Monday, 5 September 2011

Speed Bumps

I had been warned there would be a speed bump or two along my road to recovery, and I hit one these last few days. To me it is actually good news, but what it meant was a rather difficult time with pain/sleep/fever, and me failing to get to see my father and father-in-law on Sunday. As I mentioned in my last entry I had even experiencing some new pains in my abdomen. I was quite uncomfortable on Thursday, and woke up on Friday in the same level of discomfort (which is unusual as I normally wake up feeling pretty good). The discomfort moved to pain fairly quickly and I eventually took one of my old pain pills (I had not taken one of these for weeks and had packed them away - I had resisted taking them because it felt like a step backward). I did manage to walk down to my daughter's school performance, but I was clearly in a bit of bother, which I am sure made a number of people seeing me for the first time feel even more concerned. I was driven home by a family friend, and then things began to deteriorate quite rapidly. A gastro surgeon (another family friend) came to see me around 5 pm and he described the most likely explanation for what was going on. I had probably had a bleed in/around the liver as a result of the tumor necrosis - there was a very focal spot for my pain. He explained what would most likely happen if I went to hospital (and there is no doubt I would be admitted if I went to the emergency room). We agreed that if I could hang out at home with the pain meds I had I would be more comfortable in terms of having Patti nearby and being in my own bed. So we decided to plan for the worst (get ready to go to hospital, letting one or two people know that I might be coming) and hope for the best. And if I did need to go then I was to call my surgeon friend immediately, irrespective of the time of night or day.
Thankfully I managed to get ahead of the pain that night, although there was not a lot of sleep. I was told, and can confirm for myself, that can quite difficult to get ahead of pain if you wait too long (as I had done) before starting to take any pain relief. That is a lesson learnt for me.
The next day the pain was properly under control but with so many drugs in my system, I slept for a lot of the day. I did get up for dinner and stayed up a couple of hours. Sunday was pretty good, a bit of pain so just a few of the extra pain meds, which meant I slept a bit more. Today I woke up with a fever (I have had a fever most days as well) but that seems to have gone now. I am really looking forward to my lunch - I had continued to eat during this speed bump but I did eat my normal amount until last night. So far today I have taken none of the extra pain meds as I have not needed them.
I consider all the above good news and just part of the journey I am having to go through. The tumors are breaking down and the body has some work to do get rid of them. I expect this may all happen again at some point. During this speed bump my energy levels never really dropped - I was feeling good within myself. I am not sure when I will be up and about again as I things are tender, but I don't expect it will be too long from now. After all, there are things happening at my kids schools that I want to go and watch.


At 6 September 2011 at 17:07 , Anonymous Beryl Heka said...

Hey Andrew,
I'm hoping you still remember me...Patti's cousin Beryl, the one you to pull my hair when you would sit behind me...I had to send something via Dad's email that was received from Anna and she posted your link for him to check out. Dad's in Karratha, Western Australia at the moment for work and won't be back until 28 September. Very sorry to hear the sad circumstances that you have at this time....I've been reading your journey to fight this battle. I am admiring your strength and ability to fight this illness, and that you have the support of Patti, Zeke, Xanthe, the huge family and friends behind you to give you that massive support...No doubt Andrew you will definite pull thru this as I've known you to be a very strong man who can conquer anything! Much love to you Andrew, from the Brisbane crew and the Auckland crew xxx The Heka Family


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