Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Moving forward to good health

I had a phone call last Friday. Could I get myself to the heart hospital by 11am Tuesday?
Yes I could.
I spent a couple of hours extra waiting time because some emergency cases had to be dealt with.
   I feared they'd send me home as time went by but eventually, with apologies, I was wheeled into the 'Lab'. The team set up the monitors and arranged me comfortably under the scanner as the consultant and his registrar chatted to me about what was going to happen.
 I had a sedative to muffle the discomfort and they pushed the catheter into the right arm's artery. I wasn't able to see the screen but could feel how it was going. I was warned about pain and so I wasn't frightened when it came. I started to get visual disturbances and headache from the blue radioactive dye as I did last time but I'd expected that.
 It didn't hurt too much and as they'd decided to do only one stent it was over quickly. As the procedure was finishing my teeth started chattering and my hands and legs started twitching too. It was weird and I couldn't control it, even clamping my hand over my mouth didn't stop my teeth from sounding like a Fred Astaire routine.  A nurse asked if I was cold, I wasn't so they told me I was reacting to one of the drugs they'd used during their 'fantastic voyage'. I didn't bother to ask which one.
It took about 15/20 minutes for these side effects to wear off, all except the headache which stuck around for another hour or more.

I was treated to innumerable cups of tea and jugs of water over the next 3 hours. I had a pressure band on my wrist to prevent any arterial bleeding and I had a sandwich and snacks once I felt up to eating. Periodically the wrist band would be loosened and my bp checked. I also had 2 ecg's.
I'd been in the unit for 7 hours by the time I was deemed ok to go home.

Everyone was wonderful. They were all cheerful; although the nurses were extremely busy they came to chat often. The registrar came to talk and I had lots of opportunity to ask questions.They had chosen not to do the 2nd stent because it was borderline but said they might do it in 6 months or so. 'Oh gooodeee' said I.

I am on blood thinners now and so can't have my breast op for one month, but today I can breathe freely and I felt really well when I woke up. I'm tired now but I'm on my way to better days.

Friday, April 14, 2017

'Two Hospitals' Part, the second

'Kay bringing things up to date  ( nuffin' happened today. I just got guilty).

As you may have guessed, there was no blip. I do have a teensy weensy spot of cancer and some gummed up arteries. I have had an angiogram to confirm the cardio stuff and a breast biopsy to confirm the cancer.

Breast biopsy is no big deal; quite interesting, as you can see it all on the ultrasound. It didn't hurt at the time, the local anaesthetic was very good. However it can and did hurt over the next couple of days.
 I do wish hospitals would explain that there's the possibility of discomfort/pain/ localised 'ouch'. It would save a lot of nervous Google surfing !

An Angiogram isn't much fun. I had one before, years ago, where they went in through the groin, that was a bit dire and all greek to me. I thought this time would be nicer, but then I'm foolish.
It was a Saturday production line of diagnostic angiograms. As one patient/client/victim was wheeled out of theatre the next was wheeled in, seemingly for hours at a stretch. An overworked cardio consultant sat behind a shield staring at his monitor while I was dosed with radioactive dye and scanned. The catheter administering the dye felt unpleasant going up my arm but 'unpleasant' went to another level when the nurse said 'breathe' as she whisked it out after the procedure.

Then I had a reaction to the dye. This doesn't happen to everybody, but as I was wheeled back to the day-case unit I realised I couldn't see clearly. Soon I had castle battlements dancing before my eyes. Sounds crazy, but...... it's intriguing. It's a kind of visual migraine. First you get the light show then you get the killer headache.
I was sent home a couple of hours later by which time I felt normal again, but tired.

Now I wait. It seems there are swathes of people in the UK with dodgy hearts and there are too few doctors/beds etc etc perhaps our caring government hopes a few of us will die waiting. The breast list appears to be shorter but that can't be started until the heart is sorted, just in case I have a quick coronary on the table.  The breast guy has written to the heart guy to ask him to move things along please.

Next installment.....soon?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This year is getting 'interesting'

Somehow I had a feeling this year would be busy with new experiences.
 I didn't know how, but it is certainly starting to rock now.

Without too much tedious detail I'm going to tell you a 'Tale of 2 Hospitals' this year.

