Tuesday, April 16, 2019

When You Get Out Of The Hospital

It's been a bit quiet around here for the last week or so, which usually means I've been away on holiday. I was indeed lounging around, doing not very much, but I was doing it in a large hospital, not some pensión in the back of beyond.

As I briefly mentioned earlier in the year I had an investigative procedure that turned out to be positive and last week I went into hospital to have 30cm of my upper bowel removed. Everything went well - the surgeon's report described the operation as "uneventful", which is, I guess, exactly what you'd want your surgeon to say.

There was an interesting moment a couple of days into recovery, when they thought I might have had a heart attack. I was surprised to discover you can have one without noticing. It was a false alarm, fortunately, and I was judged well enough yesterday to come home.

If my ongoing recovery goes to plan, I probably have a month, maybe a month and a half,  before I go back to work. Then, all being well, I really will be on holiday for two weeks in June!

When I go on holiday I usually take a complete break and avoid looking at any blogs or gaming news but in hospital I was often looking for something to keep me amused and entertained so last week I read everything as normal. The hospital wifi, which I was piggybacking (they hadn't bothered to password it) didn't permit any kind of uploading or downloading so I wasn't able to reply to any of the interesting posts.

It's probably a bit late to start now. If you posted something in the last week, just imagine my reply. I would almost certainly have said exactly what you think I would. I usually do.

Since I'm supposed to be taking it easy and not overdoing things I should have plenty of time for blogging and also for trying some new MMORPGs. If I can find any.

That's about all I have to say on the matter except to do the thing everyone always does after they've had some potentially life-threatening condition diagnosed and (hopefully!) averted.


I really had no inkling I was seriously ill. I felt fine. I had some minor pains but they were occasional and familiar. There's no way I'd have gone to a doctor about them. It was just good luck that I dinged 60 in real life last November and because I'm fortunate enough to live in a country with a National Health Service one of my rewards for leveling up was a free test kit for bowel cancer.

Even then, I might easily have ignored it but because I tend towards Lawful Neutral I went along with what I was being asked to do, even though it ended up taking three goes and six weeks to get a definitive result. As a result, the operation I ended up needing has been smaller and less impactful than it would have been had I waited until symptoms appeared, always assuming that by that stage it would have been operable at all.

In countries with socialized health care there are generally a lot of free checks you can get. Medicine is all about proactivity these days. I don't really know how it works it countries that base healthcare on insurance but I imagine insurers would generally prefer to pay less earlier than more later so there are presumably options there, too.

Without getting all political about it, I'd just say that whatever checks you can have, you should have. If they offer them, take them. If you have to ask, then ask. Yes, it's annoying. We all have better things to do with our time than take an afternoon out to go to some clinic and have holes poked in us. Until we don't.

When I'm fit again I need to take my own advice and follow up a couple of other, less urgent, flags that popped up in some other precautionary testing I got free with my 60th birthday. For now, though, I'm going to sit back, drink tea and play games.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

24 comments:

  1. Welcome back home, and glad to hear the surgery went uneventually for you Bhag. I wish you all the best in the recovery time as well and hope your general mobility isn't too bad (or if it is, for too long!)

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    1. Thanks! I'm getting around fine - better than when I had a hernia op a couple of years back!

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  2. I hope you are well on your way to recovery!

    My own medical plan has had me doing the test kit for that sort of cancer annually since I hit 45 or so. My dad came up positive last year and it was caught early enough that he'll likely carry on being the senior grump in the family for many years.

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    1. Thanks! I believe in the UK they start at 55 now. Must have changed between when I was 55 and 60. Getting it early is key so the sooner the better.

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  3. Was wondering if something was up. Glad to hear it was an uneventful event. Enjoy, as best you can, the recovery time!

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  4. Glad to hear you're alright!

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  5. Glad you're still together. My mother had the same surgery some time ago, and she turned out all right. Means I've been alert just in case it travels down the family tree some.

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    1. Thanks! In terms of family history, lifestyle and diet it wasn't really on my radar so it just goes to show... er... something!

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  6. Very happy to hear that!

    I was a bit worried the last few weeks (or was that even months?) during which you occasionally hinted at the fact that not all might be perfectly well, and not at all happy to think about the possibility that your voice might leave us woefully soon.

    Very happy to hear that the procedure went well, and that, if all goes according to plan, you'll be on a way towards "normalcy" again. Guess it means regular checkups now to make sure everything indeed turned out well, long-term, but that's probably for the better any way. Never too early to start checking for that. I myself will move under the umbrella of the NHS later this year, so we'll see what that heralds for my (admittedly very minor) health issues.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it means regular checks at specific intervals for the next five years, which pretty nearly takes me into retirement. Also I may need chemotherapy depending on the outcome of the analysis of what they took out, although I'm told it's relatively mild chemo if so.

      It was very interesting to watch the NHS working from the inside. Without exception, every person I dealt with was kind, helpful and professional. Very high standard. Physically, though, the state of the environment the staff have to work in leaves a lot to be desired. When I had my hernia done a couple of years ago it was under the NHS but at a private clinic and a few of the staff there were noticeably less empathic (most were first class but there were exceptions), while the buildings were state of the art.

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  7. Glad to hear that everything went well, Mr B! Enjoy your recovery time. :)

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  8. Glad to hear that everything is going well :-)

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  9. Good to hear the op went uneventfully. Wishing you a smooth recovery!

    For time killers, not sure if you’ve checked out any older browser based games like Fallen London, Urban Dead or Kingdom of Loathing. Turn-based so no risk of some mob wandering over to pound you in the dirt while you’re not alertly staring at the screen, and browser stuff can be played nearly anywhere and doesn’t have to tie you down in a chair in front of a PC.

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    1. Thanks! Ooh, Fallen London! That brings back memories. The only reason I have a Twitter account is because I played Fallen London when it started (posiibly in Beta, and I think it was called something else then) and you had to use Twitter to log in. I've had StoryNexus bookmarked for ages. Maybe I'll try a few things there.

      I was also thinking of getting back to Pillars of Eternity, which I was enjoying until I got completely stuck. I was trying to avoid walktrhoughs but I think I need a nudge.

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  10. Oh, I'd missed this in my own absence. Very glad to hear the NHS took good care of you and that you're on the mend! Telwyn

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    1. Thanks! To be honest, there have been perfectly normal weeks when I haven't posted for as long, but I do tend to post on specific days (due to work patterns) so regular readers could conceivably have noticed.

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