Not A Suitcase In Sight.

Checking into a hospital is a little similar to joining a cult. You’re no longer in charge of your own destiny, and there’s a new set of rules to follow with costumes to wear and procedures to learn. The cult will have you checking out tubes, wounds and stitches while you join an open discussion about your dressings.ย When you become sick or injured, what was once gross, can now be quite fascinating with a little help from the cult.

I don’t want to gross anyone out so I won’t go into too much detail, but you know when a magician begins pulling the scarves from his sleeve and they just keep coming and coming and coming? A similar thing happened to me today, but it wasn’t my sleeve. I had no idea THAT was what “packing” was when everyone talked about removing the packing. Not a suitcase in sight.

The urology ward is much the same as the maternity ward. It’s full of people without pants, people who have become used to displaying their bits and pieces on demand while discussing movements, bruising and stitches. People who have checked their dignity at the door, hoping they’ll find it somewhere on the way out before re-entering the real world. Many of them won’t, they’ll learn to live with bags, clips and drains – this is my reality for the next six weeks. And now that I’ve visited the urology ward and heard the stories, I’ve realized six weeks isn’t that long at all.

I’ve met many nurses on a two hourly schedule over the past few days. After four and half hours of surgery, “just here to take your obs” has arrived with the same regularity as a newborn screaming for a feed.ย Each nurse was fabulous at making me feel comfortable, and interested in how I came to be there. We’ve discussed family, travel, health, and whatever happened to be playing in the background on the telly. I’ve learnt that if you write a post about hanging on to your labia, you’ve made a nurse friend for life in the urology ward “we see people throwing them in the bin all the time in plastics, while in the room across the hall someone has used one to save their urethra”.

It took some convincing but eventually the cult let me go. After a lengthy catheter demonstration and some “light” reading material was run through, I felt proficient enough in how to attach a catheter without causing myself some serious public embarrassment. Discussions were had, and eventually they unrolled the pressure stockings, pulled out the IV’s and served me my last luke warm tea. Room 211 and I said goodbye.

It’s done. The operation is over. Two major things happened this week; I woke up, and my children made it home from school safely without me.

We’re over the scary bits and we’re moving along, very tenderly, but we’re moving along.

Want to get your expat life sorted?

At the end of our expat experience we want to arrive home with a juicy bank account and a heart full of fantastic travel memories.

How do you not blow your expat dough?

We're finding the best insurance deals, bank accounts, expat investments, money transfers, travel deals, housing, schooling, and relocation deals.

No kickbacks, affiliations or hidden advertising. Just expats looking for independent expat advice. We won't spam you but we will send you a weekly cheat sheet on what we've learnt that week.

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Anonymous

    I am so glad that operation was success and the kids are safe. take care and recover well Kirsty. Time will fly and you all will be together soon:)

  • manycoloured-days

    So happy to hear all went well! One week down, only five to go:)

  • Caz

    That’s good news. Take care, recovery can be exhausting. But you’re on your way.

  • bigwords is…

    Glad that part is over with xx

  • Sarah-Jane

    So happy to read the op is all over – 5 weeks….mmmm you could write a book in that time ๐Ÿ˜‰ S x

  • Gini.1242

    Hospitals… Such fun places!!! (Note the sarcasm.)
    Hope you have an easy recovery.

  • Alessandra Peters

    Hi Kirsty – feeling the same way after being in hospital with A for 5 weeks! Colleen Xx

  • JO

    I hope you can be gentle with yourself – the ‘worst’ is over, and I’m sure you want to run home. But running could undo everything. Hang in there!

  • What Sarah Did Next

    Glad to hear you’re progressing, Kirsty! I’ve been thinking about you xx

  • Lisa

    Glad you’ve been sprung! I almost went over to your house to make sure the kids were actually there, smiling and doing their homework — or whatever nonsense they’ll be up to instead — but decided to wait an hour and text instead. Whew! And hooray! x

  • Kathy the Teawife

    Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery and hoping that the times fly by so you can be back with your squishy kiddos! All the best.

  • kim at allconsuming

    Day by day. And you know that a story of public catheter calamity would make excellent blog fodder.

  • Anonymous

    xox take care

  • Michele @ The Hills Are Alive……

    Glad to hear all went well (With you and the op and on the home front too). Had a little laugh at the labia comments – hospitals can be funny places…all that black humour as a coping mechanism. Plus we humans are just plain weird and funny sometimes. Get well. Heal fast. Onwards home x

  • Kath Lockett

    Good to hear. You might be wandering around pantless for a while but hey, you’re actually living out the fantasy of most blokes aren’t you?

  • manycoloured-days

    You’ve got to insert a like button after the comments ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Circles in the Sand

    So glad all went well!

  • sorrentomoon

    We are not even friends, I can’t even call you an acquaintance – yet I read your posts with such emotion and wish I could assist you in anyway possible. This time apart from family will only make your homecoming that much sweeter. Mums need to be missed. All the best with a fast and healthy recovery. Cheers SM

    • 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      Your comment is gorgeous, and I know exactly what you mean. xxx


    Good news indeed. Take it easy, let yourself rest and heal. Good thoughts continue your way.

  • katherine

    Been thinking about you and am so glad the scary parts are behind you. Here’s to the next 6 weeks going by fast….

  • Lucy Mulvany


  • Amoola

    ๐Ÿ™‚ so happy it’s over and you are on the path to recovery. Another day closer to reuniting with your beloved kids, G and that naughty beagle!

  • Amoola

    ๐Ÿ™‚ so happy it’s over and you are on the path to recovery. Another day closer to reuniting with your beloved kids, G and that naughty beagle!

  • Anonymous

    -have been checking your blog daily to learn of your progress- glad all went well for you and your family-we are worlds apart and yet since coming across your blog, you and your family are a daily part of my thoughts-here’s to a great recovery and a great reunion with your little ones (eventually)

    • 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

      OH thank you! I’ve been worried about boring the pants off of everyone (no pun intended) with all my drama but it is what it is – it has consumed me and I’ve found it hard to write about much else. Thanks so much for your kind words, I will be very happy when November is over and December comes along, praying for catheters out on the 13th and G and the kids on the plane on the 14th. Fingers crossed. xxx

  • Muddling Along

    So glad it has gone ok – hang on in there and keep focused on healing and taking care of yourself xxx

  • qatar living

    hey, this is really great blog, I always find worth reading stuff here.
    Keep blogging