Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Just realised I haven't posted since Saturday!

Regular readers will know that no post is good news as I am busy getting on with things and not posting on here.  Then I get a pang of guilt and feel I am letting you all down.  So here goes.

Sunday was a great day.  Ian came round again and we put the Land Rover back together.  Well actually, I supervised and checked and Ian did all the hardwork.  He only owns modern cars and doesn't get to play with spanners on them, I think he enjoyed wielding my spanners and sockets.  I promised not to tell the public, but whilst he was under there I got him to grease my nipples. (A Land Rover propshaft has 3 grease nipples and there are two propshafts).

Monday and today I have been having a good time in the chilly sun.  saw the nurse on Monday and she said if I could keep the dressing on there was no need to go in today, so I haven't seen them today but will do tomorrow.  The cavity wound is healing well from the bottom and they tell me I am doing a great job of keeping it clean.  I'm not doing much other than showering though, so it must just be clean.

Have booked the Land Rover mot for tomorrow afternoon so I have spent some time checking it over, pretty sure it will pass with an advisory on the exhaust leak at the back box joint.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Tried to post from my new tablet

But using a touchscreen keyboard and the blogger interface wasnt easy, so back to the old technology of the netbook.

Good couple of days, Sharon said today that I sound as if I have turned the corner.  I think that is Dorset for getting better.  I certainly feel better today than I have since the end of February.  Went down to the Health Centre and saw the nurse, new one I hadn't seen before.  She said the wound looks really clean and is healing well, which was good news.  I celebrated with a trip to Screwfix and Halfords.

Ian came round and we cut the grass (I supervised) and put the bits back on the shed that had fallen off.  Smoked samon and scrambled eggs for lunch and a sit on the sofa this afternoon.

Post script.   Now downloaded the blogger app to the tablet.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Getting so much better all the time, its getting better

Dossed around in my pj's until 10:30 and then showered and went to see the nurse.  She says it is looking great and healing as it should.

Came home and had some lunch and then popped across to see Andy.  He was running around doing jobs and needed someone to sit in a couple of cars for him, so I have had a pleasant afternoon out in the sun and had a ride in two sports cars.  Have just made chilli for tea and am sat waiting for Sharon to get in for work.

Out for breakfast tomorrow.  Only had 3 parecetomol today, bit sore but nothing too unbearable.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Up further today

Up very early as Sharon was off to London today.  On the advice of the nurse yesterday I decided not to shower until just before I saw her today.  Showering soaks the dressing and it falls out, so she said to leave showering until just before it was to be changed.  I was up early but dossed around un-showered until 11:00 ish. 

Will have to go to the Health Centre again over the weekend as the practice don't open.  Not sure what will happen next week, we are reviewing on Friday.  If the infection is being beaten by me and the anti-biotics they want to change the dressing every other day.  According to the practice nurse every time they change the wick it delays the healing of the incision by 12 hours.  If they change it less, it will heal quicker once they decide it is clean.

Anyway, I decided to drive to the surgery, then to the post office and then go for a drive.  All went fine and knowing I can get out and about always lifts my spirits.  The nurse said to carry on as normally as possible, not to go to the gym (no chance!) and to take it fairly easy.  She said the worst thing I can do is to stay on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  I need to move about a bit to get my circulation going to carry the anti-biotics to the infection site.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Ups and downs

Great to get up to sunshine and warmth.  The warmth is having an impact on the garden and on my state of mind.  The dressing fell off in the shower again.  Spent some more time rebuilding my laptop after having to re-install windows after a registry corruption.  Appointment with the nurse was at the end of morning surgery in the emergency slots.  Was sat outside the nurses room at 12:15 for my 12:20 appointment.  The teenage girl there asked me what time my appointment was as hers was 12:10 and she was worried she had missed it.  At 12:20 an elderly gentleman turned up and sat down.  The nurse came out and he went straight in!  How do the appointment systems work in the NHS????

The nurse said the incision looks very clean and I am doing a great job of keeping it clean.  I asked her how long it would be kept open for and she said 14 days.  Bit of a shock as the hospital said 7.  The practice nurses said "Yes, the doctors always say that, but they don't do the treatment, sometimes it's 3 weeks".  So I have booked appointments at the surgery for every day this week  and next week, will have to book in the health centre for Saturday and Sunday.  Have also been in touch with radiotherapy as I don't want to waste their time and mine going to another appointment where the outcome is defer it.

