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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

My Depressive Lumber Laminectomy at the Western General

The blog is on a go slow at the moment.
This blog author is convalescing from a recent visit to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
I've had a back problem for many a year,and every visit to my doctor or an orthopaedic consultant was always with the same stock answer.'General wear and tear and ageing.
Late in 2008 my consultant sent me to Dumfries for an MRI scan.
This is a rough picture of the result.

After my MRI scan,the radiologist seemed somewhat surprised,that given my back problem history i'd never had a myelogram on my spine.

Late in 2008 i attended an appointment at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh to see Mr Biodun Ogungbo,a neurosurgeon.
Mr Ogungbo was very clear in his explanation of my problem,and of an operation to rectify the depressed neural cord.I agreed to have the operation,and was told it could be March or April 2009.

It was a bit of a surprise when the call came early.So i headed off on the bus to Glenrothes in Fife.My very kind aunt was to take me in on the 12th of February 2009.
Thursday morning came and after ringing the hospital to ensure a bed was available,we set off.
My other more elderly aunt accompanied us.It was snowing heavy as we headed across the Forth Road bridge.


It's 10'oclock and i'm in the day room of ward 32,awaiting my bed.
I'm still in the day room at 2 o'clock,i'm well into the book i've started and my bed's still not free.At about half past i'm called for.I'm escorted to ward 31 there's a bed going to be available there,but i've to wait in this wards day room till it's ready.
I continue reading until 5 pm when my bed is ready.

Luckily i haven't missed meal times,and generally the hospitals food is very good.
I've had some contact with some of my fellow patients in the day room,and a right mixed bunch they are too.

Without going into detail of the conversations and antics of my bedfellows,i've learned lots about hard drugs,most of Britains prisons,and how easy it is to remove a catheter if you want to mess the bed.I thought i'd stumbled into a victorian asylum.But i'm being a bit harsh,they weren't all like that.

Time i think to mention the staff.All the nursing staff were brilliant,and it's possible that one of the staff nurses is a distant relative of mine.Considering the antics of some of the patients,they really are angels.They must have the patience of Job.
Later that first evening i was visited by the beautiful Dr Brown,the first of my two anaesthetists.She had a standard number of questions to ensure all was well for the following morning.

Night time came.The day shift were long gone home,and Yvonne the night staff nurse had taken charge.I now had to fast until after my operation.I was allowed to drink water though.
My room mates were still discussing Wormwood Scrubs as i went to sleep.

It's Friday the 13th of February 2009.Breakfast arrives in the ward just after 8 am.None for me of course.
At 8.40 i'm put onto a hospital trolley,a hospital porter and a nurse wheel me to the Pre Op room...

...where my team await me.

I'm a top priority patient,hence the first in the theatre today.
The beautiful Dr Brown's here,and i meet my other equally beautiful anaethesist Dr Irons.Surely this is a hollywood movie set,not an Edinburgh hospital.
Tricia and Laurie are also present,although i'm not entirely sure of their roles,but everyone's so young.

Now the lovely Doctors Brown and Irons are giving me their full attention as i ask them the time to record it for this blog.It's 8.50 am.
As tubes were inserted into the cannula on the back of my left hand,Doctor Irons asked whether i was ready to go to sleep now.
Wide awake,i replied in the affirmative...


...Next thing i remember is waking up back on the ward,feeling pretty rough...

...but I soon picked up once the lovely nursing staff attended me.
I'm in a different room on the ward now.Just opposite the nurses station so i get to observe all the comings and goings.
I was on oxygen,painkillers and an anti bacterial drip for the rest of the day.
As well as the excellent nursing staff,i was once again visited by the lovely Doctor Brown,and late in the day by my surgeon Mr Ogungbo.
He was really pleased at how well my operation had gone and gave the go-ahead for my release the next day.
A fairly quiet night followed by a few interesting going ons the following day,saw my aunt collecting me about 3 pm.
After a quiet couple of days in Glenrothes,i'm convalescing back in Galloway.

This negative shows my healing scar.

11 comments:

  1. Wishing you a speedy recovery

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  2. Thanks very much Andrew,very kind of you.
    My operation came at the wrong time though,Kikdale house was on the Snowdrop Festival this year,and their open day was last weekend.

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  3. Sorry you had to miss that. There were always many many snowdrops when I grew up there and I am sure even more now. Did they open the house up or just the grounds?

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  4. Loved the blog Jim, makes up for there being no walkers blog. Glad it all went well despite the date! Hope you're recovering nicely, look forward to more instalments. Best wishes
    Jayne

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  5. Thanks for your wishes Jane,they're very welcome.

    Hi Andrew,
    Re:Kirkdale,
    from the Ad in the Galloway Gazette it seems it was only the grounds.Garden open,Woodland Snowdrop Walks and Teas.

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  6. Sez, Phil and Maz24 February 2009 at 20:29

    Hi Jim,

    Marie, Sarah and Phil here. looking at your blog in the Circus Bar in Cheltenham. Very entertaining - loving the pics of your glamourour team. Wishing you the best.
    xxx

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  7. My regards to the Circus Bar-I haven't been have I ? You'll have to show me when i get down later this year.

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  8. The authoritative answer, curiously...

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  9. I,m glad to see its a negative of the stitches Jim.I just thought you hadnt washed for a while :)
    I wouldn,t have the bottle to take a photo of the operating team in case they took the huff.
    By the way look up "Swedish lady gets 30 elk botfly larvae in eye" on google.
    Scary stuff.I assumed these things only happened in the tropics.Still cant find a pic of mine though.
    bob.

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  10. Ouch! Glad you have recovered and have been able to get on with your fabulous life! I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your friends...

    Aloha, Lisa

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  11. Thanks Lisa. I still have a few problems, but the shooting excruciating pains I suffered for over twenty years down my left leg are now a fading memory.

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Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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