August Calendar Page & Life
Hi and welcome to my blog (or welcome back if you’ve visited before).
It’s the start of a new month and time for another calendar page to be decorated, so …
Jump to the “Crafting” section of this blog post to see that if you don’t want to read the next bit through. The photos of the calendar are near the end.
WARNING – MEDICAL SAGA COMING UP!
I was going to plough ahead with Christmas Card Making in July but …
I’m afraid I’ve had a couple of trips that I hadn’t planned on in July – trips by ambulance to hospital.
Monday the 13th July a hernia, that had been more annoying than serious, got worse to the point that I had to call for an ambulance, and I believe I was out cold at one point. Thankfully, after anti nausea drip to stop the wretching and a pain relief drip, as we were heading to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen (a trip of around 30 miles on not such good roads), my intestines started to work their way back in, and after arriving the rest were pushed back in. Blood tests and several X-rays followed before they decided to send me home in the morning and told me to see my GP for more pain meds and to chase up a referal to outpatients to organise a hernia repair. So back home again in an ambulance morning of Tuesday 14th, despite me saying that the hernia was coming out again already. Then there was the worry of COVID-19, (they did keep me separate from everybody as I came from a shielding household but you never know if a staff member could be a non symptomatic carrier,) so had to quarantine myself in my room for most of the time, not going in to Mam’s room at all, mask on whenever I had to come out, spraying everywhere I touched, and enough alcohol sanitiser to give a hangover from the fumes. Thankfully one of my nephews had come over to stay with Mam before I left in the ambulance so stayed after I came home to help, as my insides kept working themselves out, even just sleeping in bed at night, I couldn’t do much of anything, and the Nurse Practitioner at our GP surgery on Thursday warned me to get help if I had trouble getting it back in before my outpatients appointment came through.
So roll on to Tuesday evening the 21st, after a week of constantly holding my belly and pushing anything that came out back in, it came out around 9pm and I just couldn’t get it back in. After three hours of rubbing and pushing I gave up and phoned our doctors surgery thinking they would have it on divert to the out of hours service, but they didn’t, so I had to dial another number. Telephonist took down details and got “Clinician” to call me back. It was 12.30am, while on the phone to the clinician and rubbing my belly at the same time, that I finaly got it back in. The clinician thought I should still speak to a doctor as having loop of intestines out just under the skin for over 3 hours wasn’t good. Some time later the doctor called and said that, despite things now being back in place, he wanted me seen in A&E a.s.a.p. – the morning wouldn’t do. He asked about somebody in the house who could bring me in and I said impossible as the only people here were my 82 year old disabled mother and my 14 year old nephew. So doctor said to leave it with him. I was sort of expecting a call back, but while I was waiting I heard some sounds and clanking from the road out front, and by the time I made it to the door the ambulance people were there. Mam was half awake so I managed to shout and tell her what was happening, Nephew was so fast asleep he heard nothing. By the time I got onto the ambulance it was out again, and I couldn’t get it back in.
I was in Glangwili by about 3am I think. It was a bit more busy than it had been previous time, and, with keeping distancing between patients, etc., there were less places to put patients. After seeing triage I saw doctor. Landed in the plaster room at one time, as it had a bed, so doctor could try and get everything back in again. Didn’t work, so off to some other isolated room to await person on call on surgical team, who also tried to push everything back in and failed. He decided his boss would have to see me, so finally I was sent to an assesment side ward of surgical ward to wait for the surgeon’s ward round, as that would be quicker than waiting in A&E for him to go down after ward round.
After another of the team tried to push again they decided I would need an opperation a.s.a.p., meaning straight into theatr after the current patient in there came out at around mid day, provided nobody with a more life threatening condition came in. One did. So I was waiting until late afternoon before I was wheeled up to theatre. Needless to say I was in serious pain by now despite the drips – all the different people trying to push had left my belly with red marks, black and blue before getting anywhere near the surgeon’s scalpell. No idea how long I was in theatr. I know they took ages to get all the necesary drips and probes into me, and my arms from elbows to wrists are black and blue now. One of the team thought that it was only a roll of fat that was coming out but he did say to me after the operation that I had been right that it was my intestines coming out through the tare in the muscle by the belly button, but that it still looked viable and not totally strangulated and dieing, therefore they hadn’t had to cut any of the intestines out or give me a stoma, which were two of the possibilities they had mentioned pre-op. It seems the whole repair has been done via disolvable stitches, which have not only been used to pull the torn muscles together, but also to strengthen the weak places. A bit of surgical darning I guess. I just hope that the tare and the weak bit have really joined and strengthened well before the stitches disolve – I just have this picture in mind of me moving around one day and everything coming loose like a seam coming loose and everyting inside being visible.
