Oh hi, it’s been quite some time since my last post; seven weeks in-fact. To be honest I have not felt up to the task of writing for much of it but many of you might not know, I was rushed back in to hospital a few days after writing the last post, with complications and endured another two-week stay.
I sprang a leak from my brain, which I interestingly noticed whilst on the ‘loo’ trying to painfully rid myself, of nearly three weeks of constipation. The joys of solving that problem then had to wait as I watched a clear liquid pour from my right nostril, and I mean pour. It was like a tap being turned on; obviously the extra straining had probably caused the upset and usually I would find situations like this extremely funny, but sadly it was accompanied by horrific pain in my head and vomiting. I went from sitting to kneeling in seconds and was back in Derriford hospital within two hour’s.
Quite simply the fluid from my brain and spine had found a new route and was using my sinuses to escape and the change in pressure was causing the headaches and nausea. I had already had complications in this department before, and surgery to my ear where my own body fat was used to block all routes, had obviously not worked. So loaded back up on Codeine and a good few swallows of oral Morphine, an ambulance ride later and I was back in my favourite ward with my favourite nurses, strapped flat and as high as you can get on hospital drugs.
It was, after a few days, decided that I would have a lumbar puncture procedure done. For those not in the know this is where a needle, as big as a whaling harpoon…… well it felt like it, is unceremoniously shoved in to ones lower spine, where a tube is inserted and attached to a bag. Pressure from the brain fluid can then be controlled, stopping it from gushing out of my nose and hopefully finding a new route inside my head.
Nothing though would be straightforward. This harpoon size needle would have to find it’s way through the tangled steel mess that holds my spine together. After a spinal fusion, and the insertion of some extra steel rods, nuts and bolts and a bit of light welding, years before for some work related incident, Shark wrestling or something like that. The surgeon would have only a tiny spot through which to thread his needle, which of course was also partly blocked by scar tissue. And so the use of some kind of, real-time X-ray machine was called for; to guide the needle in to my spinal column. Well there is nothing more to say about this, apart from how it feels to have a needle “bashed” through scar tissue, passed the nerves which hang like a net and …… and “pop”, was the sound made as it entered my spinal column. The amount of pain for really only a second or two was still enough to muster up some choice expletives before I passed in to an involuntary sleep…. Night nights…
As I am writing from home and have been out of hospital for about three weeks now, so far so good. All seems well under the bonnet and over this time I have been getting used to my newfound deafness, complete lack of balance and my lack of strength. My deafness is sadly permanent; a price to pay for the removal of the tumour, but the balance and strength will all come back and is showing good signs of improvement. Sadly though my taste buds are still not working and everything including beer and wine just tastes dreadful. I have not eaten any meat since my operation and in truth there is very little that tastes nice to me at all. I am told it will come back but could take some time.
I must though not get too comfortable, since my treatment is ongoing. I am now waiting for more tests, which will include a scan in two weeks, before I undergo a course of radiotherapy to hopefully finish the bugger of. So I might, this time lose my hair, I wonder do you lose all your hair, will I become like a Bedford?
Before I go I must just say how wonderful my beautiful wife has been. Francesca has had to balance her work in Tripoli with her care and incredible patience for me. Earning an income and organising care for me has not been easy but she has always been there when I have been rushed back in to hospital and puts up with my bored induced grumpy, argumentative and down right impossible behaviour.. Can you believe I am like that !…. Anyway I love you Franny… I hope you appreciate this public display of affection; I love you, like I love a Steak and Kidney Pudding washed down with a good pint of stout… Chin chin.