Monday, 22 April 2013

Chapter 11

A lot of the feelings that I had at this time were very strange for me. People that know me know what I am like. I was so laid back that I was horizontal most of the time a very care free person. Nothing used to bother me or get to me or affect me. Kerri would go on at me about things but I had such a care free attitude id just shrug and say everything will be ok. This annoyed her so much but this is the person everyone loved.

Right now this person that looks at me in the mirror I didn’t recognise him. I didn’t know the person staring back at me. I am a stranger in my own skin. I am lost in my own mind and that scared me so much. The Leon that was carefree and horizontal was a distant memory I thought the person I was is gone. I was angry, upset, highly strung and so emotional it was unreal.

I only used to have one emotion. I was happy care free and positive. Everyday was a challenge but in the right way. Now everyday was a challenge but in the wrong way. I didn’t want to do anything for myself, id just sit on the couch. I was sleeping on the couch through fear of hurting myself in bed or Kerri hurting me as I slept. Sleep became a given I didn’t do it, id stay awake all night thinking and going over things trying to make sense of my emotions.

I could make no sense of them I was at a cross roads of sinking into a state of depression of picking myself up and dusting myself off. I took the wrong turn because I didn’t know what to do. The decision to pick myself up and dust myself off seemed far too hard. It was easier to sit on the couch and do nothing. Now that is not me I would rather be busy than lounging round as I get bored quite easily. It scared me to go outside. I only went outside to go to the district nurses but I had Kerri with me so I would be ok. The thought of going out on my own became a big fear for me, I was scared. Why? I don’t know

I was reserved didn’t really speak much I was wrapped in my own mind and I think Kerri was genuinely worried about me she would constantly ask me to speak to her about my feelings, but I could I was scared I didn’t want to burden her with my issues so my answer was to keep it in.

Life has a tendency to knock you down. Only you can decide whether to get back up or not.

I felt like I didn’t have the fight in me!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chapter 10: My mood takes a turn for the worst

After watching my wound open up and the district nurse packing it and dressing. I went home and cried and so did Kerri. Things had got worse again, before this I tried to convince myself that things could only get better. How wrong was I? After the upset I enter a world that had never ever been a part of my life. I was angry.

I didn’t show this emotion to begin with I bottled it all up inside and there were times I would just sit and cry for no reason. Id hide myself away in the toilet or keep it all in until Kerri had gone to bed and id sit there and cry. Trying to find a reason for why is what was killing me. I didn’t understand why I was like this, why I felt the things I was feeling. Id never felt like this before I was a happy go lucky person who tried to see the best in every situation. Now I was negative, down and never wanted to do anything. My motivation was at an all time low. Honestly I have never felt so low in my whole life. Thoughts of hanging myself from the stairs or slicing my own wrists occupied my mind scarily to often. The thought of Kerri and Emily coming downstairs to find me is what stopped me. That wasn’t fair to do that to them after everything they had already been through and what was coming with the new babies arrival.

Instead I kept my feelings inside I felt like I was going insane. It was like a dark shadow had descended upon me and I couldn’t shake it no matter how hard I tried. I tried to raise my mood and find the motivation, but it was so hard to do. Every time I changed my shirt and I saw my dressing over my new fresh wound. This caused flashbacks and nightmares and this is why it was so difficult for me to find my motivation.

I saw Emily and Kerri and I saw what it was doing to them and the guilt was still overwhelming me. I could shake this sense of guilt towards my family and instead of embracing them and making them feel better I punished them. I was snappy and moody I knew it was wrong but it was the only way I could vent my frustrations. I didn’t want to talk to Kerri about my morbid feelings and thoughts, my flashbacks, my nightmares she had enough to worry about. So this is the way my frustrations came out, Kerri receiving most of the brunt of it.

I will be eternally grateful to Kerri for everything she has done for me and putting up with all the shit for the last 12 months. I will also be sorry for treating her the way I treated her. This was just the beginning of my battle with depression.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Chapter 9 - The recovery begins again

This is what I was living with everyday I had to see this everyday. This was around 4 weeks after it had opened up. so it doesnt look to bad, but imagine watching your stomach becoming this. My stomach parted like the red sea. I should have been getting ready to go back to work, getting back to normal. Seeing this was my reality everyday for 3 months, then every other day for 6 weeks and then every 2 days for 3 weeks.

