1 - 17th July 2000
I awake as usual but a little apprehensive about the day ahead. We left home at about 11:00am and arrived at Nottingham Hospital about 12:45. After chatting with the nurses, I was taken downstairs to be videoed by the physio to see what my movements were like before the pump is fitted. Mr Vioeberghs visited me, as did Dr Dan who does wicked card tricks and the other surgeon Dr Bassey. Dr Dan inserted the cannula which I was dreading - but it was quite painless this time.
Day 2 - (Day of Operation)
It's Tuesday morning and I'm preparing for my operation. I feel a bit nervous but not too bad. I'm second on Mr Vloebergh's list so I'll be going to theatre about 10:30am.
They gave me a pre-med about an hour before - it was great, I didn't feel scared at all. I was back on the ward about 2pm - The nurses kept waking me up every 15 minutes at first, I just wished they'd leave me alone. I felt groggy and sick - this lasted throughout the night, although I didn't feel much pain.
Day 3 - 19th July
I feel a whole lot better today.. Although I started to feel a little sick but that passed. I had some cornflakes for breakfast which made me feel a little better.
At about 1pm the physio said she would put me in my wheelchair. She stretched my arms and legs first and I was surprised that I didn't have too much pain. After about an hour I wanted to get back to bed as my back was getting painful.
In the opposite bed is a boy called Matthew who is 8 years old, he had it done as well so he was in his wheelchair for the first time since the operation so we were able to have a good chat about things.
Day 4 - July 20th
I didn't feel too perky when I first woke up. But I started to feel better after my breakfast and a wash and my teeth cleaned. They took the drip out this morning.
Mr Vloeberghs came around at about 8:30 am and said everything looked good and gave me a security card to get through airports without setting off the alarms. He said if all was well I could go home tomorrow. I got into my wheelchair about 9:30am where I stayed until 4:30pm.
I had x-rays taken, and had physio which was quite nice for a change as it didn't hurt to move my legs. After physio, mum took me with Matthew's mum and Matthew to the canteen for pizza - it was really good. We then went outside for fresh air which was lovely after spending 3 days on a boiling ward. I've quite enjoyed today.
5 - July 21st
Today Mr Bassey said everything looked good - my temperature was down and I could be discharged from hospital – Yippee. The nurse gave me one last dose of antibiotic intravenously then took out the cannula out of my hand - which felt better.
Mr Vloeberghs came to see me at about 10:30am and said he'd see me on August 1st (two weeks after the operation) to have the stitches removed, 16 on my stomach and 6 on my back. He said I wouldn't be able to have a shower or bath until one month after my operation.
Feeling really good. I can sit on the edge of the settee
and my back is straight. I can sit with my arms outstretched. It
feels really good!
My stomach is black and blue from the operation.
My antibiotics are finished thank goodness. I
took some steps with the support of my mum and sister. I
was able to move my legs so much more easily. I'm feeling
quite proud of my achievements.
It's back to the QMC today to have my stitches removed. I
shall be glad when it's all done and I'm back home. I
was relieved after having them out because they were not painful.
Today we have an appointment at Nottingham hospital with Mr
Vloeberghs to have my pump refilled. I'm a bit scared
as I don't know if it will hurt or not.
We were taken
to the treatment room on E39 ward, Mr Vloeberghs arrived
carrying a laptop computer. He put the 'mouse'
from the computer on top of the pump in my stomach and was
able to access data from the pump telling him how much Baclofen
was left inside - when it was due a refill etc.
cleaned the area thoroughly and then inserted the needle into
the centre of the pump - no anesthetic at all but it didn't
hurt at all.
After my refill I went to see Emma
the physio - she was really pleased how much looser and comfortable
I was. I asked
if I could try a K walker which I did - and I was able to walk
about 10 yards with it.
It's now 2 months since my operation. I'm really glad
that I had it done. I feel a lot looser in my legs and
hands. I also feel a lot more comfortable when I'm sat
in my wheelchair.
I have a walker at home and I walk a few steps
every day which is getting easier as I progress. I'm
no longer aware of the pump's presence.