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Rough seas.

I’ve kind of neglected my blog lately. I do think about it quite a lot,  but it’s finding the time, energy and motivation to actually take the time to start writing. Even more so when you have more revision to do than you can shake a stick at.

So. Since the last time I’ve posted….

It feels like a lot has happened, but in reality it hasn’t. We changed my anti-depressant to a completely different one, I’ve had 2 assessments by two different branches of the mental health trust, I’ve had surgery on my shoulder (Oh yea, that kind of counts as a lot…) and then all the general shenanigans that I get up to.

So I reckon I should just start with the first thing and work my way down. We (GP, me and Sophie) decided that it was time to do something about my antidepressant. It’s going to be a hell of a while before I’m seen by psychiatry (more on that later) so he’s decided to change it and see where we go. I have swapped from mirtazipine which I’ve been on now for about 2 years to Venlafaxine, which tends to be used more in severe depression but it is difficult to manage because you can only increase it every 2 weeks and it can mess about with your heart a bit, and because I’ve got a history of SVT, they’re being a bit cautious. He increased it again on Wednesday so we shall see how that goes. I’m starting to get frustrated with the amount of meds I’m having to take, and it’s getting more and more difficult to make myself take them. It’s frustrating me that nobody trusts me with more than a weeks worth of meds. I can understand why it’s happening, and I’ve been the one having to make that decision on behalf of someone, but it still isn’t easy. I’m losing control of something that has such a big impact on my life and I don’t like it.

I had an assessment with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), who are tasked with looking after people with severe mental health problems in the community. , which took 4 appointments. It doesn’t normally take as long, but apparently I’m “complex”. Not going to deny that! But the woman doing it was a total tosspot. She was so rude it was unbelievable. I took both Cookie and Sophie along to different appointments to make sure it wasn’t just me taking things the wrong way, but they both said she was totally out of order. She didn’t quite understand that there’s things I struggle to talk about, and that I may not necessarily be able to very easily. Making me feel bad by telling me I don’t want to get better and that they’re never going to be able to help me isn’t helpful. It was an assessment and she really did push me too much in them without giving me any coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions that she brought back to the surface. I had only just got to the point with my PTSD that I could walk past resus in A&E without having a panic attack and she decided that she wanted me to tell her exactly what happened that night. Despite me explaining I really didn’t want to talk about it for self preservation reasons, and I’d appreciate it if she would let Cookie explain it, she wasn’t having any of it, despite me bursting into tears. My psychologist and GP where absolutely furious with her for doing it. My psychologist told me she didn’t actually need to know the specifics for the purpose of that assessment. As well as that, there’s a rule in Manchester that if you miss two appointments with the mental health trust, even if you have a valid reason (eg being in hospital) they’ll discharge you. Not even 2 consecutive appointments, but 2 appointments at all. She wasn’t willing to discuss it with her manager because apparently too many people were taking the biscuit with it. I can understand that there was people taking the piss, I really do. But when I have a discharge letter from the hospital saying I was an inpatient, surely that counts as a valid reason?! In the end she decided to refer me to the Early Intervention Team (EIT) who are there to help treat the early stages of psychosis. So I had to have an assessment at home with them. That was only the one appointment thankfully, but they decided that my psychosis isn’t actually psychosis but is anxiety and PTSD related. Not sure I agree, but that was their call.  So they referred me back to the CMHT and I had to see the tosspot again yesterday. She’s decided she wants to see me for 6 appointments.  I’m not happy about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the help. I understand that there are people who don’t get any help. But she makes things a hell of a lot worse, and I don’t think I have much room to get worse at the minute. But we’ll see.  I just want to be able to get on with my life the way it was before January. It’s one of those vicious circles that once you’re in, it’s damned near impossible to get out of that I want to get back to uni, but going scares me into having a panic attack, but getting back is going to help my head.

So I had the surgery on my shoulder that I’d been waiting on since last year in April. Feck me that was tough. I was in hospital for Cookie’s birthday again though which sucked. But I did my best and made sure she had some presents to open and she brought them and some cake up on her birthday. I was in for a few days beforehand for IV’s to get my chest right because I had to have a general anesthetic, which in people with naughty lungs is a scary concept. The anesthetist I had seen for my assessment a few months prior had been absolutely lovely. He had said I could have someone in the anesthetic room, a PCA post op and would be allowed someone in the recovery room with me. The anesthetist who actually did my operation wasn’t having any of it and I had to pretty much argue the toss to allow Sophie into recovery. He got the huff when I put my iPod in when I was in the anesthetic room because I was starting to totally panic and was just a general arse. He told me he wasn’t having any of it the night before, so needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night. My chest kicked off a smidge when I was in recovery and I had to have some magnesium and hydrocortisone, but apart from that it was all good. I think I was in for about 2 weeks in total, but my shoulder is a hell of a lot better now. I spent 4 weeks in sling instead of 3 because I managed to (being me) fall on my sore shoulder about a week post op. I will say though that I’m terrible at doing my physio. I’ve been trying to do it a bit more in the past few weeks, but I am absolutely terrible at remembering. But even despite that, it’s doing well. I’ve a good bit of movement back in it, and I’m slowly building up the strength in it. I’m still not fully trusting of it, but it was the same after my hip replacements. It took me months to trust my leg to take my weight fully when I was going up and down stairs. It’s only been recently that I’ve trusted them enough to go down stairs without holding onto the banister! But I’ll get there, I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back to the gym. I’m not allowed just yet, but I think once I hit 3 months post op in July they’ll let me.

I’m going to be sitting all my exams at the end of August/beginning of September with all the resits. I’m not actually sitting any of them as resits, but because I missed 2 in January because I was in hospital, and with having surgery and my mental health being so rubbish, my GP, me and uni all decided that deferring my exams to then would be better for me. It put less pressure on me because there was no way in hell I was going to be ready by May to sit the exams. Bearing in mind in two of my 4 modules I have to do 2 semesters worth of revision. So I have a kind of revision plan at the minute and I’m really trying to stick to it. Hopefully I will and it will all pay off. As it stands I’m on the fence about repeating first year so we will see how things go when I sit my exams. Not going to lie, I’m nervous as feck, but uni have been fantastic. Because I missed the majority of my labs, I wouldn’t be able to move onto 2nd year because of that. But my module co-ordinator is going to work with me during July and August to catch up and get me to the level for the must pass exam. So here’s hoping!

Trying to think whether anything else big has happened. I went to Edinburgh to see Dad on Father’s Day. He hadn’t a clue I was coming, and seeing his face when he saw me coming up the stairs has to be in my top 15 moments ever. It was good to see him. I’ve not seen Irene or Sean since November, and although I’ve seen dad since, it was only briefly because he came down for the day.  So it was good to spend some proper time with them all. Sean’s voice has broke and he’s getting so grown up. He’s just a little bit older than TJ, but he’s so much more mature. With TJ’s learning difficulties he’s very naive and innocent and can’t really look after himself to any degree. Whereas Sean is a lot more independant. Hopefully though we will get TJ to that level and he’ll be able to be to live independantly. While I was in Edinburgh, I had a massive haircut. I’m still undecided as to whether I like it. I think it’s too short and I look like an oompa loompa, but everyone else says it’s lovely. I think it’s nicer when I can get it tussled and not like a bob. It actually means I have to use products on my hair for the first time in my life. It’s mad. Although the advantage of having it dried in an hour and it taking about a quarter of the time to shower is a massive one. It’s whether or not I can keep it this short or not! I think I might let it grow a bit, and keep it just above shoulder level. But time will tell.

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Unfortunately a few months ago we lost Dolly. Dolly was my Jack Russell Terrier back in Monaghan. She was a total legend. She got me through the worst of stuff with James and was absolutely epic at making me laugh. She had a heart attack when mum went to pick her up from Nanny’s. I was, and still am totally devastated. I can’t imagine going home now and Dolly not being there. It’s going to take some doing. Miss my puppy 😦

 

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If you’ve managed to get to this point and not fall asleep, I congratulate you. I promise to try to be a bit better at blogging. Hopefully once my head starts to wise up, things will get a bit easier and I will have a bit more motivation to do it. Watch this space.

