J: The oncological oracle?

Today I went with my wife and son to visit my oncologist, Dr. Mark Beresford.

Our priority was to discuss his take on my recent scan which led Dr. Mason, who I saw while in hospital, to talk of my life expectancy now being a matter of months.  This he was able to confirm, as we expected.

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J: Both home now!

My wife returned home yesterday. She has to attend a daily clinic locally or in Bath to have her throat drain checked, but is basically fine and over her thyroidectomy.

I think I ticked four boxes. First the doctors seemed comfortable to let me home when they saw what good progress I was making with my mobility; second my pain seems to be greatly moderated and third that I am to be supported by a community team to deal with any pain I have. I also have great support at home with my wife and son.

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J: “I recommend you stay awake throughout this operation.”

Those were the disconcerting word spoken to me by Dr. Handel, my anaesthetist, when we had the pre-op discussion about the process of replacing my hip joint. Yikes!

There is not much news in this post. People have expressed curiosity about staying awake during a major op like this. So if that interests you read on. If it’s not to your taste (there is also quite a lot about pain post-op), then just skip this post and there will be news updates along soon (all good).

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JJ: Still going well in ITU

I’m just back from the ITU at Bath, where Mr & Mrs Kidlung are doing well.

Mrs Kidlung was woken from anaesthetic and taken off the ventilator at about 3am. She then went back to sleep until 10am. She’s very cheerful and chatty, not in any apparent pain. She took a gentle stroll around the ward this afternoon, stopping by Mr Kidlung’s bed and giving him a kiss.

Mr Kidlung is suffering from a fair bit of post-operative pain today; it’s come on suddenly a few times which has made the dosing and timing of pain meds difficult to get right. There’s no medical concern though, and he’s expected to be released from intensive care to a normal ward as soon as a bed can be arranged.

Mrs Kidlung might very well be home on Monday, while Mr Kidlung is a little more difficult to predict at this point as the pain needs to come down before the physiotherapy can begin.

JJ: Both recovering well in ITU tonight

Mr & Mrs Kidlung are both in the intensive care ward at RUH Bath tonight, where I just visited them.

Mr Kidlung’s operation went smoothly. He wasn’t under a general anaesthetic during the operation, and so was full of beans, chatting away when I talked to him a few hours later. He has no pain at all at the moment as the surgical drugs are still blocking it, although he can move both his legs fine. He is expected to be sent on to a less intensively monitored ward tomorrow. He plans to describe to you soon his experience of the operation, listening to music on  his headphones throughout! As before, we hope to have him home in a few days.

Mrs Kidlung’s operation to remove her remaining thyroid had a complication. Because of its proximity to her windpipe, a small hole in the windpipe was opened when the thyroid was removed (or something roughly along those lines, I’m not clear on the exact details). She was then placed under general anaesthetic, and a specialist throat surgeon was called who stitched up the hole in the windpipe. A tube was placed though her mouth and down her throat, and she was put on a ventilator. Tonight she remains under general anaesthetic, because of the ventilator and tube.

For tomorrow, they will explore waking her up, removing the tube and returning to natural breathing. It’s expected that she will need to be in hospital this weekend, but that her overall recovery after that will likely be straightforward and comfortable.

J: Two for the theatre please!

Today, Thursday, my wife and I are both on our separate ways to the operating theatre. She for a thyroidectomy which is just precautionary and should be a straightforward overnight job. Me for a hip replacement which in itself is routine these days – it’s just all the other cancer issues I have going on which make things more tricky peri and post operatively.

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