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Showing posts from December, 2011

Expect the unexpected

I was in my hospital gown. Back home, my bedroom was tidy, my Christmas shopping was sorted and The Chef's present was wrapped, all in advance of my being one arm down after the operation. My blood pressure was 111/70 (that's good), my pyjamas tucked safely in my bag and a tin of soup was waiting for me at home. I had spoken to my surgeon, signed the consent form and chuckled wryly as he drew an arrow on my left arm to remind him - in case the giant, pulsating bulge of my fistula didn't register - which of my limbs to slice open. And I was preparing to go down to theatre...when my blood results came back, and revealed that my potassium level was 6.2, making surgery too dangerous as my heart might inconveniently stop beating.

I wish I could say I couldn't believe it, but I could, all too easily. I have spent the last month making a stink about my blood pressure lest it prove too extreme for surgery, only to be foiled at the very last minute by high potassium; the irony…

The Golden Hour (or should that be Shower...?)

The only thing worse than having to go to dialysis is not being able to leave once you have finished. I treated myself to a tube journey home today, for after having completed my obligatory four hours of sluicing, my arm refused to stop bleeding after the top needle was removed and it continued to leak for a further good, solid, 60 minutes.

After the first fifteen I became so disheartened I could no longer focus on the last episode of Frozen Planet playing on my laptop, so I got up to weigh myself - and then I started to cry. All I wanted to do was go home and eat tuna stir fry in front of Masterchef - The Professionals but here I was, stuck in the unit that was now all but deserted bar myself, some nurses and the cheerfully rotund cleaning lady with the dented afro. If this scene wasn't pitiful enough, I had to keep my offending left arm straight and with my right hand occupied with stemming the blood flow, I was unable to wipe away the tears that were now streaming down my face …