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Keep on keeping on.

So the past few weeks since I found out about my shoulder have been pretty manic.

Digesting the news that I needed more surgery has been tough. Last year when I had my hips done I thought it was the last time I was going to need surgery for a long time and it just seems like when things start going right for me, something always comes up. It’s a shit one. But there’s nothing really that I can do about it except suck it up and get on with it. Yea, I’m not going to lie. I’m scared of the surgery. I met the anaesthetist on Tuesday and went through my options and whatnot and it seems like the only option is for me to have a general anaesthetic. My chest consultant has said so long as I’m admitted beforehand for IV’s and am sent to ICU after he’s happy enough for it to go ahead. Still scary though.

Ended up back in hospital spiking temperatures and feeling shite about 2 weeks after my last admission. They suspected I had a massive infection in my PICC line and had me on IV Domestos for a week. IV Domestos is evvvvillll! It makes you feel like poop in general but I throw up rather spectacularly on it.  But a week after being discharged I’m still feeling rather poop and am throwing temps a lot. It’s annoying me. I’m spending all day in bed trying not to fall asleep. Stupid body.

We did get to go to Aerial Extreme last week though. It was a year since I had my left hip done and I wanted to do something big to mark it. Unfortunately being a day out of hospital with ?sepsis wasn’t the best time to go and do it, but we’d already paid for it so I wasn’t going to lose £78 for it. I made it round the little course fine, but about half way through the big one my heartrate hit 190 and I got really dizzy and had to stop. It was the height of shit (bad pun alert). I was so angry that I had to stop when I’d been looking forward to it for ages. Hearts are totally overrated.

Things in other ways are going well though. I’ve had my application for DSA approved and am just waiting on an assessment for it now. And I’ve just checked my emails to find my acceptance letter from university. I squealed so loudly I set the noise trigger on the CCTV off haha. I’ve got my reading list aswell so I’ve been ordering some of my uni books and trying to revise stuff. I’ve not been in any form of education since 2011 and it’s scaring the crap out of me. I have enough problems trying to keep up with things without not having any idea how I’m going to keep up. I’m a hard worker though, hopefully it’ll work out though. Cookie’s sitting her driving test next week for the 4th time. I think she’ll pass it. The times she’s failed has been something totally stupid that had it have been a different examiner she’d probably have passed.

I’ve got a manic August planned. Dad comes home from Cambodia at the end of the month then I’m going to Edinburgh for a week to stay with him and Irene. It’s Irene and Sean’s birthday about a week after I go up so I’m gonna take them out for food when I’m up and do early presents. Then I’m back in Manchester for about a week then Cookie and I are heading to Ireland for a week. I can’t wait! We’re going to see my family but my best friend Michelle is home from Spain in August so I’m gonna see her. I’ve not seen her in absolutely ages and I can’t wait! Plus it’s Chris’ birthday when I’m home so we’re going to go up to Belfast and stay in a youth hostel overnight so we can see him properly. I’m so excited!!!

Bring on August.

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It never rains…

But it pisses it down.

I’ve had quite a busy month! We had some friends up over my birthday, but it was hit and miss as to whether I was even going to be out for my birthday! I was in hospital for the week running up to it, after being in a week before and being discharged too early. Fecking doctors never listen…

But our friends Kira and Caz came up to stay for my birthday. It was great. We were able to go bowling and for a meal, but it was the first time in over 3 years myself or Kira had been able to go bowling minus crutches. It was fantastic to be able to enjoy myself and not be in pain. I ended up with sore fingers from the bowling ball more than a sore hip! I won one game and came last in the other. No good! But I had most of my best friends there and it was fab!

I went up to Edinburgh to see dad and Irene the weekend after, and I was able to walk around Sean’s school for the open day and take pics. It was probably the most I’ve walked since my op and although I was tired, it was great to be able to do it!

