Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The week that went like this

Hello everyone,
I am home, recuperating, taking each day slowly, contrary to what I had thought would be the way after an angiogram and stent surgery. Come home, bounce out of bed, do some sewing, and be running to the mail box.Not so, but each day is getting easier. This was a good way to lose 5 kg, not where I want it to drop off, but never the  less, maybe a help for my heart.
Life is a slower pace, bruising still there, but I am so thankful for all the care and specialist treatment I have had.

Lots of medical detail,  and DRAMA,   if you are squeamish, skip to the end.

What I thought would be another one day trip to hospital turned out to be a 9 day stay,  a plane trip to Wellington hospital, and more.
 They told me last Friday at 7.30 a.m. I would be flown to Wellington, do NOT eat or drink anything from now on, the flight nurse ( who has done more than 500 medi flights) came in, made sure all the paper work was ready, and off I went in wheel chair through the ED, to the ambulance bay, to go to the airport.
This photo, courtesy of the Internet, of Wellington Regional Hospital.

Hugh and older daughter came to see me off.
The flight was calm, Wellington  airport wet and very windy, another ambulance trip to the hospital there, and settled into a cardiac ward.
IV lines checked, ECG and blood tests done again,  the scary consent form signed, as all the possibles are explained, the registrar said I didn't need to see the next lot of possibles,  after the words, Angiogram, then PCI  ( Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) but they were a bypass, and a blood transfusion.  I read them, we discussed them, and then off to the cath lab. Nursing staff stayed with me all the time, so reassuring.
Another photo courtesy of the internet, a Catheterisation Lab.

Into the theatre, surgeon asked if I had any questions, then explained the procedure.
Lots of meds into the line, including Midazolam, and more. My right arm was secured to an "outrigger splint" swabbed,  tied down to secure it, and the local then the catheter inserted.  Odd sensations as they threaded it all up through the artery, topped me up with pain relief, a lot of discussion about the placement,, the stent, the size,  more sensations,  more pain relief, then a while later a wriggle in my arm as the catheter was removed. I was awake the whole time, but the large monitor was down by my legs and I could only get a sideways view of the artery with the dye in.

 A short while in recovery, lots more patients there, maybe they had a similar procedure, A wrist band that is inflated to stop any arterial bleed is round my wrist, And that cut off all circulation,  a very sore hand and thumb, Gradually over several hours, the air is very slowly released, and a dressing covers the small hole.
One overnight stay, then flown back to Whanganui in the dark. The small plane is in a hangar, and the ambulance transfer is all done inside out of more rain and wind.
I need to be on anti-clotting medication for 12 months, so even if my name comes up for cataract surgery, CANNOT contemplate that at all. The stent was the longest used, into my Left Anterior Descending artery, the one that supplies the blood to the left front  side of my heart, and I  was  told that the longer the stent, the more likelihood of clots. I promised to be so good, and never stop taking all the meds I have to. This was an expensive undertaking, in a private hospital here about $25,000 all up including flights and procedures. Luckily mine was all  paid for by the government. One friend, a bright spark, said I have used up all her taxes , for this to be done!!!
In both hospitals I had great room mates, one dear young lady in Wellington, was there after a valve transplant, she was flown back to Nelson, and WOW, sent me a txt to say my plane was on the way, even before the staff had come to inform me. News travels fast between flight nurses, when you ask about another patient  plane transfer. Thanks so much Kaz, that was reassuring to know I would fly back that night.And equally glad to know you had arrived and were in Nelson Hospital.

I came home Sunday, and after the days away, the welcome from Moxy was so loving

 BUT, the real DRAMA  was on the Friday as I was leaving in the wheelchair,  the area was getting crowded, with another patient, two ambulance people, flight nurse,Hugh and daughter, so he stepped back out  of the way and fell. All ED staff came running, I am not sure how many checked him, getting him into another wheelchair, flight nurse telling me I had to go, all crying.
There is nothing  quite like this to take your mind off a flight in a small twin prop plane, specially when you do not like flying at  all, in any size plane.  A good cry once we were in the air,  then a stern talk to myself, Hugh will be OK, the air is calm, the pilot and co-pilot are so experienced,  and I did look out the window to see the sea and coastline as we neared Wellington.
So I left, Hugh had a CT brain scan , then total body Xrays. Thank goodness no bones were broken, but  so much bruising, 2 haematomas, and massive pain.
We hope to have district nurse, ACC help for showering and getting dressed, and  more, he is in a bad way, and not able to do much for himself, far less help me.
But, we are so thankful it was not worse.
I still ache where the catheter was inserted, but6no angina, lots of new meds, and so thankful both daughters have been here, looked after Hugh while I was away, and me now I am home One from Rotorua has gone home, the other from the far south will fly back tomorrow.
Friends have rallied round, housework done, firewood all stacked by the back verandah, laundry done too, how can you say thank-you in an adequate way.

Quotation of the day,

I cannot find any words that say it better than this, with a seagull perching to oversea the water and sunset view. and so many thanks again for you all who have travelled with me on this journey, shared your love and prayers, and rejoiced at the outcome.

greetings from Jean.

