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Year View| Summary| Highlights| September 2002 (Month View)

01.09.2002Sunday 1 September

I ate a tiny bit of breakfast and had an X-Ray at a quarter to ten. The physio came and saw me and showed me how to do breathing exercises and various things. Dr Santiago came and said the hole in my lung appeared to be slowly closing up but could take up to 14 days. Ketamine was added to my morphine to make it stronger. I have a Patient Controlled Analgesic, which is basically a button that I can push which will inject morphine into an intravenous drip. It has various time-outs on it so I can’t overdose. I had another X-Ray, which showed my lung was fully expanded. Dr Diqer came and said to take the bottom two chest drains out, but fortunately Dr Santiago came back later and said they would only remove the bottom drain as it no longer served a purpose, the lung being expanded. I couldn’t eat any dinner, as I was too ill. At 10:30 PM Dr Susan, a young doctor, came and removed the bottom chest drain, which was briefly very painful. During the night I began to die and the nurses called a Dr who did an ECG and various tests and concluded I was only having an anxiety attack. I believe I could feel my lung collapsing and that it wasn’t an anxiety attack.

02.09.2002Monday 2 September

I ate half a weetbix for breakfast, after which they clamped the suction off. Seeing as I couldn’t breath and it hurt like hell, they had to undo the clamp and at 10 AM just removed the suction but left the drains operating instead. A nurse came and washed me and brushed my teeth for the first time since being in hospital, and then changed my dressings. I skipped lunch, as I was still feeling very nauseous, instead having an X-Ray at 12:30. Dr Singh came around 5 PM and said that my lung had collapsed severely and put it back on suction. 20 on the top drain and 30 on the bottom one, probably for three days and hope the lung stays up this time. I was put on three hourly Maxalon to try and stop my nausea, but still couldn’t eat dinner. Another X-Ray at 7:30 PM and I managed to eat a quarter of a sandwich and had a good sleep.

03.09.2002Tuesday 3 September

I felt a bit better and ate some Kellogg’s Just Right for breakfast. I had another X-Ray. A Dr came and told me that yesterdays X–Ray showed that my lung is still not fully up. 10:30 and I had another tooth and body wash followed by a dressing change then lunch, when I managed to eat a small plain white bread roll. A doctor came and told me that this mornings X-Ray shows that my lung is still slightly down. I couldn’t eat any tea, it looked too awful, but Mum got me some chips that I managed to eat. I also ate some Pizza Shapes. Dr Diqer turned up around 7 PM and said that they would wait for about a week after which if there was no improvement they’d have to think of something else drastic to do. He also cancelled the physio, told me to cease my breathing exercises and try to get off the morphine.

04.09.2002Wednesday 4 September

I had a goodnights sleep last night, and ate my porridge and bun for breakfast. Dr Santiago came and said they would keep on as before, and that I must do a little exercise and coughing or I’d atrophy and get all sorts of nasty things. Coughing removes the phlegm, which if not removed leads to infection. I had another wash. The top drain stopped bubbling although the bottom drain is still bubbling freely. The Acute Pain Team Anaesthetist came and said they would remove the morphine and try some other drugs. I managed to drink a poppa and some milk. 11:15 AM the morphine was taken off and I had my first Tramadol at 12:45 PM, to be taken 12 hourly thereafter. I ate a small amount of lunch and then my cannula (intravenous drip) seized up. Dr Singh came and said they’d take an X-Ray tomorrow. I ate a little dinner.

05.09.2002Thursday 5 September

I ate my breakfast, had an X-Ray and had some blood taken. I was then moved to another bed across the room, which was closer to the bathroom, allowing me to go to the bathroom while still piped with longer tubes into the vacuum outlet (or inlet?) on the wall. Still no bubbles from the top drain and the bubbles are slowing in the bottom drain. All three Dr’s came, Diqer who is the cardiologist thoracic consultant, and Singh and Santiago who are the cardiac/thoracic surgeons and who operated on me. They said to wait. I had my first shower by myself in the bathroom and ate most of my lunch. I also went to the toilet for the first time since admission. 5 PM they put in my new I.V cannula, which only has antibiotics running through it now. One of the nurses discovered that the suction to my tubes had been switched around in the bed move so that I had 20 suction on the 30 drain and vice versa for the past eight or nine hours. A few bubbles were seen escaping my top drain around 4:30 PM. I ate my dinner and feel much better overall. I am having eight hourly Tramadol (100 mg) and paracetamol four times a day.

06.09.2002Friday 6 September

Still no bubbles from my top drain although the bottom drain still bubbles. The Dr’s visited. Yesterdays X-Ray showed a small pneumothorax and they will give me another X-Ray on Sunday. Both suctions were put on 20. Pasta Neapolitan for lunch. My dressings were changed after lunch. Dr Diqer and Dr Singh came after 4 PM and said to wait and hope.