Since then though, things have been a bit rough. The week after Edinburgh I came down with some sort of virus which pretty much floored me for a week. I think from Monday to Friday I spent about 4 hours awake. Just as I was starting to feel better on the Saturday, I managed to dislocate my shoulder, again. On Sunday I had a lot more pain in it than I did last time, and it was extremely swollen which it wasn’t last time so I was slightly worried and decided a trip to A&E was needed to make sure I had managed to get it back in right when I put it back in. They reckon that because it took me over an hour to get it back in and it’s now the third time I’ve done it, that there’s more muscle damage which is why it’s swollen and sore. I saw the consultant on Wednesday and they think I’m going to need surgery on it to stabilise the joint because I’ve done it 3 times now. D’oh! So for the next few weeks I’m in a sling and forced to behave!

Even though Cookie’s currently on crutches, and I’m in a sling, we spent Thursday in the Trafford Centre which was good. We did some shopping then went to Nandos for some food. Was a good day out and I really enjoyed walking about not worrying about crutches etc. I am however broke and didn’t manage to do any shopping lol. There should be a money tree in my back garden, then I could remove about £200 off it!

So for now I’m camping out in bed watching telly and trying to play my xbox with my arm in a sling!

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Done and dusted.

Well, on the 16th July, I became the proud owner of a new left hip. To say it was tough would be an understatement(I will never see why people use ketamine for recreational purposes…) but I’m finally off crutches now, 4 weeks and 5 days after the op. It’s amazing. I’ve been on crutches permantly for over 4 years and have had my life severely limited by that for so long. It’s a great feeling to be able to walk out the front door and not need my crutch with me. I can do so much more stuff and am planning things that I’ve been waiting to be able to do. I’ve got a much more positive outlook on things now, and it’s fantastic to see the difference it’s making to my overall health. The day of my op I was standing up and using the commode and refusing to use a bedpan. Well, they made me use it one time, after that fiasco I decided it was more painful using a bedpan than pulling myself out of bed! But I’m working hard and proving everyone wrong. I can do it!

post op, day 1

I had my annual chronic disease review this morning, which was my asthma and diabetic review, and it couldn’t have gone better. I have no sign of problems with my feet, I’ve lost weight, my diabetic bloods are completely perfect and I got my personal best peak flow. All of these little things have just given me such a boost, and I’m currently riding the natural high. I’ve also finally started to reduce my painkillers, which is a huge deal. I’ve been on a massive amount of opiates for about 3 years now, and it’s taken a toll on my body. I’m always sleepy, have tummy problems and you just have a general feeling of groggyness. So the aim is to be completely off opiates by Christmas. It will be my christmas present to myself hopefully! I’m aiming to be off my long acting morphine by the end of Sept/Middle of October depending on how things go, and then I’ll be reducing my patch after that.

We also joined a gym last week, and had our first session and induction on Saturday. Both myself and Cookie have said we need to get fitter, and it’s a good way to loose weight so we’re going to try and go every few days and see how we get on. I managed 5 mins on the bike and 2mins on the cross trainer aswell as resistance work. So it’s working up from there and getting my strength and stamina back. I will get my life back in order, I’ve got the rest of my life to live for. 

Apart from that, there’s nothing huge happening in my life. I’m completely broke at the minute, so am not planning on leaving the house for the next few days. I’m meant to be in Grantham because Cookie has gone on holiday to Turkey with her family for a week and I’m not really meant to be on my own. But in true Vicky fashion I have a tummy bug, so I can’t risk my friends in Grantham getting it. I’m planning on going on Wednesday, but that’s subject to lungs/tummy etc.

I’ve given up on doing project365. I was spending too much time taking pictures of my bedroom and hospital and I was getting bored of it. Hopefully once I’m a bit more mobile and out and about I will be able to start it again, but for now it’s on hold.

Hope everyone’s doing good, and if you’re not, I send good vibes your way 🙂

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How things are.

So I’ve not really done a general post since I started my P365, and I thought it was about time I did a general update for everyone!

