House arrest is just not for me

I went back into Hospital on October 14th for what should have been a routine one hour operation to remove my gall bladder. As is often the way with my life it was anything other than routine. Straightforward keyhole surgery was abandoned after 1.5 hours and invasive surgery was performed taking the time I was on the operating table to 4.5 hours. Any chance of leaving hospital that day went straight out of the window and it was 5 days later before I was allowed to leave. The scar is an interesting one and about 10 inches long. It is healing slowly and I am returning to some form of mobility however it will be some weeks before I can drive again.

I have to return to Hospital in another four days to have a minor procedure performed to remove the drains that are still in my stomach. I use the word minor with some trepidation as I have already mentioned it probably will not be minor and it will probably not be routine. Since arriving home my house has once again resembled Grand central Station and the numbers of well wishers and friends calling in has left me humbled. The Traveller was here for a week after I came home and then departed for the sunnier climes of The South of France. The day after he left my brother arrived and between them and Bean Counter I have been looked after really well.

Things I used to take for granted have required some help such as getting in and out of chairs and bed, simple things like loading a washing machine or picking up a heavy pan are a strict no no and even walking more than a few hundred yards tends to leave me exhausted. I have been told I will be fine in around six weeks or so but right now I find that hard to believe. An unexpected bonus of all of this is that I have not put any weight on and apart from the swelling in my abdomen I am looking lean and fit. In fact most people have said I look great until they see me struggle to get out of a chair or walk.

I have slept through a great deal of the time since I arrived home and news has been thin on the ground. Most of the events have just passed me by. I expect this will be the case until I no longer need any pain killers. BC has returned to work and my Bro returns on Sunday coming. I guess that is when I will find out just how independent or not as the case may be I really am. House arrest is just not for me!


My country no longer exists

It is all change yet again. My pre-op appointment has been cancelled and my date for an operation has been brought forward by 25 hours. Yes, I go in one day earlier and one hour before my previous allotted slot. Will this change, who knows? What is certain that the next post after this one will be from Commander Riker with any news gos or scandal.

It is time for a rant, I have not had one for weeks! The country is going to the dogs more and more each day. The labour government have screwed us into the ground and if the Lisbon treaty is ratified by just one more country then we will all be shafted because the decision will be enshrined in law and cannot be reversed. We will have a European president who will represent ALL 27 countries of the EU a European defence minister who will decide on our behalf what wars if any we will fight and our borders will be controlled by a minister in Brussels. In short it will not be worth having  a UK parliament because they will unable to make any new laws or control borders or implement policy without us having to go the Parliament in Brussels to ask them if it is OK.

Within a few months the England I knew will no longer be recognisable. We will be just one more state in the European Federation. I was in Scotland a few months ago and they have been told not to fly the Saltire (their own flag) in case it offends Muslims or ethnic minorities. None of this they have to fit in with us, we have to fit in with them! Apparently it is ok to support your national team but if you support your country then that is racist.

Political Correctness has gone mad and I would rather be living in a South American dictatorship than the hell hole this country has become. I used to love my country, in a few weeks time I will no longer have one, and I will merely be living in a state of the European Federation and governed by faceless wonders in Brussels. Oh and by the way Tony Blair is set to be the first president of this new federation. If you read the full text of the Lisbon treaty it will scare the shit out of you. Gordon Brown promised a referendum when it was called the Lisbon Constitution so they changed the name to the Lisbon Treaty and the referendum was cancelled.

Rant over, I have been reading more and more travel books during my time of enforced idleness and as a result I have grown more and more restless. Each passing day reminds me of the fact that I am getting older and that time is marching on. There is so much to do so many places to visit and so many things to see. I do not regret any of the actions I have taken over the years but I do regret some of the things I did not do. I do not want to experience the world and all it has to offer on a fly and fry package holiday going only where the tour operators allow me to go. I desperately want to visit the Tiler and Printer and some of my family down under but realise that two weeks holiday will not allow me to achieve this. No I need at least four months in Oz alone with at least another month in New Zealand. To travel the bits of this planet that I have earmarked will take two years at a pinch.

