Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Huge Thank You!

Friday 29th October.

Today we took the bulk of the fundraising money from the Snowdon Horseshoe charity walk to Basingstoke to present to the team who looked after me whilst I was undergoing my treatment.
We had an uneventful drive up from Bristol and arrived early enough to sneak in to the restaurant for a coffee and a pain au chocolate! We made our way to C floor and met Francis and Brendan Moran in their office as agreed. A short time later a photographer from the press office arrived with her camera and we made our way to C2 ward to say hello to the staff and have some photo’s taken. For Jessica and Chloe it was the first time they had been onto the ward. They commented on how light and airy the ward is and how friendly the staff were. We said hello to the team and all remarked on how well I looked. Sally, the ward sister didn’t even recognize me until I spoke! Everyone was full of smiles and pleased to see us. They were also amazed by how much money we had raised. So far we have raised the bulk of our target of £5k. We were pleased to hand over £4,762 today and still have the Just Giving page open until November 21st and have at least another £500 pledged still to come. The ward was just as I remembered it and there was an empty bed space in the room I occupied whilst I stayed there.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us and donated money to a very worthy cause. I would also like to give a very special thank you to all the team members who took part and went to the effort of raising the money and take the time to gather it in after the event; it’s not an easy task! So a huge thank you to- Jon Mason, Stephen Mason, Mark Adams, Steve Read, Dave Bates, Andy Jackson and Rhys Wickham. And also to my daughters Jessica and Chloe,to Mum and Dad and to Mum Bates who also raised money on our behalf. I would also like to give a massive pat on the back to Steve "Bumper" Treweeks and Jake who raised a significant amount of money for The Christie Hospital where Steve had his MOAS in 2007.

The money raised for Basingstoke Hospital will help go towards fitting out a new family room on C2 ward. It will be somewhere where patients and family can meet on the ward in a friendly and relaxed environment and save patients having to leave the ward to see their loved ones at a time when they often feel unwell. It will also help with infection control and be somewhere carers can relax at a time when they are under a lot of stress whilst loved ones are in surgery.
Whilst talking with Brendan Moran he showed me his waiting list of patients who require treatment at the hospital and already the schedule extends into the New Year with others still to have dates confirmed. Sadly it appears that PMP is becoming more common, with Mr Moran saying that the frequency had increased to 2-3 people per million per year. All the more reason to keep supporting the team that work so hard to help people like me. The team here work long hours and it isn’t uncommon to see Brendan, Tom and the team on the ward at 07:00 and still there at 23:00 (that certainly was the case on the day of my surgery). I can’t thank them enough.
So with this in mind we will continue to support them as long as we can.......plans are already in place to do more fundraising in various ways next year including a main event in the summer. Let’s see if we can’t beat this year’s total? In the mean time I will open another Just Giving page to run in the background allowing anyone who wishes to donate.

Once again, thank you all so much for your support, people like me need you.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

8 Month anniversary- tell tale signs?

Saturday 2nd October was my 8 month anniversary. My recovery continues to go well and I am getting back to my normal routines. I have spent the last month working on the garden pond project and doing one day per weekend digging or the building work that goes with it. Saturday I finally got around to putting in the liner. One day is enough though as its been pretty tough work and I ache quite a bit afterwards.
I have been blighted by a couple of colds which has meant that my running hasn't progressed quite as quickly as I would have hoped. I'm still running around 3.5miles but struggling to do two runs a week at the moment which is pretty frustrating. Its also affected my plans to go caving in much the same way but I hope to get out towards the end of October. No point in rushing these things.
Other than that my general health is pretty good. The scarring is healing well and I don't really suffer with too many aches and pains. My bowel has gradually settled down and there are less visits to the toilet each day! I still find that I get tired and my stamina isn't where it was prior to the operation I get home from work each night and I'm pretty wiped out.
My weight continues to hold steady and over all I'm pleased with the way things are going. I have recently received my invite to go to the local GP and have my annual influenza vaccination but have yet to receive my appointment for my CT scan at Basingstoke.

I have been thinking allot recently about my history and whether there were any tell tale signs that things were not as they should have been? I have always suffered with my stomach in one way or another and wonder if it's been related?
My earliest memory of stomach related problems is when I spent a night or two in hospital at the age of around eight years or so. I had been suffering with stomach pain and was admitted with a "grumbling appendix". I spent a couple of days in the children's ward and gradually improved and they decided not to operate. I really wish that they had now as it would have saved me all this trouble!
Later into my teens I started to suffer with more problems. I would often wake in the night with terrible stomach cramps that would last for some time before I ended up in the bath room using the toilet and often being sick. This would last for a couple of hours and then would ease and I would end up sleeping for nearly 24hrs. The family doctor at the time diagnosed it as "abdominal Migraine". These episodes lasted for most of my adolescent life on and off but gradually got better and less frequent.
However I was always left with the problem that should I get excited or nervous it usually affected my stomach and I'd end up needing the toilet. My bowel seemed very sensitive to my mental state. Again I would suffer with cramps and would need to find a toilet.

Some years ago I visited a palmist. A friend of my father in laws but someone I had never met. He was a nice chap and seemed completely honest and didn't push for answers through loaded questions. He simply looked at your hands and told you about yourself. He didn't predict the future as he didn't believe in it but could advise you on medical treatments and ailments. I always remember that he told me to "be careful with my stomach and to stay away from spicy food" somehow he knew that I experienced problems in that area even though I had never told him about the problem. It was the first time we had met.

No so long before my appendix perforated I again had been suffering with some pain on the right hand side. The doctor at the time sent me for a scan of the gall bladder as he felt it might be gall stones and of course that came back clear. I hind sight, with this being so close to the appendix perforating I'm sure this was related in some way.

So were these early tell tale signs that all was not well....? I'm not sure really but it's worth making a note of. Perhaps others have suffered in a similar way?