Having a fistula as a complication of surgery is a roller coaster ride – up, down, up and down. I’ve been told on more than one occasion it can take a year for things to reach a point where a definite prognosis can be given. Saturday we went to a nearby lake, prior to which I had soup and bread for lunch. I felt instantly uncomfortable and the pain was reminiscent of a gall bladder pain. I have gallstones as another consequence of this journey – they are a side effect of TPN or any long term fasting. We met Lyndsey, Chris and baby at the lakes. Baby was adorable and seemed more receptive of me this time, wanting to come on my lap to sing songs. The pain was there in the background and I was glad to get back to my bed. I fell asleep and Stephen sat and held my hand until it was time to leave. He was meeting the family in a local restaurant for food as it was his birthday.
Sunday was pretty much the same and quite late Sunday evening I had an unexpected visit from some doctors. They said my liver function tests were quite elevated and wanted to check me over. The prodded and poked, checked for jaundice etc. I felt OK and they felt reassured when I told them of my gallbladder issues and said it was probably a gallstone on the move – a scan would be arranged. I still worried though. Consultant came round Monday and said ‘ it was fine’, probably the TPN 😡 ( yet another side effect).
Monday was the day the abdominal drain was to be removed. Most drains are in for 2 weeks post op, mine had been in 6 weeks and the thought of it being pulled out from deep in my pelvis was worrying. I was offered gas and air and accepted having become rather pain averse after the experiences of the last two years. So they turn up with the big gas cylinder and tell me to breathe deeply, the effect soon kicks in and before I know it the drain is out, I barely felt it. The body is very clever at trying to protect you. When you have a drain in, your body grows a sort of channel around it so I’m assured the nasties that were coming out of the drain, will now come out of the channel. I’m not convinced and ask the doctors what if they collect inside – I know this means sepsis. They said hopefully that won’t happen. Still not convinced. I had a quiet day watching TV with the occasional walk and lo and behold abiut 7pm I started to feel unwell, shivering and temperature rising. To make matters worse I could not have paracetamol owing to my liver function. I had a horrible shivery night with my temperature peaking at 37.7, this isn’t classed as high – has to be over 38 for alarm bells to ring. Things are better this morning but I still feel shaky. What isn’t helping either is we have a new patient is Madame Coke’s bed. She is probabky mid 70s and has fistula, worse than mine. She is obviously a regular here and tells me how she has had them for years and is now housebound. The won’t operate because of her age. I’m not sure of her background but it’s not helping me one little bit 😢