Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iron Maiden

Good afternoon folks

I thought I would post about my little procedure yesterday. We awoke a little later than we had hoped to. After a fitful sleep I prised my eyes open to see it was nearly 6am. As I am quite slow moving,especially in the mornings, I didn't want to rush. Anyway after a shower, a quick toast brekky, we set of for the hospital. Upon arrival we soon discovered that the 'larger' than usual wheelchair we loaned from the hospital Occupation Therapy Dept. was too small and what was worse the feet plates would not move to allow my feet to rest below me in a lady like fashion.
Picture this if you can; then again if you are easily shocked, perhaps not.
Here we are the bloke and I right out the front of the A & E Dept. of the hospital,where the admissions is also located, freezing wind blowing on us, people arriving for work, and this fat woman jammed into a too small wheelchair legs akimbo pointing toward her ears, voicing her discomfort in a rattled, manner. Yes this is just another regular day in the life of this author.
I was embarrassed, ashamed and verging on tears when the bloke, god bless his little heart, decided to raid his toolkit in the back of the Statey (our pet name for our Holden Statesman car).With his trusty wrench he managed to adjust the feet plates and off we went to the day surgery, a little late, but there all the same.
After being checked in and assigned a corner of a room, I choose what I think is a most comfy chair for the duration of this procedure. However after only half an hour I discover that it's not a good fit, and so I move across the room into another not big enough chair, but at least my feet touch the ground.
Finding chairs that can accommodate me is a huge problem for me and one of the major reasons I don't go out.

Anyhow although I was required to report to the unit by 8am it is nearly 10am when the a doctor comes and tries to insert the cannula into the back of my hand. I say OUCH here, but this is not what I was saying under my breath. I have had quite a few of these large needle things over the years but this was the most painful. After pushing and pulling she gave up, telling me that my vein had blown. Oh naughty vein, why did you do that? So she had to use another site. This time there was a short sharp pain and luckily it was in. The nurse came along soon after with the life force serum-iron infusion and put it on the drip stand. They ran it very slowly something like 45 drips per hour. I received 2 grams of iron, which they told me is not the norm so it was going to take quite a while, and it did, as I left at  about 5pm. A long day for me and the bloke who stayed part of the day with me.
In the afternoon I had two day surgery patients join me and we began the usual chatter, reserved for roomie strangers. You know-what are you having done, is that an iron infusion? Oh that looks painful. It's amazing the instant bonding that can occur in this situation. Telling complete strangers the most personal matters. I experienced that yesterday. One woman introduced herself and within 15 minutes had told me about her religions beliefs, her husbands sacking, what she did for a living, her relationship status and her previous fiancee, and that she had not long returned from an extended overseas holiday. Whew!
Of course when someone shares such intimate details with me, I nearly always feel that I need to reciprocate and disclose some of my own personal information. Does anyone else ever feel like this?
Oh. okay, might just be me then. *blushing*.
Don't get me wrong, I love making new friends, and she was a lovely friendly woman but something was saying take it easy here, she seemed quite exuberant.
One thing that did annoy me was my reaction at the usual interest shown by people toward my size. Two staff members and the friendly woman all asked if I had considered WLS. When I told them that I had already put myself through that mutilation and it had failed me, they all suggested other types if self mutilation. Why do people offer these 'helpful' ideas? 
 The super friendly lady asked me the most silly question, not new to me, but silly all the same "Have you always been this big?". Now really what does she mean? What is always? Since birth? When?

I was disappointed that I did not have an answer ready for just this occasion. I have come across many good comebacks in recent months but I don't remember them at the time.
To answer the friendly ladies query I told her no I just grew this big. *shaking head*. 

I feel okay today but they they tell me the full affects of the transfusion will be felt in three to four weeks. I am optimistic that this will work and it will give me the boost I need to take the next step in regaining my health, firstly by resuming my exercise (walking with my walking frame on side verandah), and undertaking the sleep study.
Surely these will help me? I am feeling quietly calm, very tired but optimistic today.
It has been some time since I felt this way. I am grateful.

On an aside, I was in the same ward and even bed area that my
dear mother was in when she passed away last August. I didn't work that out until I was leaving the unit. The room bares no resemblance to the one mum had been in. It has been made over to the day surgery unit now and the palliative care patients have their own unit.

I did feel a sense of calmness and harmony whilst sitting there. Maybe mum was looking out for me? I like to think so.
Images from

Take care people,


  1. I am glad the infusion went well for you Jan but I am so frustrated on your behalf regarding the wheelchair, the chairs and the comments from other people. I understand people tend to go into over-share mode in those situations but their comments are just so damn rude. I mean if you had a disfigured face would they be suggesting plastic surgery? Would they be asking you how you ended up disfgured? I think probably not as they would be too embarrassed to ask such personal questions. You did so well to endure all that for such a long day!

    When I birthed my son and my daughter (years apart) at the local hospital I them record in my file that I did NOT want to be in the same room in the Maternity section that my mum died in. I just didnt think I could deal with it (not to mention the rest of the family when they came to visit me). I am glad you felt better about being in the same area as where your mum passed. I bet she was looking out for you!

  2. Jan, I'm glad that the infusion is over and done with. Here is to the next 3-4 weeks going by fast and you feeling a little better.

    I just want to say regarding the sleep study and apnoea, that if you have anything like the results my brother had after getting the CPap machine sorted following his sleep study, I can absolutely promise you it will give you a much needed quality sleep.

    My brother's apnoea was so bad that the Dr banned him from driving (and therefore no longer covered by insurance) until he got his machine. The Dr said it was so severe that him being behind the wheel was the equivalent of DUI. He has said he feels like a new man, and now for the first time in years, has some energy to exercise and just go about his daily business without feeling constantly exhausted.

    Finally, yes, I giggled at your story about the whole "spilling the guts" syndrome as you call it. I think some people just have a face or aura or something that makes others just want to tell them all their deepest secrets! ;-)

    Anyway, here's to you feeling better over the next couple of weeks.