It’s been a while


It’s been a month or so since my last post, and a few things have happened since then. The video change that I mentioned last time worked, thankfully. Which was more than we hoped for. Both K*** and I had this fear that it might cause a problem for the driver on his way in the morning. Fortunately that issue did not arise. We now think that so long as R*** knows what is happening and so long as it happens, he is more or less fine with it.

Two weeks ago, I had to go into work to have a chat with my line manager. Because I have had more than four week continuous sick leave, I have hit a ‘trigger’ in our attendance management policy that requires me to be interviewed about how they can support my return to work. My line manager was furious about this and I understand that she had a few choice words with our HR department. Now I understand the need for the policy, however there needs to be some form of flexibility built in that allows for the fact that some people are not at work for a damn good reason. In my case, recovering from heart surgery and being told by the surgeon that I would not be able to work for three months after to operation. It does not matter that some system in HR has hit a flag, it’s down to the medical staff when I’m fit to return, not some piece of computer software. Rant over!!!

The new work structure has been issued, and it does nothing to suppress any worries I have. We’ve been told that there are enough jobs to go around, with some spare, but are those positions at the same grade that staff are at now? Will there be enough grades at my level for all those at the same grade? Without knowing what grades we currently have, it’s impossible to know what the changes might be. The meeting was only held on Friday, so those questions may have been answered. I will wait until the minutes come out, before I start asking any questions.

Talking about work, K*** and I are in the process of changing S****s old room into more of an office, than a bedroom. We had decided that it would be a good idea, when I work from home, for me to utilise this now spare room, to work from. But we have taken it a step further, and although the bed is still in there, my work computer is all set up.

On Tuesday, I am going for my 1st Out Patients appointment since being discharged from the hospital. This is where I find out that I can drive again and can remove these ‘anti-embolism’ stockings for good. It is also the date when I should be told when I can go back to work. I’ve started making some plans, but cannot be more definite until after this appointment. I fear driving will be a bit of an issue. I have to inform the insurance company about my operation and I think it will mean a large hike in the premiums. I don’t see why it should be a problem, but we shall see. You know what insurance companies are like.

And now me! I feel a thousand time better than I did this time in June. It is hard to believe that such a small piece of hardware can make such a difference, but I can assure you it does! I still have a chest that aches like I have run into a brick wall, but there has never been the pain that others appear to have had. My problem seems to be one of backache. It comes on around half four in the morning and makes sleeping very uncomfortable. I’ve been told that backache is one of the side effects of the operation and that it does go away in time. Hopefully that is true. The valve seems to be working fine and as expected, it can be heard. It sounds different and different time, but mainly seems to be a clicking noise on the left hand side of the scar. Most people can hear it, and S**** seems to think it is quite cool!! I found a picture of the thing they used and I was very surprised how simple it looked. I don’t know what I was expecting though.

I think that is about all, except that K*** has decided that we need new PVC windows and doors. Groan!! That is happening in just under a fortnight, and we have been told that it will all be done in a day!! Will let you know on that one after the event!

Life changer + 22 …. feeling a lot (little) easier


Well today went better than I expected. After a 1 hour wait, I saw the surgeon (or at least his registrar.) We had a very relaxed meeting/consultancy and quite a lot of things were discussed. It would seem now that, after all my doctor/consultant said, it may be possible to repair rather than replace the dodgy valve. A repair would be very much more preferable to a replacement, or so they say. It all depends on the day of the operation on which way they go.

Was told, that I should hear in the next two weeks or so, about the actual date of the ‘procedure’ which should be in three to four months. I now have more time to plan things out both in my head and at work/home. That makes me a lot happier!! I’m no longer thinking that this is a ‘life or death’ situation that the urgency of the past three weeks has hinted at. So I’m more relaxed about the whole thing. This ‘worst case scenario’ can often be more of a hindrance than a help.

So stay tuned, but it could be a few more weeks before Life changer + XX gets another outing.

Life changing day . . . .


    As the title says, today was life changing. I may have mentioned it before, but I have what is called an Abnormal Heart Murmur or a Regurgitation or more commonly, a Leaky Valve. I’ve probably had it since I was born, but it was only noticed about 8 years ago. Since then, I have been regularly monitored at hospital. There has always been the view, by the doctor, that one day, the valve would need replacing. It has always been, in the doctors words “…. a conversation for the future…” That future arrived today. I had my regular ultrasound appointment closely followed by an appointment with my doctor. I had the strange sense that something was different during the scan. It normally take 20 – 25 at the most, but on the doctors’ instruction, the radiologist took a lot more readings, and in the end, it was nearly 50 minutes before the job was done. It was now time to see my doctor, Dr Mc****y.

    The results of the scan, were a bit late in coming from the radiology department, so I had a bit of a wait before I was allowed into see Dr M. When I say ‘… a bit of a wait…’ it was about 45 minutes, which I don’t consider long at all. You should have heard the moans and groans from the patients that were there. Everyone was complaining about how long it was taking and how long they were delayed. For f**k sake, it’s not the end of the world if you have to wait 30 – 40 minutes to see your doctor. It is usually because some earlier patient was late or had been given some bad news. Just get over yourself, you’re not the only important person in the place !!!!! I apologise for the mini rant, but it does get me so cross.

But I digress. So my notes are delivered and after another 5 minutes, my turn comes. Dr M asked how I was and asked the usual questions eg do I get out of breath, can I still do everything I used to etc etc. I usually say I’m fine, but recently, I have been getting a little out of breath doing things like climbing stairs. That was it! He was like a cougar, jumping into action. He examined me for about 10 minutes and then hit me with the bombshell …… “I think I need to talk to the surgeon at the next meeting.” I just sat there nodding and saying shit like “fine” and “okay” and “I understand”. What he was basically saying, and he did not mince his words, was that I need my mitral valve replacing, and it needed doing soon.

I shall leave this as a bit of a cliff hanger …… to be continued!