07.09.2002Saturday 7 September

I waited and hoped.

08.09.2002Sunday 8 September

A blood sample and X-Ray were taken; showing the lung still slightly down on the side Dr Singh came and said they would wait three days. At 11:15 AM Dr Diqer came and ordered the suction off, then on for five minutes in the hour and continue for 24 hours and that they will wait until the end of the week before declaring me unfixable. My dressing was changed and the first stitches removed at noon. The suction was then turned off for 55 minutes and on for five each hour, although this usually ended up being off for an hour and half and on for a quarter of an hour with the nurses being busy. I had another anxiety attack tonight and had some sleeping pills.

09.09.2002Monday 9 September

X-Ray taken and Dr Diqer said it showed the lung was up, although slightly down on the outer side and he would continue the five minute suction per hour for another 24 hours, and if the lung is still up on tomorrows X-Ray he would clamp the tubes for 24 hours then if still up I can be discharged. At 4:30 Dr Singh came and at 5:30 Dr Santiago came, in a rare moment of agreement, all said the same as Dr Diqer. Another sleeping pill and I still couldn’t sleep.

10.09.2002Tuesday 10 September

The following entry has been edited to remove incorrect information and an identifiable name upon request.
  Yet another X-Ray. The lung is still up, with a tiny bit down on one side. At 10:30 AM the suction tubes were clamped. At midday Dr Johnny came and said they’d take another X-Ray in the evening and another in the morning. At 4:30 an X-Ray was taken showing the lung still up. Dr Santiago said I’d have another X-Ray in the morning and if the lung is still up he would take the top tube out, then another X-Ray and if the lung is still up take the bottom tube out followed by another X-Ray. He also said that the lung tissue pathology had showed that my lungs have the potential to develop these holes, that the tissue contains small “bubbles” that can burst.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 21 February 2004, 12:06 AM
  I got an email today informing me that this entry was incorrect and requesting that someone’s name be removed, so I’ve now done that.

11.09.2002Wednesday 11 September

I had an early X-Ray showing my lung was still up. Dr Verdi (The head of the cardiac/thoracic department) came back from India (he’s an Indian) and called in to give his opinion. It seems as if he agrees with everyone else. I had 5 mg of morphine in my tummy, and then at 2:10 PM Dr Santiago came and pulled out the top drain. I had to hold my breath as hard as I possibly could, and he un-sewed it and pulled it out. Another X-Ray was taken, and Dr Singh came and said they would probably take another X-Ray in the morning but not pull the other tube out now. Dr Santiago came about an hour later and said the X-Ray shows the lung stuck up at the top, but down at the side. All the fluid at the bottom of the lung is gone. 3:55 PM and I am put back on 20 suction. Lots and lots of bubbling and pain and cramp so I got some more morphine, subcutaneously. Dr Santiago came at 6 and looked at the drains. I started on laxatives tonight.

12.09.2002Thursday 12 September

Dr Diqer said to take and X-Ray and then if the lung is up, do the same five minutes of suction per hour as before. Dr Verdi came and said to take the drains out if the X-Rays are Ok. I had stomach cramps all morning and the drain still bubbling a lot. Around 11, Dr Johnny came and said the lung is up. I notice that the drain tube has become disconnected under some tape and get Dr Johnny to fix it. As soon as it is fixed the bubbling stops. I have another X-Ray immediately and the lung is still up. I believe the drain probably became dislodged yesterday when having my other drain removed, and that it probably caused the further collapse of my lung and is the reason the drain bubbled all night. The fact that the lung stayed up while the tube was leaking is good. I went to the toilet at just before midday, which was very cramped and painful, after which the drains were put back on their five minute per hour routine, and no bubbles were to be seen. Dr Johnny came and said the lung looked good still. I had my dressings changed at two; Dr Santiago came at 3:30 and said the same as Dr Johnny. I told him about the leaking tube. Dr Santiago came again at 5:30 and checked the drain to make sure it’s not blocked and is going OK.

13.09.2002Friday 13 September – Black Friday

Dr Singh and Dr Santiago came early and didn’t say much as I’d not yet had my X-Ray. I had my X-Ray around eight, with the Dr’s coming at ten to tell me the lung is still up, with only a very small part on the side collapsed. Dr Santiago came at a quarter to twelve and said that we will continue what’s being done until tomorrow, take another X-Ray then and if that’s ok he’ll come and clamp the tube. Just after four Dr Singh and Dr Johnny came and said they’d switch off the suction this evening but at 6:30 Dr Santiago came again and said to continue with the five minute suction until the morning. A lot of the fluid syphoned out of the drain bottle and halfway up my tube, which worried me a bit.

