I was going to start off with an apology for the emotional rollercoaster that was today. I am sad and sorry for any angst, disappointment and frustration you felt and for the ultimate anti-climax caused by my craniotomy being postponed. However, I believe that it is ultimately Jeremy Hunt who should apologise to you all for the drama, but I obviously wouldn’t hold your breath on that front.
The reason my surgery was postponed was not because there wasn’t a bed for me in HDU but because there weren’t enough specialist HDU nurses to look after any further admissions. Mr H came to break the news to me in person, being the client care superstar that he is. He was very disappointed and had tried all morning to get me in but, ultimately, even the Wizard had to admit defeat.
Mr H told me that there were five scheduled brain surgeries today (two of which were his, I believe). Only one ended up going ahead, and that was only because the surgeon carrying out the procedure was comfortable with the patient being admitted on to a different (non-neurological) ward. Mr H said that my safety is paramount (reassuring to hear) and that it is simply not an option for me to be taken anywhere but HDU post-op given the nature of my procedure.
I offer some immediate thoughts on what has happened:
- There were patients receiving the 1:2 specialist nursing care of HDU today. Having my operation cancelled is disappointing for me (and everyone around me). However, I can’t wish for anyone else to be put in harm’s way for my benefit by being moved out of HDU either before they are ready or when there is no appropriate ward to which they can be transferred.
- The nursing shortage is not unique either to the HDU or to the RVI. See this as an example of some of the issues. I don’t claim to know much about this issue. From skimming a few articles today, it seems to me to be a problem that dates back at least a few years due to the time it takes for funding for nurses’ training to result in qualified nurses. Hunt’s apparent contempt for the NHS and pretty much everyone who works in it, and his decision to scrap bursaries for nurses, will surely just exacerbate the problems rather than solve anything?
- I’ve been feeling increasingly more energetic over the last few days and I was looking to get out of the house more. Yesterday, I went with Graham to pick up the kids from nursery. I thought Jennifer and Leo might be pleased to see me but I was a little bit nervous that I might make people feel uncomfortable if they don’t know what to say. I shouldn’t have worried. Jennifer was excited to see me, although she did question what I was doing at the nursery, in a nice way! The lovely staff (and fellow parents we know) were so welcoming, happy to see me and so supportive. One thought that crossed my mind last night was that the op was likely to mean a return to tiredness that would prevent me picking them up again for a while. So, one positive of the postponement is that I went along to the pick-up again tonight and plan to do so until the rescheduled op.
- I feel stronger and more energetic by the day. I wonder whether I will have a better chance of recovering from the operation quicker in a few weeks’ time than I would have done had it gone ahead today. We will never know but it’s possible.
- Today gave everyone a trial run in how they’ll cope with the stress and worry of waiting. I believe that the lessons learned might help people cope better next time, although no one I’ve mentioned this to in person has yet agreed with me on this front.
- My Steroids dose was ramped up at the start of the week in readiness for today. From tomorrow, I’m being weaned off the dex again in the short-term until the rescheduled surgery. This gives me a chance to stop putting on any more weight and potentially even lose some of the weight that the Steroid Baby has caused. I’m well over the heaviest I’ve ever been in a non-pregnant state.
Thanks again for all your good wishes. I’m off to bed after my long D-Day that turned out to be Much Ado About Nothing!