As you may know, I had an operation this week on my eye. You should know, I moaned about it enough. Anyway, it was to correct a droopy eyelid that had started to affect my vision, so I had a little nip and tuck. I’m two days post-op now and, apart from feeling a little battered, bruised, and sorry for myself, I’m doing well. This is only my second ever operation – the first one being a very unceremonious, endometriosis-related ‘un-sticking’ of my insides fourteen years ago. Which was nice. That was done privately though, and was such a success, I immediately fell pregnant with Dexter once I was recovered.


Anyway, I’ve taken things a little slowly this week, as I should, so I’ve had time to reflect on the operation … and have daily nana naps.


1.  I’m braver than I thought


I know I’m a bit of a badass (this is one of my many daily affirmations I say to myself), but I do get a bit freaked out by anything medical. I can watch operations on TV, no problem, but explain to me how you once broke your little toe, and I’ll pass out. So I wasn’t sure quite how I would react when faced with actual real-life surgeons, equipment, theatre et al. I did pretty bloody well as it goes and coped fine with most things. A few wobbles, but the sedation helped!


2.  The NHS is amazing


As I mentioned earlier, I’ve only had one operation before, and I try to avoid going to the Dr as much as possible, so I don’t come into contact with NHS staff very often. I’m one of those people that says, “Oh I’ll be fine!” if a limb has fallen off. But I cannot praise the staff at Maidstone hospital enough. Every single member of staff I met, from the receptionist, to each nurse, to the anaesthetist, to the two surgeons that operated on me … were super professional, kind, patient, funny at times and just all round bloody lovely to me. I’ve mentioned I’m anti-Tory before, and I know some of my readers aren’t, and that’s cool, we can still be friends, BUT … to think that these members of staff I met, and their colleagues, are treated so shoddily makes me so angry. The NHS is incredibly special, and I witnessed it first hand for the first time in fourteen years this week. It’s something I won’t forget in a hurry.


3.  Give me all the drugs


Being one of life’s copers, I’ve always shied away from asking for help. But I’m trying to allow myself to be a bit more vulnerable these days. I’ve been honest with you about how I’ve asked for support with regards to my ex situation, and I now have an advocate that speaks on my behalf. And I’m about to have CBT (actually, I don’t know if I did tell you that bit, but my first session is next week), so when the anaesthetist came round and asked if I’d like a little sedation with my local anaesthetic, I was like HELL to the YES PLEASE! Once I was in theatre, and I’d had lots of anaesthetic eye drops put in BOTH eyes (ick), the surgeon said, and I quote, “Right, give her the gin!” and in went the sedation. It was great! I felt very mellow, calm and relaxed, and wouldn’t hesitate to have all of the drugs again please and thank you.


things I learnt from having surgery


4.  Fellow patients are always interesting


I was the youngest in the waiting room because it’s quite unusual for someone as young as me to have such a rubbish eyelid, but I got talking to a lovely lady who was sat next to me, and she really took my mind off the whole thing. I didn’t catch her name, but she was 86, and she regaled me with stories of her late husband and son, how her granddaughter had moved to Ipswich recently and she was going to visit her at the weekend, how her other son lived in Nice, but that his wife died a few years ago. But he’d re-married someone 20 years younger and now, aged 60, he had twin girls aged two. And it went on and on and on … and I loved it! She was full of life, lived on her own, had just given up her driving licence so had invested in a motor scooter, which she had to charge out through her balcony, because they haven’t fitted in a power supply outside yet etc. I love talking to old people, they’re just so interesting, and it was a privilege to meet her. We sat there, drinking our cups of tea, and two designated Rich Tea biscuits, both wearing eye patches, until my niece Shannon collected me. There are worse ways to wile away an afternoon.


5.  My body continues to surprise me


I talk a lot about my body on this blog, insofar as how I’ve abused it in the past by such a massive weight gain, and how I’m trying to be kinder to it now, Star Bars aside, but the healing process I’m currently going through has been fascinating. Each day my eye looks different. The swelling seems to move around my eye clockwise, and is currently sitting equally under and over my eye – a lovely double whammy if you will. And it’s been all the colours of the rainbow. But it’s healing quickly, especially bearing in mind there are eight stitches in there. My body is strong, even when I’ve put it through all sorts of hell, and it continues to surprise me.


I can’t wear make-up or contact lenses for two weeks and so that’s going to prove a bit problematic at the weekend (more of that another time), but in the scheme of things, I still have my eyesight, so I’m grateful. My eyelid doesn’t actually shut right now, but that’s not something I’m dwelling on right now!


kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. I recently had to get rushed into hospital, it was evening and there was no-one else to look after our 1yr old so my husband had to stay at home and look after her. From the ambulance men, to the nurses and my consultant and the anesthetist they all looked after me so well and took extra care of me when they realized I was on my own. I had to go for an operation ( a minor one but it was all a bit of a traumatic situation) and the nurse from my ward stayed with me the whole time. It made such a difference and it wasn’t what she was supposed to do. There are mistakes made in the NHS but it is usually to do with the admin side (and it can have tragic consequences) but it is not down to individual staff members, it is down to chronic under-staffing and under-funding. We are so lucky that we can get these procedures and care and then not have to worry about huge bills afterwards. I hope your recovery goes well.

    1. Hello. Sorry to hear you’ve been poorly, but glad you’re doing OK now. And it’s great to hear another positive story about the NHS. They’re just bloody amazing, aren’t they?

  2. So proud you you being so brave and I know exactly how you feel being the youngest bird in the ward. That was the hardest thing for me when I had a teeny eye opp a few years back. That and sitting around with a giant arrow felt penned on my face. Hope you continue to recover well.

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