Overall I’m not doing too bad! I was in Ireland for a few weeks in Feb/March which was fantastic. I’ve not been able to spend any proper time with them all in months and missed them to bits. I’ve started to get my room sorted in terms of pictures on walls and storage. I’ve still got a bit to do, and I’m not sure what way I’m going to do the rest. I need to get a chest of drawers in my room but at the moment I just don’t have the room for it. I really need to get it tidied up within the next few days and then I should be able to concentrate on getting it all finished. I’m looking forward to it, because this will be the first time I’ll have my room done the way I want it, and done by me in my first flat. Another reason for wanting to get it finished is that we’re going to start fostering dogs! We are going to be fostering a dog called Lizzie from Weds. She was rescued from Bulgaria where she was found severely malnourished and tied up, about to be poisoned. Luckily she was rescued and flown over here and has now put some weight on. She still has abandonment issues and is very whiny, and she’s not used to walking on a lead, so she’s going to need quite a lot of hard work, but we’re both looking forward to the challenge!

Billy and myself have put our relationship on hold for a bit. He’s really struggling with his mental health at the minute, and he didn’t quite expect it to get to the severity that it is. Being in a relationship with me is hard work at the best of times, but doing it with a pretty severe mental health illness aswell is going to be hard. Right now he needs to concentrate on sorting his head out, and getting better in his way, and having a girlfriend who needs a lot of support and can be a major cause of regular stress is going to make things worse. So while he concentrates on getting his mental health a bit more stable, we’re taking a break. We’re still really good friends and he’s coming round tomorrow, but I’m a bit wary. The last time a relationship ended like this for me, it was quite messy. I was cheated on and hurt in a way that I still haven’t quite got my head round. But I think that this time it will be different, Billy’s a completely different guy and I do still trust him. With Chris it just didn’t fit and he wasn’t the nicest of people, so I was kind of happy when he ended it and I’m pretty gutted about this. But if it means he can get his head into a better place, then I’ll wait.

As you’ve gathered from P365, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in hospital. This for me isn’t anything new, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Luckily I’ve not had an attack requiring ICU in quite a while, and I really do hope to keep it that way. My chest does seem to be better between attacks though, and I find that makes it easier to enjoy other activities. My consultant is fantastic, and although he winds me up something shocking on a regular basis by refusing to change anything to help me stay out of hospital, he has managed to help me reduce the severity of my attacks. Although I still need a lot of IV medications and admissions, I have had worse and consider myself lucky.  My hip is still causing a large amount of problems, and since my latest admission, I have lost a large amount of my mobility and can no longer do a lot of things that healthy people take for granted. I now have to get help putting my socks and shoes on, can’t get in and out of the bath, and in our flat that means the shower aswell, and I now struggle to find comfort in any position apart from lying in bed. It’s as if my joint falls out of place and pops when I’m sitting upright on a chair. It’s a good thing I got a double bed lately, because it makes it a lot easier to have to spend the day lying down when I can have Cookie sitting beside me watching telly and can stretch out properly. I’m seeing my consultant on the 1st April, and I’m going to try and get it across to him that I want my hip sorting sooner rather than later now. I’m getting very bored of being held back from doing things because of my hip and just want to be able to get on with my life. He can’t use the excuse that it’s my chest either because my chest consultant wrote to him and told him that he wasn’t to use my chest as an excuse for delaying the operation to replace it. Hopefully he will do it soon.

We’re off to Grantham on Friday to see Kira. Kira finally had her hip replaced a few week ago, and I’ve wanted to spend some time at hers for quite a while. So we’re going to stay from Fri – Sunday all being well!

Here’s to next time folks, and thanks for reading!

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Finally getting stronger.

Well, after months of posts where things have been a bit negative and down, things are finally getting better.

I love being able to say “I’m good!” when people ask if I’m ok. I got back from Tenerife on Wednesday, and although I didn’t finish my holiday on a good note, having had an argument with dad and having a terrible return flight that involved delays, horrendous terbulence and an hours delay at the baggage carasol, in the past few days, I’ve seen just how things can improve.  But while I was away I got to sunbathe, spend some time with my stepbrother, Sean and got back in the pool again. Going back over for christmas though, so that’ll be something to look forward to. It’s a busy few months!