14.09.2002Saturday 14 September

I was allowed out of my room for the first time since coming to hospital. The suction tube was taken off the wall and I was wheeled down for a proper X-Ray at medical imaging. Nice to see some different windows with different views. The X-Ray shows the lung is up, so suction is removed completely. Dr Diqer came at midday and said that I’d have no suction for 48 hours and then if it was still ok they’d clamp the tube.

15.09.2002Sunday 15 September

Dr Santiago came and said I’d have an X-Ray tomorrow and if that was ok clamp the tube.

16.09.2002Monday 16 September

I had an early morning X-Ray and had the clamps put on my drain at 10 AM. At 5 PM Dr Santiago came and said this mornings X-Ray looked good and they will take another tomorrow morning.

17.09.2002Tuesday 17 September

Drs Santiago, Verdi and Singh all came and all had nothing to say, as I’d not yet had my X-Ray. I had my X-Ray a bit late around ten and was told that it was OK at midday when Dr Santiago came and gave me the now familiar morphine injection. He then pulled the drain out. It was sore and I had to have some more morphine during the evening. I was sent down around 1 o’clock for my X-Ray at medical imaging and told at 4 PM that it was ok and that I will have another tomorrow, after which if it is OK I can go home.

18.09.2002Wednesday 18 September – I am discharged from hospital

8 AM and an X-Ray taken. Midday and I am told the X-Ray is good and I am to be discharged. Apparently I will have pain for a week or two and can never sky dive, scuba dive or fly in unpressurised aircraft. I was told not to do any heavy lifting or contact sports for at least three months and that it will take three weeks for my lung to fully heal, after which I can go jogging and get fit once again. If either lung ever collapsed again it will now be treated as a medical emergency and I should be airlifted at low altitude to the nearest hospital able to do instant lung surgery. Normally a lung will reinflate after 48 hours. Mine took much longer every time it collapsed, quite possibly due to the scar tissue I would have got when messed up last time I went to hospital. A nurse took some more stitches out.
I was discharged around 2 PM with five days supply of drugs and went straight to an Internet Café where I checked my emails and talked to my chat friends and various other related and vitally important things. I then caught a taxi to the Red Cross House where I had a sleep until late evening when I went to the Internet Café again, after which I went back to the Red Cross House and slept all night.

19.09.2002Thursday 19 September – Home again

We left Townsville early in the morning. We stopped every hour or so for me to rest. Eleven hours later we arrived back home. There is a lot of roadwork going on in the 40 kilometres or so left of gravel road, most of which was smooth and not too rough. The bumps were a bit scary but didn’t actually hurt me.
We arrived home to find there is a flea plague here but no Malarchy.
First things first: I got Dad to carry my two (very heavy) monitors back from where they had been placed under lock and key inside, to out here and then my PC and set it all up. It had a disk error reading the restore information and had to reboot. I then connected the modem and phone line and went online. Shortly after the UPS cut in, and died seeing as it has dead batteries so I disconnected it and ran the PC straight from mains power. Shortly later that also failed and I had an unexpected reboot, shortly after which the PC froze up causing another reboot, which had a BSOD NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM error on start-up, causing another reboot. I’m starting to remember how Windows runs already. The worrying thing is that I usually run about three weeks of (suspended) uptime. I hope nothing has gone wrong while I was away.

20.09.2002Friday 20 September

I had a very quiet day resting and doing nothing. Jade, Shan and Ella came over in the evening and we watched the DVD “American Outlaws”, after which they drove me down to the shop. I then had a shower, being careful not to get my dressing wet. It’s a little hard to shower when I can’t bend, but I managed.

21.09.2002Saturday 21 September

I had another quiet and restful day. I am starting to get used to sleeping flat on a bed again, although it still feels a little unnatural. Mum left in the evening, at 3:45, on the bus to Cairns.

22.09.2002Sunday 22 September

Another quiet day, I am feeling OK, except for starting to develop a weird pain/ache down my left side.

23.09.2002Monday 23 September

I am sore. But it isn’t sore. It’s a weird pain ache. It’s impossible to describe. The best I can do is: You know that headache feeling at the base of your neck? I have that, and if I lower my head, even if I keep my back straight and just squat, it throbs for a little while and then equalises. But to make it odd, I have that from the base of my right ear down to about the start of my stomach, all on the right side. I can’t stay up for much longer than three hours at a time, it gets too sore, so I am staying up for a few hours then lying down for a few. I get cold and pull up my blanket and then wake an hour or two later all hot and sweaty. I don’t feel good at all. Today was also the last day that I had any drugs and painkillers.

