radiation

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Torture – Part 2

Published August 10, 2018 by helentastic67

Torture Pt2

Torture – Part 2

So now, to how doctors buy themselves time and the active torture that was to temporarily fix the problem. They promised me an Epidural.

Doctor buying time

Have you ever wondered why “women in labour” ask for the Epidural? I don’t know from personal experience, but I’m told it hurts. It hurts like pushing a big square wardrobe out of a small place in you body, wardrobes don’t belong…

Women in labour

And the Epidural doesn’t hurt because of the happy pregnant lady hormones.

Now, they promised me an Epidural as part of delivering me a nerve root injection or a Cortisone shot. (you will hear people call it)

Cortisone shot

At the time I was on two waiting lists, one with my hospital (because I thought they would get to me) and another hospital closer to home. (that is, I didn’t have them do my surgery, my own mother might have killed me. Because she had been told they had the best surgeon to see.)

Waiting list

Have I mentioned, I’m a public patient? Because I’m poor. Yeah. So it generally means, you go with whatever you can get, whenever you can have it and not before.

The term for it is triage, they prioritise the patience that are less mobile and more ‘at risk’. Just making a point – ALL YEAR, it took all year!

Still, I digress.

The Nuero root injection goes like this, in nothing but your knickers pushed down low on your hips and a gown that is open at the back, you lie down on your tummy on a CT scanning bed. There are two people in the room whom you will hate by the end of the procedure. (if you follow my advice and learn from my experience.)

Lying on CT Scanner

Firstly, they give you a local anaesthetic. Now I will remind you, it’s been a while since my last local, so you forget how much it stings.

Sweet Jesus! (Which is likely what I said)

Sweet Jesus

The doctors claim it’s because the needle is so fine. Really? Torture device.

Then they wait until it starts to kick-in and then I swear it’s like a pick-axe! They insert it in my lower back, telling me to breathe and relax.

Pick axe

When in pain, it’s good to keep breathing, but when lying on your tummy and working where they were, it’s impossible.

Keep Breathing

Then, they roll you into the CT machine and take a scan. The doctor comes back in and utters some words like “Looks like we’re heading in the right direction” and they ram the needle in further.

Heading in the right direction

I don’t think a “Sweet Jesus” was what came out the second time. They offered me more local, but does anyone need reminding, a local really does mean ‘local’.

Not sweet Jesus

Then another scan and more core breaking agony. Three times they took to get that needle all the way to where they wanted it. Then they injected me with the Cortisone, or whatever, that was meant to give me blessed relief from the pain.

Another CT Scan

I did feel something shoot down my right leg, but that was it.

I recall getting up after it an asking “What’s next?”

They told me that was it and I could go. OK

My sister had told me, if I was getting an epidural to ask at the end of the procedure “Where’s my baby?”

Wheres my baby

The Jewish doctor and his registrar just looked at me. The female nurse, over to one side gave me a little smile.

Tough crowd.

Anyway, I left the hospital with my mum and was still in pain, but now with a very sore back.

The second one I had at a different hospital, they made me stay lying down for an hour or so afterwards, in a small recovery room with nurses overlooking about six beds. They were very insistent I not get up and walk straight away in case my legs gave way and I fell over. Is that the sure sign it worked? Maybe not, not sure. But I really needed to pee.

Recovery

I was offered a bedpan, seriously, the push bedpans in hospital, like it’s more convenient for them to change the sheets than wheel me to a toilet and wheel me back to bed.

Bedpan

Grudgingly the nurse bought over a walker (you know, not just for old people, but predominantly) and I told her no. She kept insisting and I thought she was very slow for not realising you needed two hands to work one. I growled further to get it out of my way. I’m sure she thought I was the rudest cow in there that day. (I probably was)

Eventually, a wheelchair was produced and I was wheeled to the toilet. The chair pushed so close to the toilet and locked into place, I struggled to wriggle up and around it to wash my hand after I had gone.

Wheelchair

I pressed the duty call button and waited for some time for the nurse to return to me. My mum was patiently waiting my return. My mum was patiently waiting for my return, I briefly contemplated getting up and walking back using the hand rail on the hallway wall as an aide, but I waited.

Call button

I swear I waited twenty minutes, you get I only needed to pee.

