PA 9: In The Neck Of Time (Part 2)

Distressing Repetition, Emergency Rinsing, Inappropriate Humour and An Unexpected Revelation.

This post follows directly on from where I left things in “In The Neck Of Time (Part 1)“. If you haven’t yet read that post then this one will make very little sense to you.

However, if you are one of those people who has no problem coming into a TV show halfway through with no knowledge of what’s happened beforehand (my Dad with Game of Thrones for example), then feel free to read on… as long as you’re not the person who spends the entire time asking who everyone is.

A Little Pressure

There I lay, my face covered with a large green sheet and warm fluid flowing uncomfortably freely from my neck.
For a brief moment I though to myself, “Oh come on, I’ve just survived a major infection, open heart surgery, a surprise amputation, kidney failure and now a tiny cut in my neck is going to do me in…. This is total bulls**t!”

The moment that thought process finished playing out the doctors face appeared over the little window in the sheet and grinned down at me.
“Sorry about that, it seems your veins aren’t too keen on having something plastic shoved into them”.
Some pressure was put on my neck, presumably to stop the bleeding and the doctor called a nurse over to give him some fresh tubing.

“Right, we’re gonna try that again”.

And that’s exactly what he did. He tried to put the tubes into my neck and again I felt pressure and discomfort though I feel like I must stress, no actual pain.

That discomfort in itself was unpleasant enough and when the procedure didn’t succeed the second time, I started to become a little distressed.
My mum, somehow, was managing to stay calm and even as I started to panic at the idea of what was going on she talked me down and helped me stay calm enough for them to try a third time.

Clean Up

So eventually, by the the fourth attempt, which had gone just as well as the preceding three, the doctor stepped back and said, “You know what? That’s enough for today”.

Everyone in the room seemed to be overcome by a wave of relief when he spoke, as if we had all been waiting for him to utter those words.
One thing that did concern me was the fact that without the tubes in my neck, how would I undergo my dialysis treatment? What would happen if my blood wasn’t being cleaned?

He suggested that we leave it a few days and monitor how my kidneys were functioning. If they needed more help then we would come back to this procedure but for now he didn’t want to put me through any more stress.

I didn’t get the chance to see exactly how much had leaked out of my neck during the procedure as the nurses were quick to clean me up and whip away the surgery gown I had been wearing. Something that I should probably be grateful for as it can’t have been a pleasant sight.

My mum has told me since about what happened to her immediately after that procedure and if you are still seeing this paragraph when this post is published, it means that she has allowed me to share it.

The doctor who was performing the procedure on me had been around quite a lot since my open heart surgery and amputation. We had all gotten to know him very well and he was an incredibly charming, kind and funny man.

A quick aside;
On a previous day I clearly remember him taking particular joy in indicating all of the pressure points in my neck by means of demonstration… on me.
Mum and he thought it was hilarious. I however, did not.

Anyway returning to this days procedure, my mum had been sitting right next to me and had even supported my head when I started to get a little uncomfortable.
After it was all finished, this doctor came up to my mum and started speaking to her about what was going on, all the while face to face, taking both of her hands and slowly guiding her across the room.

Because he was continually chatting and also presumably because her head was a little out of it following what had just occurred , she didn’t notice him moving her around or even when he started to wash her hands.
It took a little while before she realised what was happening and looked down to see that he had already washed most of my blood from her hands.

I can’t claim to imagine what it is like to be covered in the blood of someone you love, especially your own child, but I do know that the fact my Mum never for a moment let on what was going on inside her head is pretty darn impressive.

Mysterious Ways

It was a good job that they managed to clean the both of us so well because my poor Dad, who had been confidently assured that my procedure would be completed within 20 to 30 minutes, had been waiting outside the operating room for several hours and during that time it’s very likely he came up with numerous scenarios that would make Stephen King shudder.

Fortunately, aside from the marks on my neck making me look like Dracula’s latest victim, all signs of what had happened within the room had been cleared away.

At this point, my brain was still a little addled from the whole experience and so when Dad asked me what had happened I though it was humorous to tell him that we had re-enacted one of the “SAW” movies.

It was apparently not as funny as I had pictured it and the doctor quickly explained about the trouble they had had and that the plan was to wait and see how my kidney function panned out over the next few days.

The days passed and several tests were taken. To keep everything PG I won’t go into quite how but they all showed very positive signs.
I am aware that a test coming back positive is not always something to be celebrated but in this case a positive result was, in fact, a positive result.

My kidneys had recovered to the point where the doctors were happy to say that I would no longer need dialysis and just like that, one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in hospital led to an incredibly and unexpectedly positive outcome.

The Wisdom

  • Don’t force things, let them come naturally.
    For instance, imagine that you are a person who writes a personal blog which usually includes a section called “The Wisdom”. One day however, you find yourself struggling to find anything to write in said section.
    Well, rather than stressing and worrying about what you are going to say, simply understand that sometimes wisdom is not as forthcoming as you might like and instead, fill the space with a self aware yet still vaguely appropriate statement about the fact that wisdom is not always forthcoming.

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