Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Getting up to speed cont.....the appendectomy

I found myself being pushed to the operating theatre at approx 09:15. I had missed both Tracey and my mum and new that they would both be upset but in a way I was glad as I new saying goodbye to them would have been tough and probably only got myself worked up. As it was I think I was pretty out of it by this point and wasnt too nervous.
I was soon in the pre op room and had several people milling around me. A cannula was inserted into my left hand by the anesthetist and I was soon being injected with the anesthetic. Within seconds I was out.......
It was the first time I had ever had any kind of op an I was surprised how easy it was. I was out for the count, K.O'd. Its amazing really, they could have done absolutely anything to me and I would not have known. If things would have gone wrong I wouldnt have known either, it was easy. In a way it was also reassuring for what was to come..........

I was brought around in the recovery room after the operation. That was just a wierd experience......I was aware that there were two nurses around me who were talking. I cant tell you what the inside of the room looked like as it was all a blur and I was still well out of it and I think talking jibberish! My first memory is hearing both Tracey and my Mum's voice as I was being wheeled to the ward. I opened my eyes again and saw them stood waiting for me and managed a little wave.

Again I cant really remember the next few hours too well as I guess the anethetic was still affecting me. The surgeon came to talk to me breifly to advise that the operation went well but that it was one of the worst he had ever seen. Apparently what was left of the appendix was stuck to the ulum and cecum and needed to be cut away and that my abdomen was full of pus. The operation took an hour and a half longer than anticipated and I'd taken a long time to come around from the operation. However they had managed to persevere and do the operation laprescopically rather than open me up. This would reduce the chances of any infections.
I had also been fitted with a stomach drain to help drain the seline used to wash out my abdomen and any other gunk that wanted to get out. That was a bit of a shock as I wasnt pre-warned that I could have one of these when I awoke.

So I had survived thus far and wasnt in much pain at all, now it was just a case of getting the recovery out of the way and then get back to normal. I had a major caving trip planned for about six weeks time in Derbyshire to go and do Titan so I needed to recover quickly if I was going to make that.

Little did I know what was to come.......

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Getting up to speed....

It all started at the end of May '09. I had got up as normal one saturday morning and decided to visit the local shops with the family. We had not long arrived when I started to feel unwell and we decided to return home.

After about 40mins rolling around on the bedroom floor I decided enough was enough and it was time to call an ambulance. They arrived quickly and I was soon carried downstairs and into the back of the ambulance outside. I'll always remember the look on the girls faces as they stood in the lounge looking frightened with my brother who had quickly come down when Tracey had rung for the ambulance. In the back of the ambulance I was quickly given entinox and then morphine to try and ease the pain. Tracey joined me and we were soon on our way to Bristol's Frenchay Hospital.

I arrived in A & E still in some pain where more morphine was administered until they could not give me any more as I was at my limit. Bloods were taken and I was examined by the doctor. After a while the pain eased slightly and I was visited again by the doctor who advised that she was not sure what the problem was and to my surprise advised that I could go home. If I did not feel any better then I could see my GP or visit the Friendoc!

I slowly made my way to the car some 2hrs after I had been admitted feeling like I had been kicked in the stomach. The ambulance crew who brought me in were parked up having a coffee and could not believe that I was being allowed to go home.

The rest of the weekend I felt awful. i was off my food and feeling hot and cold and generally pretty ill.

On the Monday morning I tried to get up to go to work but couldnt do my trousers up because of the pain. I phoned in sick and managed to make an appointment with my GP.

As soon as my GP saw me she advised she was sending me back to Frenchay Hospital. I was admitted to the Surgical admissions ward around 13:00hrs that afternoon.

I was soon examined by the doctor and sent for X-rays. When I arrived back on the ward I was then examined by three medical students along with the doctor. The students diagnosed Peritonitus or a perforated appendix. I was showing the classic signs known as guarding and pain on rebound tests.......I was also yellow where my system was being poisoned from the toxins in my blood.

iIwas immediatly placed on strong antibiotics and pain killers introvenously and advised that I would be operated on before midnight. The plan was to do the proceedure laprescopically (key hole) if all was ok but if when I was opened up it was found to be bad then I would be opened up fully. Great.

I was visited twice in the night by the doctor who advised that the operation would not take place until Tuesday morning as the theatres were busy. during the night I continued to go down hill and was very dehidrated.

Finally at 09:15 I was whisked down to theatre considered an urgent case.......some 4 days after the appendix had burst.


Hi......My name is David,

I am happily married to Tracey and have two beautiful girls....Jessica and Chloe. I enjoy outdoor life and my interests are Caving, Climbing, Fishing and running.......just about anything outdoors really!

Up until recently I have lived an very happy and healthy life and been blessed with being surrounded by by family who I adore.

However, that all changed in June '09 when after suffering a perforated appendix I was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer.....Psudomyxoma Peritonei.

This is my story in a diarised form. I will write entries as often as I can giving updates of my progress both physically and mentally on what are likely to be some very difficult times ahead. Hopefully my story can be read by others suffering from the same condition and will help them understand that they are not alone and may even help them in some way.......