Hot off the press

August 4, 2009

Steph might be going home from hospital tomorrow. No kidding! I mean home to stay, to sleep in my own bed. The osteomyelitis is in retreat and I’m on the fast road out of here.


The surgical team paid a visit early this morning to review my blood tests and discuss the plan to change from intra-venous to oral antibiotics. Within an hour, my head had been examined endoscopically and the surgeon reported back that good progress had been made. The raw bone inside my head is covered with granulation tissue, a sign that normal healing is taking place.

By lunchtime, microbiology had approved a change onto oral antibiotics and my current treatment for colitis had been reviewed by the gastroenterology team. Matilda now sits forlorn beside my bed, no longer required. Instead, I’ve a feast of antibiotics to swallow at regular periods throughout the day.  A  24-hour test run is underway to see if the colitis can withstand the new regime. If I maintain a stable path overnight, the central line to my chest will be removed and I will be allowed home by tomorrow evening to continue treatment from the comfort of my own home.

I just thought you might like to know.  Fingers (and legs) crossed.

UPDATE: (Wednesday 11 am) It’s for definite! The central line is now out of my chest and I’m on my way home today. Yabba, dabba do! Next post from home.

Check ‘N Go

June 9, 2009

I’ve booked so many flights over the last few days, I really don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I seem to have multiple trips to Nottingham booked and also a return ticket to London for Wimbledon but I’ve a little hurdle to get over between now and the tennis.  I’ve got a date (not THAT sort of date, Grannymar) and I’ve got funding too.

It’s been some week.  Since hearing of the date for my surgery in Nottingham, I’ve been struggling to get funding organised for the operation. When you require treatment outside Ireland, my health insurance company stipulates that you must gain prior approval for funding. There is a long list of criteria to be met and even though I hold comprehensive insurance, funding is automatically refused if surgery proceeds without prior approval. As very short notice was given for my surgery, an urgent application was submitted for approval and we waited with baited breath all week. Thankfully, the green light was given on Friday so now my surgery can proceed.

I travel to Nottingham early tomorrow for admission to a specialist unit at the hospital where I will be prepared for image-guided surgery on my head the following day.  A recent CT scan has revealed further osteomyelitic changes in the bone above and behind my right eye. This diseased bone is in close proximity to the frontal lobe of my brain hence complex surgery is required. Years of severe sinus infections with abscess formation have left the area well-scarred.  All being well, the endoscopic surgery should be completed in 2-3 hours and I hope  to be able to return to Ireland by early next week.  That’s when the fun really starts.

Surgery for chronic osteomyelitis involves detailed follow-up. Long-term antibiotic treatment is required and I will also have a drain exiting near my eye for several weeks post-op. This drain will be used to irrigate the operated area daily with targeted drugs.  I will be taught how to carry out this procedure myself while in hospital so that treatment can be continued at home. I will then return to Nottingham again for review and to have the drain removed.

When I first heard of the date for surgery, my heart fell as I have two tickets for a day at Wimbledon. I entered my name into the public ballot last autumn and hit lucky by getting two tickets for Court No 1.  This was like a dream come true so I didn’t hesitate in purchasing them along with flights to London.  News of my surgery initially dashed these plans but I haven’t quite given up hope yet.

My review in Nottingham happens to be on the day before I was due to travel to London to attend Wimbledon. I will fly to Nottingham for the check-up and overnight there before returning to Dublin.  However, I have a second plan up my sleeve which if it works out, will be a real coup. If I feel well enough after my check-up, I plan to travel on to London by train to overnight with my twin brother who will accompany me to Wimbledon the following day. I’ll then spend a second night in London before returning home on the flight I originally booked many months ago.  This probably all sounds a bit daft right now but it’s where I have my sights set. If I do make it to Wimbledon, it’ll be the best tonic ever.

My long suffering hubby will be with me in Nottingham and so I hope to have occasional access to his laptop while in hospital. I will do my best to update you on my progress and promise not to scare you with any gorey details. I would really welcome comments and while I may not always get to answer them, I would still love to hear from you.  On that note, it’s time for me to Check ‘N Go and get organised for tomorrow. I’ll be back soon!


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