It disgusted me, repulsed me. As I said before after watching this unfold I needed oxygen. Things like this dont happen to me. This did and I had to live with this, looking at it, seeing it.

This resulted in me going to the district nurses everyday to have the wound cleaned, packed and dressed. This was everyday. My life was officially on hold. I wasnt able to do anything I was told to rest and take it easy.

How could I do this when my wife is 37 weeks pregnant she should be resting and taking it easy not me. I should be looking after her and helping her and I couldnt. My resentment towards my surgeon was unreal I wanted him dead. My anger took over me, an overwhelming feeling.

Anger would become a big part of my life over the next 12 months.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Chapter 8: Homeward Bound

My first few days at home passed before I knew it. An appointment had been arranged with the district nurses to have my staples removed. I was looking forward to this because it meant I could concentrate on my recovery. My time at home was a struggle I was unable to do anything for myself. Kerri had to wash me and shower me, cook, clean, look after Emily and herself. which I know I go on about it she was 37 weeks pregnant at this point. Getting in and out of the shower was very painful. Even walking was painful getting up and down the stairs was a nightmare. I was on morphine, painkillers and codeine but it just didn’t help at all.

The day came for me to have my staples removed, by this point the staples had been in for 10 days. I turned up at the district nurses and sat in the waiting room with butterflies in my stomach, looking forward to being able to concentrate on my recovery. Kerri sat beside me holding my hand asking how I was feeling. I said I was ok. The nurse called me in and I went into the treatment room and lay on her bed. She told me what was going to happen. I remember asking her if it would hurt. She said no.

She removed my staples from my horizontal wound under my stomach no problem I didn’t even flinch, didn’t even feel it. The scar itself was bright purple approx 9 – 10inches in length. She then started on my vertical wound. The scar I should never have had, the scar that nearly killed me and ended my life. The top staple came out then the next so on and so forth. She got about half way down then all of sudden the scar started to part, a small hole appeared you could stick your finger in. She finished taking the staples out and it parted like the red sea. I was gobsmacked, i felt sick.

The inside of my stomach was staring at me my stomach was wide open, I could see my insides. I felt light headed and sick and very faint. The nurse said the colour just drained out of me. She went to get oxygen for me I was hyperventilating. I couldn’t stop looking at it. I thought the worst stuff that could happen to me had happened. It would appear not.

I lay there with oxygen on mask on tears rolling down my face. I thought my recovery could begin. This was a massive set back for me and for Kerri.

The nurse cleaned my wound with sterile water and packed it with gores, a tissue like material. She then put a big plaster on it to keep it covered. She said the staples hadnt been inserted properly that the skin is meant to overlap and this hadnt been done.

The drive home was a quiet one me or Kerri didn’t speak all the way home. We walked into our house where Emily and Kerri’s family were. I stood in the kitchen and I couldn’t stop it and I cried another set back had come upon me. How could my situation get any worse? A simple hernia operation had nearly killed me, left me with a 10 inch scar running both vertically and horizontally across my stomach. I had to learn to walk again. On top of all this Kerri had to deal with all this whilst 37 weeks pregnant.

My condition had gone downward again. I stood in the kitchen sobbing with Kerri. Was I being punished for something, did the big guy upstairs not like me.

Why was this happening to me?

My mood deteriorated in the kitchen I wanted to run into the main road outside and get hit by a bus. How could it be any worse at this stage for me!

Chapter 9: the recovery begins all over again (published soon)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Chapter 7: Time Passes in a blur

My time in hospital is slowly becoming a blur the lack of sleep isn’t helping I don’t know what day it is and what’s going on. I try and sleep at night but it doesn’t work by this time I am exhausted. I am now able to sit in the chair next to my bed as all my drains and catheter are out now. I sit in the chair most of the night pondering, thinking and looking out the window. I feel so tired but can’t sleep no matter how hard I try. I sat there until the next morning I was so tired but still couldn’t sleep. I flipped between the bed and the chair. I couldn’t get comfortable my nuts were still like bowling balls, my stomach was in agony. They had taken my morphine off me at this point told me I was going a bit mad with it. They wanted me to survive on painkillers. Which as you can imagine didn’t please me.

