stormed into the room where I was, pulling along my Mum and told the nurses to stop. ‘The nurses started saying that my Mum couldn’t be in there, but Dr. Stapleton told them to not be so stupid and brought my Mum over to me. I remember him saying, ‘What is going on? This girl has just had an operation and all you’re doing is distressing her, go and get a commode and let her sit on the toilet’. A nurse rushed off to get it and eventually I managed to wee the normal way, although in the end not a lot came out because I knew everyone was watching.
I got back in the bed and my Mum hugged me and made sure that I was ok, I was now because she was there by my side.