Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Ten Month Anniversary of the MOAS

The 2nd December was my ten month anniversary. Ten whole months have passed since the MOAS already....where did that time go?
To think that in that short space of time I have also been lucky enough to walk the Snowdon Horseshoe, start caving again and return to running. I have been lucky.
Regarding my on-going recovery physically I’m doing really well. My weight is holding steady and I’m eating pretty much what I want. I still can’t eat big volumes and have accepted that is the way things will be from now on. If we go out for a meal then I can’t manage a starter or dessert and have to make do with just a main course so I make sure I have something really good to make up for it!
The scars are healing well and I have no pain or discomfort at all even when exercising and this was encouraging when I did my first caving trip a few weeks ago. I also plucked up the courage this week to get my scars out in public for the first time and go for a swim at the local pool. It was all fine; I don’t even think anyone noticed! Life really is returning to normal again.
I do still suffer with the mental scars though. You bury them for a while and don’t think about things for a while and then something triggers in your mind and the images all come flooding back. A week or two ago I found myself led in bed unable to sleep and running through my earliest recollections after the op and wondering if it was real or just another hallucination? I remember either Mr Cecil or Mr Moran stood at my bedside to my left. To my right a nurse busied themselves, I was aware of their presence but couldn’t tell you who it was or what they were doing. I could barely focus and only recognised the consultant by their voice as I couldn’t see properly. I remember them saying “David.....the operation went well and you are in ICU. I’m off to talk to your family now.....” I couldn’t respond as I was intubated (on a ventilator) and to be honest was completely out of it. I remember looking at the ceiling tiles in the room and they seem to come in and out of focus and swirl around. I tried to stay awake so I could see Tracey and Mum but don’t remember much after that.
I was completely out of it but remember the images as clearly in my mind today as if they only happened yesterday....I don’t think they will ever go away.
Then this week, after not thinking about things for a while it came flooding back with a vengeance. It sounds daft but there was a soap opera on the TV that showed a guy in ICU who died. The machine alarms were sounding and images of my worst hallucination came flooding back to me. It really shook me up and I don’t mind admitting it brought a few tears. It unsettled me for a while after. I still really struggle with this particular hallucination......I know that its exactly what it was but at the time it was so real that part of me still questions whether it really did happen or not? I guess it’s all part of my mind trying to process things.
Christmas is coming and we are busying ourselves with preparations for the festive season. New Years will be strange as last year with the MOAS looming it was all a bit flat to say the least. This year my first annual CT scan will be looming and I guess it’ll be at the back of all our minds. What will 2011 bring?
It’s no use worrying about it though. It’s a waste of time and energy. What will be, will be and I have to give thanks that right now at this moment in time I fell fit and well. Today I have enjoyed a great day with my girls and with a bit of luck there will be many, many more......


  1. Hi Dave! Today is my 11 month anniversary. Maybe it's the stress and bustle of the holidays, but I am hurting today physically. When I'm tired, I get a wicked ache under my right rib cage (I think it's where my gall bladder used to be : )

    Last night at a high school basketball game, I ran into one of the nurses who works in the cancer ward of the hospital where I had the MOAS (small world, right? Plus, she was THE BEST nurse on the ward!). She exclaimed over how great I looked, and it did make me see myself differently -- she was seeing how far I'd come, whereas I still tend to compare myself to how I was "before."

    I'm grateful to be here, and I am not taking any of this for granted. It's going to be a wonderful celebration next week, even though I know I won't get all the things baked and sewn and cleaned that I "should."

    And it's odd -- I don't have any mental hallucinations -- just a "vision" that was more comforting than disquieting, and which came on really strongly today.

    So, I'll raise a glass to you on Christmas -- hoping that the coming year is much kinder to us and our loved ones : )

  2. Hi Nancy,
    Great to hear from you!

    It's interesting that you talk about your ache under the rib cage. I suffer with exactly the same! It really played up when I first started running but has got a lot better recently.
    Your comment about comparing ourselves with how we were before is exactly right and we must keep reminding ourselves what we have been through and how far we have come. Again I am guilty of exactly the same particularly as I wasnt suffering any side effects prior to the MOAS and was pretty well and fit. I am still a bit away from my full fitness levels and wonder if I'll ever really get back to how I was having gone through so much. I keep suffering from little niggles and things that are preventing me training too hard. Maybe its my bodies way of telling me I need to just slow down a bit.
    We have had the first of the winter snow here in Bristol. It snowed pretty much all day yesturday and we had a tricky commute home. The forecast is for possibly a bit more overnight and then clear cold frosty weather up until Boxing Day when there is a chance the snow will return. It looks like it could be the first white Christmas I have ever seen in all my 37 years!

    I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with the family and enjoy the festive break. It'll be good to put the feet up once Christmas day is out of the way and sit back and relax.
    I would also like to thank you for your on-going support throughout this last year and look forward to keeping in touch in 2011 and hearing about your progress.
    Our prayers are with you and the family for a peaceful and healthy new year.

    God bless