The Anonymous Widower

Goodbye To My Gallstones

It is now some weeks since I said goodbye to my gallstones.

They were in my bile duct and were discovered by using an ultrasound probe on an endoscopy at Homerton Hospital. I didn’t even put on a hospital gown.

I had that endoscopy, as I did my two previous ones at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to check for coeliac disease without a sedative, as Addenbrooke’s likes to be efficient and cutting out sedatives reduces the manpower required, cuts the need for recovery beds and allows patients to drive home.

After this endoscopy, I came home the way I arrived – on the bus!

I would say that a good endoscopy operator should be able to do the procedure without a sedative. Although in this case, the nurse holding the oxygen tubes up my nose, was stroking my beard to calm me down. Not that I needed it! But it was a nice action!

I had the removal of the gallstones with a sedative, but I only remember the anaesthetist saying something like “Lovely” as he threaded the camera and attachments down my throat.

They broke into my bile duct from the duodenum and then inserted a balloon, which was then inflated to flush the stones back into my duodenum.

I must have dropped off and I woke without any pain or even discomfort.

One complication for me, was that I am on Warfarin, but I dropped my INR to one before the operation, so that there wasn’t blood everywhere.

I have had some after effects.

Where Has My Constipation Gone?

Since I was about sixty, I have suffered from constipation and my GP has prescribed a laxative.

I felt it was a family trait as my father was also a sufferer.

But since the operation, I have only taken one pill, that may not have been necessary.

My Appetite Has Returned

I am certainly eating better and I have not put on any weight.

Conclusion

If you have gallstones and removal is suggested, go for it!

October 14, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Prioritising Patients

Homerton hospital is hoping to remove my gallstones on Thursday by endoscopy, so it’s just a fairly small procedure.

I do wonder if there is a shortage of nurses, doctors and other staff at the hospital caused by either the Covids or the fuel crisis, if some operations will be cancelled.

At no time, in the diagnostic process was I asked if I was in pain. Which I am not!

Surely, in the Age of Covid-19, where there is great uncertainty about predicting hospital capacity just a few weeks in the future, I should have been asked a few questions, so that urgent cases could be given priority if necessary.

As they must have been there for a few months causing me no trouble, surely a few extra weeks won’t make much difference to me.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Diagnosis Of My Gallstones

I arrived at Homerton hospital as instructed today for the endoscopy.

Strangely, it was C’s birthday.

The procedure would involve passing an ultrasound probe down my throat and through my stomach to take an ultrasound image of the lump close to my liver.

I’d had two endoscopies before in the late 1990s at Addenbrookes to check for coeliac disease. One was a normal one, but in the second, I was also providing a sample of fluid for a research project at Cambridge University.

I seem to remember at Addenbrookes, I had been instructed to turn up in something like a tee-shirt and shorts, which is what I did. In this case, I took my shirt off and put a hospital gown over my cord trousers.

As I’d had the two endoscopies at Addenbrookes without a sedative, I suggested strongly, that they do the investigation without one this time as well.

The doctor, who was of an age to be very experienced, said he was up for it and we went for it without a sedative.

There was two big differences to the procedure at Addenbrookes.

  • There were more staff, than Addenbrooke’s doctor and a technician.
  • They were fully gowned up, as opposed to normal clothes.

But, then I got the expression at Addenbrooke’s they were aiming for speed and they were only confirming their earlier diagnosis of coeliac disease. that had been made by a genetic test.

Everything this time, went without a hitch.

  • I was laying on my left side.
  • I had oxygen tubes up my nose.
  • With my right hand I can feel the probe in my stomach.
  • To calm me down, a nurse was stroking my beard.

After not a long time, everything was done and I was walked back to recovery area.

Within half an hour, I was informed by the second doctor, that I had got gallstones and they would be taken out by endoscopy on September the 30th. Later they would take out my gall bladder by surgery.

I got the impression, it was the first time, that he’d seen this procedure without a sedative, as he described me as the Star-Of-The-Day. But then I’m a London Mongrel, with more survival genes than a garden full of Japanese knotweed.

I went home the way I came – On the bus!

After Effects

The only after effects were that the air in the theatre had dried me out and my left left arm hurt because I’d been lying on it.

So I vowed to drink a lot of fluids before the operation and do something to improve the strength of my damaged left arm.

August 26, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , | 4 Comments

A Lump Near My Liver

In A Mysterious Attack On My Body, I explained how I ended up in the Royal London hospital after my hand stopped working, probably due to an infection.

A couple of weeks afterwards my GP called me in to the surgery and repeated the blood tests on my liver, as the first taken in the hospital, weren’t quite what they should be!

These blood tests didn’t show the improvement they should have done, so I went to Homerton Hospital for an ultrasound on my liver.

This didn’t satisfy the GP, so he arranged for a CT-Scan at Homerton hospital.

After the scan, but before the results were known I saw a consultant, who told me about the lump.

He said it could be benign or something nasty and hopefully after he reviews the CT-Scan next week, we’ll know.

He said an endoscopy will probably sort out what it is!

The weird thing, is that, I’m not in any pain.

Except that is, for the lower back pain, I’ve had since I was about twenty.

As I can never sit comfortably in a car and my mother told me, my spine turns the wrong way, that probably explains that.

When I’m working at the computer, about every half-hour, I lie flat on my back on the floor and that seems to sort it.

Why did I get such an odd body?

Any advice gratefully accepted.

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment