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10th September - OP Day

So the day has finally arrived. I had already spoken to my son about what happens if I don't survive and a tearful verbal explanation to him about the assets I had and how they were to be split up (I didn't tell him everything about my assets, they would discover those upon my death)

So just to be clear, from day 1 I have had a very positive mental attitude about this whole situation. You will discover the power of that later on my recovery. So although I was very confident I would get through the operation, there's always going to be a tiny bit of you that wonders "what if" and I think that is perfectly normal for anyone to have that thought.

 So after not much sleep, here I was laid on my bed about 5am thinking of the operation, thinking of the noises I was hearing around the ward and down the corridor. Taking sips of water even before 6am isn't a bad thing and I wasn't particularly thirsty anyway, I was just sleep deprived! So during the morning, I think I had reduced medication, for instance less blood thinners because of the op, Nurse came round and told me I would have a pre-med before the operation (I didn't get a choice) about an hour before the operation. Consultant came later in the morning to discuss the operation and what he would be doing (think it might have been the registrar to be honest) and he told me that I had been very lucky. Am guessing he was saying that I had been lucky to survive the heart attack as the artery was critically narrow, but he didn't say that in particular, he was generalising I think for me to be in this position 9 days later after a heart attack having a bypass. I am really not sure what he meant by the comment, but all the time leading up to this point, I had said the same thing over and over again in my head anyway. I am lucky to be here and very grateful for an operation that would fix my problem and give me many years of life ahead of me. How very lucky we all are to have an NHS and the people that chose this path as their career. Amazing people.

 As time is moving on, people have munched on their breakfast (I wasn't jealous at all) but every hour or so I was taking tiny sips of water, just to wet the lips and ease my dry throat. It felt like a long morning waiting for my operation, I think it was delayed by an hour or two as lunchtime came and still I was on the ward. Perhaps there was a complication in surgery for the person before me? I didn't want to think about that. 

Anyway, not long after lunchtime, the nurse came in, put a cannula into my arm and gave me some pre-med. Not sure what it was but she said I would soon start feeling drowsy and relaxed. Ok I thought, and waited for the swimmingly lovely feeling to envelope me in its medication..... 30mins later, I remember saying to the nurse, I don't feel any different, its having no effect. She said something, I can't remember what it was now...... but I must have closed my eyes and that's the very last thing i remember for 2 days!!!

4th September

Another restless and sleepness night due to noise and a little worry on my mind as to what I would do today. Would it be watching another Amazon Prime movie on my phone? Would I finally be moved to Bournemouth Hospital? Would the mad woman finally quieten down and relax?

Breakfast consisted of cornflakes again, which I really enjoyed. I was getting a little bored with life on the ward at this point I have to say, I was hoping as a High Risk patient I would have been deemed a bit more urgent as it didn't seem like that I was that High Risk as they suggested. Perhaps they had made a mistake?

Just want to mention that the dementia woman was really kicking off this morning, she must be in her 70's/80's and she was shouting at the nursing staff (no swearing at all) but just being loud and telling the nursing staff to get out of her house! Obviously her house was her room. How she must have struggled to comprehend what was going on. Its a real shame she was there on her own. However, she did spy me across the room, and kept calling me Ernie. I think that was her brother, "Is that you Ernie" "Have you come to see me"....... poor woman must have been lonely. Anyone going into hospital as a single person or having been widowed, must be a terrible and heart breaking experience, it really must be. Its sad, but the nursing staff do an amazing job to talk to you, to people like that, that are lonely, confused, sad, emotional etc etc..... they are so professional and caring, it makes the NHS what is it. For the people, by the people. Its a precious institution we cannot afford to lose ever. 

 Lunch consisted of a Cheese Salad and I have to say it was gorgeous as you will see from the photo potentially. Lovely taste and much needed I think.


After lunch at around 3pm, I had the information that I had been waiting for. I was off to Bournemouth for an angiogram very soon!

 Transfer to Bournemouth was via ambulance with an elderly woman sat in a chair at the back whilst i was on the bed. Much more comfortable. We had to wear face masks for the transfer, but on all the wards I ended up on, masks were not worn by patients, but all nursing staff had to wear a mask. Tough job really wearing a mask and then having to deal with patients in all sorts of manner for their shift. Shifts were normally 12 hours at a time. That's a long time wearing a mask and working!! And you think you have a tough job?

 So we arrived at Bournemouth Hospital and then I was driven by wheelchair to the Coronary Care unit. I was put onto a bed that was lined up in the area of the Angiogram unit. I thought this is quick stuff, straight in, have a stent and I would be out. I was impressed.

About an hour passed by and I was wheeled into the Angiogram area. I think they had at least 2 operating theatres for Angiograms, its what they do at Bournemouth and specialise in. It was explained to me what the procedure entailed. Here is a very quick and simple run down of that procedure from Memory.

  1. In one arm, you're given Diazepam of some sort to relax you, not to put you to sleep though.
  2. In the other arm, a local anaesthetic is given in the wrist
  3. A very thin wire with Dye is injected into your artery
  4. The xray screen is then put in place around your neck and chest and the surgeons can see your arteries. heart and the dye running through your arteries and veins
  5. A wire is then inserted back into your wrist with a stent balloon for them to expand an artery if they need to

Thats kind of the procedure. Sounds fairly simple, only aches a little bit in various parts of your body, for me it was in the elbow and the underarm, just a gentle ache, nothing major at all.

Unfortunately for me, the surgeons could not insert a stent. I think it was because of the angle of my arteries and veins, but they could have said that to not worry me. They abandoned the procedure as it was too dangerous to proceed. Personally, I think my artery was too narrow even for a wire to enter to attempt to use a stent. The senior surgeon popped his head around from the screen he was using and with a smile said to me, its a bypass. "A bypass" i said? "oh shit" I said

Its ok he was telling me, you'll be fine........ Think I've heard this somewhere before!!


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