Tag Archives: hospital

under the knife

For quite a number of years now I’ve had a lot of little lumps called lipomas in various parts of my body. Some of them are larger than others and they grow very slowly over time. About 9 years ago I had two removed, one from each arm, as they were getting quite big and I really didn’t like them as they were very noticeable. Recently I’ve had a number of them develop along the edge of my ribs and one in particular was quite big. As a group they could become quite uncomfortable at times and I asked the doctor last year about having them removed.

Today was the day. I had hoped to have them all removed but the surgeon only wanted to remove the large one that was causing the most discomfort to minimise the size of the wound and avoid complications as they are essentially harmless. He explained that the distribution pattern reflected the track of a nerve which they have formed along and the large one pressing on the nerve was the source of the discomfort.

Surgery itself was pretty quick taking just under 30mins but the 3hr delay due to the late arrival of the surgeon was a real pain in the arse especially as I only had a light breakfast and didn’t sleep great last night due to nervousness about the procedure leaving me quite stressed, hungry and with a thumping headache.

The whole surgical procedure was quite a weird experience. The main pain was the anaesthetic needle, similar to the dentist, but very quick acting as there was barely any break between the needle and the cutting which made me very nervous. There was lots of pressure from the prodding and squeezing as well as the stitching of the wound but there was a sharp burst of pain in the middle, like an intense burning sensation, that was due to pressure on the nerve which was very unsettling.

I was able to see the procedure due to reflection in the overhead lamps but I couldn’t watch it – I don’t even like to watch blood being taken in the doctor’s! I did sneak a peak when they were cleaning up and it’s a deep enough and wide enough wound. 4 stitches later and a dressing and it looks very insignificant!

The surgeon appeared quite stern but I was pleased when he introduced himself, shook my hand and explained what was going to happen. I think he fancied himself as a comedian too. The procedure involves squeezing the lipoma out from below the skin to allow removal and I heard him say “here comes the baby, head first, now the legs and pop!” I might have appreciated it better if it wasn’t my ribs he was pressing down on!

Home straight away afterwards with a stop for lunch. Aftercare is simple enough – paracetamol and ibuprofen plus no lifting or strenuous exercise for a while. Stitches out in 10 days and hopefully an all clear report in approximately 2 weeks on the biopsy of the removed tissue which is done as standard on all lesion removals.

heart scan

Pretty wiped out this evening having spent the day travelling up and down to the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin for a CT angiogram following my appointment with the cardiac consultant in July.

The appointment was for 11am so up shortly after 6.30am and away at 7.30am. Catriona had to come with me as I wasn’t allowed to drive home.

After only a short wait I was taken for the first examination to determine heart rate and given a beta blocker to reduce heart rate to the 50bpm area. Then sent back to the waiting room for 1hr to allow the meds to take effect before having the actual scan. It was two parts with the second involving the injection of a dye into the blood system. This gives a weird sensation as it goes in, a very weird taste at the back of the throat and a warming sensation that feels like you’re peeing yourself! Importantly it also allows a map of the arterial system highlighting any possible blockages. The scan lasted about 20min and we were finished by 12:30.

The worst part of the day (apart from the long journey) was no caffeine since last night and fasting from 7am so our first stop was Applegreen for food and tea and then home for about 4.30pm.

Had thought about a short spin this evening but I’m very sleepy now. Possibly an effect of the dye but most likely an after effect of the beta blocker and the long journey.

The results go back to the consultant in about a week and then I get called for a follow up appointment to discuss. Hopefully all unnecessary as I’m expecting but still slightly apprehensive about it all.

have a heart â™¥

Had an Out Patients appointment today. Over the last year I’ve been diagnosed (sounds very dramatic!) with high cholesterol and put on statins. As a precaution the doctor also referred me for a stress test appointment with the hospital in Letterkenny. After waiting 1hr and 5min* to be seen for a 5min consultation I’ve been told they’re sending me to the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin for an arterial CT. It sounds like a big step, very quickly and a bit frightening to be honest but I got the impression it’s very much standard procedure. Should get an appointment in about a month or so.

It did give me a giggle to see this evening that Google had the following banner:

It’s to honour heart surgeon René Favaloro the heart bypass pioneer. Hopefully that’s as far as the coincidences go!

*I was dismayed at 10:50 (my appointment was 10am) to hear the old lady sitting in front of me tell someone her appointment was for 09:15. She was still sitting there when I left so I’m glad my file wasn’t in the same pile as hers