The support from friends and family has been great again, thank you all.  I was in danger of having a downer, think it is the anti-biotics, but a couple of phone conversations with good old friends and lots of electronic support from so many others has got me back up again.  I am going to go mad sitting around doing nothing in this great weather.  At least fixing my laptop is giving me something to concentrate on and I have ordered a cheap Android tablet to explore next week.  I am having to duck out of a big school governors meeting this week as well, but I know it will all be fine. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Back in my GPs care

Got an appointment to see my GP and the practice nurse today.  My Doctor was still feeling guilty for not getting back to me after I asked her about the swelling but was very pleased to see and here what had happened on Friday.  She also had good news, Fridays blood tests showed that my sugar levels are back down again and I haven't hit diabetic levels (yet).  She says not to worry about it until after radio therapy is over and then we can talk about lifestyle and stuff.  I am planning a life style change once radiotherapy is over anyway, not sure I want to go back to being a self employed training consultant anymore.  I want to carry on being a self employed motorsport instructor, and chauffer but you can't earn a living at that. At the moment I would like a nice little regular income that leaves me free to do the driving jobs.  I am getting too old for the stress and energy needed to run training courses, write reports and live in hotels.  I have been at it full time since 1989, a year now of doctors, hospitals and doing not much has given me time to do a lot of thinking.

Anyway, the nurse changed my dressing, after yesterday's fell off in the shower this morning.  The practice nurse has put a little sticky dressing on so I can shower in the morning and I will back in the surgery lunchtime.  Got my shorts on today, it was glorious this morning but it is cold and overcast now so I may have to get some proper clothes on.  The antibiotics are making me feel pretty awful, but anything that makes me better is good.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Dressing changed

I won't go into the gory details, and they are gory.  The hospital booked me an appointment at The Banbury Healthcentre for the nurse to change my dressing today.  Popped down, filled in the forms, got it changed and was home in 45 minutes or so.  The hospital had also left a message on the District nurse answerphone for them to do it tomorrow and I hadn't heard back so I left a message this morning.  The nurse at the healthcentre said the district nurse wouldn't do it if I could get to the surgery and when the district nurse rang the first thing she asked was "Can you get to the surgery?".  Had to be honest and say yes, so now it is my problem to sort out with the surgery tomorrow.  The district nurse did say if the surgery can't do it they will get someone to me.  So up early and on the phone then.

If I had swallowed a sweet the size of the antibiotics my mum would have told me off.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I'm out.

Well pharmacy let it all go wrong again today. Never get discharged from hospital at the weekend or on a bank holiday. Regular readers will remember the Boxing Day fiasco when it took 4 hours for some drugs. Today it took over 5 hours to get from prescription to my hand. But I have them and I am in Ian's car on the way home.

The ward staff have been fantastic, friendly and very helpful. I have been in Wytham ward, which used to be the private ward. So excellent facilities, free TV but still the same awful food. The seat next to the bed was an electric recliner but the individual apple pie I ordered was a lemon curd tart when it arrived.

The picture is one of those holiday postcards you send. My room is the second window on the first floor.

Supplied by hospital

Had a decent nights sleep. Nearly didn't get any breakfast as the 'Nil by Mouth' sign had not been taken down from yesterday. Eventually managed to get toast marmalade and coffee, took much hard work as, evidently, some people come into hospital and are mad enough to try and convince staff that they aren't 'nil by mouth' even though they are!

After surgery yesterday I woke up wearing something I wasn't wearing before I went down. Been given a clean one this morning. So Penny, NHS can achieve the same delivery time as M+S on support items.
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Friday, 19 April 2013

I'm back!

Well I could moan like Penny suggested, but once they start, they get on with it. Went down to theatre at 6:00 and was back on the ward by 8:45.

Haematoma drained, feeling good, not sure what will happen when the local wears off though, they mentioned morphine, so they must expect it to hurt. But hey ho, I'm alive and at the moment I feel better than I did this morning.

Onwards and upwards.
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Option 2 wins

Hi, this is Penny - Graham's sister. His phone battery is about to pack
up having spent all day waiting to find out what's happening.

