Posted by: glenswatman | January 23, 2014

20140111-20 Turning Japanese I really think so

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SATURDAY 11 JANUARY – I’ve slept but only get a short gap between timed anti biotics and nurses coming in doing observations and other things so feel pretty whacked.  Dr Shuttleworth is very understanding of our situation and says there is no reason why I can’t go home for a few hours each afternoon between medications.  He recommends I keep trying to eat little and often.  Claire picks me up in the afternoon and takes me home.  She cooks us all dinner and I manage a little bit of fish and ratatouille that she has made.  It’s delicious but I really don’t have much appetite.  I enjoy resting on the sofa bed with Steve whilst Claire scurries around tidying and doing odd jobs.  I have another snack before Claire takes me back early evening.  I’ve only been back a few minutes when I vomit it all back.  They have been giving me “Tramadol” for the pain but I really don’t like the way it makes me feel.  I seem to end up trying to sleep and having lots of snippets of odd dreams that are quite disturbing and when awake I feel fuzzy headed.  They will take me off them and try something different.

AIREDALE 3 – Ward 19

SUNDAY 12 JANUARY – I am feeling much better without the Tramadol and in less pain but feel nauseous and achy.  Ironically the antibiotic drips make you feel sick and most of them are scheduled for immediately before meal times.  Steve arrives early afternoon to pick me up.  I’m now jaundiced and look like either one of the Simpsons or La la from the Tellytubbies.  He’s quite shocked and says he is not taking me out like that but will stay and visit.  Luckily the Doctor calls in at that moment and says that if I feel OK then head home but return if anything changes for the worse.  Manage just over an hour with me having a sleep but as soon as I have a snack I feel terrible so Steve takes me back.  The Doctors come to see me and prescribe more anti sickness drugs and a change to “Tazocin” anti biotic, known as the Domestos of all antibiotics as it kills 99.99% of germs.

AIREDALE 4 – Ward 19

MONDAY 13 JANUARY – I’m feeling a bit grotty in the morning and Dr Shuttleworth can sense my despondency and frustration.  He knows I need the ERCP to remove the blocked bile duct and has found out the list for this Thursday is already full.  They only set the theatre set up for that procedure once a week and do 3 on the same day.  He says to leave it with him.  I’ve also had an itchy head since last week and now a rash appearing in my groin area and down my back but no one seems interested.  I get a visit from ERCP Dr Clement who says he will do his very best to squeeze me in this afternoon.  He explains about a camera going down my throat and into the bottom of the bile duct where they will open the duct, pass a balloon up behind the stones then inflate it to clear the block.  Until the last minute they won’t know for sure but will go ahead with all the necessary preparation.  It is my lucky day as at 3.30pm they wheel me off.  I’m quite nervousness as I lie face down on the table.  With my throat numbed it is not as bad as I had feared and 15 minutes later it is all over and has been uncomfortable rather than painful.  He says 2 stones have been released.  Steve comes to see me on Ward 19 before they transfer me to a 4 bedded room on Ward 13.  There’s a lady with gall stone problems and I can reassure her about the ERCP procedure.  There’s also proof that Dr Najim is still busy giving cancer patients’ priority over elective gall bladder surgery as the lady opposite has just had her breast removed by him.  Needless to say I wholeheartedly approve of this.  At night I seem to be pain free and just have a problem with the itching, they pretty much insist I keep on top of the pain (what pain) so I accept just paracetamol and an antihistamine tablet.

AIREDALE 5 – Ward 13

TUESDAY 14 JANUARY – I feel well but hospital style tired.  Dr Clements says the operation went well and with luck I should be OK now until the gall bladder removal surgery and from his point of view I can go home.  It’s a lovely day and nice to see the blue sky through the windows so I’ll be happy to leave.  The surgical Doctor is also happy for me to leave now I am pain free and eating a little but wants to get blood test results to be sure and send a skin specialist to try and establish what is causing my ever spreading rash.  After that I can leave.  Things don’t pan out so well, bloods are late being taken and the dermatologist doesn’t appear in spite of me checking at the nurses’ station every couple of hours.  Late afternoon I have to concede that I am feeling sickly again and the pain has come back and is worsening.  Reluctantly I get them to call the Doctor out.  He says the blood tests show my levels dropping but slowly and in view of the pain they will keep me overnight and on paracetamol and anti histamine.  Know this is the better decision than going home and getting worse there.  Steve comes in to visit and we are given a consulting room to sit in.  He’s still itching with his shingles so I plaster cream on his back whilst he returns the favour, talk about you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!

AIREDALE 6 – Ward 13

WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY – Other than the spreading rash I feel great and refuse pain killers.  I manage a good breakfast and biscuits mid morning without any problems.  Think being off the anti biotics may be helping that side of things.  The Doctor says I can go home as soon as the dermatologist has seen me.  He is concerned that the rash is an allergic reaction to penicillin and this is a problem as I will need to be on that after my spleen removal.  I periodically pester the nurses and mid afternoon speak directly to Sister who finds out that the specialist I need won’t be in until Monday!  They are desperate for beds and I am already sat in the waiting room so the Doctor suggests I go home then visit my GP tomorrow for a follow up.  He says my prescription will be ready in about half an hour then I can leave.  2 hours later the medication hasn’t arrived but Steve has.  He’s been to St James today for a bone density test and consultation and called in on the way back.  I establish that the tablets I need can be bought over the counter at a chemist so head off without them.  I feel so good that we pick up a Chinese on the way home.  We share a portion of oyster sauce with rice and boy do they taste good.  Steve tells me his bone situation is still border line for treatment so the specialist has suggested extra calcium and some weight bearing exercise that could not possible cause him to fall or injure himself.  We are thinking if we can pick up a cheap rowing machine that might fit the bill.  We try to sleep together but with us both intermittently itching then trying to keep still not to disturb the other one it really doesn’t work out so I decamp to the lounge.


