I’m healing fast now. It’s shocking to think it’s been a week since surgery. Shocking that it’s so long ago yet also that it’s only a week. I’m only now realising how much it took out of me for the first 4-5 days. I’m still getting tired pretty easily. Recovery is supposed to be 10-14 days then light stuff if back at work. I’ll have to go back early next week regardless as I need to get money in. The joy of having my own business! No work means no money. I’ve now found out my van needs lots doing to it too. It’s never ending. Such is life. I can’t let it get me down. Life’s too short. I’ll knuckle down and crack on. I’ll try not to nap again today so I sleep better tonight again. I’m so glad we have the NHS.
I feel compelled to write about something my wife mentioned this morning. She said that it was said on the news or somewhere yesterday, I don’t watch TV and don’t listen to the radio often, that Norfolk and Suffolk mental health teams/units have come under fire again as being some of the worst in the country. I don’t know how they rate mental health units around the country or how others using MH services in Norfolk or Suffolk find them, so can only speak from my own experience of MH services in Norfolk. However I can also mention that what I have experienced and told others that I know with MH issues around the country they seem envious of the treatment that I had. From my own experience using MH services near Norwich, we’re not supposed to sy where we went due to confidentially etc, for quite some time I was very impressed. I was seen as soon as I needed to be, initially this was about 2 weeks for my first ever appointment. I was listened to fully and they grasped pretty much fully what I was saying. Nobody ever made me feel uncomfortable. I never had to wait long in the waiting area. Everything was always explained well to me and when I asked about CAT or other types of therapies with a psychologist I had an initial asses net pretty quickly and then started therapies very shortly after. I can honestly say they have been a life saver for me. Had I not of had the care that I did, real human care, I would very probably be dead. What I do know about MH services is you get out of it what you put in. If you go there expecting them to fix you and do everything for you then it won’t work so well. Unless you’re willing to help yourself, like everything in life, you’ll get minimal in return and I don’t mean they won’t still try to help you. What I am saying is if you’re not willing to try changing the things you do that make you unwell then nobody else can fully help you.
Moving on to how I am now. This morning I woke up about 2:30 and lay awake briefly before going back to sleep in a small amount of pain but it’s tiny now. In fact since waking up about 7am I’ve not gone back to sleep yet today and I’m actually getting back my normal energy and normal clear thinking. Yesterday I still felt a bit mentally cloudy from the anaesthetic. I’m much much clearer today. Yesterday I felt down and like cabin fever was creeping in too. There are cases of post op depression so I feared that might be starting for me but today I feel much better. I’ve made a list of things I want to get done today. Things like not sleeping until after lunch if I even need to and to read for at least an hour as well as other little things to keep my mind occupied. I’m not sure of I’ll go for a walk or not today as we’ve got 45+ mph winds but Kara and I might go over to the allotment for a quick look. I’ll try getting outside for a little while even if it’s just wrapping up and sitting outside. Maybe I’ll go sit in the churchyard which is about 200m away from ours. Who knows. At least I’m back at a good level of coherence and I’m making ‘to do’ lists to keep my mind and body occupied a bit. I might consider going back to work at some point next week if I keep making gradual improvements. I can always do a few hours decorating on a job and then come home if I need to. I weighed myself on Tuesday and I’ve only dropped about 3 pounds in bodyweight which I’m pleased with and I’d actually say it’s a small amount of fat that’s dropped off. If I drop some muscle it’ll soon go back on when I’m able to start working out again. All will be well.
Edit: I’ve checked the subscriber list and have gone over the 12k mark which I’m amazed at. I find it crazy to think 12k people subscribe to this blog. Crazy. I hope it’s of help to some.
