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.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Chapter 4: My Downward Spiral

After seeing my wounds and the doctors leaving me. The nurse asked me if I wanted the curtain open I told her to leave it. I wanted some time to ponder and think. The morbid thoughts in my mind were coming thick and fast. I lay in my bed looking out the window the sight of my wounds flashing through my mind, the image made me want to vomit. I was in so much pain my stomach and my nether regions were in agony I couldnt stop pressing my morphine button. At some point I feel asleep as the next time I woke up Kerri was there. During this sleep I had a dream, a very vivid a real dream. I was at home but I was standing outside the front bay window and I was looking in. I could see Kerri and Emily. Emily was playing on the floor with her toys. Kerri was sat on the couch holding a baby, feeding the baby. Im guessing the baby was Annabelle. I was nowhere to be seen. Kerri looked troubled forcing a smile to Emily and cradling the baby in her arms. I felt a tear trickle down my face. This must have been me looking in at my widowed wife and my fatherless children. I never got the chance to meet my newborn daughter in the dream thats why I didnt recognise her. I felt my heart break inside me. I fell to the floor and a wave of agony. I wanted to wake up I didnt want to see this image.

When I woke up Kerri was there holding my hand and reading one of my silly womens magazines that I love "pick me up" probably. I looked at her and remembered the dream I had just had. I felt myself well up I didnt tell Kerri about the dream as it scared me. I didnt want to worry her. She asked me how I was feeling I was in pain physically and mentally. I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt inside of me that I couldnt seem to shake. I looked at Kerri she looked tired and run down, which is understandable in her condition she was about ready to pop and she had all this added worry. I felt that was my fault that I was to blame. The time she should of being putting her feet up resting, bracing herself for child birth. She wasnt she was visting me in hospital when I should have been at home looking after my wife and my daughter so Kerri could rest. I wasnt I was stuck in hospital down, low morbidly wishing I was dead. Alot of my family wont know this because I didnt say it. I kept it bottled inside to build up and it got worse and worse, the thoughts came at me like a steam train. Why didnt you just die? I kept asking myself this question over and over again. We sat there for the rest of the visit generally chatting like nothing was wrong, but inside my heart was broken through what my wife and my family were going through.

Kerri left at the end of the visit non the wiser to what I was feeling inside and I wanted to keep it that way as not to worry her and put her under more stress. I spent the afternoon trying to sleep and not succeeding my own demons were stopping me. The morbid thoughts, the guilt, the anger inside me were all building. I lay there thinking about my wounds I felt my mental state was deteriorating. The thoughts I was having were literally mental. I wanted to fall asleep and not wake up just so I would stop feeling the way I was feeling and stop thinking the thoughts I was thinking.

I feel asleep eventually and again I had a dream or a vision I saw my Nan the wonderful Doreen, she had died a few years ago. She told me that it was ok that she was watching over me to make sure I was ok and that she was watching over my family. I told her I wanted to die. She told me that it wasnt my time and that I had a beautiful family to take care of. She then shouted at me and told me to get a grip of myself. Now that was the Doreen I had known and loved. She didnt mince her words. Before I knew it she was gone. I woke in a cold sweat thinking whoa was that real did that just happen. Or was the morphine playing havoc with my mind or was I actually going mad? I spent the rest of the evening trying to make sense of that dream/vision, to no avail.

I tried to sleep but couldnt Kerri had bought me some telly time. I spent the rest of the night looking at the tele. Not actually watching I couldnt tell you what I watched I stared blankly at the screen remembering my vision and thinking about things.

I didnt sleep that night before I knew it the nurses were there to bed bath me. They spoke amongst themselves about their own lives. I wanted to shout at them because they were laughing and happy. I didnt want them to be happy because I wasnt I wanted to scream at them. They left me once they had finished I was in so much pain im surprised the morphine button didnt explode the amount I had pressed it.

Later in the afternoon the physiotherapists came to see me and tried to help me to get out of bed. I hadnt been out of bed for 3 days. I couldnt force myself out of bed. I didnt want to get of bed this was my mood taking over. They encouraged me to get out and walk to the bathroom, but I really didnt want too I didnt see the point.

I knew I was depressed and I didnt want anyone else to know. I felt this made me a weak person.

Chapter 5: My fight against my demons will follow.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chapter 3: The Journey Continues


I’ll be honest after listening to the surgeon explain to me what had happened I cried. Not through self pity or for myself but for Kerri. The thought of her sat at home awaiting news from the surgeon as to what had happened. That her husband was ok and still alive. The thought of her sitting next to my bed in ICU looking at me, watching me wondering what was going to happen. As well as trying to look after herself in her condition and keeping things as normal as possible for Emily. I did shed a tear for myself after thinking about all this, what my body was going to look like. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not the thinnest man, with a six pack far from it. I was comfortable; I was a happy fat guy.