24.09.2002Tuesday 24 September

I don’t feel any better than yesterday so far as my weird pain/ache goes, but I feel much better otherwise. I went for a walk around and around the yard and my legs and muscles feel tired but healthy. My lung feels quite good and hardly sore. I took my last dressing off after having a shower and it also looks fine. I slept well, although woke a lot.

25.09.2002Wednesday 25 September

Yet another quiet day. I woke up feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. My weird pain/ache is now just in my throat and neck, and not as bad as yesterday, although just as bad when I lie down. The power failed around 11, for a scheduled outage which I’d forgotten about. It came on two hours or so later. I phoned up and made some enquiries at some universities about admissions and also booked an appointment to have my stitches out tomorrow. Shan came over in the evening and stayed for a few hours. I had a shower, dinner, and went to bed just after midnight.

26.09.2002Thursday 26 September – I am cursed

We drove to town for my Dr’s appointment to have my single suture removed.
  I assumed it would take somewhere between three seconds and one minute. When I heard them talking about using gas to knock me out (this is after quarter of an hour on the table) I realised that I am indeed cursed. Three quarters of an hour later, and some local anaesthetic, high-pressure irrigation and stress, I was once again back out of hospital. I also had a bandage back on my wound as they’d had to dig the stitches out. I am now totally freaked to go into that hospital; it and I do not get along well. The bad news is that the Dr said my weird ache/pain is symptomatic with nerve damage caused by being bedridden and having muscle interfering surgery. The good news is that it might go away in a month or so and I should keep taking the maximum dosage of paracetamol until it does.

27.09.2002Friday 27 September – QTAC and the Inaugral Wallaby Creek Festival

I sent the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) application off today, I’ll still need to post some supporting documentation within seven days. Mum drove me over to Home Rule in the evening, where we picked up our free tickets. Mum drove home and I walked up to Joneses. Shan was down at the festival so Jade and I walked down and found him. I ended up spending ages trying to get a data connection via Telstra two-way satellite to work, which it wouldn’t. Luckily, I worked out why just as they were ringing up to cancel it.
The bands played until midnight, after which we walked home and went to sleep. There’s a few hundred people here, but not near as many as they were hoping for (and probably needing). Fortunately for me there are two ice cream vans, one of which makes very nice milkshakes and a few selling hot food. We hung around until the bands finished about midnight. I stayed the night at Joneses.
Comment by paul – Saturday 28 February 2004, 3:46 AM
  Any sign of the legendary person Zanny Gognet at the festival?

28.09.2002Saturday 28 September – Day two of the Wallaby Creek Festival

We went back down to the festival and messed about doing pretty well nothing. There weren’t many people around, still sleeping I guess. Shan dropped me off at home for a dressing change and shower (and so I could get on IRC and see how the real world was going...). Mum drove me back over later, and Shan had looked up the right co-ordinates for the satellite receiver and got it working so we spent some time on chat. They had a laptop with Windows ME (which typically kept having drastic errors) and a Macintosh (which worked just lovely, although they are awful things). The vision fellas who were planning to do some live webcasting arrived at some time or other and set up their PC and its Real™ Producer and got it all connected and mostly working. Shan and I spent the evening alternating between sitting at the computers on IRC watching the show and walking to the ice cream van for... err... exercise. Becky managed to watch a bit of the show live while it was streaming and while we were talking to her on IRC, which was interesting. Everything finished around midnight and we wandered bedward, myself staying at Shan’s again. We managed to borrow Telstra’s laptop and a hub on some phoney excuse, which provided two IRC clients up at Shan’s place for a few hours until we got tired and went to sleep.

29.09.2002Sunday 29 September – Day three of the Wallaby Creek Festival

I awoke at nine. Shan and I took the laptop back down at ten and set it up ready for webcasting again. There were a few people at the “Poet’s Breakfast” but no one really came to the stage area for a few hours. The schedule was thrown out the window. Rumour was that security had quit during the night and new security had to be found as before the police turned up and discovered the bar was operating without any. There were large hour-long gaps without any bands playing. The crowd simply wasn’t. And it all went downhill from there, only picking up late at night, with bands going until 1 AM. Shan and I got to bed some time after two.

30.09.2002Monday 30 September – Final day of the Wallaby Creek Festival

I woke up late, Shan slept in for another hour. We headed down to the festival a bit before midday, but it was very dead. The stage was in the process of being packed up, there wasn’t any music and only a handful of people milling around the bar and the last few remaining stalls. Shan and I walked back up to his place and he drove me here, stopping at the Rossville Shop so that I could buy some energy. I spent the rest of the evening resting in front of my PC, which has developed another nice fault – playing a movie causes it to BSOD STOP error in NVDISP something or other DLL. I slept well.

Year View| Summary| Highlights| September 2002 (Month View)

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