Friday, 19 June 2020

All done

Hi everyone  the cardiac  surgery  is done.one LONG stent in my left anterior descending  artery. Bit hard to type on my phone. It went well
 Compression  on my right wrist.have to be careful not to do anything with that arm for a few days. Will update  more tomorrow  meantime greetings  to all ,
.. Jean

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Here until I get my wings!!!

Hello everyone, I am so heartened by all your loving and caring words,thoughts and prayers.
The treadmill test went well, I didn't have to climb Mt Everest, just a small hill. Nothing remarkable showed, at least that is what I thought, but an ECG later in the ward was positive for whatever they are looking for. So I will be flown to Wellington for an angiogram when the cardiac team and theatre can fit me in.
Meantime I am not allowed to go home,and am so thankful for all the wonderful care.
How things change, on Saturday thought I would go home later that day.
I tried to save a pic of the bigger regional hospital but that failed.
Thank goodness for an iPad in here.
I am slowly catching up with all your news both here in NZ and way up north.

So we, the 4 ladies in this room,have decided we have tunnel vision after 2 days. Apart from medications ,dr visits,nurses rounds,I can look out the window and see through the clouds the mountain,same one in my header photo.
Quotation of the day
" like a block of good cheese taking time to mature, all things happen in their own order"
Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Same place,nothing new.

hello everyone,thank you all for words of care,love and encouragement. The angina has gone for today,maybe the words"treadmill stress test" have scared it off, or the fact that I have out on a warm singlet under the very spacious open air gown and baggy panama pants.meds have been altered and added to, again, the tummy jabs are finished for now. The lovely consultant said if the ECG under stress shows nothing,they will send me home,If there are changes, I will go to Wellington,maybe an angiogram. I miss my fabric to look at,my machine to sew a few stitches, and am so humbled by you all by who care so much.Hugh is coping OK, I think,cats are missing me, close by friends are offering help galore.
Again, no pics to share, if I get familiar with an iPad might master the next process.
Meantime, I rest as told,m will run as fast as I can and see what's next.
Quotation of the day... from our GP a while ago...

Be thankful for every morning you put two feet on the floor

Greetings from Jean..

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Guess where I am??

Today started early  with an ambulance  trip to ED, and then things went very fast. I am now in a medical ward and will go to Wellington Hospital  for an angiogram,maybe fly down.will keep you updated or get Hugh  to do a post!! That is one thing I haven't  suggested yet,but have been throwing out the odd suggestion... dishwasher  washing  machine etc. So far my heart is behaving itself in here but all hooked  up to wireless monitors. Thank you all so much for  the comments the other day.typing this on my phone  so if there are any errors, please  excuse them. Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

And so the days continue

I look at the world news, and cannot understand how the violence can carry on.We all hate what is happening, and the way to cope is to combine with love and friendship.
A while ago I saw a lovely wall hanging over at    Kathleen McMusing 's blog, and she very kindly sent me the pattern. I made one, and  now I have seen another one in different colours, will do it all over again.Later on, when life is somewhat back to normal. 
This was fun to do and even more so when it was all stitched. Thanks so much Kathleen for sharing your " Mountains" with us.
Meantime on the home front,  Sunday was a re-run of Friday, again very high blood pressure, and our trusty local ambulance arrived in THREE minutes. Two delightful men in green, and off  I went  in the green and yellow ambulance . This time the doctors decided to keep me in overnight, I shared a room first with a tiny  lady, a dear soul of 99, very deaf, and in so much pain after a fall, ribs not good, they transferred her to a ward that could give more care about 8 p.m. then the next lady arrived, 99 also, blind and deaf, and so thankful for all the staff did. A night filled with regular blood pressure checks, and  Monday morning a visit from the specialist on the  next rung up the ladder. It seems that he thinks there may be changes  ( More calcification maybe) in two arteries, so has scheduled a nuclear scan. This is a lengthy process, dye into a vein, wait, then have a resting scan,  then wait, then a stress exercise, and then the radioactive isotope goes in, while you pedal, go on the treadmill, or they give you a shot of  Dobutamine, that makes your heart race!!! All the time the ECG shows what is happening. BUT,  no coffee for the day before or on that day, no tea either.
So I was told to take the next two weeks slowly, not a problem as the changes in my meds have dropped the blood pressure to my boots!! A check up with my GP, and see how I go.
I am thankful for what our daughter calls " The Army" who arrive regularly, housework now all done as I sit and watch, kitchen cleaned,  another top-up  of firewood arrived this morning and two more friends with willing hands and strong bodies will stack that away. One  more photo, my addled brain cannot edit and straighten a totally crooked pic of the wood!!! 

Thank you all so much for your so caring words and loving thoughts.They mean so much. As our breakfast girl said on  the  morning Television Broadcast, returning to work after her unborn baby died , all the comments on Facebook and Instagram meant so much to know so many cared and shared their own story, 
" Love conquers all"
Quotation of the day, from my autograph album, written by a friend in December 1953

 " Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own" 

Greetings from Jean