I'm not happy, in fact I'm really fed up. M&S can manage to get
Graham's undies sorted overnight why can't the doctors get their act

I have just spoken to Graham and found out that the haematoma infection
needs sorting "as an emergency". He has to stay in hospital
immediately, he will need a further operation to remove some infection
and will go onto IV antibiotics. We don't know how long this will be
for and the operation will be done as soon as possible when Graham's
name gets to the top of the "emergency list".

3 weeks ago Graham said things weren't right, he blogged that the nurses
and doctors told him it takes time to heal. I wish somebody had
listened then - maybe antibiotics 3 weeks ago would have prevented this
situation arising today. Graham takes everything in his stride, he
hasn't made a fuss about any of his treatments or hospital visits but I
think he would be justified to have a really good moan about today's news.

But in the spirit of PMA, please send Graham, Sharon and Lauren some
"infection busting" and stay strong thoughts and wishes. Graham's main
concerns this afternoon were - Sharon's trip home driving the
PoloBanger, mum's shopping list and M&S hanging on to his undies till he
is out of hospital!!!

What a waste?

Had an email this morning from M+S to say my £30 worth of support underwear has arrived in store.

Now sat in the hospital waiting area waiting for a urology consultant. The radiotherapy consultant had the test results, the haematoma is infected. She contacted the oncology registrar and he came down to see me. He has now gone off to see the Mr Mehai, the surgeon who did the original job to see what's next. The options range from sending me home with some antibiotics to keeping me in until they can operate. The first sounds the least likely to succeed the second is preposterous. Why would I want to sit around in hospital waiting until they can operate?

Anyway, I will keep you posted.
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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Still Sore

Well it has been slightly less difficult as the swelling has been reduced by the fluid that Mr Mehai drew off on Monday.  But it's still BLOODY SORE!   I am on 5 or 6 pain killers a day and avoiding walking too much.  My sister (an expert researcher) discovered that the Great Britain 2012 athletes were all wearing M+S base layer support underwear.  Had a quick look on their website last night and they looked just the job. We have an M+S in town, so why do it online, I could do some real shopping!  I haven't been real shopping for ages.  So off into town I went today.

Looked at all the mens underwear, couldn't find any base layer anywhere.  Went to the pay desk and a nice lady said she couldn't help but her coleague Sue could, she would get her.  Sue arrived with what looked like a leather satchel.  It was, in fact, an iPad in a case.  She kindly found the undergarments on the M+S website, helped me set up an M+S user id and order my pants, she also let me pay.  During this process I criticised M+S web design for the appauling way it worked with the iPad and offered to sell them some consultancy about how to do it properly, she said she didn't know who was in charge of that.   My pants will be delivered to the store tomorrow.

This is in fact a whole new concept and could change retail completely.  The town centre could be full of units where people with iPads help you to order things.  Think of the increased profits, they would need less space, no shelves.  There is one flaw though, I wanted to see them in the shop to see if they would rub.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

GP Today

Went to see my GP today for the results from my blood test last week. Everything is OK, my thyroid is working so she has prescribed some anti-hystermines to see if they cure the itching. I don't hold out much hope, but I will give it a try.

She also declared that the blood test shows me as borderline diabetic. My dad's diabetic, his dad was, my brother, my uncle is. Oh and we used to have a diabetic dog, but he died. GP wants me tested again, so fasting again Thursday ready for a test early Friday morning before I go to see the radiotherapist. I could do without that at the moment. GP says it may be the after effect of the steroids I was on during chemo.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Saw the Surgeon today

I am beginning to think that nobody other Prof Hassan really cares.  Saw the surgeon, Mr Mihai today for a 5 week post surgery follow up.  Two weeks after the op I contacted the ward I was in because they had said to contact them if I wasn't happy or had any questions, so I did, I was swollen, the swelling was hard.  They said 2 weeks was early and I was probably OK, if it got any worse to contact my GP.  Knowing how long it can take to get an appointment with my GP, I emailed her anyway.  She said she agreed with the nurses on the ward and if it got any worse to go and see her or the emergency doctor service.  It hasn't got any worse, and it hasn't got any better.  Mr Mihai saw me today and his face said it all.  I have a haematoma (collection of blood not in blood vessels) which is, evidently, occasionally an issue after the sort of op I have had.  Those of a squeamish nature who don't want to know the detail should stop reading now and follow this link.

