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Close to the Edge

The title is not a warning of doom, I just wanted an excuse to use Roger Dean’s amazing painting (the cover to Close to the Edge by Yes in case you are wondering).

I have been suffering from interesting times. I didn’t progress as hoped after being discharged, my temperature was prone to go too high and other indications were that the problems hadn’t been solved. Then one morning I woke to find I’d turned yellow, the dreaded jaundice was back. Feeling decidedly worried I rang the help line and was brought back into hospital.

I was quickly scheduled for an operation to create a drain to an external bag to get my bile levels down. This was done and I began to feel generally better, although I was experiencing a lot of pain in my stomach still, particularly from the exit points for the drain. So a few days later it was back downstairs for another operation to internalise the drain, which meant linking a new stent into the original bile duct stent. It sounds grim and dodgy but has actually worked really well and I am now back at home feeling much better.

Whilst in hospital new pain relief plans were tried until we got one that suits me well, I have a slow release painkiller that copes with most of the pain along with a rapid release booster I can use every two hours as required. In practice I tend to use the booster once or twice a day at most, sometimes not at all. I still have a low level of pain from time to time which I can ignore, which means I can go back to getting on with life.

My taste has also returned (I know, if I ever had any, just settle down you lot) so I can actually enjoy food and, most importantly, drink again.

I need to build myself up again as I could probably be flattened by the proverbial weak kitten, but hopefully I’ll be able to get myself back to being reasonably fit.

So why the title? Physically I was fairly close to the edge, Jaundice is serious. If I’d ignored it and hoped it would go away I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. Mentally I was also in a bad way, I really felt like just giving up and asking about the quickest exit, most days life just didn’t seem worth living. Now, however, I feel ready to get my life going again, starting with a fortnight in Devon shortly, returning to Dartmoor that being the place that feels more like home to me than anywhere. I’ll also be meeting up with many of my family, which will also be great after such a long time being unable to see them.

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