THURSDAY 16 JANUARY – Used to hospital routine I’m awake before 7 and get up at 7.30am.  I feel absolutely great, haven’t felt this well in months and now realise that I have had constant pain all that time and severe pain since before Christmas.  The itching is now my only problem and the anti histamines relieve that for a few hours at a time.  I bound around packing away the sofa bed; putting washing on then doing us both poached egg on toast.  Not sure Steve shares my enthusiasm as I wake him just before 8am.  He’s going to get an even ruder awakening when he sees the sofa bed has gone!  Possibly too much info for a diary but there is certainly a lot of stuff vacating my body at the moment, not sure whether it is gall stone sludge and stones or residue anti biotics but feeling happy about it.  Dr Bitra is brilliant and although I should have a brief emergency appointment he really makes me take my time to go through the situation.  He believe my rash is sensitivity to the antibiotics rather than an allergy that would give me a swollen tongue and other things and in view of that it is not such a priority.  He gives me a form for a blood test next week, will arrange with Sister to set up my pre splenectomy inoculation schedule and will contact Leeds to update them and try and find out my operation date.  He says that even if I have been really luck and the gall bladder full of sludge and stones has drained the odds are it will all start to build up again so the operation would still be advisable.  I call in to see Mom and Dad and visit a couple of supermarkets.  Steve’s is up when I get home and sat on the sofa.  Maybe he can feel my energy as he says he is going to start doing more stretching exercises himself and perhaps we can consider going down to the Midlands for Mum’s birthday party on Saturday.   I crack on doing washing, cleaning, cooking, making bread and caching up with paperwork.  I make myself have a break every so often but other than a half an hour nap in the afternoon feel I could carry on forever.  I’m thoroughly enjoying my food, eating small amounts and often and have no pain whatsoever.  Wish I could share this feeling with Steve as he is really no better with his shingles problems.


FRIDAY 17 JANUARY – Steve is really struggling and barely gets up by lunchtime.  I spend time on line completing the purchase of our £6000 static at Merryhill getting insurance for E&L for under £70.  At least we both have good appetites now and enjoy my fish pie for lunch and soup at teatime.  Plans for tomorrow have had to be cancelled as Mum has a bad cough and cold.


SATURDAY 18 JANUARY – Netty calls to say Mum is still poorly so it would be risky for Steve to go.  I suddenly get an inspired idea of me either going down alone or with Claire.  After a quick call to Claire she agrees to go with me and I head straight over.   Claire drives us down and we have a good chat en route.  In Newport we first visit Paul and Elaine and then Pete & Carol.  We are staying at Netty & Ian’s, luckily Ian’s son Craig who stays there in the week is away overnight.  The new kitchen looks terrific and other than a bad choice on tiles Netty is now satisfied that she has got the bungalow as she likes it.  The meal is booked at the Lord Combermere at Audlem so we pick up Pauline then Mum and drive them there.  Mum is looking really well and has treated herself to a new dress.  Netty, Ian, Bobby and Steph arrive soon after but we are missing 2 of Mum’s friends from church.  Turns out that Mum had told them the Combermere Arms which is about 15 minutes away.  Whilst waiting we enjoy shared starter platters.  I’ve spoken to the chef and he cooks me up plain rice, chicken and vegetables as virtually all the main courses are high in fat.  It’s nowhere near as nice as everyone else’s meal but the fear of me getting gall bladder pain makes it worthwhile.  We all have a lovely time and drop Mum and Pauline up before staying up chatting with Netty & Ian.  She is doing really well after her gall bladder removal on New Year’s Eve and the scars are already fading.


SUNDAY 19 JANUARY – When Netty & Ian go out running Claire and I visit Mum.   We meet up again at Bobby and Steph’s where 1 year old Olivia entertains us with her walking and other activities.  It’s probably the last time we will be down before moving to Norwich so I pick up the last few things from Mum’s bungalow.  It looks much better inside since it was all painted magnolia but kind of sad to see without Mum being there.  Claire and I have had a really nice weekend and in reality Steve would not have coped as the restaurant last was far too cramped and noisy.  I get home mid afternoon and Steve is fine but ready for me to cook a nice dinner.


MONDAY 20 JANUARY – Over the weekend Steve had a chunk of tooth fall out.  I call the dentist when it opens and Steve gets an appointment for 9.30am which is excellent.  Within minutes the dentist has assessed the damage and filled the broken section.  It is quite a pleasant morning so easy to encourage Steve to stop off at the Tarn when he does one lap and I do two including a bit of jogging.  It is quite hard trying to think of tasty food that is no or very low fat.  Today’s lunch of dry roasted parsnip, sweet potato and normal potato chips served with mushrooms in garlic and black pepper crème fraiche and venison go down a treat.  I’ve also bought lots of things like meringue nests and fat free sponge biscuits but of course the downside of these is that they have higher sugar.  Sandra and Keith call round in the afternoon.  They are off to Tenerife for all of February so we may not get chance to see them again before we move.  Steve is getting really fed up with the shingles pain and has a pretty bad night.  If this goes on much longer I think we will have to go back to the Doctor to try some other medication as nothing works so far.  At least I am on a roll of feeling great.




  1. Glad you are feeling so much better Glen- wish Steve could too!
    Wendy my friend from Spanish class whom you met once when we came out of class- asked how you were both doing yesterday- so now I can ‘fill her in on the latest’- she sends you both her Best Wishes!
    Back here in Spain after our Canadian trip and it is good to be back. Bob has just had 4 dental implants- so he is on a soft and liquid diet for the time being!
    Keep upwards and onwards,..and good luck with the move!
    Love Alison and Bob

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