nursedarry: (BandAid Heart)
I'm not having the best of times in the midst of this NHS reshuffle, but considering where I was a year ago, I'm doing all right. (At least I'm not flat on my back with my blood running through a by-pass machine and half-a-dozen people's hands in my chest.)

I'll update with anything IMPORTANT if anything IMPORTANT occurs. In the meantime, I'm just feeling a bit meh about all these changes. I'm a person who normally likes change, but there is so much about this re-structuring that is a) out of my control and b) hasn't been properly thought through, and I'm just tired of putting out fires that people higher up the food-chain should have put out, on top of juggling my family and a long commute. The hardest part, I think, was saying goodbye to what was the most welcome and well-functioning team I've ever worked with. It was an office where everyone got on, we all supported each other, we all had the same sense of humour and tastes, and most importantly, the programmes we implemented with each other's help actually worked. We've now been scattered to the four winds, and although my boss and I are still together, it's clear neither of us is happy with our new posts, either because of the remit or the commute, or both. We're both looking to greener pastures. The new office just doesn't have the same dynamic and it's hard to see how well we can succeed with all our plans when our partners (GP practices, school nurse teams, and Child Health Information office) are miles away and so much of our day is wasted on travelling. We do work remotely, but then there's no communication.

However, this is me, and I'm well into making plans for sorting all that shit out. Watch this space.

And if anyone feels like writing me fluffy H/D or G/E fic, that'd be nice, too.
nursedarry: (Heart tattoo)
Just FYI, in lieu of sending holiday cards this year (or spending Christmas in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary), I thought I'd give something back to the Somerville Foundation which, like you, supported me during a very chaotic year. This foundation supports adults born with a heart condition. I've signed up as a Helpline Volunteer and Medical Proof-Reader.

It's strange to think that without my mitral valve packing up, I might never have known I'd been born with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (PAPVC), and I was fortunate to have both repaired at the same time, exactly eight months ago. Thank you again to everyone for all your prayers and kind words.

As I feel very fortunate to be in good health THIS holiday season, I'd like to do what I can to help others be able to say the same next year.
nursedarry: (AllanGlasses)
I'm sorry this is so late, but here's a big THANK YOU to [ profile] sra_danvers, [ profile] capitu, [ profile] knowmefirst, and [ profile] invidious for the groovy pencils, and [ profile] sassy_cissa, [ profile] goldylost, [ profile] knowmefirst, [ profile] ldydark1, [ profile] joan_waterhouse, [ profile] nenne, [ profile] kayladie for the adorable pandas!

I'm shattered; work is crazy with flu season starting next week and the NHS restructuring is landing on my desk soon. Also, my referral to the gym for Phase IV of cardiac rehab came through, and I am spending all my free time (!) there. I actually cried when I got on the cross-trainer. IKR, WTF? But I was just so delighted to get back to the gym after nearly a year.

Anyway, I'm taking a break this weekend and going to this for absolutely no reason. *cough*
nursedarry: (Trapper John & Hawkeye)
Feel free to skip unless you're a cardiologist or just morbidly curious.

I had an assessment with my consultant today. It's been four months since my surgery and since then, I've been working through Phase III of a self-directed cardiac rehab programme, had a chest X-ray, a 48-hour trace and more echocardiograms.

My consultant - who's been with me since my proper diagnosis in January, who did the angio and made the surgical referral - said my re-plumbed pulmonary vein and the repaired valve look fine.

He's now happy for me to come off the medication I take for controlling rate and rhythm to see if the pulmonary vein ablation procedure has worked and if it will control my atrial fibrillation.

I'm going to stay on Warfarin for the time being, but can come off it for short periods in order to have minor surgical procedures, which is good news. I'll be reassessed in six months' time with a 72-hour trace and another echo. I can now swim, start Phase IV of rehab at the gym, (provided there's a defibrillator on site(!), and pretty much do what I did before.

There's a chance I'll need the valve replaced in future, but for now, it's all good. Today I walked the four miles to and from the hospital and almost cried, when I consider that four months ago, I couldn't even walk up the stairs in my own house.

Finally, here's a topless photo of me. )
nursedarry: (BandAid Heart)
Hello everyone! Yes, some of this barely-controlled joy is pharmaceutically derived, but it's also the result of sleeping well, eating well AND FINALLY HAVING THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF CIRCULATING OXYGEN IN MY BODY.

I came home from hospital yesterday. It is very weird to think that exactly this time last week, I was on an operating table with a bunch of people's hands in my chest. I have an enormous scar now, but at least my heart is working like it should be! A good trade, I think. Evidently, it wasn't pretty: my heart had become "grossly enlarged" and my pulmonary veins were more of a mess than the angiogram and MRI had indicated. The surgeon fixing them was able to re-route them all to the left atrium. I had my mitral valve repaired (annuloplasty), with the aid of some Gore-tex sutures to replace a couple chordae tendineae and a synthetic ring (for which the other surgeon gave me the serial number - in case of recall, I guess - EEEK!) There's a chance that I'll eventually need the valve replaced, but not any time in the near future. They also performed a pulmonary vein ablation procedure to control my atrial fibrillation.

The following people should be sainted for acting above and beyond the call of duty with their visits, gifts and hand-holding whilst I was being jabbed and lines and drains were being yanked out of me: [ profile] meredyth_13, [ profile] accioscar, [ profile] mayfly_78 and [ profile] felidaeryl. [ profile] sati_lotus kept me laughing and I even got a nice tweet from my favourite True Blood vampire - THANK YOU, ALLAN!

Huge thanks also goes to [ profile] alovelycupoftea, [ profile] vaysh11, [ profile] groolover and [ profile] dysonrules for finishing up [ profile] hd_remix. I owe you my mod life, ladies!

Finally, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE HERE for your lovely messages, vgifts, e-cards, emails, healing thoughts, and well-wishes. I could NOT have got through this as easily as I did without my internet friends, and I thank god for all of you.

I'm still going to be lying low on LJ for awhile whilst healing and getting back fully into RL, but it should be back to business as usual in the virtual world in the next few months.

nursedarry: (Morphine)
...I'm on them :)

My physiotherapist tried to kill me earlier by making me stand up and I am wired up to so many machines, it isn't funny, but I'm still here!

I'll report back later when it doesn't take half an hour to type one sentence. *waves*


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