Saturday, 29 November 2008

Hospital times

For me there's no other option. I have everything to live for and that's why i will overcome the tumor. Not everyone is the same, some will see death as a blessing, some will wish they were sicker so they could hide away behind something, some simply treat it as another hard day in a hard life. You get to meet so many different people but they can influence you and drag you off your course. The hardest part after the operation was dealing with the people when i moved into the ward out of HDU.

HDU was first class, it was organised so that nurses were always in sight and they were supported by the odd auxiliary or student. Through in the wards, the use of auxiliaries and students is an obvious cost effective way of dealing with the higher occupancy. It doesn't demean the quality of the nurses just that they don't spend as much personal time with you.

The way you behave is obviously a factor in the way others respond to you, so my cheery disposition was a breath of fresh air in a mood of despair. The Dr's also started to change the routine, speaking to me rather than at or around me when they saw the positiveness in my attitude. When referring to statistics, don't forget that's about other people, not you!

It all started well until a Dr i never saw again decided the epidural would be taken out. Id undergone major surgery and whilst they couldn't operate on the liver, it was still major. The plan had been to keep the epidural in till the Tuesday, but some bright spark decided otherwise without talking with the Pain Management Team and replaced the epidural with oral drugs. They gave me doses too small for my body type and so Sunday saw me in a state of sheer pain. 10mg of Sevradol and 10mg of Tramadol 4 x a day was soon raised to 20mg and that helped big time.

Then they decided to take away the catheter that was draining the bladder. With the body shocked from surgery and under new drugs, the bladder didn't respond, so on the Monday night they decided to put it back in. 3 long attempts were made causing a certain amount of trauma and a sleepless night, finally being put in on Tuesday 9am. This was while in the recovery stage which is meant to be fraught with danger. I waited for the kitchen sink, after all, that was the only thing i didn't have thrown at me. Two of the days in the HDU were almost step backwards.

So on Tuesday, exhausted, i was moved in to the ward, into a room which had the windows closed and the heating full on and three others not speaking. I'll talk about the guys in a separate topic, but at one point that evening the pressure was not where i wanted to be. I had a bedside phone and i think it was Bob on the phone when i cracked. At that point i somehow related to a para phrase of 'screwing the nut' (getting your head straight) that Bob had told me about in relating to when you have to pull it together. I said the phrase and i was ok. I was OK.

So Tuesday to Friday i was in the room with 3 others with whom i started talking and we had the windows opened. the nurses came in with better attitude as it was no longer a room to hide from. The Tramadol was dropped so that left me less 'knocked out. 'Visitors came in and spirits lifted - i think on Wednesday i had nine which also tired me but in a nice sort of way. My drainage was taken away and i started walking freely. 200 meters was an achievement. Nurses started 'hanging out' in our room and when i left there was a good feeling despite the terminal diagnosis for one of them.

I would wake up at 7ish, get a breakfast of grapefruit and a slice of toast but i was never hungry in the am. I had slow acting Morphine at 8am and 8pm and any time i needed more than that i took 20mg of Sevradol. Paracetamol 4 x a day and laxatives in the hope that...well... hope. I'd shower and take the dressing off letting the wound breathe, change and then go back to bed to sleep to lunchtime. This time was also a busy time for blood pressure, blood testing and dr's rounds. Friday i could go home and i couldn't wait, i spent the afternoon speaking with visitors, walking the corridors getting my meters in, as well as nursing staff and the others in my room.

At 7.30pm, i walked out into the dark crisp evening for the car journey home in what was an emotional and significant moment for me. The fight changes to a two pronged attack now. I'll have Chemotherapy for the tumors, but i will also have to repair my liver for the quality of life i want to have. Walking on the frost bitten pavement i knew the journey would have its tough times ahead but i will achieve it on both fronts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude... Keep fighting the fight. We're here to support you!


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