Once again in too short of a time frame I find more thoughts appearing in this little decorating blog. After last years sabbatical, I had hoped for a year of recovering and getting gradually back to work properly from 2016’s events https://v-wilkinsonandson.co.uk/painters-have-feelings-too/
Things were going great I got the all clear from the bowel surgeon and was back full time working by February 2017, just steadily at first, but wasn’t finding any restrictions in my ability. Just when you think you have things sorted another surprise comes along.
It was late July 2017 I was working alone on a small motel, changing the colour of feature walls on the first floor, after carrying steps, sheets and decorating materials up there I noticed a shortness of breathe, forcing me to stand for a minute and recover. Once I had done so I felt fine and continued with my days work without further incident.
Carrying my things back to the van at the end of my day I had similar breathlessness but soon recovered so didnt think it was too serious. I arrived home and during our evening meal I mentioned it to my wife, saying perhaps an appointment with my GP might be in order.
Immediately she suggested we visit the local Primary Care center at hospital, so we got into the car and drove through. After chatting with the Doctor she suggested she’d like to run a couple of tests an ECG was first, having had many in the past at this point I wasn’t concerned at all as they connected the sticky pads and wires to me. Only when she ran the test and looked a little surprised at the result, showing it to her colleague before coming to inform me of the diagnosis.
Apparently I was in full heart block, no wonder I was a bit breathless when my heart wasn’t behaving its self properly, so I was told I was to be transferred to Carlisle Hospital, with likelyhood of getting a pacemaker fitted.
To say I was a little surprised is an understatement although having said that with my previous history it was only a matter of time before it caught up with me one way or another. https://v-wilkinsonandson.co.uk/knowing-history-makes-stronger/
So I was in Carlisle for several days, the procedure as they like to call them these days was initially scheduled for Thursday, but postponed due to my unusual body layout shall we say, the doctor just wanted to double check with another test and confirm his findings with cardiologists at Freeman’s hospital in Newcastle.
So Friday morning came and the Dr ensured me it would be later that morning once he had spoken to his colleagues over in the cardiac unit in Freeman’s again. Despite me saying for her not to my wife had got up at the crack of dawn and was already in the hospital as she believed I was first on list for that mornings procedures.
As 11 am approached the nurse came and said I was to go down to have the pacemaker fitted. In Carlisle its an odd experience as you get pushed into theater past the coffee shop and there was my wife. So I was prepared on the operating table, given a local anesthetic in my left shoulder and once it was numb, the Dr, who by now we had built up a bit of a rap-our over several chats we’ve had previously started. Yes it was uncomfortable at times, even a little unnerving but on the whole manageable and we even managed to chat a little as he carried out the procedure.
I was back on the ward by 2 pm, that first cup of tea and toast is always welcome after any procedure. Thank heavens I was no longer attached to a heart monitor, I was told need three tests, an ECG, and Pacemaker test was done on the ward, followed by a quick trip to X-Ray.
Then Amazingly I was good to be discharged and I was home by 7 pm that evening. I honestly cannot fault the Nurses or Doctors at Carlisle hospital, they all showed so much care. After leaving hospital I thought a few weeks recovery as I’d been instructed to take care using my left arm so as not to dislodge anything, then I should be back to normal.
Once again I believed, things will improve now, sadly fate had a hand in things again and my journey wasn’t over yet….