Those of you still reading, remember it was your decision.  As part of the operation they removed my left testicle.  Since the operation my scrotum and penis have been very swollen and the skin has been hard to the touch.  Today Mr Mihai asked me what has to be one of the best questions I have ever been asked, "Do you mind if I stick a needle in your scrotum?".  Now I am sure if I google 'needle scrotum' it will take me to some terrifying websites, so I am not going to.  He stuck the needle in, attached a syringe and withdrew some fluid which is now off to the path labs for analysis.  He suggested I should get some athletic support underwear which will reduce the effects of gravity.  Ebay has revealed some interesting ideas, but the leather one with studs was very expensive.  he doesn't think I have an infection.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Surgeon Tomorrow

A week of hospitals and doctors coming up. On Monday I have the follow up appointment with the surgeon. I am planning to have a good moan, I am still sore and swollen and I don't feel like it has got any better for about 4 weeks. OK it isn't keeping me in bed or on the sofa but it is uncomfortable all the time and painful sometimes.
Tuesday is my GP. She will have the results of my blood tests from last week. We are hoping to find out why my skin itches all the time. I still think it is the blood pressure drugs that were increased during chemo. She was adamant that it wasn't.

Then on Wednesday my mum has a cataract assessment. I am hoping my sister will be able to do that one so I don't get hospital overdose.

Friday is radiotherapy consultant day. Should get a start date and a duration for the radio therapy. That will make planning the rest of my life a bit easier.

Had a few days in Dorset this weekend, which highlighted how sore and swollen I am. Over did it on Wednesday and paid for it on Thursday and Friday. Caught up with old friend and regular blog reader Richard for lunch on Thursday. It was great to see him. The support from so many people like him has kept me positive and sane through the past year.

Thank you blog readers.

Friday, 5 April 2013

It's been a good news day

Had a 12:40 appointment with Prof Hassan today.  We arrived in plenty of time, but not enough time to get something to eat.  When we got there they announced he was running 40 minutes late, should have gone and got something to eat, but didn't.  We read a couple of magazines and someone sneaked out and updated his 40 minute wait to 90 minutes.  2 hours late, we saw him.  It was worth the wait, he had all the pathology results.  He is very glad the operation had been done and that Mr Meihi had been so thorough as there were some clusters of cancer cells in the tubes of my reproductive pipe work, all of which have now been removed.  The pathology shows no evidence of the cancer spreading around the body, which is also good news.  I should get an appointment to see the radio therapy consultant in the next week or so.  Radio therapy will commence as soon as they are happy the operation has healed enough.  Got a bar of chocolate on the way out from the shop, call it lunch.  We were going to stop for lunch on the way home, but we rushed back to let Lucky out and do the shopping instead.

This is the first time since last June that I feel I can see the end of it and I am coming out of it OK.  I have stayed positive all along but I have always had that nagging doubt.  Since the operation the soreness, swelling and not being able to do things has really got to me and the doubt has been taking over.  Today's news has got me back on the positive track.

It's has not been easy being on a downer as Lucky, the coolest dog in the world, has been staying with us for 2 weeks.  When you are feeling down I highly recommend a dog dose from a cool dog.  Even in freezing Cornish Easter temperatures with condensation running down the chalet walls, Lucky just tucked in his basket, pulled a blanket over and grinned.  He chased rabbits in the dunes and frolicked with other dogs on the beach.  In dog years he is way older than me.  He's always happy, always pleased to see people and carries on whatever happens.  He is today's blipfoto, but I thought I would put him here as well.  Here he is shouting that he has been left at home on his own whilst we went to the hospital and now he needs to play.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

3 and a bit weeks on

It was 3 weeks since the operation last weekend. I suppose the fact that I was in Cornwall on the side of a hill watching the Land's End Trial says I am doing reasonably well. But I am still swollen and sore in places and it is getting me down. I want to be up and about. The weekend told me how much I still have to go to being recovered from the op. I know that once I am recovered I will probably have to start radiotherapy, I'd just like to feel fit for a few weeks in between.

Appointment with the oncologist this Friday, so hopefully a plan will evolve from that. Fed up with being sore and swollen. Fed up of doing things and paying for it the next day. Fed up of all sorts really.