Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Hip (h)op

June 21, 2018

The hip op is done. Monday morning we arrived at Ascot hospital bright and early ready for surgery, meeting up with both the surgeon and anesthetist very briefly before walking the long walk to the theatre. The spinal anaesthetic was quickly and painlessly administered, the sedative was adminis………and before I knew it I was walking up in recovery! Done and dusted.

Later that evening, they had me up and out of bed, walking to the loo. Next morning up and showering, which I have to admit was bliss. I won’t lie, it’s not all painfree, especially when I put weight on my leg. But after two days, I had a bit of a revelation….ask for extra pain relief! OMG why had I not thought of this before? I am on lots of slow release painkiller but didn’t think that it could be topped up before I take on some walking. Doh! My surgeon and anaesthetist both guessed that that was what my revelation was. All the staff kept asking me how was my pain, asking me to score it so I just presumed that all was under control. Well it was, sort of!

All the staff are brilliant, caring and helpful, and the food is pretty good too and it’s not often you can say that about hospital food.

morning tea one morning

lamb rack was my choice another evening

Slow and steady progress is what we are after. I get out of here on Saturday morning and will stay at Antony’s for a week or so until I feel comfortable enough to be back in the van.

I think it is going to be a long slow process, and I will have to be patient.

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Escape and a bank

June 10, 2018

The tunnels were secretly dug, which one should we take? Tom, Dick or Harry? the fake uniforms ready to go and the documents were forged. In the full light of day our escape from Auckland is set and we are off like a you know what! heading to Uretiti for a week of R&R before we return in a weeks time.

on our way, Whangarei here we come!

It seems we needed a couple of tunnels, the Waterview Tunnel and the Johnstones Hill Tunnel, however no uniforms or documents were required but we did have to pay tolls before our escape was complete. Phew!

We are both really enjoying being back at Uretiti, we had forgotten how much warmer it is here even though it’s only a couple of hours further north than Ardmore and I guess being by the sea is also a contributing factor. It’s also so nice being back parked on grass and having a bit more space around us without close neighbours.

Hopefully we will be able to get some fishing in as well this week, we just need the wind to blow the right way for us to launch the kite….that’s if we can remember how to set up our kite as it seems like such a long time since we have been kite fishing.

Back to the title of this blog, and no we didn’t rob a bank on our way out of town.

On Friday I had my pre op check with the surgeon, and all is well. I have filled in the copious number of forms and submitted them to the right people and places, and now just have a week to wait.

Interestingly, I received a phone call the other day from the Bone Bank (who knew that there was such a thing) asking me if I would be interested in donating my hip joint to be used in other surgeries where pieces of bone or crushed bone need to be used. Sure, I said, it’s no use to me and if it can help others then go for it.

People with a variety of conditions need donated bone for their treatment. It’s used to treat:

• children with scoliosis having spinal surgery

• adults having repeat hip replacement surgery or needing bone grafts for spinal and other orthopaedic surgery

• children with cancer who have bone fractures that won’t heal.

I’ve been a blood donor for many many years but I did not realise that they also collected bone. I wonder if they want a couple of crappy knees as well??!!! They are next on the agenda for replacement once the hip has recovered. Soon, I’ll have a decent leg to stand on!

Done!

June 7, 2018

It’s all done and dusted, finished, completed, ended, kaput, stopped, wrapped up…..you get the picture?

Yes, Roy had his last treatment yesterday and without so much as a fanfare, it’s all over rover. I made a batch of muffins for him to take in to the lovely staff at Auckland hospital which apparently was well received.

And how did we celebrate? Well for a start with a Rum & Coke, as during treatment anything with a fizz in it was on the banned list. And for dinner I made a boeuf bourguignon complete with lots of onions and garlic (also on the banned list), accompanied by more previously banned foods as in leeks and broccoli. And damned delicious it was too, especially on a very chilly evening.

So now we return to some semblance of normality, well for a short period of time as it will be my turn next.

It’s the final countdown

June 3, 2018

We are on the final countdown, with Wednesday being Roy’s last treatment day and time for celebration. He has had no side effects, he doesn’t glow in the dark or have any superpowers although we are forever hopeful he achieves the latter! We are forever thankful that we had options and everything has gone to plan with a great outcome.

