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.