It’s been three years, three long challenging years but I remember it like it was yesterday. So many people that mean so much to me know exactly what I mean when they see this date, but I have never shared my story in detail from my point of view. So please, sit back and relax whilst I finally share the major and sometimes minor details of my hip reconstruction…A year and a half of being in constant agony and sitting the beginning of my GCSE years with a dislocated hip, I had such a picture built up in my head as to how this journey would be! After getting a sickness bug a couple of weeks before, on my original operation date, it broke my heart but made me more determined than ever to finally live the pain free life I’d dreamt of as soon as the 24th arrived.
I remember arriving in Southampton hospital car park and taking one look before fear took hold of me. It finally hit me, this was my home for the next week and that in a few hours I’d be under anaesthetic having a hip reconstruction. The only way I was going to get through the next week (by the way no one knows I did this!) was to imagine being admitted to a five stat hotel, pretending to be some celebrity and thinking that no needle would come anywhere near me… it sounds silly but it worked, until I saw one of the first things to calm me down and bring me back to reality. There it was, right in front of me the incredible multi coloured corridor! At 15 years old I was more fascinated than most five year olds, but just round that corner was my ward and perminant base that I’d call home, ward G3 for children’s orthopaedics!
Then it started, my wrist bands went on, the forms were signed and just because I was allergic to one thing? That was known as ‘high risk’ and I had a red clip attached to my bands. My first set of observations were then done, my magic cream got put on every part of my arms possible, which was followed quickly by a blood test. My fear of needles were soon found out after tear drops flooded out of my eyes like a fountain! Wow, now the waiting began. I waited five long hours until the porters came and got me, trust me those five hours felt like a longer wait than the whole year and a half! No matter how many games of uno that was played I had never been so bored… but the little children that looked petrified did distract me, because I realised that it could be me to cheer them up a bit, even if it meant hearing the Peppa Pig theme tune on repeat! Finally my time for my operation had come around, this time it was me that was petrified, but my life was about to change forever. Going down the normal hospital like corridors on a hospital bed on the way to anaesthetic, which is my worst nightmare and this time my mind wouldn’t let me be a celebrity, this time my mind knew what was about to happen! We reach the corridor and I was waiting to get put to sleep, I can remember watching Ice Age on a massive robot looking TV an then, I was going to sleep that was it, I was gone at 4:00pm.
The next thing I knew it was 8:00pm, I was awake and hearing my nurse and mum and dad telling me to keep my oxygen tube up my nose, but I am Iesha Manns and everyone knew that’d never happen! I was in and out of sleep, I can remember my dad telling me that my little sister wanted to start ballet, but I can’t remember him leaving. The next time I woke up, everyone was asleep and I was having my drips and cold spray checked on to make sure my epidural was working! It was the same as this for the next few days, I remember my auntie Serena coming up on around the second day and doing a fishtail plait in my hair, whilst I was off my face on my morphine drip, but it’s the littlest things I can remember so clearly, just like that!
I finally started to feel more alive on the third night/fourth day, that’s when my Physio started and I had the most amazing physiotherapist ever! But, the epidural had been stopped then and I was finally allowed back in my chair… me being me, I went to the bathroom and did my makeup! I had the most incredible visitors, my Nans and grandads, my mum was just the definition of my saviour that week and stayed by my side until the very last night when my godmother took over. My dad and sister, who knew I was poorly even at such a young age and just sat with me, playing Peppa Pig on my iPad laying next to me. My auntie Camilla who by the Friday night realised I was in need of getting back to being me so started throwing Daim Bar Minis at me… that’s love! But the biggest thing I remember, is having my cousin Matilda who is my inspiration by me all weekend, feeding me pasta and chicken and stuffing sandwiches and watching bridesmaids to that guy nurses disgust… all whilst being my rock and my nurse until late at night on the Sunday! She left an I was sad, but then I realised something… IT WAS DISCHARGE DAY TOMORROW!!! I had my last hair wash and hospital bed bath, had some time with the play therapists then went to sleep for the last night in G3!
Finally we’ve reached the end… it was discharge day! I had spent the days at the beginning of the week wishing the days away to get out of hospital, but now it was here I was feeling a bit emotional. I wrote all the nurses a card, filled in the feedback forms and started packing my bags. I said goodbye to all the children that I’d made smile over the last week, mum had become friends with all the parents and I felt like a big sister to all the kids, we’d become family in the last week and it was so hard to leave! I left the ward, went down the hallway to say goodbye to the most fantastic nurses and therapists for the last time, gave them there card and with tears in my eyes we shut the coded door behind us for the last time. Got down the multicoloured corridor that had been my safe place throughout the last week and I kept looking down until the end. The lift was next and for the very last time I’d hear “ground floor, doors closing” it sounds silly but it was breaking my heart! By now? I was a mess, but I was that celebrity again as we walked out the main doors and I was free to go. Got in the car anxiously trying to do transfers to the car the way I’d been told to, to be comfortable. Drove away, wiped the tears from my eyes and started the next challenge of a six week recovery I knew lay ahead of me! I’m a new person, I had the strength when we drove away and I will be forever thankful of the support from everyone!
Iesha Manns, mission reconstructed hip complete!