The next days passed in a blur my mate Danny came into see me which lifted my spirit. I put a brave face on as I didn’t really want anyone knowing how I was feeling inside. It was general conversation how work was what he’d been up to the usual.

The physio’s came to see me in the afternoon to see how I was progressing and made me walk to see if I could get up the stairs ok and walk round ok. They wanted to send me home. The physio’s cleared me and said I was ok to go home. I had to wait then for my medication and what not that took a lifetime. Finally I left the hospital with Kerri and Danny to go home. I was relieved but scared. I didn’t have anyone on hand incase something went wrong. I am not afraid to admit I was terrified.

Kerri drives me home as I get out the care the next door neighbour sees me and comes over to see how I am, honestly not really in the mood for a conversation and I felt upset for some reason. I walked into the house and my mum was there with Emily. I was ecstatic to see Emily but she was a little shy with me which did upset me she looked at me like a stranger. I don’t know if she felt abandoned by me and that’s why she was funny with me, but it did upset me, I welled up.

Eventually she did come over and gave me a kiss and cuddle and told me she loved me. She told me everything she had been up to. It was then time for Emily to go to bed so of she went. I spoke to my mum about stuff the way I was feeling and I broke down. I was still feeling so low and down at this point even though I was home I was terrified of what was going to happen. My mum hugged me and told me everything would be ok. I didn’t believe it how could it be. The state of my body and my mind at this point was beyond recognition even I had noticed the change in me. The positive outgoing happy go lucky fella of the past was long gone. I didn’t recognise myself anymore. I was a stranger in my own skin. The journey once I returned home is a long a painful one and the next chapter will probably be a big and upsetting one for some people so I apologise in advance for that.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Chapter 6: The Battle continues

When I woke up the drains were out and the catheter was gone. I felt weary, light headed and a little nauseous. I turned to the side and vomited on the floor I couldn’t help it. I lifted my dressing gown and saw me plastered where the drains were. More marks, more scars it was really getting to me. Whilst I was out they had redressed my main wounds, I didn’t even notice. The sight of blood really gets to me so it must have passed out. I had a look at my nether reasons they were swollen they were huge. They looked like melons. Even more to get to me to affect my mood, I felt low and down again now. I covered my self and lay in bed starring out the window. Thinking about things, morbid things.

At this point I fell asleep as the next thing I can see it that dream. That damned dream that refused to leave me alone of my on the operating table a mass of panic going on around me. It refused to go away. The next thing I remember is it being morning and me waking in a cold sweat, shaking. On the verge of crying. I was tired and fed up. Of the dream of the pain of the morbid thoughts running through my mind. I wanted them to stop. The only way it would stop is if I went to sleep and didn’t wake up. This was my mentality.

Breakfast was served cornflakes soggy. Couldn’t eat it sat there playing with it instead in a world of my own. Wishing I was a million miles away from where I was. I was trapped that’s how I felt the walls were closing in on me, there was no escape, I felt trapped in my own life, in my own mind. I was going mad I was just staring all the time into space, out the window I felt like I was actually going mad. I wanted to scream and shout at the top of my voice.

Time passed Kerri was all of sudden standing in front of me I started to tell her how I felt, how low I was. I closed my eyes for a minute to suppress tears. When I opened them she was gone. I looked around for her puzzled she was nowhere to be seen, I sat forward in my bed looking for her I was confused I couldn’t see her. I thought that’s it I am mad officially psycho.

Then actual Kerri walked in I was cautious as I weren’t sure if it was her. Then she hugged me and I knew it was real. I dare tell her about my mad episode she would think I was a nutter for sure. She would think I was mad. I held her hand and refused to let go because I didn’t want her to disappear again. This is how my mind was working. Nuts I know. I was at an all time low.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Chapter 5: The battle against my demons

I spent the rest of the day attempting to sleep with no success. I was in agony my stomach throbbed and my nether regions were swollen and throbbing. I don’t suppose the tight jock strap helped. They were the size of a bowling ball and throbbing like hell. A bit too much information probably but oh well. My morphine button must have been on the verge of explosion by now. However the morphine helped get me to sleep. I had the dreaded dream again. The on of me standing outside the window looking in on my family. I woke with a knot in my stomach and a cold sweat.

