Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another life down..

From the very start of my medical escapdes, my mum has called me a cat. to her mind, I have lives like a cat and that is how I have dodged so many potential life ending events. From emergency transplants, to respiratory arrests and chances of brain damage. Well, if that is so, last week I managed to dodge another bullet, though it seems fairly boring compared with some past misadventures, it is still taking its time for my head to get around it and work through each detail.

That being said, god knows how many lives I have left.

Continuing on from my last entry, I went home with the tube stitched into place close to my collar bone. The aim was set to try and form a new place that the tube would sit more happily. The surgeon declared that where he put the tube, was in a nice strong part of my trachea and he had no doubts that it would support the tube.

So a week later, off I toodle to London, still high on painkillers, for them to check things, take out the stitches and change the tube. All of that actully went without problems. I was only in the waiting room a few minutes, my favourite clinic nurse took me through and prepared the room and my less than favourite surgeon checked my airway. He said below the tube looked perfect, when I asked about above the tube, he just mumbled something about inflammed, but would say little else. I gathered it would be inflammed, given that any movement was still agony and I was having to carry morphine around in my handbag, just to be able to get on with things and drink without crying.

So tube changed, spent a few hours in London, including KFC for chips soaked in gravy and Harrods to marvel at the overpriced christmas tat.

The next morning I awoke, to find that my trach tube, was not quite sitting in my neck properly. After further exploration, I found that about half of it was sticking out my neck and only the ties to hold it in place were stopping it from coming right out. I tried to push it back in, but to avail. I also noted, as I paced around the house trying to think who to contact first, that I was getting increasingly breathless, to the point that it was getting dizzying.

That decided things. An over night bag was packed and off I toddled to the wonders place of A&E. Given that my breathing was effected I was seen pretty quick. Soon I was under the care of the ENT team and though the doctor seemed a bit clueless, I had to trust that he knew what he was doing, else he wouldnt be a doctor. It was declared that there was no way that tube was going back in and so every cupboard in the hospital was raided for trach tubes. After trying at least 10 differnt ones, I begged him to just secure my airway somehow and ship me off to London. That wasnt really an option and so after calling his boss, they found some sort of ancient tortore device/ tube like thing, that was flexiable. This allowed him to insert some of it into my airway and secure it in place. Leaving me with a rather attractive trunk, where about 30 cm of it stuck out my neck and just hung there. To be honest, rather than a trunk, I was more reminded of a an animal on heat, as if parading for all to see. After swopping various jokes with my dad abotu being able to have better aim when blowing malteasers across the room and the benefit of being able to wear poloneck tops again, it was decided that I was to be transfered to another hospital. One that I had never been in before, but it was the only one with anesthtics on call all night should I need them.

Dad went for subways, as we had had no tea. My chicken, bbq sauce and cheese sandwich somehow turned into a steak and chesse sandwich that we shared. Though after one bite I had a big coughing fit, so by the time I got around to eating mine, the ambulance crew were at the end of my bed mumbeling about how good it smelt.

So then there was a mix up at the other hospital. The nurse on charge was on a power trip, declaring that no way had a bed been saved for me. Cue me back in resus and waiting ent to check me over. Turns out there was a bed after all and by about midnight, they let me go to it.

I was exhausted and knew nothing about the ward, but the staff where nice and it seemed clean. I took my meds got into my PJs and got into bed. When my obs were done, it turned out my oxygen levels were a little low. So they tried to clear the tube, but could not do much with it.

Around this time I drifted off to sleep. The nurses checked on me a various points, but despite increasing my oxygen supply, my body was getting lower and lower on what it had. At this point, my memory comes and goes, due to my brain switching off.

A dr came to the ward and after checking the tube, found that my body was yet again trying to push the tube out. In doing so, it had blocked most of the tube. She decided that the best option would be to change the tube. The first tube came out no problems, but the second tube refused once again to go back in. My trachea inflamming as it does, was giving me a lot of pain and whilst the dr was trying to get another tube in, my oxygen levels were once again falling.

This quickly turned into a full emergency and the next thing I know my bed is surrounded by doctors. As I was obvisouly more concerned about asking if I should remove my tshirt and put a gown on, or that I only had one name wrist band when theatre require two. Well cant say I am not level headed in an emergency.

They managed to cut up some suction tubing and to get that into my trachea to keep it open. Whilst I held the tubing steady, we did a high speed run to theatre. Good job it was only 5am, else we may have run some people over. Straight into theatre and they start trying to get tubes in. They found one that half went in, all the while talking to me, doing that annoying thing from films, stay with me, like you have a choice about going. At which point they decided that they needed to push the tube in with force, else it was likely that my heart would stop from lack of oxygen. They pushed and pushed and just as I could bear it no longer, tears streaming down my face and trying to scream in pain, the anesthtic doctor knocked me out.

Things were very disorientating, when I came around. My mind was in fragments. But the general gist of it, they got that tube in and managed to get oxygen back into my body before any lasting damage was done.

The tube currently sticks out my neck by about 10cm and is stiched in in 4 places. I need to keep it permantly humdified else it will block. It has also required adjustment a few times since its insertion. That was Thursday. And there was talk of emergency air lifting me to London. But luckily things stabalised and as I reach the week mark, I am now safe enough to be transported to London in an ambulance. Though, its never that simple. The ambulance will only take me, if I am acompanied by a surgeon and an anesthtits incase of any problems. Thats a lot of man hours and nhs money. But there are no other options right now and so that is the plan for friday.

What they will do once I am back in London, I have no idea. Is the solid part of my trachea is now messed up, then what options do I have. Once again, whilst flashbacks from last week still haunt me, I am left with questions concering things like, will I get out of hospital again? I nearly didnt get to see this christmas and though I tell my family I love them all the time, I have since given them all an extra tight hug. I dont know what next week will hold. I have to take it once day at a time. Stay stable for transfer. Complete transfer and then, who knows. Slow and steady wins the races. But I do wonder, how many of those 9 lives do I have left to play with.

1 comment:

  1. I have everything crossed for a safe journey and a solution from the medics, my prayers are with you