Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Independance Day = 10th July

Hopefully my personal Independence day will be in 30 days time. About a week late for celebration of the Boston Tea Party - but I'm sure a nice cup of tea on the ward will go down just fine all the same.

I have just returned from an afternoon at the hospital. I saw the surgeon and we discussed the 2nd stage operation and agreed on 10th July as the planned date for surgery. This means I should be admitted on Weds 9th July provided there is a bed available. With luck I should be standing and taking (some) weight through my right leg 2 days after surgery. Then it should be a matter of waiting for the incision to heal sufficiently to be discharged.

This afternoon I had a further x-Ray - this time it was a full length femur ( normally these have been done as 2 X-rays for the top and bottom ends of the bone. I think the surgeon wants a single X-Ray to work from because he needs to assemble a jig to ensure correct alignment and leg length. I'm sure this is normal practice but given the relatively small amount of remaining femur I got the impression the kit would need to be modified a little and perhaps this can be done in advance of me lying on the table.

After the X-ray I went on to the Pre Op Assessment unit to complete another canter through my medical history - guided by the one taken a few months back for the first stage operation.

So I was weighed and my height measured - the computed BMI was acceptable ( just!). My Blood pressure was taken and again OK although a little raised - well I had just made my way down a flight of steps ( on 2 crutches) rather than wait for the lift - so not surprising.

An ECG followed and I was provided with copious amounts of water to encourage me to be able to provide a urine specimen. Unfortunately I had waited so long in the Orthopaedic clinic and again in the adjacent X-Ray department that I had grabbed the first opportunity to visit the toilet just before setting off to go to the Pre Op Assessment Unit.

We deferred the visit to the phlebotomist for various blood counts and cross matching as I will be returning to the hospital on Friday to have a cannula inserted and some iron infused into my arm. This is a great opportunity for taking blood at the same time so once I have been cannulated I shall be in position to donate as many samples as required by both renal and orthopaedic units.


DJ Kirkby said...

Good luck on the 10th and subsequent days thereafter. Why does the renal unit want some of your blood?

Prisoner of Hope said...

Ah! The renal story.

Well I have always tended to have high blood pressure but it was not until half way through an X-ray procedure (about 20 years ago) meant to detect and fix any narrowing of the renal arteries thought to be the cause, that it was discovered I had a scarred right kidney that stopped its development from when I was about 18 months old.

This meant that the kidneys needed to secrete a substance to circulate the blood more quickly to be able to do their job of cleaning it of impurities. Hence the lifelong tendency to have slightly elevated blood pressure. On top of this underlying problem I had taken salizopyrene in between bouts of crohns disease in my 20's 30's and early 40's to help reduce the incidence of debilitating flare ups of the "irritable" bowel disease. As a result my otherwise good kidney was unable to function as well as previously to compensate and various measures of renal function dipped below an acceptable level and I became diagnosed as someone with renal impairment.

Over subsequent years the degree of impairment worsened to the stage that about 4 years ago I was scheduled to have an operation to prepare me for regular dialysis and was being considered for a kidney transplant.

For an unknown but fortunate reason the degree of impairment began to reverse after the hip replacement 4 1/2 years ago (even though I suffered with post operative infection) However because of the infection I could not receive some treatments to compensate for some of the effects of the degree of impairment that remained. Therefore once I was clear of the infection - after the first stage operation a few months ago - I could try to catch up with iron infusions that the expensive Epo injections I have been having can utilise to boost my energy levels.

The renal department need to carefully regulate the amount and frequency of both the iron infusions and the Epo injections so, each time I attend to have some extra iron, they take the opportunity to run a full set of renal blood tests.

This is the reason I thought it better to ask the renal department to fill up a few more tubes a few days later.

Fortunately I can now view the results about 12 hours later through a national web site called RenalPatientView which is a great step toward the dream of an electronic health record that can be accessed by those with permission and a password.

Apologies for a long winded answer. I hope it was not too gory and was of some interest - thanks for asking :-)