Posted by: glenswatman | March 1, 2014

20140221-28 When the Doctor is sicker than the patient

FRIDAY 21 FEBRUARY – It’s almost a year since we bought Mom’s car and the insurance is up for renewal.  Even with 1-year no claims bonus Admiral want £537.  I know there will be a reduction in premium once we have our new postcode so do a few on line comparisons and come up with quotes around the £200 mark which is amazing.  I contact Admiral to tell them the change of address and ask for a recalculation but at over £300 they are not even close.  Steve does a walk up to the Tarn but says it is blowing a gale up there.  I continue to post stuff for sale on line but the majority of people are time wasters who say they want stuff then fail to turn up as agreed.  Its family Friday and Claire and the kids join us for a Chinese take-away and catch up.


SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY – It’s a mad sale morning with the first customer at the door just after 9am to buy some tea light holders.  In reality we get loads of enquiries and no shows but do get rid of a couple more lots.  We have some curtains for sale at £3 and the guy contacts us and asks if we can deliver and he will pay more.  We agree on £5 for the curtains and a matching runner delivered.  Steve shows up at the house at the appointed time but only his girlfriend is there and she doesn’t have £5.  He does call round in the evening but only has £3.50; on principal I whip the throw out of the bag!


SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY – Richard and Jane have invited us round for lunch.  Kieran is also there so we have lots of different conversations.  Richard has catered for me with a non fat fish curry and I also enjoy a little of the chicken fajita mix.  Jane’s fruit crumble with oat topping is also delicious.


MONDAY 24 FEBRUARY – I’ve not had much sleep but typically am well away when the alarm goes off at 6am.  After a quick shower Steve drives me down to the station to catch the 6.28am train to Leeds.  With a good connection onto the bus I am on the Lincoln wing of St James hospital at 7.30am to be admitted.  Within half an hour I am efficiently seen by the Registrar, anaesthetist, Mr Smith (who will perform the op) and a theatre assistant.  It seems that on reflection, and after consultation with the haematologist, Mr Smith thinks it is now more than likely he will have to convert to full surgery.  The haematologist really wants my spleen removing with the mass intact so they can then analyse it and as it is now quite large Mr Smith fears he will not be able to get it out through a key hole incision.  His plan is to go in with a camera and then make the decision but whatever he does the gall bladder will come out at the same time and after I pointed out a lump (fatty lipoma) on my side he says he will remove that as well.  He explains the full operation involves a large deep cut, about a week in hospital and 6 – 8 weeks recovery and that would be the norm for just the spleen removal.  I suddenly realise things are getting a little serious and tell him that I fared really well after a hysterectomy and it sounded like this would be much the same.  Not the case apparently this is a more complicated operation – oops.  Gowned up and with my special socks and ever so unsexy disposable knickers I am put in a wheelchair and taken to theatre.  It’s 8.30am and I soon get a sense things are not right when the people that arrived after me are taken through.  Shortly after I see Mr Smith and a couple of people in hospital gowns leave in a hurry.  The anaesthetist comes to tell me Mr Smith is unwell and has gone to A&E (bet he doesn’t have a long wait!).  They take me back to the admissions ward and about an hour later a couple of Doctors call me through to a consulting room.  My operation will not be taking place today, Mr Smith is really ill and presently having a CT scan.  I comment that I hope he hasn’t got gall stones which raises a laugh.  They apologise profusely and say my operation will have to be rescheduled but that will be in at least 2 weeks time as Mr Smith is on leave next week.  I comment that he looked well when I saw him first thing and they say he certainly didn’t look well when he left the theatre a grey colour. Actually really glad he became ill before he started the surgery as my operation could have taken a few hours and wouldn’t have wanted him taken ill part way through.  They do say that once Mr Smith is well again I will get priority treatment and the earliest appointment possible that suits me.  There’s nothing more to be done but get dressed and bus, train and taxi back home.  That’s after phoning Steve to leave a key for me as he is off out to play snooker with Richard.  On the way back I ponder our options, to move to Norwich on the 8th as planned, to move this weekend and change all the notifications and get the people to pick up the white goods early or to delay the move until after my operation.  On balance sticking to the original plan and returning for my operation is the least stressful and easiest to arrange.  I actually surprise myself with how calm I am about it all.  Steve arrives back early from snooker worried that I might be in a bit of a state and pleasantly surprised to see how well I have taken it.  I talk about the options I have thought of and he agree that sticking to the original plans makes the most sense and we will deal with my operation logistics once we have a date.  We may need to do a bit more shopping tomorrow as I won’t be getting stuck into the ice cream and other fatty treats that I have stashed away.


TUESDAY 25 FEBRUARY – Steve makes a morning walk to the Tarn and we go to Scrabble in the afternoon. Claire jumps on the bandwagon and Emails me loads of things she wants me to market on line, reckon I could make a real business out of this.  Mom calls to say she has someone coming for the sofa bed tomorrow. We manage to sell Claire’s table and chairs and our TV cabinet, the bungalow is starting to look a little bare now, at this rate we will be sitting on our picnic chairs by the time we move.


WEDNESDAY 26 FEBRUARY – I get the rest of Claire’s adverts posted and do a few more address changes, reckon my computer is on fire.  Down at Mom and Dad’s I help with a few of their more problems.  Contacting St James I ask how Mr Smith is and am told he is still in hospital but no mention of what is wrong with him.  At this stage they don’t know whether they will be getting another surgeon in to cover for him or not but will call me once they have something in mind and it will be my choice whether to hold out for an appointment with Mr Smith (which I would prefer) or take one with an alternative surgeon.  There’s been a bit of an ongoing saga with the static roof vent.  That size is now obsolete so the final decision has been to buy one of the American motorhome vent covers (£45) and employ Ray from Chick’s caravan services to fit it.  We had one in “Charlie” and it worked so that you could leave the vent open in rain and nothing would come in.  Know we won’t have a vent cover to close but if it gets really cold we can cut a piece of polystyrene to fit but think on the whole it will be good to have permanent air flow over the shower.


THURSDAY 27 FEBRUARY – The sale continues with our rocking/recliner arm chair bowing out at £8, not bad consider we only paid £10 for it 2 years ago.  In the afternoon I have my other pre splenectomy injection, all that remains now is for me to be on penicillin for the rest of my life like Steve.


FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY – We wake to a frosty morning but the skies are blue and it tempts Steve to walk to the Tarn.  In the afternoon Neil Wilson calls round for a chat.



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