Yesterday was the start of a whole day and night in the hospital; by 11.oo am I had been blood tested, ECG’d, sonogramed, and finally given the happy news that I had serious vascular blockages confirmed in my neck! Repeat – serious blockages in my neck! Think high-fives all around; when the wife of the guy in the next bed heard *his* positive blockage news, she came in and gave him a big kiss. It is was everyone in the group was waiting to hear. Blockages are what you want, because CCSCI surgery can *do* something about them.
So an hour later or so I was wheeled an had some orange “tingly” liquid painted across my lower abdomen and upper legs, and then I felt a slight pinch as the big vein in my inside leg was opened. We were on!
The surgery done while I was conscious, it was painless and over surprisingly quickly. I didn’t see a thing, and that is just the way I wanted it. But while I had been looking anywhere but down, Dr. Ludyga has been inserting a 3 cm long stent in a the big vein on the right side of my neck and then ballooning out a constriction in a vein on the left side of my neck. Before I knew it I was back in my room on the ward staring out the picture window at a lovely courtyard with big trees and an old helicopter with no rotors, that I think had been converted into a play structure.
Duncan and I shared that view pre-and-post op with a very likeable chap with the very English name of Nigel; an ex-copper with the Metropolitan Police.
We all came through it together, sharing tidbits of what we were learning as we went. The Polish doctors all have excellent English but the nurses, not so much…so if one of us found out that that Polish word for bedpan was pronounced “Kashkan” that could quickly be of use to the other guys as well, as you might imagine, since we were forbidden from walking to the toilet and tearing the dressing covering the puncture on our femoral veins.
But all that was wearing a bit thin by this morning, and when we got the word that we could put our street clothes on get ready for our driver, the grins broke out all around.
Anyway, I am feeling fantastic so far; I am going for long walks without tripping; typing with fingers I had forgotten about and enjoying the happy buzz between the people in our group that came through it together and are now comparing notes.
And now Andrew Lee from the CBC is here in my room now filming me as I type this; I will sign off now but hope to report more later in the afternoon..