At this point I do not know how I am going to achieve this especially within the current economic climate. All I know is that Rhonda is sitting rather forlornly in the garden itching to stretch her legs, my passport is staring at me with an accusing look and that within a few short months  and after a three month diet of boiled, stewed, steamed and grilled vegetables and fish I should be back to physical perfection.

I do realise that I will have to leave as soon as possible after President Blair takes office and my country no longer exists.


The Captain is on the bridge

I was discharged from hospital and arrived home last Thursday evening. It is nice to be home and Special thanks are due to Commander Riker for successfully taking control of the bridge for the last few days. He has done a sterling job and if my mail box is to be believed then my own position as Captain of this blog may be under threat. I have decided that CR will take over when I am unable to make or complete any entries and I am pretty sure that he will get his own guest spot every now and then if only because I love his style of writing. The next few paragraphs are to correct a couple of inaccuracies reported by CR although they were not his fault and were written in good faith.

 An attempt was made to remove the reported blockage under heavy sedation. Apparently a patient needs to be conscious and breathing of their own accord as opposed to being under anaesthetic and respirating through ventilators. It failed spectacularly as I wriggled about and grumbled too much and the blockage could not be removed successfully. They did manage to place stents in the duct in the hope that this would widen it enough for any stones to pass through and if they did not then at least the excess bile which was slowly poisoning me would be able to flow around the blockages and pass safely into the intestines.

As a result my liver function tests, billarubin counts and Gamma GT’s and lots of other meaningless sounding buzzwords  are slowly returning to normal after reaching exorbitantly high levels and I am not as yellow as I was (think of “I am turning Japanese” by the Vapours).  It may take up to a couple of weeks for this condition to pass as my body attempts to rid itself of the toxins that have built up over the three week period prior to and during my stay in hospital. I still feel tired and after only a small amount of exercise such as a short walk, I need to lie down for a while. (I know some of you will be saying what’s new, he always was a bone idle lazy bastard) I am also experiencing dizzy spells as the blood supply to my brain is still somewhat tainted. (This is NOT, I repeat not caused by the over indulgence of recreational drugs)This alone puts driving on the list of many things I can no longer safely perform for the moment at least.

This is the bit where things become a little hazy. I need to go back to hospital at some point, as yet unspecified, for another operation.  Now I have been told so many different things by different doctors, consultants and nurses. These range from, I will be back in hospital in another 2, 3 or 8 weeks. This will be only to remove the stainless steel stents, or it could be to remove the stents and remove the stones from my primary bile duct (if the stones are still there) and then sent home again to wait for another operation to remove my gall bladder, or it could be to do the whole job (three separate procedures) in one go. I have been told the latter procedure is complicated and has some element of risk such as possible damage to the bowel or even worse damaging the pancreas.

Until I have the date for entry to hospital again and I have been told the procedure they are going to perform and I have it in writing I will not know what the hell is going on or when. What is fact is that I still have the underlying problem of my gall bladder being blocked with stones and I am suffering the consequences of that particular condition.  There, clear as mud isn’t it?

For the moment I am on a NO fat diet as opposed to a low fat diet with no red meat, nothing roasted or fried, even semi skimmed milk is out of the question. All dairy products are off the menu as are a long list of other items too numerous to bother mentioning. I can tell you black tea is disgusting and skimmed milk is not worth the bother. There is virtually no difference between Weetabix with water and Weetabix with skimmed milk, only the colour. Basically if it looks good, tastes nice or even smells faintly appealing I can’t have it.

On the bright side I have lost three stone in weight and while I am delighted with this I am rather less happy about the manner in which it has happened. I really do blame my weight gain over the past three years upon the medication I am taking for high blood pressure which has come down so much I am really wondering if I need to take them anymore. I will continue with the tablets until after I am eventually no longer dependent upon medication or surgery for my underlying and immediate problems. However for now at least, the Caption is on the bridge.