Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Acute death

So.... I'm just about ready to get back on the road. I just need to prove I'm fit enough again (mainly to lift drunks and heavy patients). It'll be a couple of weeks but I'm returning to patient-care based stuff. I've had my fill of sitting in front of a bank of monitors.

I should explain what's been going on because many of you have been asking me why I haven't been posting and where I'd disappeared to.

I developed a very painful and persistent earache which turned out to be caused by a large 'mass' in my middle ear. My family and I endured a couple of weeks of waiting while they checked to see if it was malignant, post-biopsy. During that time I became much sicker and I think it convinced my loved ones that I wasn't going to be around much longer. It certainly felt that way!

I was finally told that it was benign but that it was destructive; eroding bone at the base of my skull and into the semi-circular canals. There was another wait to see if it was operable or not.

All of the problems I've faced in the last none months have been the result of this Cholestaetoma - the constant feeling that something was not quite right, the dizziness and nausea (which caused the fall that broke my collar bone) and eventually, the pain.

The potential for death had crept up on me without warning and I don't think I had much time left to stop it... but I did.

I've recently had the thing removed and I am recovering well. It hasn't made me deaf, as expected, despite the enormous damage it has done inside my ear, and I will be monitored for the rest of my life, to ensure that it doesn't recur and that I don't develop other problems associated with the internal structural damage. And it hasn't affected my brain; I'm still mad.

So, there it is. My excuse for not being around in the past nine months. Sorry.

I have been 'third-manning' an ambulance while I have my return to work managed and there have been no surprises. The world is still the same and people are still demanding emergency medical care for non-emergency problems. We are still social-working the population and we are still being run ragged and to the point of exhaustion.

I have been given a fresh opportunity to appreciate how hard my colleagues work, especially on the ambulances. One call after another. Relentless.

I'll be back and posting on as regular a basis as I can just as soon as I am fully able to.

Thanks for checking in and thanks for all your emails and messages of concern.