I was kept in ICU for another night. During the day Kerri came to see me we both broke down at the sight of each other. She hugged me and it seem to last a lifetime I appreciated the hug because it could have been so different. Drastic as it sounds I may never have got to hug her again, but that was the reality. That is what was going through my mind. Cheesy yes! I’m not ashamed to say but I love my wife with my whole being.


The surgeons assistant came to see me again whilst Kerri was visiting me. He explained to Kerri and me again what happened and what had caused me to be where I was. Reliving it again hearing the story again bought so many emotions to the surface fear, upset and anger just to name a few. I wanted to jump out of my bed and rip his head off I felt he was part of the reason I was there. I remember telling Kerri constantly that I love her and not wanting to let go of her hand through fear that her sitting there wasn’t real. I was still very drowsy from the morphine and very tired.


Once Kerri left to go home, I cried when she left as I said through fear that her being with me wasn’t real, I didn’t want her to go as I was scared that would be the last time I would see her. I don’t remember anything once Kerri had gone I must have fell back asleep. I must have then slept most of the afternoon and woke up with Kerri back there sitting next to me holding my hand. I was relieved that I had seen her again as it meant that the dream I had with me on the operating table was just that a dream. I remember asking how she was feeling and asking how Emily was. Kerri told me she was terrified the day before when the surgeon had called her and told her what had happened again we both had a little cry. I was an emotional wreck.


I didn’t sleep a wink that night in the ICU unit. I had constant thoughts running through my mind what if questions mostly. What if I had died? What would have happened to my family, my wife, my daughter and my unborn child? Kerri left as a widow, Emily and Annabelle without a dad. Knowing how my Mum and Dad and rest of my family would have felt. I must at this point commend my mum at this time. She gave up her life at the time to come and be with Kerri to help with Emily and to keep an eye on Kerri. I know she is my Mum but I will be forever thankful for that. I have always been close to my mum. I probably don’t say it enough but I love my Mum, she is the best mum I could ever ask for. I remember laying in the ICU that night just tears running down my face. Morbid thoughts kept creeping into my mind. Instead of being thankful I was finding the negative and looking at the worst possible scenarios.


The next morning after hardly any sleep I think I may have dropped off around 5am. I was woken with my bed moving I was being transferred from the ICU to a normal 4 bed ward. The surgeons assistant came to see me again around 1030am and this was the first time I got to see my wounds. Funnily enough I hadn’t even noticed I was catheterised.  He removed the dressings on my stomach. There were these staples staring at me there were about 20 staples running vertically down my stomach and about 18 horizontally across my stomach. There were 3 random staples holding in the drains in my stomach and 2 sacs filled with blood, my blood. I also had a drain in my neck. I looked at them and broke down 1 surgeon and 4 nurses standing there and I couldn’t stop it. I am a proud person and hate crying in front of people. I looked a mess I hated what I saw and then I noticed as stupid as this may sound my belly button was nonexistent. They redressed my wounds and didn’t even make eye contact with me. I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about my wounds and the mess my body was in. I lay there wishing I’d died in surgery. Sounds extreme doesn’t it. I was a mess and this was just the beginning. I remember Kerri, Mum and my brother Daniel coming to see me later that afternoon as soon as I saw Kerri I broke down. I remember feeling so low, so down and the thought of being dead seemed like a release. I had never had those feelings before I was a happy go lucky, positive person. This person felt like a distant memory all of a sudden.


Coming next is the rehabilitation process and my 8 days in hospital

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Chapter 2: The Journey Begins
After waking at 4am choking on my ventilator in all honesty I do not remember anything after that so I must have fallen back asleep. I woke on the Tuesday morning at around 0930am greeted by the face of my Scottish nurse, whose name I don’t recall. In honesty I woke with fear wondering where I was and what had happened. There were wires and tubes coming out of me, machines beeping all around me. The Scottish nurse speaking to me but it may as well have been in Japanese as I could not comprehend what she was saying to me. My eyes were darting here there and everywhere trying to come to terms with where I was and what was happening. I saw people around me in a similar state tubes and wires everywhere around. I remember thinking to myself this can’t be good and then nothing. Blacking out again possibly sleep or the heaps or morphine that was being pumped into me. This is the real point where fear set in cause during this blackout or this sleep I had a very real and vivid dream. It was an operating theatre there were 5-6 people all gathered around a body on this operating table with a look of panic on their faces. People moving quickly, the body was lifeless no movement whatsoever. There was a head in the way of the face of the body so I couldn’t tell who it was. I stood there patiently watching as these people rushed around I could see something was wrong. I saw the face of the body and I saw the person lying there motionless, drained of colour and ever so still. It was me!

Even in the dream I could feel my whole body tense up questions in my subconscious was I dead? Was this me as a spirit looking in at myself? Thoughts of my beautiful wife, my gorgeous daughter and my unborn baby raced through my mind. Was this it would I ever see them again? Would I meet my new baby? Sounds mad doesn’t it? I’ve never told my wife or family about this dream. Why? How do I start to explain it? The fear I felt in that dream was something I’ve never experienced before and this was a dream, but it felt so real. Maybe it was through fear that she wouldn’t believe me or she would laugh at me. Reading it now it seems so out there it sounds like im a loon. Imagine that fear?