The nurse finally retrieved me, stating she only realised I was not in my bed when she did a head-count and realised there was one bed empty. Oh, the call button doesn’t work? Nor did the nerve root injection.

Head Count

But, humoursly, the night light was comment from the nurse that had been in assisting my injection. She must have been new to that area.

An older more experienced nurse enquired as to during all the CT scans if she had protected herself from the radiation.

Radiation

She replied “OH yes! I hid behind the Doctors.”

Oh facepalm.

What about me? I’d suffered four or five, that day, I was informed the staff get fifty or more in a day.

I guess getting a needle rammed into your back with only a local, really doesn’t make for a happy Hellonwheels.

Sad Helen

Radiation

Published July 25, 2016 by helentastic67

Face mask 1

Radiation!

For me I’ve been aware of everything that
has ever happen or
been done to me. I’ve been part of the decision making and
conscious throughout
treatment etc. Some people don’t have that
luxury.

They might be in a car accident or have a
stroke and they
only become aware of this when they wake up in
hospital. Or even after they wake from a coma. That would be very ‘Ordinary’.

My treatment was only about 30 minutes every
day over the
course of about 2 ½ weeks.

Mum and I caught a bus across town to my
hospital and within
an hour mum and I were on the same bus heading
home.

Day one! Turned up to wait for my
appointment.

Think it was about 8am! And it wasn’t long
before a nice
nurse was standing in front of me with a medicine cup held up
with a little white pill in it.

I’ve never been one to just reach for
medications and
considered I wasn’t sick, I was here for
treatment. So, I questioned the need for this medication.

I looked toward my Specialist who was the
Radiologist/Oncologist
who just happened to be coming out of the consultation room
with other Neurosurgeons,
etc and I gave him an appropriate questioning look.

And that was the first dose of the steroid
‘Dexmethazone’ I’ve
ever had.

The treatment was delivered with me lying on
a table and my
head bolted to it with a mask.

This is someone else’s mask (mine was
destroyed) and after the
treatment the mask would leave an itchy honeycombed pattern
across my forehead. (Sexy)
that would take some time to go away. Making me very
self-conscious.

The first night I recall I didn’t sleep. I
may have managed to
get to sleep for an hour or 2 before the alarm went off and
I had to get up and
repeat the process…

Face mask 1a

Day two! Of my treatment the little pill was
presented to me
again. And I asked if I really needed
it?

I explained I hadn’t slept all night. It
was a precaution for if I suffered any brain
swelling. As I had not had a headache after my first treatment I managed to evade more steroids during my treatment faze.

That night, no steroids, slept like a baby.
Overall the
treatments were no drama what so ever. I was very
tired.

Didn’t notice anything unusual until a few
days after my
treatment ended.

At the time I had a boyfriend and some
weekends we has his
daughter stay with us. She was about 4 years
old!

My scalp had been itchy and as it was a Sunday
morning I took
my hair down to wash it and found some mattered bits at the
back of my neck. I
brushed my hair in the shower when I had conditioner in it.
This has been my
practice since I was about 16.

Cure

Published July 22, 2016 by helentastic67

Face mask 5

Cure!

So, let’s get to the ‘thing’!

And I’ll premise it by saying, sometimes its good time has passed because I cannot get caught up in the details. Maybe.

And I can streamline the “thing!”

After a period of seeing a few different Neurosurgeons and a period of time thinking I would have to find money to go to Europe to seek treatment because my AVM was deemed surgically inoperable. I was referred to a hospital across town and it seemed the only treatment I could have to ‘fix’ the problem had come to Melbourne and was covered by the Public Medical System! Yeah!

My AVM, still inoperable could be treated with radiation. Asked what to expect?

In simple terms, I was told I might lose some muscle tone, which I was amused by because it told me they assumed I had muscle tone. I thought I had better get to the gym and get some…

They told me my hair would “thin”.

To be clear my definition of thinning and theirs are completely different.

And they asked if I liked reading? Because I might lose some eyesight.

On the upside, I would potentially obliterate the risk of 2% a year I might suffer a stroke, bleed or worse. I’m not a gambler however if it would ‘fix’ the AVM and I would be able to  illuminate the risk of a bleed, stroke, possible death, then my mum and sister were on-board to have the radiation.

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