1 EAGLETON NOTES: November 2017



Thursday, 30 November 2017

Cal : RIP

I confess to having been a tiny bit apprehensive this morning first thing. However the brilliant staff in the Bruce Day Care Unit at Ayr Hospital and visits from the anaesthetist and the consultant surgeon soon had my mind at rest and I drifted off to sleep without even having time to wonder what was happening.

When I came to I was back in the Day Care unit and in a much more bleary state than usual. Of course my first question was whether the procedure had been a success to which the answer was in the affirmative, so I just drifted in and out of a blissful haze for a while until they brought me black coffee and toast (why does that first piece off toast when one comes round taste sooooo good?) and I regained full consciousness.

After more tests and so on the consultant surgeon came and had a look, explained all that he had done and decided I was well enough to go back to my friend's for the night and come in again tomorrow morning for a check-up and some tuition by the nurses on how to cope with some of the procedures I might have to perform for a while. It would appear that Cal had not been the only problem and there were complications caused by the radio-therapy that I had 10 years ago.

All being well I shall be on the plane home on Saturday morning and life will return to normal.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Twelve 'Lost' Days

It is 13 days since I arrived home from my last visit South when I started on the Drugs Trial and had the last attempt to get rid of Cal. It seems like and age. I know that I've done things. I remember  having my 3-monthly bum-jab to help keep C (the Big Yin, not Cal) under control and hugging Lisa when she told me I was not diabetic as had been previously diagnosed. I remember coffee one afternoon with a friend in The Woodlands. I think I was compos mentis  that afternoon - I hope that I was.  I remember long periods sleeping on my recliner or in bed. I know that I must have done a lot of other things too. However for the most part my overwhelming memory is of just not functioning and being so unwell last Sunday and Monday that I couldn't even persuade the medical practice receptionist that I really, really did need to see a doctor ungently. I must have been very non-compos mentis.

On Monday when I did see a doctor she took one look at me and rang the hospital. I emerged yesterday afternoon a tired, but new, person after enough intravenous antibiotics for an elephant and, apparently, a worrying (for others - I wasn't able to think clearly enough to care) time. Apparently the various medical teams here and in Ayr have agreed that the team here clean up my infections and next Thursday the Ayr Team will have another go at Cal.

In the meantime this evening an almost-lifelong friend who lives in Canada arrives to stay with me on her way home from Africa.

The Glad Game: 

I woke up this morning.
I didn't have MRSA and sepsis did not set in.
The medical staff at Western Isles Hospital are BRILLIANT!
I slept so soundly last night I didn't wake, turn over or even crumple the bedclothes for EIGHT hours.
My life is never, ever, boring.
I have wonderful friends and family who look out for me.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


As a result of a comment by Helen on my last post I decided to name my recalcitrant  and unmoving kidney stone. The name I gave it was Cal. I thought it was quite a clever name and that I could get a blog post out of it. Helen immediately noticed the most obvious link for an Isle of Lewis kidney stone: Cal as in Callanish Stones. Fortunately it's only 5mm and not 5 metres. However there was also another thing in my mind. What is a common ingredient of kidney stones? Calcium. In addition Cal as a male name means 'devotion'. Given how difficult it is proving to get rid of the little chap I'm convinced that he's become devoted to me.

Fi suggeated Calculi. I didn't realise that urinary calculi are solid particles in the urinary system. Fiona is a vet so she saw a genuine meaning that I missed.

The Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Nothing Can Go Wrong

if you don't make a plan. Hmmmm.

That was, I suppose, my mistake. Not so much that I made a plan but that I expected a plan imposed by circumstances to work out. Things started to go awry when, at a day's notice, my appointment was brought forward a day to 1st November. It was a day surgery 23 hour appointment. (ie a late afternoon procedure to be kept in overnight for observation and recovery).

I left the hospital in the afternoon 149 hours and three procedures after I entered it. The kidney stone is still there and instead of a nephrostomy bag I have a bag into which my bladder empties. 

However, whilst those 149 hours may have mucked up my arrangements they have opened my eyes to many other things:
How enormously some things have changed in medicine in the last 20 years. For example, my prostatectomy in 1998 involved major invasive  surgery, 5 days in the High Dependency Unit and weeks in hospital recovering and a very great deal of pain. This week during my 149 hours several people appeared on the ward having had a prostatectomy by keyhole surgery and were discharged a day or two later.

A nurse may come on duty at 0730 and find herself at the end of her shift trying to get a patient sorted and out of severe pain and discomfort 15 hours later, having already had a full day of  dealing with patients.

If a patient becomes a major problem on a ward in the middle of the night there's no first-line defence against violence other than calming talk and hope.

If at first you don't succeed in trying to get at a patient's embedded kidney stone through damaged tissue then just calmly move on to the next option, and then the next and then the next. Then schedule a period of R and R and tissue healing until the next try in four weeks time.
I could write enough to fill a book but this is neither the time nor the place.

Suffice to say that by Saturday night I hope to be back on Lewis and in Blogland for a week or two before coming South again.