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.


eileeninmd said...

Hello Jean,

Oh wow, they say when it rains it pours, You and Hugh have had your fair share of health issues or problems. As I reading I was thinking everything was going good until I read Hugh fell. I am glad he did not break anything, but the pain sounds just awful. My prayers go out to both of you, I hope you have help at your home. Sending well wishes for the both of you! Take care!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

oh dearest Jean ~ what a time you and Hugh have had. I will continue to pray for you both. A nice quote to end your post. Love you dear one ~ FlowerLady

Kate said...

You have had a very exciting time. May you now have many months of boring monotony to recover.

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

Oh my, Jean. I'm so glad that they checked out Hugh so thoroughly and you know he's not more badly hurt. What a stressful way to have to leave. I am glad that you are both recovering and can get a bit of help. Sending you love!

Jenn Jilks said...

Ah, Jean, what a time you have had.
The pair of you!
I am so glad you are home, at least. That is a good sign.
Take it easy. Embrace your wonderful support team. You are such a good person. Take care. xxxx

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness, you certainly are a right pair. So pleased that your procedure went so well. And if Hugh really had to have an accident, doing it in the hospital was certainly was being in the right place at the right time.
How wonderful to have such wonderful caring friends and and family, to help you out.

Out To Pasture said...

Wow, Jean!!! What a time you've had! I was so surprised to learn the procedure was done while you were still conscious!! You are very brave. Sounds like you've been 'fixed up' though. As you say, time and meds for complete recovery. And poor Hugh! I'm sure he's disappointed that he won't be able to care for you but needs significant care himself while he heals from his accident. So glad your team is in place and I love the quote of days starting and ending with a grateful heart. The N.Z. health care seems excellent. Steady as she goes, Jean!

The Furry Gnome said...

So sorry you had all that drama! Both for you and Hugh. Glad you're home and recovering, take care and do everything the doctors tell you!

Susan Heather said...

A wonderful quote. So sorry to hear about Hugh having a fall but glad he was checked out so thoroughly, also pleased to hear you are home and have such good support from friends. It sounds as though rest is what you both need. Do take care.
Love and hugs from the north.

Carol Mattingly said...

Oh my goodness, Jean, what a trip and an experience and now poor Hugh is out of it and in pain. I am simply going to say this, Both of you move slowly, take care, and I will pray for you both. Carol

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Wow, you and Hugh have really been through the wringer. The two plane rides would have done me in, I am terrified of little planes! So glad you came through the heart cath well, and that Hugh is on the mend.

Dione Gardner-Stephen said...

Oh Jean! Sorry to hear about all your misadventures, but glad to hear you are both recuperating and I wish you and Hugh speedy recoveries. I hope you are both back to doing your favourite things in no time. Take care and let others do the fussing for once! xx

Sandra Walker said...

As if you didn't have enough worries on your mind! I am so sorry to hear of Hugh's fall. So glad to hear you are okay and that you both are home and slowly recuperating. Glad you have in-home care too. This is another example of why it is so important to have excellent free health care, and I am so grateful to live in Canada, where this kind of thing would also not see one cent going out of our bank account. And no, we don't pay 90% income tax, as some Americans have actually SAID they have heard this, to us!!!! Our income tax is actually less than in the US. We do pay more for booze, and that 'more' goes to health care, and our employers pay a chunk per employee too. It's all about community and putting money into a pot for the 'what if' times like this. Big, well no, gentle hugs to you both! Oh - glad you got a peek out at the sea, the lovely sea.

Allie-oops Designs said...

Wow quite the ordeal, Jean - I'm praying hard for you and Hugh!!! Bless you both!!!

Susan Zarzycki said...

Thank goodness that ordeal is behind you. May the Lord give you both quick healing, strength and happy days ahead!💖

QuiltGranma said...

So glad THAT is over and you are so much better now. Hope all turns out all right for you all.

Mystic Quilter said...

Hello Jean - I'm late once agin in reading posts but so happy to hear all went well, at least for you but poor Hugh, both out of action. I hope ACC have come to the party and organised the help you will both need, take it easy. Hope that the haematomas have become a little less painful for Hugh, I was once in the next hospital bed with a lady suffering from the same problem and boy was she in pain!
Jean I will give you a call in the next two days, difficult to know a good time to do this as you may both be resting, but I will try and find a suitable time. xx

KB said...

Oh Jean - do take it easy and recover well. My dad had that same surgery - even the same artery. His heart is in great shape, and you will recover as well as he did. I hope that Hugh is starting to feel better. And I hope that you get a nurse to help.

Sending love.

Tanya said...

Ah! I didn't even realize with my last comment on your blog post that there had been so much drama with your husband! Do take care! I hope you can have someone to help you out for the first few weeks because it can be tiring to take care of yourself let along worry about another family member. Both of you!

Sharon - IN said...

I'm so glad you and Hugh are home! I hope you both heal up well and are on your feet soon.

Fundy Blue said...

I read your account with fascination, until I hit the part about Hugh! You went through all that you had to endure with Hugh and his fall on your mind. That had to have been beyond stressful. I am glad that you both are okay, but I can't imagine what a challenge it must be to get by. I'm so sorry that Hugh was hurt so much in his fall and is in a lot of pain. You don't have to break something to be badly hurt. And you have to recover too, Jean. You've been through a LOT! You'll get back to bouncing out of bed, sewing, and running to the mailbox but going more slowly now is just fine. Thank goodness for all the help you have received from your daughters and neighbors. I do hope that you get a district nurse and some home care assistance. One hour, one day at a time. You are surrounded by a lot of love, my friend! Sending more to add to it!

Barb said...

Oh my gosh, Jean! Your story took me back to my own experience in the cath lab with the stent inserted in the LAD close to the heart. Mine was inserted through the artery in the groin, and I had to be sandbagged in bed for 24 hours afterward so there wasn't a bleed. Though I had a heart attack prior to mine, I remember being very, very weak when I came home. Take your time with healing and mind your meds. I could go off the blood thinner at 13 months - I was very glad to do so. I can't believe Hugh fell. If it's not one thing it's another, as my mother used to say. I hope you can get a nurse to help the two of you recuperate. Think of happy things and try to avoid stress. (Easy to say and not to do!) Love to you both. Barb

The Padre said...

Biggest Of Healing Hugs - So Wish I Lived Near By - You Stay Strong Now - All The Best Vibes As We Embark On The Month Of July


kwiltnkats said...

Jean - I've been wondering about you and happened to learn about your medical concerns. So happy to hear you are on the mend. When you get time follow up with your contact information as I don't have your new information. Life is good at my home. I've been working from home since March. Bad times in California with the virus keeps us at home away from everyone. Wish, just like everyone that this virus would just go away =^.^= Sandi

Our photos said...

Glad to read You are home again. Hope You get better soon (but slow) !

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Bless your heart! Prayers for you and your husband. How hard this must be to go through. Take good care and enjoy a slower pace of life!

Heide said...

Glad to hear you are both recovering well. Take care.