Tag Archives: Hospital

The Day Of Reckoning

The day had arrived.

Coleen had very kindly offered to come down from Wales and help with the children during Liz’s procedure to close her PFO, or patent foramen ovale, aka ‘hole in the heart’, so we said our goodbyes to our kindly saint before getting on our way – thanks Col; you’re a star!

The travel to St. George’s Hospital in Tooting at 6:15 in the morning was easier than we had anticipated, so we arrived just after 7:00 o’clock. The ward was not yet open, and unfortunately neither was the coffee shop (bad planning on their part, as I’m sure they could make a killing from people arriving early for their day ops!)

Anyway, marketing opportunities aside, we reported to the Belgrave Ward where we had a momentary scare when they said we were ‘not on the list’ but we were quickly restored to ‘A-list’ authorised to proceed status, after they found an ‘updated’ schedule’.

However, we still had to wait.

PFO closure

They had a day room with comfy chairs, but because they are refurbishing the kitchen next door, all the white goods seemed to have migrated to the day room, so we sat for some time staring at a couple of fridges, while the ward porridge was warmed up in the microwave. A bizarre start to the day. Still, after impromptu repairs to the television (aerial and source problem!) we were sufficiently distracted and were called just before 9:00 for pre-op checks.

Liz has always had trouble when giving blood, seemingly irrespective of the experience and prowess of the medical staff. Today was to be no different. The nurse, struggled apologetically for some minutes with the veins in her wrists, which she ultimately declared as having swelled up as no blood was forthcoming. Eventually a successful insertion of the cannula, just to take blood, was managed in Liz’s right elbow.

The increasingly apprehensive patient was moved to bed 4 on the ward and after a touch more waiting, and a few more normal tests, she was whisked off. That was about 10:30.

And so the medical science was left in the hands of the miracle workers…..

Gore Septal Occluders

Left on my own for a couple of hours I visited the coffee shop again and updated a few bits and pieces of my training plan and records, but before I knew it a groggy Liz was being wheeled back into the ward.  She had apparently been ‘conscious’ for the last 30 mins or so having come round about 11:45.

The whole process, from application of the anaesthetic, insertion of the cannula sheath for the catheter and trans-oesophageal echo equipment for the ‘camera’, the actual insertion of the device (which apparently takes 20 minutes, and the revival from the anaesthetic only took 1 hour 10 minutes. The device which has been inserted is known as a Gore septal occluder.

The rest of the day was spend with Liz resting and drifting in and out of her world of drowsiness, during a succession of post-op ECGs, blood pressure and stats monitoring and finally the removal of the cannula ‘sheath’ from the femoral vein – a procedure which itself involved successive reduction of the pressure applied to the puncture in the leg, after extraction of the  needle, but which luckily no longer requires the nurses to apply said pressure manually, as it was in days of old. Ironically, this process took longer than the procedure to insert the device in the first place!

As I write this, we have just heard that Liz will be allowed home! 🙂


Liz has had a few visitors today – in fact we all arrived pretty much at the same time – note to self, work on aspects of time management, coordination and communication (sounds like my last appraisal :-)) Nevertheless, many thanks to Tim, Jo and Nilo and Ros for making the effort to come in to see her, I know she appreciates it.

The Unwilling Patient

She had another relatively quiet day, as being the weekend the ‘expert’ staff are not available for non-emergency cases which seem to be  seen and scheduled for normal weekday working hours, so we are no further forwards in the investigation or diagnosis of the cause of the problem. She is unfortunately still flitting between bouts of high expectations for a full and quick recovery, and worried anxiousness over the unknown cause and the consequent potential for a recurrence of the problem.

It seems like she will be in the hospital until at least Wednesday, but hopefully she will be out then and if she has started to recover sufficiently life may start to return to some sort of semblance of normality. I’ll need to keep you posted on that one though!

Tim was kind enough to pop over an sit with the children after breakfast this morning, so that I could go out for a run, and it was absolutely fantastic to be out on the North Downs again, from Pewley to St Martha’s to Newlands and back. An easy run, but no foot problems which is good news.

Savannah's Picture

When I got back Tim described the children’s behaviour as ‘mostly good’ – which is about all I am expecting in their current state of distraction. Nevertheless, the subsequent hours after Tim left were fragmented and didn’t really flow very well for some reason, and everything I have done today seemed to take a significant amount of grey-matter to pull it together. At least Savannah had done a picture for her mummy, which she was obviously pleased with – 130 kisses on it, which is quite a lot of concentration for a 5 year old!

Now I’m not one to really believe in all that horoscope bunkum , but here’s mine for the day

Managing your time is complicated today. It’s hard to tell where your self-assuredness is coming from, but you don’t have the time or energy to pursue answers through endless analysis. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you even have a long-term plan; just set your goals high and do your best to reach them. Do something productive right now; it’s more useful than thinking about what you could do sometime in the future.

Imagine that. The position of the planets in the heavens when I was born has directly indicated that I should’ve made time to make those chocolate éclairs today after all 😉

Being Like Michael Jackson

Liz still wasn’t better today, and after speaking to our doctor, was advised to go into hospital for a scan, as she (the doctor) thought that things were lasting rather too long.

So we sat around for most of the day in the so called Medical Assessment Unit  (MAU) of the Royal Surrey County Hospital, but I had to leave her about 2:30 to pick up the children.

She was seen by another Doctor later, but his attitude towards migraines was not the best and she had to kick up a bit of a stink before seeing the consultant later – she eventually had the scan around 9:00pm, nearly 12 hours after originally arriving. While I write this, we are still awaiting the results.

After arriving back from school, after Luke’s football, the children decided they wanted to watch Michael Jackson’s “This is It!” for some reason best known only to themselves! They had been talking about wanting to ‘Be like MJ’ the other day, but in what respect (i.e. wealth, dancing, voice, fame, dissatisfaction with skin colour and facial features, etc) they were a little unclear. Still, it seems like they want to practice.

This Is It?

An Inconvenient Truth

They say the camera never lies.

Well, I haven’t ‘manipulated’ these images in any way in Photoshop and the results are pretty conclusive. They did not need any enhancing to show the situation after two weeks of hobbling around! The original images from Vail certainly show the fracture, but the crack has got significantly worse in the intervening period.

These are a few of the images taken at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) during 6-8 September while I was in their care, showing x-rays of the full pelvis, detail of the head of the femur, a couple of low resolution shots taken during the operation (the ‘negatives’) and the ‘post-operative’ equivalent showing the two cannulated screws inserted.

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Liz is getting lots of running in while I am immobile and is slipping easily back into the routine of early morning runs as her MdS training schedule ramps up, which is great for her now that she if going to be the representative of the Pomeroy’s in Morocco next April.

Meanwhile, I’m going stir crazy here in The Court. Just struggled up to Pret a Manger up Guildford high street for a coffee and croissant, so at least I’ve got some fresh air. I can recommend breaking your leg in order to get a full upper body and arm workout – a bit extreme perhaps?

Still, the metal in my legs should be enough to set the airport detectors off – that’ll provide some guaranteed comedy moments with HM Customs from now on 😆