Wednesday, 27 April 2011

MOAS + 15 Months.....

How time flies. On May 2nd it will be 15 month since my MOAS and I thought it was about time that I did another update.
I now feel better than I have done in a long time. This may be down to my improving fitness levels but I’m sure is also down to my body continuing to heal. I remember speaking to Sue Alves (the specialist nurse) on the day I was discharged and she told me then it would take up to a year to recover fully from the operation and I can say that now, looking back its true.

Physically my recovery continues to go well. The scars are fading and I’m less conscious of them now when changing in front of people. The real test will be sitting around the pool on holiday! I do still suffer with aches and pains occasionally and these are particularly noticeable after exercise.

The only thing that I do notice from time to time is that I still have some tenderness around my right pectoral muscle. Its one particular area and I think is directly related to some problems I had with a chest drain immediately after the MOAS. I remember not long after coming around from the operation suffering some severe pain in my chest due to the drain being in too far. This was quite surprising due to the fact that I was on Ketamine, Morphine, intravenous paracetamol and had an epidural at the time! This was the only discomfort I felt throughout the entire ordeal and was very quickly rectified by the ICT nurse who pulled it out slightly and sorted it out. Nevertheless it still feels tender and I’ll have to raise it with my GP next time I’m there.

I also feel that a weak area for me is my lower back and abdomen and this is something I’m hoping to rectify at the gym.

My lung capacity has returned to normal now and I think is largely down to the fact that I’m back running three times a week. I re-took the Spirometer test last week and can now max the thing out every time (5000ml). This is in line with my pre MOAS readings and it’s hard to believe that immediately after the operation I could only manage 1000ml. The work I’m doing in the gym will also help improve this.
Internally things seem to have settled too and my bowels seem to have settled right down and are back to normal. Food portions have not increased and to be honest I don’t think they ever will.

Mentally the recovery continues. This is still probably the hardest area of the recovery for both Tracey and I to overcome. The images are still very vivid in both of our minds and can sometimes easily creep up and consume you for a brief moment. But, I have to say that personally these are becoming less frequent and that only recently I realised that a whole weekend had passed and I’d not thought of PMP in any way. Usually I check the forum, check the blog and any mails on a daily basis but I’d been away from a PC the whole weekend!

Training for Bristol ½ Marathon.

For this year’s main fundraiser event I have entered the Bristol half marathon. Training is going well and I am now running three times a week. I manage 4-5 miles on a lunch hour on a Tuesday and Thursday and then a long run on a Sunday. The long run I am now managing around 8 miles and have been running the Bristol to Bath cycle path. This works out really well as Chloe is able to cycle along beside me and enjoys the ride, chatting along the way. It’s great! Quality time and excercise at the same time. Who says men cant multi task?
As hinted at above I’m now starting to supplement this with some light weight training. This should help stabilise my core muscle groups and give me a good solid platform to run off of as well as help build strength and improve lung capacity.

Tomorrow’s lunchtime run is being cancelled this week though as I have arranged to go caving straight from work. The plan is to go to Swildons Hole and take some film footage free diving sump one. It’s a fairly strenuous trip in itself and will be a good workout. Watch out for the trip report and film footage in the caving blog.......!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A simple case of Travel insurance........or is it?

So now that I have had the first annual scan and got the all clear it was time to get that long awaited holiday for the family organized. We were lucky enough to be able to arrange two weeks at a relations apartment in Majorca. In fact as soon as we heard that the two weeks we wanted were available the flights had been booked within ten minutes of us putting the phone down!

That was the easy bit.

I knew getting travel insurance for me that would cover PMP would be difficult but this was the first time that I had actually needed it. So it was a good opportunity to see just how hard it was....

So firstly I targeted the big names-

Direct Line- Would not offer cover.

AVIVA- Would not offer cover.

Churchill-Would not offer cover.

LV- Would not offer cover.

Swinton-Would not offer cover.

Surprisingly I found that More Than would offer cover but it was terribly expensive. £269 for two week’s cover for me and then I would have to cover the family separately (about £39).

I then tried MIA who I had previously been recommended and who specialize in offering cover for people with serious medical conditions. £51.50! I could not believe the difference!

All I had to do to get cover was to get my GP to make a note on his computer system to say that I was fit to travel on the dates of the holiday. The earliest I could arrange the cover was 60 days before hand but that was it.

Needless to say MIA will be getting my money.

The frustrating thing is that the chances of anything happening that is PMP related is absolutely minimal. PMP is such a slow growing cancer that it would take a long time for it to cause a problem. It’s so frustrating.

However, I have it easy compared to those people who have had some kind of re-occurrence. I know of at least two people who currently cannot get any insurance cover, even from MIA as they have had some kind of PMP re-occurrence. Both are on a watch and wait with their specialist centre and perfectly able to take holidays but can’t get insured. Dilemma, do you go on holiday un-insured or not? If something were to happen the UK is only a 24hr flight away. Fact is, with what these fellow PMP sufferer’s have been through and with the uncertainty that they face at the moment both they and their families probably need that holiday more than any one.......