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Wednesday 31 December 2014

That time again

Already have several appointments booked for 2015, some for D and others for me. Hoping we both have far fewer visits to various local hospitals next year.

D has been a regular at St. Helens, here's hoping after today he's discharged from outpatients. Don't get me wrong, the folk at the clinic have been very good, I just want all to be over and done with.

I know to expect a recall to assess my progress, but am not looking forward to it. Nearly a fortnight in a major teaching hospital was more than enough. 

D has assessment appts in Feb (osteoarthritis) with the possibility of an op in March. Luckily he's going to one of the smaller hospitals instead of the main teaching hospital. He mentioned it to our friendly chemist, who replied that given time he'd be much, much better after the op.

I still haven't found my way back to Tai Chi, but of course there have been no classes over the holidays. Nor will I be able to go when they start back as I have booked to have me hair cut. The hairdresser makes regular (weekly) visits to one of the neighbours, so I go there too from time to time (most convenient).

Sunday 28 December 2014

Recuperation slower than anticipated

It's no wonder everything is out of kilter in my personal world.

When you've spent several weeks losing interest in food / being unable to cope with the hospital food on offer, it should come as no surprise.

Having been discharged from hospital and the ministrations of the district nurses team, I am not suddenly 100%. 

It's not just a case of mending physically, there's some psychological mending to do as well. At the beginning of my stay in hospital, I seemed to spend countless time aiming to accomplish simple tasks. How to move and sit up in bed. How to manoeuvre from bed to chair. How long to stay sitting in the chair by the bed. How to cope with the hustle and bustle that accompanied each and every group of staff that came on the ward throughout the day. Taking meds (tablets) four times a day. That involved a lot of kerfuffle as the trolley was propelled from bed to bed. One particular nurse showed quite clearly how much she hated doing those rounds, either that or she could not have cared less. She propelled the meds trolley not caring where it went or what it bumped in to. It was as tho' she was doing her personal dodgems game.

Throughout my stay my worst nightmare was 'doctor god'. Okay, so he'd passed  his exams, but had plainly missed / failed the patient communications, bedside manner part. Some folk like me have 'floating veins', ones that can be seen (only just) but dodge out of the way of needles. After a few days my hands, arms in particular the inner elbows were a swollen mass of bumps and bruises. 

As for recuperation, it continues slowly, mind and body are taking their time. 

PJ days

Just read a post by a friend who has declared today to be a PJ day. That set me thinking, as my days have been PJ days since November 24th.

I have been out with D a few times, briefly to do some necessary shopping, then home to snooze once more.

A friend phoned today, unfortunately having lost track of time, I replied that I had only just woken up. The caller was most surprised - asleep in the daytime? I passed the phone across to D who explained the goings on since I went into hospital, had the op, came home and so on... Then he went on to relate the next series of appointments that are coming our way starting with Dec. 31st. Here's hoping to see the last of the regular appointments that have been the norm throughout 2014.

Friday 12 December 2014


4th discharged from hospital complete with assorted meds and dressings.

5th a district nurse arrived to look at my surgery sites and redress the largest one.

12th I contacted the 'team' as it was a week since the dressing was changed. Someone left a message for me...

Had a phone-call followed by another district nurse. Now, there's no dressing, but an instruction to go carefully. Seems I have now been discharged from the care of the district nurses group, but I have a phone number, just in case.
Problem being, I do not feel like 'me'. 

I've encountered and surmounted the various hurdles that count as progress on the way to recovery.

Right hemicolectomy - basically - began with keyhole surgery and camera for a look see. Widened to remove a large section of bowel including the mass they came across. Stuff sent to be tested to find out what's what. 

But in myself I am not 'right'. I spent about a fortnight learning the minutiae of being on the receiving end of treatment. English language / creativity scholars would have a 'field day'. 

Recitation of several phrases throughout the day. Pain? Score 1-10 with 10 being the worst. Have you kept your fluid levels / pulse ox levels up? I need to take your blood pressure, can you put this (probe) under your tongue / behind your teeth?

Tea, coffee?

Sit out in your chair.

Have you had a wash? Have your bowels opened (details). Any sickness?

Then there's the meds routines...
Odd how staff behaviour / personality changed with their uniforms.

Staff nurses in a terpsichorean spiral from shift to shirt and ward to ward. Brittly 'happy' and ready for the fray. 

The smooth running of the ward interrupted as the 'great and the good' i.e. Consultant made his rounds. 

It became easier to cope when fewer people paid attention to this patient. 

Monday 8 December 2014


For a fortnight I gave myself time to get better. Then I gave in and asked for GP appt. 

25th Nov. saw the GP.
He told me to get myself to A and E (accident and emergency).

From then on I found myself at the Hub, which is what the teaching hospital has become.

Take in - assess - treat - send to ward (s)
Pass thro' the ward regimes
Send home.

Operation - right hemicolectomy

Came to, on Ward 5, in room 6

From then on I had one objective - to find out and do all that was required to be allowed home.

The Anaesthesiologists are amazing, followed closely by the Surgeons. Lets face it, we trust them with our lives.