I had my operation last Friday. Luckily for me I was first on list for going in. Before I knew it it was almost 9am, I had to be there before 6:45am as I was told about being first the day before, and one of the theatre staff came for me and checked my details again. As we left the room to walk to the theatre she told Kara to go grab a cuppa as I wouldn’t be long and should be able to go home about lunchtime. It was strange getting asked my details at least 6 times as each person went through my notes, the final time as I lay on the bed in the room beside the operating theatre getting wired up and getting the canula fitted in my hand for the anaesthetic. As I lay there chatting to the anaesthetist about work etc he put the muscle relaxant in and the ceiling started to shake as my eyes started to go. The next thing I knew a nurse asked if I was OK and I was coming around in the recovery room. I asked if it was all over, I kind of knew it was as I had a dry mouth and throat and felt some pain. I remember looking at the clock which was opposite me and it was almost 10:10am. She said it was and asked how I was feeling. When I mentioned some pain she gave me a rather nice injection of fenylyn which made me a bit drowsy. I lay there slipping in and out of consciousness for a while before coming around a bit more. I then had to gently roll on each side as the nurse removed the sheet that they’d lofted me off the operating table with. They then moved me to the end of the recovery room where it was quieter. It was about 11 then. A different nurse said I’d soon be going to a ward but that they were waiting for a bed for me. They were told I’d have a space on the ward at about 1pm. As it got close to 1pm the nurse said there was space now but they were still really busy and didn’t have an extra person available to help wheel me around to the lift and then down to the ward. I got on the ward just before 2pm. As I lay there I overheard someone talking about there wife and it dawned on me that I’d not seen Kara yet so when I saw a nurse again I asked wher my belongings were and she helped me get my phone. It was now about 2:20pm. I texted Kara and she said she was on her way up. I saw I had had some texts. One was from my younger stepdaughter, sent to me instead of her older sister by mistake, saying that Kara had no idea where I was and couldn’t find anything out and I should of been finished in theatre ages ago. I realised that was about 10:30-11 that she sent that! When Kara arrived I realised how long I’d actually been off radar for. Almost 4 hours in recovery and by the time I reached the ward it was about the time I should of been arriving home! That’s operations etc for you I guess and I have to say I felt I had amazing care. I wasn’t allowed to leave hospital until about 7:30pm as they wanted me to eat and drink, which I’d already done but more importantly to pee. Which I’d only managed about 5pm. Once I started peeing it was hard to stop as I’d had well over 2 litres of fluids by then. At least I was given the OK. Recovery and healing at home has been quite fast even though it feels slow to me. My wounds look like they’re almost healed fully apart from the biggest incision near my belly button which is still a little swollen and painful. I’m finding it hard to not do anything or lift anything. I have been out for a few gentle walks but it’ll be at least another week before I think about work again. The longer I take off now the less chance of any issues cropping up that would mean more time off work and the stronger I’ll be when I do go back. Christmas will be tight this year that’s for sure as I’ll not earn much money now for the rest of the year. I still have a couple of bills to make out and and am still owed some money by some people. It’ll sort. Thank fuck I’m ok and alive. I just hope not being active doesn’t let my mind wander too far!
On Friday I go in for a minor operation but slight paranoia has crept in and made me wonder what happens if I die. Allvety strange to be having these thoughts. Maybe natural? Who knows. It’s been a long while since being a bit paranoid or thinking about death. Maybe it’s the time of year. I’m not sure. My dreams have been darker lately too and I’ve woken from them. I had a slight high yesterday probably triggered by my birthday and thoughts of the op. Today is more settled. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Its my birthday! I’m 44. I never thought I’d get this far.
Yet again I have deactivated my Facebook account. I’ve found myself getting far too involved, obsessed even, with it yet again. I’ve found myself writing out long comments and long replies to others posts and then deleting them before posting them. I’ve found myself frustrated at some peoples judgements and ignorance. I’ve found myself starting to argue with others again too. So I’m off for now. I’m much more productive at work again and I’m mentally more settled. I’ve popped on for a very quick look only to delete myself almost straight away again. I’m better off not being on there for now.
Fynn and I are still working out hard and I’m weighing a few pounds over 15 stone. My arms are back up to 17″ again and I’m close to being at my biggest again, about 7 pounds in weight to go, but I’m leaner this time too. I want to be in tip top shape so I recover from my operation fast. It’s 2 weeks tomorrow I go in….unless they cancel again. Mentally I’m not stressed about it as I got that out of my system when I thought I was going in before. Oh well it’ll happen if and when it happens.
Life can flash by so fast. We can make plans and try our hardest. We can keep pushing. We can give up. We can break contact with friends for various reasons even if we want to keep in touch. We can gain new friends. We can get unwell both physically and mentally. We can have fantastic health. It can all stop or end in the briefest of moments. Life can stop. When things get tough we can choose to keep pushing ourselves along even if it’s a simple thing normally like making a cup of tea or getting out of bed. Sometimes I find it hard to even get out of bed but I always do. Even if I don’t do a full days work I always try to go in in the morning first thing. By 10-10:30 I find things can seem to get a bit better. Whatever is going on life it can get better. You just have to be kind to yourself.
I’m lucky. I’m well at the moment and things are pretty ok.