Tuesday, October 24, 2017

On the Opening and Closing of Doors


Well, life has certainly been eventful, and frustrating, since my fall ( & but, nothing really much in any way I could regard as positive. Because my PPI (omeprazole) was not compatible with the clopidogrel, the GP switched my prescription back to lansoprazole; I had taken lansoprazole for a number of years and had discovered the most effective dosage was 30mg twice per day, morning and evening. It, therefore, came as something of a surprise to find that I had only been prescribed 15mg once per day.

The new medication regime began on the 19th September but, so painful and discomforting had my GORD and IBS symptoms become, that by the 27th September it became essential for me to have an emergency appointment at my GP surgery. The appointment was with a nurse practitioner who duly increased my dosage to 30mg once per day.  Even with this dosage, I still had to resort to a strong antacid each evening.

Meanwhile, I was twice proffered an earlier appointment (in a saga which began a few months back) with the surgeon to discuss removal of my gall bladder but, I automatically declined as I now needed to get into a pattern with the amlodipine & clopidogrel and, I realized that if an operation was to take place I would need to be off the clopidogrel for around one week.

By way of diversion, we have an additional resident chez nous. Beth, the eldest of my two step-daughters, was discharged from hospital in York on 10th October following a bicycle accident on the 3rd. She has a fracture in the neck of her humerus, necessitating immobilizing of her right arm and plates in her jaw at the sites of two of her three jaw fractures. This latter condition means that she is only able to manage soft / pureed food. My beloved OH has to help her both to dress and to bathe / shower.

Eventually the pre-arranged appointment, on the 23rd October arrived and ma belle chauffeuse accompanied me to the clinic at the District Hospital. The doctor soon explained to me that as I had recently had a stroke, albeit a minor one, she would be unable to carry out the operation as the anaesthetic required could trigger a further more severe stroke and, although I could apply for referral after six months of reasonably good health, she personally didn’t seem much in favour of this, as she felt there would still be the risk of a more major stroke. When my beloved asked the surgeon what should happen if I had a further infection of the gall bladder, she suggested that antibiotics, albeit with the possibility of increased antibiotic resistance, were much preferable to a risk of paralysis. She was of course aware of my family history [my mother suffered a major stroke within seven days of experiencing a TIA – spending her remaining years with total paralysis of one side of her body – when she was of an age only marginally advanced from my current state of being].

Whilst I was somewhat relieved that the doctor hadn’t pussyfooted about the rather stark options, it did seem to emphasize the whole mortality issue as, later in the day, I began to feel a sense of desolation regarding an apparent futility of existence. I wondered, for a while, if I was reverting to a state of depression! In the clear light of a new day, chronic illness notwithstanding, I was so blessed with a loving wife and family, a catholic taste and enjoyment of various musical genres, literature, fine arts, and a faith that never lets go of me even when belief has evaporated.

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