Last year my gut was going through a restless stage  and my GP, lovely woman, was throwing everything at the problem to improve things. As part of her quest she sent me for a CT scan of my Aorta. Somewhere around the turn of the year the results came back.
'Good News' she said 'there's nothing wrong with your Aorta'. I would have waved a flag if I wasn't waiting for the other shoe to drop, 'However' ( luv that word) 'however there is some problem in your heart'. Being a curious creature I asked for more, but she had no details, she said I'd need to see a cardiologist to find out.

Time passes and I get an appointment for a Monday afternoon cardiac clinic at the nearby and well-regarded heart unit. On the Friday before the clinic I get a letter with NHS stamped on it.
It says my recent mammogram on the breast screening programme has flagged up something and I need to visit their clinic at a different, but also good hospital and the appointment was for the morning of Monday. The same Monday.
At this point I stopped and did a quick appraisal of my future prospects. Then I decided I couldn't have 2 medical problems coincide like that and the breast thing was obviously just a blip on the screen.............

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I know it's just a date on the calendar....

.....BUT I want it to be the 1st of January 2017.

My own life has been a tad troublesome this year, but fades into nothing beside what has happened in the world outside.

I hope, but don't expect things to be better next year. Many people seem to be waking up to the need for social change. I think it could be difficult.

The chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times' seems appropriate for life today, but the Chinese may get through the year ahead better than some of us.

I'm learning to fret less but that has made me withdraw from many things.Somehow I need to be active but with some detachment, not easy.
I'm not making any resolutions because that seems guaranteed to make ideas fail.
I shall take optimism as my watchword, but fill the sandbags just in case.

I'm bored with writing this twaddle so that's it for now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The End of 2016 ....Hooray

I doubt I'm alone in feeling happier now this year is fast fading.

The second half of my year was: July bad, August appalling, September bad, October and November slow and steady improvement, December a bit wobbly.

I don't want to remember this year so mentally I'm going from 2015 straight to 2017, not passing 'GO' on the way.

Seasonal Felicitations.
See you on the other side.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Haven't written.....oh how surprising

Not a thing. My 'creative' brain, if I possess such a thing, has buggered off somewhere along with  my sense of self worth. Serves me right for putting all my eggs in the one basket.

I've been on the slide again. For a long while I was busy with politics, totally absorbed more like, ever since the run up to the General Election last year. At that time I was full of optimism and was sure that rewards come just because you exert effort. I pushed lots of effort at the EU debate. I thought of almost nothing other than Europe for several months and talked and talked and talked.

Then came the Referendum result and I could NOT believe it, for days I wandered around this foreign land that used to be my country. It felt like those awful centripetal fairground rides they used to call 'The Wall of Death' where you spun round inside a big wooden drum. You'd go faster and faster then they dropped the floor away and you were pinned to the wall with emptiness below your feet.

Now after a lot of angst, big depressive waves and panic attacks I am coming round to deal with the new order.
I'm not giving up. I've invested a lot of emotional capital in this 'experiment' that Labour mps seem to think doomed to failure. Well it isn't. Mr Corbyn is still there and others like me are still supporting him. I still believe we can make good changes in this country; maybe our chances will even improve once the fairy-dust falls from Brexit eyes. Everything is up for grabs and it may yet all turn out for the best. But I need something else as well.

I must start writing again. I need my inner world functioning and giving me strands of ideas to play with. I need the discipline and the accomplishment of small goals.

So come back please Creativity, I have need of you and I'm truly sorry that I pushed you out of the door.
I will start some words this weekend. Dunno what yet, but I will stare at paper and try to see shapes form.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Some steps forward despite several backward falls.

This blog's gaps show how much my state of mind affects everything else. The battle to think clearly and imaginatively while walking a tightrope continues.

I won't bore anyone with the negative details. I'll only mention the positive stuff:

I had some, free sessions with a mental health worker that helped because she seemed to think that I'm a reasonably nice person. She might have been saying that because positive reinforcement is part of her job but it did help.

 When the sessions stopped I felt bad again, but told my family that I have ongoing mental health issues. They didn't run away screaming so that was ok.

Out of spite my IBS returned, but I'm dealing with that and mostly staying healthy.  

I'm trying meditation which is helping when I remember to do it.

Berst of all, I re-wrote a short story from a few years back and I've entered it in a competition. It won't even make the shortlist, but the real success is that I actually submitted something and I still feel good about it.

If only Summer would get here....................