I believe I made it back to the ward around 10pm on Wednesday 22nd. Morphine drip with self administer button overnight, then straight up to a chair Thursday morning after nurses helped me wash and change out of theatr gown to my own clothes. Given first food Thursday lunchtime. Then it was a case of waiting for me to “open my bowels” and for the drain from the wound (which nurse told me is around 10cm in length) to stop dripping so much. During Thursday ward round I was told I might be let home during the weekend, so you could have pushed me over with a feather when, after I’d had a walk to the toilet and was sat out in a chair Friday morning, the ward round took place before I had any breakfast and the surgeon took one look at me, my notes, and my drip, and told the nurse to remove the drip and send me home.
I was down in the discharge lounge before I had a slice of toast, and home before mid day.
Now it’s a case of balancing resting, with moveing around to stop clots, and sitting upright and deep breathing to keep lungs clear as it seems sticking tube down throat to lungs can cause chest infections, on top of praying that I don’t get an infection in the wound, catch COVID as, in addition to the virus itself, the actual coughing could be catastrophic to the repared hernia, and, of course no lifting anything either.
So then I waited for a visit from District nurse on Monday 27th to re-dress the wound and praying that she was happy with how it looked and that there was no sign of any underlieing tareing of muscle or intestines coming near the surface.
Nurse’s verdict was that everything looked fine, and she is due back at some point today for a further check of the wound.
I’ve had my Christmas crafting stuff left out so I can still get on with bits even though I can’t do any lifting. Mostly card making, which I will get back to blogging for you all to see in due course. I have quite a few cards to finish putting their photos into blog posts. Just been a bit shell-shocked by the emergency operation and concentrating on recovery.
But in the meantime …
As I’m sure you can imagine, I was not up to doing a big work of art for my mother’s calendar page for August, but I had to make an effort and get my nephew to stick it up.
If you haven’t seen the previous month’s pages you can see what I put on the January page – here. February page – Here! March page – Here! April page – Here! May page – Here! June page – Here! and July – Here!
What I Did
I was shouting in round my mother’s bedroom door asking what she’d like on her calendar next (had to re-start the 14 day self quarantine isolation again from when I came home from hospital the second time so still not going into her room) and my nephew, who was sitting in with her, said that he could simple throw a piece of fruit pie he’d made and Mam hadn’t finished, and a few other bits at the calendar and see what stuck. Or perhaps put them in a flower press and flatten and dry them first LOL.
This gave me an idea. A montage of some of the things my nephew has cooked while here, as well as the other things he’s had to take over watching over her doing. Everything from nettle soup (for some reason the soup that looked green on my screen printed out much yellower than I wanted) to bread and butter pudding, fruit pie to roast with sprouts. Tablets and inhalers, juices and milk, cereal, etc.
I used Publisher to collect pictures together, searching for photos put online with creative commons licencing to use as nephew hadn’t taken photos of his own cooking. (Just hope nobody’s been putting up other people’s photos with a statement that they have a Creative Commons licence when they had no right to do so. I don’t like using other people’s work on personal projects like this when personal use permission to do so isn’t in place.)
I then took some time cutting out the images, then stuck them onto a single sheet of paper that I’d printed a brown border – the same colour I’d used as a border to the letters of the title “Mis Awst” I’d also printed out.
The finished panel was then stuck up on the calendar with fingerlift tape.
What I Used
- Papermill Direct – 2020 Create-a-Calendar (You can get the 2021 Create-a-Calendar now – I have ordered a couple already.)
- Sheets 120gsm good quality paper – for printing out month title, photos, etc
- Fingerlift Tape
- Bookbinding Glue
The Finished Page
This is the month title strip.
This is the “colage” of images.
This is a photo taken by my nephew after he’d stuck the pieces to my mother’s calendar.
I have several posts part written, and they will appear in due course, as I regain my strength after the operation. Keep an eye out in a week or two for them to start appearing on this blog.
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- You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)
Thank you for reading this blog post – I hope you like what you’ve seen and read.
And thank you to everybody who’s left a comment on my previous blog posts – I really do appreciate you taking the time.
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