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All That I Am - Part 12

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(cont. from Part 11)


Building the dream was a term I've never liked to use. For one, it is more like a nightmare scenario. Four years living in a tin can and the worst years of my illness to boot. Our mobile home just large enough to swing a cat and small enough for absolutely no privacy. It was an igloo in winter, sweat box in summer and most of the time plain old damp! The events which took place after the front wall fell down might have made the decision to give up easy for us, but it didn't. My hubby was determined to carry on and I suppose this was the one time he happened to be right.


We sourced a stone mason who came and put back the front wall even better than it was before. My hubby and I set about rebuilding the brick gable and turning our new found skills into those of a carpenters, plumbers and all round house renovators, with a few arguments along the way. I remember standing back admiring the work when the postman arrived with a letter I'd been waiting for.

I'd decided to have elective surgery on my stomach, a Nissen Fundoplication (stomach wrap). I'd waited two whole years because in the midst of everything, they thought I had angina! Tests on my heart proved otherwise and I was rebooked for surgery. That was August of 2004.


I was admitted on the morning of August 25th. They immediately began checks and made me ready for surgery. The only thing they couldn't do was site a cannula. They tried in vain finally succumbing, sending me down to the theatre hoping the aneasthetist could do better. It was all getting rather panicky at this point until they managed with one last attempt and then I can't remember what happened next! It was evening when I finally came round. I was on oxygen and couldn't breathe very well. A nurse was close by and she came over to say that I'd given them quite a scare and asked if I felt okay. I didn't feel 100% obviously, but I'd just had surgery -- how was I supposed to feel?


I was given a drink of water which immediately came back so violently that I almost soaked the nurse. "Never mind," she said, "It usually happens." I was sleepy for most of the night and the next day I didn't feel much better. Another drink had come straight back, then another and another. I couldn't swallow anything. They didn't seem too worried, but by the end of the day they began to show some concern as I began to dehydrate somewhat. That night I began to vomit even though I had nothing inside my stomach. The nurse was becoming quite worried about my internal stitches and injected me every 4 hours with anti-sickness drugs. By the following morning I felt so sick that the doctor was called and a plan of action was needed.


They decided to place a nasal gastric tube into my stomach just to give me some hydration at first but after yet another day of vomiting, they began to feed me through it as well. It was now 4 days since admission and no sign of going home. They told me I would only be in hospital for 3 days at the very most, yet there I was 4 days and counting. I was begining to lose weight and I didn't look very well at all. After 10 days they sent me home with the tube still in situ and a whole lot of liquid nutrition. I was to go back in 2 weeks, but I never got that far. I became extremely ill. mostly due to dehydration. I couldn't feed and put water down at the same time and I was also begining to have a lot of pain. This began a whole new chapter in my life and one I'm still writing today!

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