Of Foetuses and Fantasy

I know I said that I wouldn’t write any more about my event on the 30th of August this year, but, I did leave myself  the ‘out’ of tacking the word maybe on the end of the declaration.

Just as well.

I sort of felt when I was released from the hospital last Tuesday. that the silver lining to this whole event was that I’d have more time for writing. Well, yes and no. I do have more time per se, but I haven’t got the energy to partake in much of anything other than recovering.

Everything is exhausting. I had an hour long social visit three days ago and I’ve only just recovered. And when I say an ‘hour long social visit’ I am not talking about engaging in a chatty bout of badminton. We just sat in chairs drank tea and coffee (that I made) and when I started looking tired, my guest left.

The vast majority of my activity since that day has been sleeping and forcing myself to shuffle from one room to another or going up and down the stairs. I felt incredibly tired and achy.

Today, I ran myself a lovely warm bath with just a ‘touch’ of bath lotion. As I slipped clumsily into the warm soothing water, I felt like the world’s oldest foetus re-entering the soothing placental world of everyone’s birth.

Once I got my self settled, I engaged in the sort of ‘dozing’ relaxation that allows our minds to freely roam over many sundry thoughts and yet not so sleepy as to nod off and drown.

One sentence pushed itself to the fore of my thoughts, “We can make him better. We have the technology.” This immediately knocked me giggling out of my internal reverie.

The Six Million Dollar Man was standard TV fare for the 1970’s and everyone I knew ‘back in the day’ could recite the show’s opening verbatim and then go on to make the noises that used to indicate that he was using one of his ‘super’ powers. I had a lovely bit of fantasy going where I could hear the ‘super-power’ noises going on in the background as I walked down the path or trotted up and down the stairs.

The Six Million Dollar Man
The Six Million Dollar Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This fantasy didn’t last long. Just long enough, in fact, to make me think of the information I’d gleaned by ‘Goggling’ heart operations and stents. This type of heart surgery is known as the ‘lunchtime operation.’ You can literally get a couple of stents put in, get sewed back up and be back at work before they’ve noticed you were gone.

Pretty amazing. Our technology has grown in leaps and bounds and I think even Steve Austin would be pretty impressed by this information.

Of course in my case, it was very similar to doing massive redecoration in an old building. Sort of like going into an older building and  deciding  to remove a wall or reposition a door. It is almost inevitable that once you’ve moved the wall or door, you find something out that suddenly needs to be fixed. In my case, they found a couple of things.

This turned my simple ‘lunch-time‘ surgery into a completely different kettle of fish and thus increased my recovery time.  But, ‘hey-ho’ such are the vagaries of life. 2012 has been an odd year for me and my little family.

I got injured in February which necessitated a lot physio and exercise and time off. It took me ages to realise that I could use this time to write more. *I will freely admit that sometimes I am not the quickest chap off the mark.*

Just as it looked like I was going around the corner to full recovery… bam! The next phase in my life of ‘interesting times.’ I cannot grumble though.

I have through my blog, met some lovely people, interesting people and the odd ‘famous’ person. I have discovered that I can still write. In fact somewhat better than I have any right to be. (sorry for the pun, I could not resist) I have found that there are people out there who share a similar love for movies and books and the creative process.

I have also found a lot of folks who are going through the same journey that I am going through. No, not the heart attack health issue, although quite a few folks have been there in one way or another. I’m talking about the journey of re-discovering themselves and where they might be heading with this newly acquired knowledge.

I would write much more about the event itself and probably will. When you spend a lot of time resting you can also spend the same time reflecting. I have done a lot of both.

It is something, I think, that I must have to do. Writing reviews, at the moment, makes me feel like I am climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in a party of one. Yet when I sat down in front of my battered laptop to write this post, my fingers moved like lightening and I could not get the words down quick enough.

Still I am not fussy. Writing is writing after all. As long as I can still do it, I will.

So until next time we meet, to quote Hunger Games, “May the odds ever be in your favour.”

English: Mt Kilimanjaro.
English: Mt Kilimanjaro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t Go Breaking my Heart…

Bypass graft.

So come to find out, the hard part of my surgery was the bypass bit. Hard to perform and harder to recover from. When we arrived at Basildon Hospital and the local experts explained what would happen and how long it would take, I can remember very little. A general air of Bonhomie and an industrious feel about the whole thing was what I remember best.

With my daughter’s help, I can reconstruct the series of events. It would take at least the two of us anyway. Meg was in a bit of shock and I was so stoned from the pain medication that I made Keith Richards‘ look tee-total.

The first decision was easy. From my view point it was, “Blah, blah, blocked artery, blah blah, Stents, blah, blah, easy surgery.” It was all very relaxed and ‘Pip Pip cheerio old man’ we’ll be done in time for a cuppa tea and some biscuits.

Meg was able to get a bit more out of the conversation than I could in my drug induced euphoria. Her job (at least she felt it was her job) was to listen to everything they said and try to digest what was happening. She heard, “We’ve had a look. He’s got a blocked artery and we can put in a couple of stents. Very routine and it will take no time at all.”

Of course after this straight-forward and relaxing briefing, it went nothing like that at all. While putting the stents in they found another couple of problems. Sewing me up quickly they withdrew me from the ‘routine’ surgery room and I was ‘prepped’ again.

They asked me if I had a better leg for veins. Which leg had the least amount of varicose veins. But, like the earlier conversation, all I heard was, “Blah, blah, Veins. Blah blah, Bypass, Blah blah Tear.” Again Meg had to listen and pass the information on when I was less ‘doped up.’

It seems that I had a ‘dodgy’ vein and they would have to replace it with one from my right leg. There was also a ‘tear’ in The Aaortic  Valve that could turn nasty. This was all emergency bypass surgery and the bit that ‘kicked my butt.’ The valve would be watched throughout the surgery as this might have to be replaced with a ‘fake one.

The vast majority of this information is very much after the fact. Repeated conversations with my daughter has allowed a better piecing together of the events.

The bypass surgery bit I knew very little about. The stents I understood as my dad has had them a couple of times. I’d had an uncle who’d had a Triple-bypass surgery done when he was a couple of years older than me. He used to carry nitroglycerin tablets with him. He would be out cutting the hay and stop and put one of these tablets under his tongue.

I am going in this afternoon to get stitches removed by my local surgery’s nurse and start my first real steps to recovery.

It is all very different this surgery. I was sitting here thinking  back to my major back surgery in 1999. It was long and for the most part uneventful. It did not fall into the realm of ‘life threatening’ at all.

Of course neither did my ‘blockage’ operation until they discovered that I had deeper problems than they initially thought.

If you or a loved one (family, partner, spouse, et al) are due for bypass surgery, which is the one that requires the most work and ‘down time’ for the patient. Google it. If you are lucky you’ll know way before hand that you need bypass surgery and what that all entails.

I was wonderfully lucky. I had a team of top-notch professionals who knew what they were doing and were careful to let us know as much as possible about what was going on in the limited time they had.

So the bypass surgery was an emergency surgery, but, the recovery time was not. Despite having to check my torn Aortic Valve regularly I never felt that did not care about my recovering or that they were ‘put out’ by having to do a ‘running’ check on me.

A lot of people moan about the National Health Service (NHS), me included. But this is twice in my life that the NHS has stepped out smartly and taken brilliant care of me.

In the USA as far as I know they are still fighting for an American version of our NHS. Well let me tell you something mate, I’ve  had health care under both existing systems and I can’t say one negative word about the NHS.

If I do, they might want their stents back.

This little stent went to market…