And thank goodness for Winston’s gold card. For those not in NZ, Winston Peters is a long serving MP (who will be the stand-in Prime Minister whilst Jacinda is on maternity leave) who a few years ago organised a gold card for senior citizens which entitles them to free public transport in most major cities as well as discounts at some stores. The gold card has been used by Roy every day for the past 7 and a half weeks to get the train in and out to Newmarket, then a free bus to the hospital and return. It has saved us not only many $$$’s but also in time and stress as we haven’t had to drive in, fighting the traffic, looking for parking, as well as petrol costs. Well done Winnie!

It’s been another week of catching up with friends and family. Bill & Linda came visiting last Sunday as they were having an open home is readiness to sell, so it was great to catch up with them. Gary & Marg called in on their way through Auckland for lunch on Wednesday, and of course I had my lunch “date”with Janet on Thursday. Steve & Les called in on Saturday with two of their granddaughters on their way back to Whangamata. In between we have had Drs appointments and other matters to attend to so all in all a busy old time, which is great as it means that we are never bored!

On Friday I was asked if I would drive a motorhome from the wharf to Drury as I had done the previous week. Sure, why not? So off we trotted on Friday afternoon, on the train this time into Britomart, however, I had to pay for my journey as I have a few years to go before I qualify for one of Winnie’s cards. However, this time I did take a couple of pictures of the vehicles we were picking up.

I drove the one at the rear in the above photo.

First we have to visit the petrol station just around the corner to put in enough diesel to get us back. That done we all headed off. We had discussed which exit would be the best to get off the motorway as this was Friday afternoon and it was also the start of the long weekend Queens Birthday weekend which meant that the traffic would be worse than usual, if that is all possible. Once crawling along the motorway I got to the Redoubt Road exit at Manukau and could see the traffic was at a standstill ahead so I ducked off there. Wending my way through the back roads (just as well I know my way around), avoiding schools as by this time it after 3pm and schools were finishing, however I got to Drury in good time. Then I had to wait at least 30minutes for the others to start to arrive, each one had taken a different exit hence our staggered arrival times.

The weather has been brilliant this past week, well, brilliantly fine during the day but freezing cold overnight. There is a kiwi fruit orchard over the back of Ardmore and so for a few nights helicopters have been flying over the vines for frost protection. During cold and still conditions, the down draught from the helicopter causes the slightly warmer air layered above to circulate amongst the vines, reducing the likelyhood of frost damage. Effective but noisy.

Now we have rain settled in for the day by the looks of it, oh well, at least it’s warmer.

Half way

May 9, 2018

Roy is halfway through his treatment regime, we are getting good at this routine of me dropping him off at the station, he trains into town, buses to the hospital (when he doesn’t fall asleep and miss his stop that is!!), has his treatment and then reverses the process.

I went in with him on Monday as he had his checkup with the Oncologist, and yes, it’s all going well. But I also went with him to see what happens with the treatment. It’s a fascinating process that is amazing to see.

First he hops onto a bed where they line up his tattooed dots with laser beams, then whilst he lies still on the table we retreat from that room and go next door where there is an array of computer screens.

the machine looks a little like this.

or this.

A CAT scan is done to make sure everything is lined up and in position, with the technicians making adjustments to Roy’s position by remotely tilting and twisting the bed. There are cameras in the room as well so all the time the patient is being monitored on one of the computer screens.

The technicians show me on their screens the prostate and the area within that they are focussing on, around it are a couple of different coloured margin lines which are the safety margins.

Once they are satisfied everything is ok, the treatment begins with the machine rotating in one direction for a full rotation and then back the other way for one full rotation. It takes all of three minutes and it’s done. They tell me that it is accurate to within a millimetre and whilst the machine is rotating and sending the beam of radiation, it is constantly changing its intensity and direction to completely line up with the area they are targeting. Very clever stuff.

Roy’s last treatment will be on the 7th June and after I went to the orthopaedic surgeon yesterday, I will have a pre op check on 8th June with hip replacement surgery done on the 18th June at Ascot Hospital. During the consultation yesterday the surgeon answered the great long list of questions I had prepared before I had a chance to ask them!!! How did he know what I would be asking? Anyone would think that he has done this all before!

And guess what? Yes, I will be a little taller after surgery, anywhere between 6 and 11mm taller….does that mean I will walk in circles afterwards 😉