I woke again at around 11am greeted by my surgeon and his assistant. Still slightly dazed and out of it. He spoke to me; he started to explain what had happened. It was so surreal had this really happened to me. It sounded so extreme so unreal.

They had decided during the operation that keyhole surgery was not an option that the hernia itself was just too big. They had to do the operation the old fashioned way. By cutting through the stomach wall and fixing the hernia that way. After doing so inserting a mesh netting to prevent the hernia from reoccurring. Somewhere in the operation a cut was made through the main artery going to my leg which went unnoticed. After the hernia repair was completed it was stapled back together just below my stomach and sent to recovery. After 4 hours and 30 minutes of me not coming round from being put to sleep. A nurse in recovery decided to do my stats and realised my blood pressure was far too low and something was wrong. This is where the surgeon realised that I had an internal bleed and by this point I had lost 5 units of blood. The doctor told me that another 30 minutes of the bleed going unnoticed I would not be sat here today writing this.

I was rushed back to theatre for an emergency life saving operation to located the internal bleed and repair it. To do this they had to open me up via my stomach, which has left me with a second scar around 9 inches long round vertically down my stomach and through my belly button. Also required 2 blood transfusions. However the internal bleed was located and repaired and once again I was stapled back together now with 2 wounds instead of just a keyhole surgery wound which is what I was expecting. I also had to have 3 drains inserted due to the amount of blood that was lost and was in my system. Now this second surgery was that serious I had to be transported from Broadgreen to the Royal Liverpool Hospital in an ambulance on blue flashing lights and put into the intensive care unit. Now bear in mind I have no idea what is happening im asleep out for the count. There was someone who was aware of what was happening she was 36 weeks pregnant looking after my 2 year old daughter. She is my wife. Imagine the fear in my wife as she hears what’s happening.
Once I was in the ICU in the Royal Liverpool Hospital, I was informed my wife came to see me at 11pm on the Monday night in the Royal. She was greeted by me on a ventilator, tubes, machines and god knows what everywhere. I had no idea.
It kills me every day that my wife had to see me like that, in her condition. The guilt I felt when I knew she had been even to this day breaks my heart.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chapter 1: The Beginning of my ordeal

This has been 7months in the making and to be honest this time in my life has been one of the most difficult times I have ever endured in my life. To some it may seem extreme but I have felt and thought things that in all honesty have scared me. This has all happened in the space of a year after suffering a traumatic event in my life. People probably go through these things every single day, but everyone deals with it in their own unique way. Some good some bad and some completely go off the rails. For me personally it was numbers 2 & 3 in that list and even now I am still undergoing treatment. There are things that my family and friend will probably read in this that they didn’t know about my situation and that was my choice. I couldn’t tell you about it because I didn’t know how and I didn’t understand it myself. So how could you?
My inspiration for writing this blog and explaining my struggle is my Wife she is an amazing woman who has had to endure so much in the last 12 months that most people don’t have to endure in a lifetime.  I commend her in how she has dealt with it and took in her stride not without her own problems and this is the reason I commend her. Bear in mind that at the time of my situation my Wife was 36 weeks pregnant and was also caring for our 2 year old daughter at the time. Kerri I have not said this enough to you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me in the last 12 months and for sticking by me through all of it. I know how hard it has been on you.
My story begins on the Monday 28th of May 2012. I was to go Broad green Hospital to undergo a hernia repair. Straight forward I thought admitted at 0700am in the morning and was due to be released later that afternoon after undergoing my surgery.  My wife took me in and dropped me off it was a simple goodbye a quick kiss and “I’ll call you when I’m done”.  “Ok babes love you”. Unbeknown to me this was only the start of my ordeal. So here I am sitting in my hospital bed waiting to be called down for the straight forward surgery I was there for. Now don’t get me wrong I know that any operation carries its risks believe me I’m not so naive and I had gone over the worst case scenario’s in my own mind. I have not been the luckiest man in the world but by no means had i been the unluckiest. Never did I think the worst case scenario would happen to me as it was “straight forward surgery” this is what I was lead to believe. I am feeling relatively relaxed, nervous of course but quite relaxed looking forward to it being over and done with and getting home to my wife and daughter.
I was called for my surgery at 1030am and I was lead down the corridor in my fancy night gown and hair net. I was taken into a room with a bed and 5 people in waiting to put me to sleep and take me into theatre. A little more nervous now as I lay there with a mask on my face just lying there waiting to fall asleep. There is a man talking to me about general stuff my wife, my family and the last thing I remember.
I didn’t then wake until 4am Tuesday morning in the Intensive Care Unit in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. I woke up choking on the ventilator pipe that was down my throat as I was unable to breath for myself. This was just the beginning of my journey.
Chapter two will follow.