Friday, 3 September 2010

My Lost Summer

Not been here for a while, and for those who read my rambles in FB or Twitter, you will be aware of the summer that I missed....
For some considerable time I had been investigated by all sorts of docs due to my difficulty in breathing that was getting worse and worse. Eventually they discovered that my hiatus hernia had become a HUGE hiatus hernia, in fact they even changed its name to an intrathoratic stomach!! In other words instead of a little stomach sneaking through an opening into the chest area and causing acid reflux, my entire stomach and even part of my upper colon were all in my chest cavity, which combined with my bent spine meant that my poor lungs and heart were being squashed, hence the problems breathing.
They eventually agreed to operate, despite the dangers because of my other problems and of course the bent spine which also causes my neck to have very limited movement - not good news to the anaesthetist!! They hoped to manage keyhole surgery which would be 1/2 nights in hospital, or of they had to make a bigger incision 5/6 nights.
I was in surgery for 4 1/2 hours and straight to the High Dependency Unit where I stayed for 4 nights. The tubes down my nose had to stay in all this time, and I had to have oxygen all the time also, plus had the morphine on demand. They didn't manage they keyhole surgery - in fact cut accross my waist from one side to the other.
The stay in the HDU was a nightmare, I have no idea what were dreams and what might have happened, I seemed to think I was in different places each night, 1 night I was convinced it wasn't really a hospital at all and discussed my fears with some of the nurses, or did I??? Anyway they then sent me to the ward, however they then discovered I had a blood infection and sent bloods off to the labs. The results came back I had MSSA (same as Lesley Ash had) so I was whipped away to solitary. The antibiotics had to be administered by way of an IV, and there was a minimum time before I could get pills instead. they also discovered an infection in my throat, and I had a bad reaction to the staples, all 34 of them, they started jumping out my skin!!..... So in there for over 2 weeks. My veins also decided to misbehave, and when I came out both arms were covered in bruises. The same needle could only be used for a limited time, then they had to put in another one. My veins became such a problem I had one in my foot- it was also part of the reason I actually was allowed out of hospital with the antibiotics in pill form a little early than the lab wanted but the situation with my veins was so bad.
Now discover that the recovery period is 3 - 6 months, and now 6 weeks later my stomach is still really swollen,think 6 months pregnant, lots of very hard bits around the wound-doc says this is blood - and lots of areas where I have lost feeling. This should all settle within the 3 months period. As the wound is at my waist difficulty in wearing clothes as they all rub the wound, plus swollen and really hard above the wound so wearing a bra is uncomfy after a wee while.
So apart from walking around the corner- literally-and a fab day out when my friend took me out in her car this week, I haven't left the house since my journey to hospital on 22 July. Oh and my birthday was spent on there too!!
I have to try to be patient, and not push it; as an example I hung put a few bits of washing this morning, which meant stretching and boy I am paying for it now. I have had such pains in my wound area since. However - as the surgeons explained - they had to really push and pull my internal organs around to get them back to where they should be, then had to stitch them to my abdominal wall, so there was a lot of bruising and stitching etc going on inside.
Hoping I might manage out a bit further next week and get into a shop!!! I mean online shopping is fab, but nothing compares to actually having a good rummage.
So really summer was just beginning as far as good weather was concerned, and now on the way hoo. Still one good side was that I have lost around14lbs while in hospital and the same when weighed myself last week, since I got out. Just not been hungry and cant eat a huge amount, but that is fine by me.
Back to see consultant on 1/10 so will see what he has to say, however everyone has been very pleased, as I do still have my other health issues including the main condition AS, so I am going through a balancing act as operation needs me to rest and heal, AS needs me to keep mobile or I will end up in pain - still plenty of painkillers!!
Well dont know if anyone will be interested, but I just needed to put it all down, I know I always play down my health issues, but I must say difficult to do it these days, I have even on a couple of occasions e.g. went round the corner to get nails sorted, and the lady was firstly astonished at my age, then when I was telling her hospital I just felt that she thought I was exaggerating, so I just pulled my top up and showed her the wound, when she picked her chin up she was speechless, silly I know, what do I care what strangers think, but because I had made an effort and taken a long long time (for me) to put make up on and hide dark circles, put some colour into my cheeks, she didn't think my situation could be that bad!!!!!

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