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Monday, May 04, 2015

Pre-op and Post-Op

Well it has been a trip let me tell you.

Les was instructed to call in last Wednesday at 10 am to find out what time to check in to the RFH. He called and said to the gal, "Hello I am Mr. Les Biggs calling to find out what time I am to be admitted today."

She replied, "Are you coming in today?" Well duh I mean that is why he was calling and what he just said was basically can you tell me what time to come in!! After saying something more polite along these lines she wandered off and came back five minutes later with instructions for Les to call in between 4 and 6 p.m.

We passed the day keeping Les busy so he wouldn't stress and become anxious. He called in at 4:15 p.m. to be told they knew nothing at that point and someone would call him between 6 and 8 p.m. He explained (once again) that we were not locally in London and he needed time to take a two trains and a bus to get to the RFH.

The phone rang at 5:30 and Les was told they had a bed for him on ward 9 West and could he please be there by 8 p.m. Les screamed off to catch the first train. 

Forty five minutes later my phone rang and it was Les telling me the overhead train lines were down and the train was stuck in Watford. I told Him I would call the RFH and let them know he was running a little late due to train issues so DON'T GIVE HIS BED AWAY!!!!

I called the admissions number and was placed on hold for 20 minutes. When a recorded voice informed me I was now at the front of the phone queue, suddenly I was disconnected. I called a different admissions number and got through to a human being right away, explaining the situation. He transferred me to the after hours bed manager who picked up immediately. I gave my name, and said, "I am calling on behalf of my husband Mr. Leslie Biggs. Do you need his NHS number?"

   "Oh hello there. No I have all of Mr. Biggs' details. I am sorry, I'm afraid we haven't got a bed for him."
At this point I lost it. I said, "OH NO-NO!! You have to have a bed for my husband. Someone called him this afternoon and told him they had a bed. He is on his way right now!"
   "Well I am sorry but there is no bed and this is an elective surgery--"
   "No it's not elective. My husband has cancer and this surgery has already been canceled once--you cannot cancel it again."
   "Okay, Mrs. Biggs, Okay we'll find Mr. Biggs a bed." This makes me wonder how often Brits cave in and say "Oh, Okay. Well thank you for your time. I guess I'll wait to hear about a new appointment--again."

I didn't tell Les what had occurred because I knew he would have a melt down. When he arrived at 9 West the sister told him, "We don't have a bed for you Mr. Biggs, but there are plenty of beds around so let me call the after hours bed manager. Which she did and they settled him in on Ward 10 North.

I received a call at 10:30 the next morning while I was on the train to London. It was a nurse from ward 10N letting me know that Les had just gone down for his procedure. When I arrived at Euston Station I purchased two healthy lunches to take to the hospital and caught the bus.

When I arrived Les was sitting up in bed semi-alert. He was frowning. I said, "Hi baby. What's wrong?"
   "Come over here and look at this!" Les replied with a scowl as he lifted his hospital gown. There was a bandage on the right side of his chest. I said, "What does this mean?"
   "When I got down to the procedure room, the radiologist bloke and nurses got me all prepped and then he said, "'All right, Mr. Biggs now we are going to place you under General Anesthesia and we will get started."
"How will you do this--are you going to make three insertions in my left lung in each place or are you just putting the needle in once and moving it around to reach all the lesions?"
The radiologist looked puzzled and said, "Mr. Biggs I don't think you understand what's happening here"
   "I think I understand quite well. You are going to burn three lesions off my left lung."
   "You have two lesions on your left lung. One on the lower quadrant which has been there since your first CAT scan with the RFH in 2014. It has not changed and we believe it is benign. There is a second very tiny lesion in the upper quadrant of your left lung. There is a larger lesion of 8 MM in your right lung and that is the one we are going to do today. We cannot do this procedure on both lungs at the same time as both lungs could collapse and you would be a lot of trouble so we will do the right lung today and take care of the large lesion and then you will come back in 4-5 weeks and we will do both lesions on your left lung at that time."'

Well shucky darn!! So this is all contrary to what the doctors told us in the team meeting on the 24th of March. No one mentioned anything on the right lung. We were told three lesions on the left lung. And now we are going to have to go through all this happy crap all over again--scheduling the procedure, calling in, being denied and canceled, rescheduling the procedure, calling in, etc. etc. etc.

The Radiologist also told Les that while the results of RFA destruction of lesions "is brilliant, almost always," there is also a possibility that one or two errant cancer cells could be floating around in his blood stream now, and might set up house in his liver again.

The up side is that Les came through the procedure just fine and the nursing care he had while in hospital was absolutely stellar and I want to underscore this statement as there are many who read our blog and think I am totally unreasonable and feel I unjustly attack the NHS. 

Les had no pain after the local and GA wore off but he is tender and sore now and spitting up blood clots. He was sent home without any discharge notes or instructions on what to expect or signs to watch out for so I am trying using common sense to dictate behavior.

I could not sleep while Les was in hospital so I cleaned, scrubbing the grout on the bathroom tiles, emptying out cupboards and drawers and wiping everything down, putting our winter clothes away and bringing our summer clothes out, doing laundry, cleaning out the fridge, filling the coal bucket, bringing in wood to dry and stack near the stove.

We took on a large Tesco order yesterday and filled up with water, and that knackered Les out completely and was his body's way of letting him know he had done too much (and he should listen to his wife!). Les hates being unable to do what he wants. He is loathe to allow me to do anything when in fact, I can handle it just fine. He is not the best of patients and I understand that all too well having been there, done that, with the scars to prove it. So now we wait, rest and gather our energy for RFA round two.


Les Biggs said...

I will never give in to this disease as long as I can breath the fight goes on.
Our hope is that by making this fight public it might in some way help someone to also be strong.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Mr Biggs, It is time you listened to your wife! Stop wasting energy doing boatie tasks and focus it on getting your body back in shape. You've just had an anaesthetic, mate, and a long poky thing stuck into your lung, waggled about with a burnie thing to knock off a nasty lesion. Give your body a chance to recover. Stop puffing yourself out and let your lung heal. Sit down and behave or I will come over there and make you! Ooh, I am coming over anyway, but I can add modifying your behaviour to my list of Must do tasks. You have been warned and there are a number of chaps I can refer you to who will confirm that I am pretty mean when it comes down to it ...
Biggs hugs, Mr B, and take good care of your self and let that Fab Jaq deal with the boat in the meantime! You know she can - she proved that last year and the year before - you taught her well.

Anonymous said...

Well said there M McD ...... and I hope you are doing just that Mr B .....!!! Bestest ever wishes to you both, love and hugs xxxA

Mike Muir said...

Glad you have got through another bout of Hospitalization, Les, but do take it a bit easier!!!
Jaq, re NHS, you are telling it as you see it happening to you. Keep it up!

Les Biggs said...

Hi M
Never have been a good patient and want to get things done as soon as i feel ok. Trouble is a lot of the time I`m not as ok as I thought. Getting better now and leaving more to Jaq.

Les Biggs said...

Hello A you lovely lady. Miss not seeing you. Happy boating, get that boat out of the marina.

Les Biggs said...

Hello Mike
Yep another battle just makes me wonder how many more. Bring it on Mr. C I`m hard to beat.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs