Always explain BEFORE it happens
Posted by Oli on Friday 28th November, 2008
So I’ve managed to get myself into trouble with… well… everyone this week, although I personally blame K for it, since it was her status update on Facebook which drove the minor frenzy on Wednesday.
Following my extremely positive annual review at Harefield a couple of weeks ago, Doc C lined me up to have my port-a-cath removed – that’s the small venous access device that sat under the skin on my shoulder and was used to pump my regular IVs into me when I was on them every few weeks, less painful and much less hassle than having longlines and cannulae.
Anyway, Doc C is really happy that I’ve progressed enough now that it can come out, basically saying that I’m not going to need IVs again, that to all intents and purposes, I’m “better”.
To my surprise, having thought it would take at least a month or two to sort out a port date, they phoned me last Thursday and arranged for me to come in on Wednesday and have it taken out by one of their surgeons – and who says the NHS isn’t fast?
So off I toddled, with Dad driving as I wasn’t too keen on ferrying myself back home after having my shoulder sliced open, own to Harefield on Wednesday morning, fully expecting a quick and painless procedure under a local anaethetic and then to be shipped off home.
Upon arrival and talking to the surgeon, however, i became clear that there was a large possibilty of the line causing problems with bleeding etc during the op, so he wanted to knock me out under general anaesthetic so I wouldn’t have to put up with the rather over-dramatic process of fixing things up once he’d cut me open.
Of course, the time before last that I ad a general, I ended up on intensive care – nothing to do with the anaesthetic, mind you – but this set alarm bells ringing for K, who posted an update on Facebook saying she was worried about me and my op.
Having thought it was only a minor, local thing, I hadn’t actually told anyone about going in to have it done, other than my ‘rents and K’s and the people I was supposed to be meeting with that lunchtime. So, naturally, everyone who read the update panicked and starting sending all sorts of (lovely) concerned messages to K to find out what was going on.
I thought I’d help matters once I was straight-headed again yesterday by posting my own update apologising for not telling people. Only then it got read by all the people who’d missed K’s status update and so still didn’t know, who then got the same level of worriedness about something that had been and gone and I got plied with even more (lovely) concerned emails and was once again berated for keeping it to myself.
So, for the record – apologies to everyone that I didn’t tell you it was going to happen and apologies to those people who we worried by not explaining ourselves properly.
Also for the record, everything went fine, there was no extra bleeding and my mini-lifeline that’s been in situ for over 13 years slid out nicely under the surgeon’s deft hands and now, presumably, lies in a pile of ash at the bottom of an incinerator. Weird thought.
My shoulder is still pretty sore – hadn’t really thought that one through ahead of time, but it’s a bit obvious really – but I’ve got good painkillers to deal with it and I’m now able to walk about and generally use the arm, which is a good deal better than yesterday.
I solemnly swear from now on that any and all procedures that I know about in advance will be adequately diarised on here BEFORE they happen so that we don’t freak anyone else out.