I’ve come back and for some reason, I just feel better. I know people say holidays always make you feel better, but for some reason, I do genuinely feel like I’ve turned a corner. I’m going to be seeing a new pysch soon so I can hopefully start getting somewhere with my mental health, and *whispers* at the minute, my chest is relatively behaving. I’m having the odd blip early in the mornings, but that’s not unusual for me. I’ve now been out of hospital a month, which is seriously good going for me. Lets hope it continues. I’ve also had some of my painkillers changed about. My patch has been changed from BuTrans, which I’ve been on for about 2 years, to Fentanyl. So hopefully I’ll be able to get the pain in my hip more under control.

Next week though is going to be epic. I have my little brother coming over for 10 days. He hasn’t a clue it’s happening, and I’m extremely excited about it.  It’s going to be his birthday while he’s over, so I’m going to take him to Legoland and Old Trafford while he’s over so it’s going to be a fantastic time for him. It’ll be the first time I’ve had him over here or he’s been away without mum for longer than a few days. I could really do with some good vibes that I stay well while he’s over, because the last thing I want is to end up in hospital while he’s over.  But I’m going to be seriously sensible and do everything in my power to stay well.

Here’s to a fab few months.

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New Hip

*Fair warning. This is a detailed post about my op. If you don’t like it don’t read, but it’s my way of getting rid of the anger I have over certain things*

 

 

Well as I type this, I’m lying in bed in Edinburgh with a new right hip. To say it’s been a mad month would be an understatement. From being told I had the date, to going in, then coming out again, has been completely nuts. I knew I was going to be going in for IV’s a few days early, so that wasn’t too bad. I was on my resp ward for that and had my normal staff about who knew me. It was good that they knew what was going on because they could see me having a mini meltdown over the course of the week. But being the fantastic team that they are, they all knew exactly what to say. And then the night before my op dad came up so he was staying with me during the first few days after my op, and was going to be there in the morning to go with me. 21 year old grown up adult and all that? Piss offfffff! I love my dad and I’m not afraid to say it.

Day of Op – I was nil by mouth completely from 2am. I was allowed a sip of water with my meds, but I got pissed off with my mouth being dry and had more than one sip. Dad was on the ward at about 7.15am and was sat with me while I was having my last IV Hydro before my op and when they were going through the pre-op checklisst. He had to answer most of the questions for me cause by this stage I was a shaking, terrified wreck. One of the nurses on the ward came to theatres with me. I think it was obvious by this stage I was past nervous and was just a quivvering wreck. Jayne (nurse from ward) gave me a hug and wished me good luck. Unfortunately there was no space in the area they put you in before your op so I went into recovery to have the pre oppy stuff done. (Oppy is a word, honest). Then they wheeled me to the anesthetic room which was where they had to boot dad.  I was sat on the edge of the trolley while one of the anesthetists (Yes, only I could manage 2 anesthetists, my chest cons, chest SHO and surgeon for an op) tried to get a grey cannula in me. Errrrr… No.  She managed to get a green one in after about 4 gos. I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t just use the pink one and then attack me when I was in lala land.  But anesthetist no2 started putting the epidural in about now. I remember coming out with “THAT FUCKING HURTTTTS!” and then telling him he was a sadist. But after that all I knew was my left leg was going numb and there seemed to be a strange urgency to get me onto the trolley. It was very weird then because all of a sudden there was about 10 people in the room and someone was putting an oxygen mask on me and trying to get a neb going. But I’d put my iPod in and closed my eyes so I didn’t care.  I can remember them rolling me about and getting my leg onto a strange contraption and me telling them I was going to sleep and to leave me alone, and then them saying they were taking me into theatre, but that was about it. I woke up just coming out of surgery and I think the first thing I said was “Is it over? Where’s dad?” and pretty much demanding they got dad for about 15mins straight until he came. Then I decided I was freezing and ended up with a bairhugger blanket. Google it. They’re amazing.  Then I was taken to ICU and dad and Irene came to see me. The next 24 hours are a bit of a blur. I can remember being in some shit ass pain that I can’t even begin to describe and telling them if they didn’t sort it out I was going to scream. Then being told I had to use a bedpan. Now that was just the straw that broke the camels back. I threw a complete tantrum and told them that under no circumstances was I using a bedpan. To which I was told that it was either that or I just went in the bed. Anyone who knows me will know that things like that just piss me off. I had to use the bedpan. And it was one of the most horrible experiences ever. I was in so much pain that trying to get on it was agony, then I was so upset at using it that I couldn’t go. Then when I did manage  to go, I’d been waiting so long I was so full that it overflowed and I had to have everything changed. I’m 21. I shouldn’t be having a hip replacement, never mind having to use a bedpan, and then miss. I felt completely empty. I know it wasn’t the nurses faults, because I wasn’t in any fit state to use a commode, but from what I’ve heard now, I should’ve been catherterised in theatre to avoid anything like that happening. But after all that was over, and I’d cried myself into a mini splatt because nobody thought to sort my painkillers out and I was in agony, I finally managed to get some IV morphine and then a morphine PCA. Once we’d managed to get my pain reasonably controlled I was finally able to get some sleep.

