A Huge Debt

Yesterday, in ‘celebration’ of reaching the third anniversary since suffering a heart attack, I relayed the first narrative written from my hospital bed post-cardio scare. With my gratitude to the skilled LGI cardiologist and his team still at the very forefront of my mind, today I enclose the words I penned following the heart procedure I underwent a day, or two, later.

Please be aware the medical team who looked after me during this time were absolutely superb. Any reference to Latin worded ailments discussed during my op are fictional…… As is my quip with the prose a nursing sister startled me with a prank while relocating to another ward during my tarry.

I owe a massive debt of gratitude to each and every one of these incredible individuals for affording me an elongated life. The words below, written three years back, were then and still are meant as a tribute to these folk:-

“Following my cardiac incident early Friday morning, I remain in situ within a Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) cardio ward.

I’ve moved location twice in the last twenty four hours. Moves I like to think which’ve consequential of hospital administrators maximising front line bed resources. My relocation hopefully not borne from fellow ward dweller mentioning to sister “Any chance you can move that younger guy to another ward…. His jokes are s***e?”

Footnote – When I say sister, I mean the ward’s lead nurse, not my younger sibling Helen….. As an aside, though, H would’ve wholeheartedly agreed with that assessment of my whimsical output had she been approached with that inquiry.

I was greeted very amicably by the new ward sister during yesterday’s first relocation. However, I may feedback at some point that, although well-meaning, jumping out from behind a filing cabinet and shouting “Surprise!!” during her welcome was perhaps irresponsible within the confines of a cardiac ward.

Overnight I slept terribly. A combination of mulling over this mornings scheduled heart procedure, along with the sound of the three other guys in my ward all snoring simultaneously.

To be fair, as their unified snorting unwittingly led to a wonderfully stirring performance of Elgar’s Nimrod, from Enigma Variations, it wasn’t the worst nighttime soundscape I’ve ever heard…… I think that accolade goes to an overnight stay in my 20’s at a Somerset hotel adjacent to a rhinoceros circumcision clinic.

This morning a medical procedure designed to mitigate against my cardiac vulnerability was undertaken. A two hour operation carried out after I’d been made predominantly pain free courtesy of a shot of local anaesthetic……. I didn’t ask, however I’m assuming this local painkilling option was chosen by medics as anaesthetic from further afield is less effective.

Anyhow, my angioplasty op was undertaken with a camera and balloon fed through my radial artery, it’s mission to investigate my current heart state. The progress of the procedure monitored on large screens by the consultant cardiologist and team undertaking the complex exercise.

Prior to operation’s commencement, a medic asked if I wanted the screen (broadcasting the intricate medical practise) adjusting to afford me a view of unfolding proceedings. I declined, advising I’d watch it on Catch Up TV when returning home tomorrow. I’m not squeamish, but I’d little appetite to watch a couple of rods and a balloon navigating my heart’s avenues and alleyways.

Being wide awake during the procedure, I was afforded an opportunity to eavesdrop on the work as it progressed. Amongst the surgery snippets gleaned, GJ Strachan learned his clackula minstopolos was in better working order than his phinimuim crestbels.

Additionally, I learned a throxal thrimbub manoeuvre should always be utilised when expanding coronary valves…… I didn’t have a clue what any of this latin speak referred to, but they seemed to know what they were talking about, which was re-assuring.

After all, I concluded in a half-assed effort to cheer myself up while staring at the theatre’s ceiling mid-op, at least my clumsy brother Ian wasn’t stood over me manoeuvring these rods around my arteries.

After around two hours on the operating table I was returned to a completely different ward. I was tired, but with now in possession of better blood flow courtesy of arterial stenting by the excellent cardiologist and his medics.

I was mightily relieved this surgery undertaken on the fly had been successful.….. To clarify, when saying ‘undertaken on the fly’ I meant the nature of the op is to deal with any cardio vascular issues as work progresses. Not I’d been in receipt of a procedure surgeons pioneered on actor Jeff Goldblum.

To close I wanted to share a true story which occurred as a result of the following exchange during a recent phone conversation with my wife Karen.

Karen – “Is there anything you need bringing to hospital?

Me – “Can you bring a t-shirt for me to wear around the cardio ward please?

She brought me this for flips sake!!……

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