The Bloated blogger…
Friday morning, 2nd May.
I am sitting on the sofa, laptop on lap, sipping a regular tea (no dairy though using Almond milk instead and its actually ok) – not a green tea insight today!
A long day yesterday. Should I start off with the weather? Yesterday bucketed down with rain for a while when parked up outside East Surrey Hospital, Redhill ready to dive into the Endoscopy unit to have my feeding tube (PEG – gastrostomy Feeding) fitted.
I’ve just glanced down at some of the bumf in front of me and I thought it read ‘Gastronomy ‘ Feeding not Gastrostomy Feeding – made me smile!
Well, I’m rather sore and bloated today. I showed you my mask last week which I think I’ll call my meshk. Anyway, I really don’t think it’s necessary to show you my belly – I had my stomach blown up for the procedure hence the bloated ‘Peg’ belly.
I had forgotten just how uncomfortable ‘trapped’ wind can be, plus my abdomen was pierced to pop the feeding pipe through so my stomach feels bruised too. I have 7 inches of plastic piping sticking out of my stomach – very strange. I forgot just how high the stomach sits. Lots of little procedures to follow in the days ahead. A little squeamish but I’ll get used to it. It is a tube that comes directly out of my stomach with a few clips and attachments. I have bags full of syringes to flush and feed myself in the weeks ahead.
On the brighter side, I didn’t get a perforated gullet and as far as I am aware, no internal bleeding, or contents of my stomach leaking into places that wouldn’t do me any favours – good job!
The endoscopy unit was very efficient and all ran smoothly with just one glitch – apart from the back of my throat being numbed with a spray tasting of well ripened bananas I also had some medication to sedate me, so I thought.
The lovely nutritionist nurse, Wendy, explained before I went in some of the stories of people dreaming or laughing during the procedure whilst lightly sedated – clearly unaware of what was going on which took about 10 – 15 minutes. Yes, I thought – lovely. Totally oblivious – me too please nurse!
However, I was 100% conscious throughout the procedure which was a little uncomfortable and disconcerting to say the least.
Everyone reacts differently to sedation but it had no effect on me this time – I don’t think I was given enough. Wendy went to my partner afterwards and said the sedation didn’t seem to have much affect on me – yep, true dat!
I wish I could say I was wheeled back to recovery feeling groggy and unaware of what had just gone on.
It’s not a complaint but I do need to make the endoscopy unit aware. No sooner had my throat been numbed, I was sat back on a reclined table, mouth fixed with a strap and plastic mould. Then what felt like a hose pipe inserted down to my stomach. One surgeon on that and the other at my stomach,
I think making the necessary incision.
I gagged and I think was sick on several occasions although I’m sure I didn’t bring anything up but there was a nurse with a suction pipe, like the ones you get at the dentists but much bigger, popping that into my throat whenever the need arose which was several times. I heard her say that I was doing very well but there was a part of me thinking ‘ why am I even conscious of all this happening around me? I could feel the stomach insertion, see the inside my belly on the TV monitor, the surgeons talking and me, feeling rather uncomfortable.
After the procedure, I was wheeled to recovery but all I could think about was what had just happened ? I lay there for a couple of hours having my blood pressure and temperature checked. I hadn’t eaten for about 18 hours and wolfed a 3 pack of custard creams – I think it’s been about 20 years since I last ate one of those but with a cuppa that the nurse kindly made, I made short work of them.
All in all about 3 hour stint in the hospital as expected.
Last night and today I am sore and big of belly. It will take a few days for things to settle down before treatment kicks off next week.
Prior to yesterday afternoon’s procedure, that morning, I was up at Royal Surrey, Guildford at the Diagnostic Imaging Unit, at 8am, with Free parking too!
I had a PET scan to keep an eye on my ‘rogue’ cells, to see what they’re up to.
Radioactive glucose dye (tracer) was injected into me so I couldn’t go anywhere near pregnant mums or kids apparently. I lay in a darkened room for an hour prior to the scan. It was a necessary step before the scan because any movement or muscle interaction with the glucose dye makes the images unclear – I kept still and slipped into a semi-meditative state – that hour felt like 10 minutes!
I was then led to the scanner, promptly told to pull my trousers down to my knees (ooh Matron!) I then lay on the scanner couch – must be to do with the metal zips. The tracer goes to work in my system looking for the ‘rogue’cells, I understand.
I have had quite a normal week this week. Business as usual, pretty much. I have seen some of my regular clients, eaten several portions of chips from the chip shop – it’s like my body knows what’s in store? Had some steak, and roast pork. My diet actually doesn’t have that much meat in it but I am certainly no vegetarian and I have been eating lightly steamed ‘cruciferous’ vegetables such as broccoli which is supposed to be just the job under the circumstances. I have also been munching lots of fresh garlic and ginger – ginger being a natural pain killer is very good for sore throats so this could be my staple food for a while.
I had a call from the nutrition company asking me about feeding tubes and shakes being delivered. What flavours would you like? Vanilla and peach flavours for me – wasn’t sure about fruits of the forest?. Besides, if I am not swallowing the drink and my taste buds are going to be ‘shelved’ for a while it probably won’t make too much difference.
I am feeling the pressure of needing to flush my feeding tube at the moment and make a few adjustments to the plate that is fixed in place (stoma site) – I am a novice but it will get easier. Each week I have to gently pull the tube in an out just a few centimetres and rotate it 360 degrees as it will heal up just a like a pierced ear – that’s not a good idea otherwise that’s another surgical procedure to remove it when that time comes – are we there yet?
During the last 24 hours my mind has been focussed on my stomach and all things related. I will do my best to eat normally in the weeks ahead until such a point, if it really becomes too unbearable even with painkillers to swallow normal food, in will go the vanilla and peach nutrition drinks.
Update, just read some more bumf – I am supposed to start using the feeding tube as soon as possible to get my stomach used to the feeding and flushing and for me to get into a familiar routine too, which makes sense.
My mind was preoccupied at the beginning of the week, each thought rolling into the next so it was really great to meet up with 2 good friends of mine this Friday afternoon and evening who I hadn’t seen for a few weeks. We kicked back and took it real easy with some fabulous fish soup, creamy rice pudding with mango and lime plus some meringue to top it all off – home made and right tasty, thanks Pete!
It’s now Saturday afternoon. Still sore and hobbling around feeling rather fragile. Had a lounge in the sun but back in doors as its now actually quite cold. My daughter has just made me a fresh juice with a light spinach and quinoa salad – healthy, huh?
I have a busy week ahead in hospital and I am feeling apprehensive but also calm and collected too – a balancing act of being secure in my own insecurity, if that makes sense.
I’ll wrap things up for now so have a fabulous weekend.
“Thank you, goodnight and may your God go with you” (Dave Allen)