Wednesday, 17 June 2015
13.06.2015 - 16.06.2015
The last week or so was pretty 'normal' until I returned from my walk on Sunday.
Sunday, 14 June 2015
After my shower and breakfast I began to feel dizzy, unsteady and everything went fuzzy. This was topped off with a severe headache. I decided the best place for me was horizontal on the bed. Thirty minutes later I feeling no better and asked Jenny to take me to the hospital. We entered a very crowded Emergency Room but Jenny managed to attract attention by mentioning "STROKE" or "HEART ATTACK".
Within a few minutes I was being interviewed by the triage sister who quickly had me up on a stretched and attached me to the ECG machine. She discovered an erratic heart beat and a low pulse rate well below the expected 50 beats per minute. I was hooked up to a monitor while she located the duty doctor. I'm not sure if I was told or I overheard the discussion but it was decided that I needed a pacemaker.
The doctor went off to contact the cardiology department at the Canberra Hospital. The resident agreed that a pacemaker was required. From snippets of discussion overheard there followed an extensive search for an available bed. They eventually found me a bed at the National Capital Private Hospital. By this time we were well into the afternoon and the next task was to schedule an ambulance to transport me to Canberra. Four times one was scheduled only to be diverted to a more urgent or critical call-out.
Finally at about 21:30 the ambulance from Braidwood - more than an hour's drive from Moruya - arrive to load me up. A brief handover and we were on our way. It was not a pleasant experience being driven up the Clyde Mountain in the dark and half sitting up on the ambulance stretcher. Had a lively conversation with my attendant which helped to pass the time. We arrived at the Braidwood Ambulance Station and we met by the crew of one of the Goulburn ambulances. Although Queanbeyan would have been closer, they were unavailable. A quick stretch of the legs and off to the hospital where we arrived at 00:30 on Monday morning. I had been expected for some time and was immediately placed on a monitor and made comfortable in a bed. So much more comfortable than the stretchers.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Sleep is not really an option in an Intensive Care Unit in a busy hospital.. There are the frequent interruptions as the nurses record the many observations. There are the comings and goings of staff and patients. Lengthy conversations during a change of shift as the 'hand-over' is performed. At 06:30 it was suggested I should have a shower and be ready for breakfast. Fantastic meal it was too. Just as I finished the last crumb of toast and drop of coffee Dr Allada informed me they had found a doctor to perform the implant at 10:00. I was surprised it was so quick. Jenny was still on her way from Moruya.
Just before 10:00, Natalie dropped in to see me and said she'd wait at least until Jenny arrived. All went according to plan, I was wheeled into the preparation area where I was briefed by the anaesthetist who explained that the only a local anaesthetic would be required. By this time Jenny arrived and she and Natalie listened in while I was briefed by the pacemaker technician and shown what the item would look like. Next the surgeon Dr McGill explained the details of the procedure and answered some questions. Finally all the 'consent' forms were brought out for signature and I was wheeled into the OR. There was some form of sedation in my oxygen feed and I was so relaxed and tired I fell asleep.
An hour later I was wheeled back to the room and shortly afterwards lunch was served. Jenny and Natalie stayed until they left to find some lunch. More observations and an X-ray to show the pacemaker and its leads. Jenny returned and we were joined by Amy (granddaughter) and later her sister Emalee and their father Francois. Then a huge surprise when Melissa and Les from Scone arrived. By this time there was quite a crowd in the room !! Jenny left to spend the night at Bert's place and most of the others drifted off. Amy stayed and a little later Natalie dropped in again. It was great to see them all but I find it difficult to think of conversation topics from a hospital bed.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Regular hospital routine, pills, observations, shower and then breakfast. Jenny arrived to prepare me for discharge and we were visited again by Melissa and Les before they took off back to Scone. Dr McGill checked in and answered a number of Jenny's questions. He examined the site of the incision and cleared me for discharge. Dr Allana confirmed that I was cleared to go home after the pacemaker technician had carried out final diagnostics on the device. The technician checked the device and confirmed that it was performing the required function. It was just after 12:00 and we were on our way back home. An uneventful trip down the Clyde Mountain despite some rain and fog and we were home about 14:45. All up just over 50 hours and a lot had been achieved.
I haven't uploaded any images over this weekend but if you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to my main album
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony