Escape plan works
15 Aug 2012
I am out! All that digging and tunnelling finally paid off as I emerged, blinking into the natural air and light off the outside world beyond the perimeter wire of Kingston Hospital.
After 7 nights and 8 days, it was such a relief to be going home. I know I needed to be there but I never feel quite safe in hospitals and there is so much there that is unsatisfactory and,frankly, bad for your health. Having said that, I am very grateful for the medical care and attention I received, particularly the essential draining of getting on for four litres of fluid from my lung.
This involved ultrasound to work out where to fix the drain and then the insertion through the ribs of the drain itself (quite painful) and the switching on of a tap. It gushed like an oil strike - and about as dark and horrible looking. I had to have a bucket attached to me for several days which, when full, was pretty heavy. I felt like a prisoner with ball and chain. But the relief of pressure on my port scrunched up lung was enormous. Luckily it didn't stay collapsed (a risk in these cases) but reinflated.
Three and a half bucket fulls later and l could hardly believe I'd been carrying that lot around, especially on my sponsored bike ride in Wales. Then I had a pleurodesis procedure that involves sticking the lung walls together to try to prevent fluid building up again. This was very painful - the doctor had said it could be 'excruciating' which I'm not sure I wanted to hear in advance. But thanks to morphine I am coping -- and relaxing!
I'm now pretty much bed bound but AT HOME! Recuperation will take a while.
I want to write more about the whole hospital experience and my next phase of treatment but will leave that for later.
Thanks for all the posts and messages of support - all greatly appreciated.