Bloodwise Ambassador Katie Ruane
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My Body Doesn’t Like General Anaesthetic

Bloodwise Ambassador Katie Ruane
Posted by
03 May 2015

So my lovely Bloglets,

This week I experienced something for the first time, and all the medical staff I spoke to were rather surprised that I have hit the grand old age of thirty and have never had one.  Probably because of my healthy history.  Is a general anaesthetic.

I arrived at Kings College Hospital on Denmark hill at about 6.20am with my mother to go to the day surgery unit to have a LLETZ (not a cone biopsy as previously thought and what  I talked about in my last JTV Cancer Support video blog  And for those of you who don’t think I’m capable of getting up before 10.30am I was up at 4am.  LLETZ stands for Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone. So, what is a LLETZ? And for those of you who are squeamish maybe don’t read this bit.  It’s a heated wire that cuts the tissue and cauterises it as it goes so it stops the bleeding as it happens.  Think of a cheese wire that’s hot.  Nice.  You ARE welcome.

I was a little bit apprehensive of the general anaesthetic as I’ve never had one before and a thought did flit across my mind of, will I wake up?  But clearly I did.  The staff were really wonderful and I was amazed that the doctor who carried out the procedure and their assistant were female AND that they came to talk to me before I had the procedure carried out.  My only experience of anything vaguely like this before is when I had eggs harvested, by a man, who I have never met before and introduced himself just before the sedation kicked in and he inserted whatever he did into me to start the egg harvesting.  Not very patient friendly, but I suppose that was nearly 8 years ago – a lot has changed with the patient voice and patient focus since then.  Anyways, she was really really lovely.  The only thing which had slight alarm bells ringing was when she asked me why I was having a general and not a local and it’s normally done under local.  I of course had no idea, but then the letter was found in my notes to say why.  Afterwards the doctor said it was a good thing as they had to remove a lot, more than they thought of my cervix.  Not only in terms of surface area but they also went down 14mm which means that when I am pregnant (fingers crossed) I will need a stich put in to keep my cervix shut and the baby in the womb.  This doesn’t worry me as I know it’s a pretty common thing and I know women who have had it done and had healthy babies.

That bad things from that day.  General anaesthetic makes me really sick and I hate feeling sick and being sick.  I was offered a cup of tea and a sandwich when I came around – no thanks.  The nurse then offered me cold or warm water which I thought was really good of her as warm water is less of a shock to the system, so I said yes to warm water.  I sipped it really slowly as I was feeling a bit sick, felt better and then worse and was then sick.  And felt better so was offered more water and a couple of biscuits which I drank and ate really slowly.  Felt better, looked over the ward and was very jealous to see a woman drinking tea, eating a sandwich, and was then very sick.  I was told I could leave and felt awful in the car, went to sleep and felt better by about 3pm.  I took an hour to eat 3 table spoons of yoghurt at home which the doctor advised when I told her how sick I felt and I managed to keep it down.

I don’t know how long I was out for.  The procedure only took about 15 minutes.  I don’t know what time I went into theatre, around 8.15 or 8.30 I think and then next thing I know is that it’s 10.30.  I’m still not 100% and yesterday was my first day of being able to eat properly again.  Annoyingly I don’t feel nice and thin after not eating properly since Wednesday as I didn’t feel 100% then.  Anyways.  Another bad thing, the anaesthetist who told me his assistant had the magic touch with inserting cannulas and I wouldn’t feel a thing lied.  It  hurt.  And I have had those before and put it more painlessly.  So that was joyous.  The bruise has nearly gone.  And my throat hurts from the tube.  Whinge whinge whinge.

So that was my fun few hours in King’s College Hospital on Thursday.

BUT on the plus side, no pain whatsoever from the procedure itself, thank god for my superhuman power of a stupidly high pain threshold.  I am taking it really easy though as advised.  Basically been on the sofa or in bed.  No exercise for a week, strict instructions on that as they don’t want any heavy bleeding to happen or infections as that could mean going back to hospital for re-cauterisation and antibiotics etc.  I don’t want that, and I am a very compliant patient.  Chronic fatigue helps with the whole not doing anything anyways.

Results in about a month.

Normal hospital on Tuesday so will be back after that no doubt.  Also need to so a charity blog about the stuff I’ve been doing recently.

With love and hope,



Hi Katie,

Glad to hear that the operation went well even if your body didn't respond too well to the general anaesthetic. I've been under once actually and it is psychologically alone a weird thing to come to terms with.

Take it easy and good luck with the results! We're all thinking of you!


Hi Katie,
I read once that it is because we are told not to eat or drink after midnight that we can get sick when we come out of anesthesia. It was suggested to eat a lot of sugar the night before. Then, the first meal should be sweet tea and a salty food like crackers. Of course some people don't like the sugar aspect. I just had a port put in and I had a headache for hours from the start with no caffeine and dehydration. I was afraid to use the migraine med because of the pain meds and when I finally used the migraine nasal spray I was great within twenty minutes. Anyway, try to prepare with good hydration the night before and maybe the suggestion above.
Also, Andy I always smile to see how devoted you are to helping others.