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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Big Questions Behind the Bike Sheds

Apparently hip replacements and bowel surgery are the two procedures that are likely to cause significant blood loss. In order to ameliorate this potential situation a really big cannula is shoved into the patient’s arm (while under General anaesthetic) to pipe in any necessary fluids. This is what happened to me. On the day of my operation My Widdison, the guy with the sharp knife, organised his work in alphabetical order. I was first in at 8am ish. I remember seeing a clock as I came out of my repose. It informed me it was 10.40am. Post operation I was wheeled into a small ward where I was closely monitored all afternoon, evening and overnight.

Overnight I was closely monitoring my now son-in-law Callum because Abbi was busy producing my granddaughter Mila. In the morning Mila, with the assistance of mum and dad came to visit. She was 9 hours old.

Later that day I had the choice to stay another night or clear off home. I stayed one more night in Hotel Treliske.

Anyway although I went home to recuperate my father was gravely ill, so a couple of days later I had to ask myself the question “am I well enough to see him?” Tricia drove the 4 miles to his house. I think I felt every bit of gravel the car crashed over. He was pleased I was well again. He died peacefully a couple of days later. At least one of my brothers was with him

During my father’s final months he had some big questions to resolve. Whether to have dialysis (he had renal failure), where he wanted to die, what was to happen to him next, what to do with his remains. I was central to some of these decisions, an honour. That was all about 3 ½ years ago.

I have similar questions and I want to work out the answers.

This is where I need to introduce Wendy to you all. Wendy is my palliative nurse. She spent a couple of hours with me and Tricia on Wednesday. She will help with some of these big questions or at least help us achieve the things we would like. We had a rambling, unstructured conversation where the aim, if any, was to get to know one another a bit. I think we achieved that. We also touched on the big, uncomfortable questions. Personally I’d prefer not to end my days in a hospice. In my case Mount Edgcumbe Hospice. Can I, should I, let my body go, via the Human Tissue Authority, to the University of Bristol – Medical School? These are questions that I need to work through. I’ve started, I’ll keep you posted. Anyway these are questions Wendy can help with. What I've already learnt is you answer one question and its replaced by two more.

Strange but true.

Anyway enough of that miserable stuff. Let me tell you about something more immediate. On Thursday some of you joined Tricia and I for coffee at The Tea Shed at Trewithen. You all know my body is still suffering the ravages of chemotherapy. Well, it transpires meeting at 11am is a bit late. I thought it might be. What happens to me is if I eat too late I’ll feel ill. While eating cake at 11am is fine, it messes with my lunch. I felt nauseous for the remainder of the day. To resolve this issue I need to take two measures. I need to meet for coffee at 10am, well that’s an easy one. Next I need to resume one of my drugs, Domperidone. It’s taken as required, up to 3 times a day, 30 to 60 minutes before eating, it’s specifically to stop me feeling nauseous. I've been taking them for about 9 months. I suppose I’ve been a bit naive in thinking I could suddenly stop with no effect.

While I'm taking my Dom Perignon I can do a bit more so it’s Coffee Club as usual next Tuesday. Next Thursday it’s Coffee in the County somewhere and (hold the front page) we’ve booked a mini break near St Mawgan. For Coffee in the County somewhere we’ve decided on Behind the Bike Sheds at Wadebridge. Park in the carpark next to Lidl and remember we'll be there at 10am (Not the carpark the Café). Feet allowing I might even walk down the Camel Trail a bit.

Now there’s a thought!

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