Today was the scheduled visit to the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge. The object of the visit was to discuss two problems. One, the overnight pain. I have been suffering in my joints and secondly, the wind problem I have in my stomach.
Dr Margaret Saunders had pulled out all the stops and I was faced with a phalanx of experts. There was another doctor there called Judith, (I am not quite sure what her function was); although she did ask a number of searching questions; then there was Mark who was a pain consultant and his junior ,with a totally unpronounceable Asian name who I was allowed to call AJ- I imagine he was a registrar-and finally there was Jenny the physiotherapist.
Concentrating on the pain situation. after some discussion Mark decided that he could probably do something about the worst pain, that in my shoulder, by doing the nerve block. This involves a couple of temporary injections and then, if they show any promise, the more major nerve block operation itself. I was happy to go along with this, particularly as Mark decided that the shoulder pain probably emanated from the fourth 4th./5th. cervical fusion that I had had some years ago, as a result of my polo accident. (Not helped by ‘my lovely’, hauling me into a sitting position, by this arm, each morning, on the side of the bed, We are going to have to rethink this procedure ) We went ahead then with the initial injection carried out by AJ, under Mark’s supervision. Despite this procedure being carried out under local anamnestic, I can’t pretend it was very pleasant as the needle had to be pushed deeper and deeper until it hit bone â€“ then it hurt! Nevertheless, the pain seemed to ease almost immediately-I suppose it was anaesthetised-and I am to expect a sore shoulder for about a week. Rather alarmingly Mark mentioned that there was a one in 3000 chance that ,as a result of the injection. I could experience difficulty with my lungs and breathing this evening and a careful watch had to be kept on me .At the first sign of any breathing difficulty we would have to call 999 – in the event, there was no problem.
As to the other joint pains and the bloating problem .these are matters that Margaret decided she would take up with Dr Lord, perhaps changing round some of the medication and substituting something for the Movicol – taken nightly, to avoid constipation
Despite now having been to a Hospice I am no better informed as to how it functions than I was before I went. ( I only went through the entrance into reception, then straight into a consulting room,)
This is just as well if the BBC ever gets round to making the sequel to Choosing to Die, the Hospice Way, as I have suggested to them, and they are considering, I would want to go, completely uninformed, with an open mind.
I didn’t get home until late afternoon (having had no lunch) and felt a little weary and unable to face the dozen or so e-mails that had come in, in my absence. Also, I didn’t feel up to tackling the new Windows 7, voice activation programme which I started going through yesterday. So, to finish today’s entry I will include a couple of jokes for you to chuckle over, Click here.Â for The Blarney Stone and then Here for medical Humour.