Before I knew it Kerri was back this time she bought a visitor with her, it was Emily I longed to see my beautiful little girl. She saw me she looked tired she looked upset she slowly wondered over to me like she didn’t recognise me. She sat on my bed and hugged me and gave me a kiss she seemed shy. I told her I loved her and that a missed her. She told me she loved me too. I filled up and I held her so tightly I could have squeezed the life out of her. She was my little girl I had missed her so much. We generally chatted about how she had been and what she had been doing. She perked up a little and told me that she had been playing with her toys and looking after mummy. Her innocence bought a smile to my face. She asked me if I had a saw belly and how I was feeling. I told her it was very sore, she said I could go home with her and she would look after me. I told her I would love to but I couldn’t that the doctors needed to look after me. She got upset and said but Daddy I love you. I told her I loved her too and I would be home soon. When she left I sobbed I missed her before she even walked out the door I didn’t know when I would see her again. The guilt inside me overwhelmed me I called a nurse to close my curtain as I couldn’t contain my upset. My heart was breaking to see my little girl look upset and tired the way she did. She was 2 but she understood that I wasn’t around and that I wasn’t well. She knew and that killed me.

When Kerri and Emily went I lay in bed trying to take my mind off things by reading some magazine that Kerri had bought me but my mind wasn’t in it. I was looking at the pages but not really concentrating. The image of Emily’s tired upset face flashed in my mind constantly and the guilt I felt was unimaginable. I knew I had to get better I knew I had to do it for my family.

The physiotherapists came back shortly after Kerri and Emily left. He asked me if I was ready to get out of bed. I had to fight the demons in my mind my mind told me there was no point. I still had the morbid thoughts I think it was the guilt of seeing Emily the way she was upset and tired looking. I still had that feeling it was my fault that my family was feeling the way it was. I couldn’t shake that niggling feeling. I forced myself off the bed first time I fell back down onto the bed. I was determined to get back up, I walked to the toilet I was in so much pain my insides felt like they were going to fall out, and my legs were like jelly. My dignity was gone I walked to the toilet like John Wayne my nuts were that swollen and I was walking holding a catheter bag. I mean I must have looked a right site. I caught a glimpse of myself as a reflection in the window of the double doors. The sight depressed me I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. When I got back to the bed I was knackered I was so tired it really took it out of me walking 20 paces there and 20 paces back.

I fell back onto the bed in exhaustion. Was this is for me is this how life was going to be now. I felt my mood starting to slip I tried to fight my mental thoughts but they took over. I could feel the depression taking over I could feel it in my mind. My physical state had deteriorated, my body was a state and I was losing my mind. The morbid thoughts were back.

The surgeon’s assistants Mr Grocock came to see me later that afternoon and asked me how I was feeling. I was honest with him I told him exactly how I was feeling low, depressed and wishing for death. He said it was normal for me to feel groggy and physically tired. I tried to explain to him that I know that but that’s wasn’t what I was saying I explained my feelings but he didn’t get it. He wanted to see my wounds again. I didn’t so whilst he was checking them I looked out of the window. The drain from my neck was removed.

I felt so alone I didn’t want to tell Kerri because she had enough on her mind I don’t want to burden her anymore that she already was. I kept inside and I could feel myself crumbling. I felt like I was going crazy I was alone with thoughts of death, anger and depression.

That Afternoon around 330pm a nurse came to see me to remove my catheter and drains from my stomach. First the catheter now that was a strange sensation and I’ve never felt pain like it I winced with agony. Then the drains, firstly she removed the staples holding them in that stung a little and then as she pulled them out I have to be honest it tickled. I let out a little laugh. Before I knew it all 3 drains were out my stomach was so swollen I looked 6 months pregnant.

The wounds started to bleed she stood there patting them until the bleeding stopped it seemed to last ages my stomach was like a colander. The 3 holes were gushing blood the nurse looked slightly concerned and buzzed for assistance. A second nurse came in and saw what was happening. Tissue after tissue left me skin red dripping with blood. I thought my god I’m going to bleed to death. I felt faint; I felt sick and then nothing. Blackness.