Sponge change #7

After a day at home yesterday, and then watching the late night Murray vs Baghdatis tennis match (“Come on Andy!”), I found I couldn’t get to sleep, so instead watched how my two main Linux systems coped with the leap second that was added to time (at midnight UTC, or 1am BST) to keep us in alignment with the planets.

I ended up listening to BBC Radio 4 in parallel, which was interesting, as it’s the first time in a long time (possibly since I was organising scuba diving expeditions) that I’ve actually listened to the shipping forecast in its entirety. Then we had the national anthem; I didn’t stand. And then seven (rather than the normal six) pips on the time signal.

And time rolled over on my Linux systems uneventfully, apparently completely ignoring the extra second. In theory there is a “23:59:60” on such moments, but in practice my systems never saw that, but will have been stretching each subsequent “clock second” a little since then, allowing real time to slowly catch back up with their system clocks, bringing everything back into alignment without any disruption to my systems.

It seems some people weren’t quite so lucky however. I guess my prejudice-ridden aversion to Java-based tools has some advantages after all!

I was scheduled first on my surgeons operating list at 8am, but somehow never seemed to get properly off to sleep, and kept waking up on and off all through the night, so by the time the anesthetist turned up with the theatre nurses around 7:30am to take me through my pre-op check lists, I was pretty frazzled.

Fortunately the whole process was really relaxed and slick from then on, with me whisked down to theatre, up on the operating table, and a cannula in the back of my hand in next to no time. The anesthetist popped some Fentanyl in, the world went a bit fuzzy, and then it was lights out with some Propofol.

When I eventually came around it was apparently in my own room again. Which clearly wasn’t the case, because I must have come around in recovery first, otherwise I wouldn’t have been allowed to be taken back up to the ward. So I guess the anesthetist was also playing around with some benzodiazepines (midazolam or temazepam perhaps?) too. This would tend to indicate that they needed some muscle relaxant effects to help position the new endosponges, so I’m glad I was well out. In any case, it was 10:30 when I woke up, and all I was fit for was to go back to sleep for a while longer.

My surgeon then called through to the ward around 11:00am, which finally dragged me out of bed to talk to him. Fundamentally he is pleased with the effect of sponge change #6, where he placed an endosponge in the lumen of the colon, pressing on the front wall of the cavity, and applying suction to the entrance to the abscess. This time he has tried to build on that by putting one radically cut-down endosponge back inside the cavity, and another in the lumen of the colon to help compress the abscess cavity, and apply plenty of suction through the entrance to the abscess. We’ll see if that has the desired effect of allowing the cavity to start knitting back together on Wednesday.

He also recommended that as soon as I felt up to it I get out of hospital, and head home, only coming back into hospital for my next procedure on Wednesday. His view is that I no longer need to be treated as an in-patient, and I’ll recover better at home than in hospital from now on. He’ll give me a call at home to confirm the exact timings of my next procedure, and hence what time I need to present myself back at hospital.

And so I am now at home. Which feels both great, and slightly odd. Odd because I’m still playing sartorial jigsaws, and carting around vacuum drains, and generally falling asleep whenever I sit still for more than a few minutes. But great because home is where your heart is, and I’m sure the surgeon is right – I’ll recover better here than in a hospital room – even one with a great view!


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