Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I'm home!

You'll probably notice that I've been a bit quiet and I hope you've not been worried. The main reason for this is that every time I thought to myself, I'll start writing my blog post about this, a doctor would saunter in to my room and completely change the plan. Even I was pretty confused about what was happening by the end of it so I thought I'd just wait until after it was all over and explain it to you then!

Yes! I'm home and reasonably recovered from a second lot of surgery. A week after my pacemaker came out, my surgeon became worried that the bit of pacing lead he ended up leaving in because he couldn't fish it out may have become an infection risk. He decided he needed to have a last stab at getting it out. Unfortunately my body decided that wasn't going to happen and I began spontaneously coughing up blood just as my surgeon came with the consent forms. My pressures are so high in my lungs that random blood vessels have a habit of bursting. Small vessels heal up on their own but bigger ones need surgery. I've already had this surgery once and was really upset that it was happening again. They hoped to get me into surgery the next day, which was a Friday, but the team was too tired and they thought it was a risk starting at 5 0'clock in the afternoon. So then we had to wait for the weekend to pass and then nothing happens on a Monday in hospitals so it was Tuesday by the time we had another plan to do it. 

Tuesday at 9am I was on the table, strangely calm, waiting for all the iodine on my neck and chest to dry. Yes, I was awake! Thank god it was such a better experience than I'd had before with local anaesthetic. It went exactly how it was supposed to. Why I wasn't given any kind of calming drugs for my previous surgeries I will never understand. I was actually asleep for most of this operation, which was a good thing as they worked at it for three hours. They had a catheter (long tubing) in my neck, flowing through the heart and up into the artery where the lead was lodged. I could see the x-ray film on the screens as they tried to grasp the two inch length of lead but it was just too embedded in scar tissue that they couldn't even get a hold of it. Thanks to the heavy drugs and the lovely technician holding my hand and to my surgeon who talked me through the operation it was no more trauma than a long nap and a bee sting, which was all I felt as the anaesthetic went in. Admittedly waking up with the time 12:40pm on the machines made be a little concerned at what was taking so long but I'd barely opened my eyes and the technician was there telling me everything was okay, they couldn't get it and that they were stopping now. 

I went to recovery, scoffed five custard creams and a cup of tea with mum who was very worried that I'd had another awful time as I'd been in there a total of nearly four hours including prep time. You almost can't believe the patience of a surgeon taking three hours staring at an X-ray and trying to grab this little piece of wire with his little tool. I have a great deal of patience but even I would struggle to concentrate that long on something so dull. 

As soon as I was back on the ward some 20 minutes later, I asked for morphine and slept like a baby for nearly 24 hours surfacing only for toast and tea and morphine. Unfortunately, the bright spark who wrote up my morphine wrote me up for 5mls, an adult dose when I'm clearing the weight of a 12 year old, not to mention already dosed up on stuff from the operation so it took a long time for me to stop feeling drowsy. But as soon as I did feel better, on Thursday, they sent me home! (After 7 hours waiting for pharmacy to print a label!!!)

So I'm home now and well and truly worn out! Going to bed at seven, asleep by nine and sleeping through till seven or eight in the morning. I'm working hard on getting the calories again after a lot of nil by mouth days in hospital while they couldn't decide when they were doing this surgery. I'm no longer coughing up blood, I'm finishing my antibiotics today and my heart is working well without a pacemaker. And I want all of that to stay that way, thank you very much! 

It's been a long month in hospital and I'm so happy to be home. But I thought it'd be a lot closer to Christmas by the time I was home so now I'm home and it's not Christmas I'm a little disappointed. I won't be wishing my time away though. Winter is my favourite time of year and I'm going to enjoy the leaves falling, Halloween and cosy nights in on the sofa.

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