Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Captain's Log - Star Date:

Boy oh boy, am I a lucky jack?
The Doc told me yesterday
That I was "bang on track"

Your operation to cut out glands
It went really well, and
We ended up with lots in our hands

In all we removed there was no cancer
So as far we can see
We have killed of the invading chancer

So it time for you to go recover
With monthly check ups
To give us all some cover

Well can you please take my feeding tube?
I suppose I can arrange that, yes
And out it popped with the aid of some lube

So while that leaves yet another hole
It seems, for the moment
That I am once again whole

Tho' don't feel like trumpets or big celebration
As my thoughts turn to those
Who are still on the treatment rotation.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Rubber ear

One funny side effect of having some cut a large flap in your neck is that the nerve ends round about it don't work so well in the weeks (and, possibly, months) after.

So, combined with the odd situation where, post-radiotherapy, I get stubble in a little diamond shaped area around my chin, which is surrounded by an almost completely baby smooth area, I've now got feeling down one side of my face and neck, but not down a fair bit of the other.

This explains why it wasn't sore get unzipped, but the funniest bit is my right ear, where I can feel the front little but of cartilage, but then anything beyond that feels sort of like that pins'n'needles feel you get if you sit reading you book in the toilet too long (boys) or sit with one leg folded under you for too long (girls).

To my hand its like a rubber ear and to my ear its like I've only a very faint feeling, which is mighty odd when you try and put an earphone in. It must be like trying to put one in someone else's ear; you need to use both hands to direct the plug into the wee hole rather than just being able to guide it in with one hand.

Still, mustn't grumble, could have an unwelcome lump instead.

Next stage is back to the 'joint consultation' this coming Tuesday, where I should hear from the full range of medical disciplines and find out what they found in the flesh, lump, muscle and vein that got the chop.

Papering over the cracks

Well, two weeks of zipneck came to an end on Friday when the Practise Nurse at the GP Surgery popped my staples out. (Image courtesy of Keir Klics)

She counted them first (24, and nowhere near her record of 50). I asked if they hook under like normal paper attaching staples - "oh, yes - just the same, so I have a special tool to get them out". To be honest it was painless - there's a good reason for that - and her tool looked like a wee pair of scissors that kind of slip under then open to pull the little blighters apart, before lifting and separating.

Only wee issue, which I'm sorry to say that you can't see from the photo, is that "your wound hasn't bonded very well at the front". Remarkably, most of it seemed to fold neatly inwards and leave an attractive line down my neck, except the bit at the front - which must have been where I was oozing from immediately after the op -"where there is a small gap, and I think it needs held with these paper stitches."

So, I've got some paper over the gap for a few days and I've to lay off the exercises in case my head falls off.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Home Stationery

After revealing my drainage issues on Tuesday & Wednesday, offers flooded in from people with good plumbing contacts. Though thankfully my other downpipe dried up overnight Wednesday and I was unplumbed on Thursday.

More of the same from the fairly feisty Staff Nurse "just you take a deep breath and I'll....jeez is this one even longer...". Still, drains out, cannula out of hand and then able to have shower without bits of kit to bother about. Luxury. Well, relative luxury of an echoey wet-room shared with the 6-man and just the odd streak of the red stuff to mop up.

So home Thursday PM and having pulled the final dressings off today, here's a cleaned up photo showing my stationery supplies since I know that some of you enjoyed the first one so much!

ps Next week should see the start of a new spot the drain hole competition, open to the eagle eyed who can win a gift wrapped length of plastic tubing and a short course in staple removing.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Numbness and Nerves

After my oozy night, early move and plumbing operation, I was just dozing off when I was aware of the magic curtain closing as three new nurses who announced that they were from the brilliantly entitled 'pain team'.

Was this the masochists nasty nurse dream?
Or were they simply from a mis-named team?
The latter I'm afraid my fetish fad friends
They simply wanted to supply drugs for pain avoidance ends
I'm not sure yet what happened to the tramadol promised
When I answered "I'm too numb to tell to be completely honest"
Soon off they all went with cheery wave
As the physiotherapist appeared my shoulder to save
Could I try to do this, and could I maybe do that
Exercises in a smock - must have looked a prat
Good news though too, about my movement in fact
The surgeon had left my shoulder nerve completely intact
So exercises 3 times a day for months to follow
To make sure I can cope after a muscle was hollowed.


So Tuesday came and Tuesday went
Those Nurses are really heaven sent
They mopped my ooze through day and night
Not moan to be heard about their messy plight

I lost count of the time my neck was re-covered
Then on Wednesday morning a dry drain was discovered
Not sure if this is what prompted the change
But soon it was time for a ward that was strange

Quite soon a Doctor was doing the round
And confirmed the 'drain 2' judgement was sound
I'd a sudden lift, then dawning sensation
How would it feel on drain extrication?

But not worry, its just an everyday chore
Said the nurse as she asked "have you had one before?"
Just you sit there now and take a deep breath
And she tugged out some tube about 4 inches in length!

What the L?

Though some parts have been caused to swell
And you can't really see the full shaped L
I captured a photo of the fine stitching job
Achieved whilst under the surgeon's spell