Day 2 – They always say the first 24-48hrs after any operation is the worst, and I’ll stand testiment to that. With my chest the way it was, we couldn’t stop the infusion I was on to keep my chest well. But the ward I was meant to be going to wouldn’t have me on it because they “weren’t equipped to handle it” which was met with expletives from me, dad, my ICU nurse, Irene and my chest cons. So we changed some IV’s around and I was given a different medication and told that ICU outreach would take care of it. Luckily they did and I was able to get to the ward about 7ish. When I got there, I was finally able to stand up to get to a commode. When I was told they had to log roll me to check for bed sores, I was so tired I agreed. Dad went to sit in the hall while they did all that, but when they rolled me, they grabbed my hip. I honestly thought at that point I’d pass out. I screamed in pain. Dad said he never wants to hear a sound like it. But I promptly told them to get out and let me sleep at that point. I was beyond pissed off. They knew where the incision on my leg was and they just pulled it as if it wasn’t there. Unfortunately because I’d come from ICU, and I was scoring on the MEWS (Don’t start me, it’s evil.) I ended up on hourly observations. And then in true Vicky style decided to spike a temp of about 39degrees. Cue panic of bleep every SHO they could bloody think of. I had the anesthetic SHO, Chest SHO, Ortho SHO and Medical SHO poking me all in the space of an hour trying to figure out why I was spiking a temp. I was just in a really bad mood and wanted everyone to leave me alone. It was the first time I’d managed to get any sleep and they were fecking with me. I ended up having bloods done (which when done by dr’s take more than one go. Useless bunch of twats. I did tell them to bleep the Night pracs!), a chest x-ray, bloody hrly neuro obs, my dressing changed at 3am to check for signs of infection and I was threatened with a lumbar puncture. Thank God it didn’t come to that. The quacks came to the conclusion that it was my bodies way of getting over the operation, but that I was to remain on hrly neuro and normal obs for 24hrs and that they wanted bloods done again in the morning. All I wanted was sleeeeeeep!

Day 3 – They say a picture tells a thousand words, so I’ll show you the picture dad got of me taking my first steps after my op.

Sheer grit and determination. I will get there.

Sheer grit and determination. I will get there.

The next two days were filled with trying to get up and about as much as I could. I’d set myself goals each day, and each day I’d hit them and astound the physios. Technically speaking I was still meant to be in ICU.  And today should still be in hospital. Don’t get me wrong, It’s sore. It’s hard work and when I was in ICU I was seriously wondering why I was putting myself through it, but every day I’m managing to do even more. Tonight I managed to lift my bad leg up off the bed 5x and did it twice. I couldn’t do that before my op.

I wouldn’t have been able to do it though if it hadn’t have been for some very special people. I’m not going to list them, but they know who they are. I couldn’t have done it without you all. You gave me a reason to smile, came to visit me, brought me drinks when I was dehydrated and kept me company in ICU when I was scared. These are the people who I know will always be there for me, and they didn’t leave me at the hardest points.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
Eleanor Roosevelt