Sunday, 15 November 2009

Generally well with a little AF

It is going ok so far, with a few ups and downs. Friday night was a difficult night - the sausages and chips were a bit of a stretch for my digestive tract I think, and combined with the dreaded Neoral (one of the immunosuppressant drugs) which makes you burp and fart in vast quantities, I was in a lot of pain and discomfort. "Take Actimel or Yakult" I hear you cry... Unfortunately both of these are on the high risk foods list because they reckon they could give my immunosuppressed body a gut infection! So I'm a bit stuck with a very delicate tummy at the moment and am doing my best to find the right foods to settle the stomach after taking Neoral. The other problem with Friday night was wound and back pain, mainly due to the fact that I had been sent home without any Tramadol - the strong pain killer - so was trying to get by on just Paracetamol which isn't really up to the task of dealing with the after effects of extreme surgery.

On Saturday we rang the hospital and Vicky, bless her, made a mercy dash to Papworth and picked up some of the magic Tramadol.

Last night was much more successful and although I didn't get more than an hour's sleep at a time I did at least feel reasonably rested this morning and was comfortable during the night. I swear that, although morpheine based, Tramadol has a slight stimulant effect and keeps your mind working far too fast to shut off and sleep properly.

The other slight worry is AF, the heart irregular rhythm/flutter thing, which has reocurred briefly both on Saturday and just now, each time for around a minute before flipping back into 'Sinus rhythm'. I have a pulse meter and oxygen saturation probe so I can at least monitor what's happening and my pulse rockets to around 150-170bpm and then simply drops back down to 70. It's very odd / uncomfortable and it comes with no warning whatsoever - both times while relaxing on the sofa (maybe it is trying to tell me to stay more active!). I rang the doc at Papworth and he said if it keeps doing it they may have to do a '24 tape' which is a 24 hour ECG to monitor how many times it happens. My potassium levels were OK on Friday, but Magnesium slightly low so I'm carrying on with Magnesium pills (yuk!) but at least they aren't as bad as Pottassium pills (super-yuk!).

Other than all that I feel really good - it is lovely to be home and I love being able to stroll to the newsagent for the papers and a pint of milk without having to put on oxygen and feel utterly rubbish after walking 100 yds. So hooray to that.


  1. That's good (the being able stroll to the newsagent, not the pain bit). That Tramadol sounds pretty trippy stuff. Wikipedia says 'tramadol can produce a very pleasant high in many users'. I suppose a high isn't exactly what you want when you're trying to get some sleep.
    Just managed to wash Hayden's hair after 3 weeks of trying. He hates me now so Zoe is putting him to bed.

  2. Glad to hear you're feeling much better and enjoying being home. With all that day time TV at your disposal you'll be an expert on antique silver and relocating to the country in no time.

    There must be so many opiate pain killers out there (even just some codeine phosphate) surely the doctors can try you on something else? Otherwise, try sending Vicky up to Arbury rather than the hospital!

    p.s. try ordinary yoghurt if it's allowed, those little drinks are a pointless rip off.

  3. Hopefully walking without oxygen makes up for all the other crap ..... great to know that you're steadily getting better even if the pharmaceutical cocktails take it out of you. I look forward to bumping into you out and about soon (ideally Cotto but probably Primark).

  4. Great to picture you strolling to the shops and to read that you feel so much better in that way. Thanks for the big grin in the photo as forwarded: you look very sturdy I must say. Pity about the banned foods. Can you eat tofu? A wonder food and seems to me to be sort of neutral 'PH' but maybe you hate it anyway, and you need to add such a lot of tasty stuff that may well be on the X-list. What is the AF thing? 'Auto-Flutter'? I hope that peters out soon.
    Keep up the good work...see you soon I hope.