March 5thWent to see my doctor who is the specialist looking after me, was overall a pretty horrid experience, as much bedside manor as a rusty bed pan. It wasn't off to a fine start, in fact she was so aggressive , it actually did my head in. Maybe it was me, the fear of a hospital. I guess when your doctor says "you will lose a kidney if you don't act NOW" & then tells me the soonest she can get me in is a week+ and in the same breath talk about a metal probe up your penis, it isn't calming. I just wanted a few questions answered and 1 suggestion and she just ploughed over me. In my head I was thinking "If anyone up there is looking after me please send a lightening bolt down on her". Suddenly a massive pile of folders (about 50) went crashing off her desk and scattered everywhere, it was a wonderful Exorcist moment! It did rattle her. Look it might of been me, maybe I expected too much & had convinced myself it was a case of ESWL and using soundwaves to crush them. Maybe I thought it was sensible to get a scan first to see if the stone was still in the same spot before cutting into me above my kidney or a probe up the ol' dick! It did calm down (possibly she thought my head would spin around and green bile spray over her) and she did finally answer some questions. It just was not good, and I tend to give aggression back when it's off loaded on me. I grabbed Mark and got out of the hospital as quick as I could- left me feeling pretty dark. I've decided to let Dr Evil just do what she does, she's probably a brilliant doctor and that's all I should be thinking about it. After it's all done I won't have to see her or her bed pan attitude ever again, so I'll be a good puppy, not ask questions and jump through the right hoops.
My Mums birthday today so ordered some flowers. Not telling her about hospital till it's all over and done with, she'll worry too much, will tell my sister. My uncle forgot it was her birthday, it's his sister, Grrrr hopeless.
March 6thI hear from Enzman Eddie, he sends me some new music and that cheers me up no end. Quite a funny Eddie email. He does make me laugh. He's still out there producing musicians, has been working with actor Guy Pearce on his possible album as well... and some shows with Brian Barker coming up later this year.
March 7thWe head into Capital Radiology today, my doctors handwriting is so bad that the woman at reception tells me that I'm here for something that I was fairly sure was incorrect, or maybe she was just dumb? The radiologist guy says ignore her, this is what you are having. So I was relieved , it was much easier. Todays scans will be the decider on what will happen. I am a bit freaked.
I call Jen and Merl & tell them that I can't make their party because of the hospital stuff, they get it, no biggie. Still I hate missing one of their "does".
March 8thBack from hospital round one and in bath feeling sore and worn. Bongo Skyhook calls just to check on me. They have some mini "gig" (3 songs doesn't really make a gig eh) tonight.
The date changed by a day or so for the operation, so thats sitting on my mind. Everything else is secondary, well not Marky but you know what I mean. Funny as it is National Kidney Week.... 20 million kidney stones are removed from people every year, 3 million Australians have kidney related problems.
March 9thI quite like Kate Jones who is the member for the seat of Ashgrove in Queensland. Their state election is coming up fast and she is up against Campbell Newman, the leader of the Libs. Not sure what it is about him but he comes across as someone you simply can't trust. He seems to avoid questions when the media ask, and a bit of a walking ego. I hope all the residents of Ashgrove, Gaythorne, Enoggera, The Gap and Alderley give Kate Jones the vote, as it would make for interesting politics if the Liberals get in and their "leader" doesn't. So if you live in Queensland in these areas give the Jones girl a chance. After the way the Liberals have messed with Victoria and NSW you'd wonder why Queenslanders would risk it. Unemployment is now out of control in those 2 states, 1000 new unemployed every week, higher gas,water and electricity despite both Liberal state leaders saying they would be cheaper, crime has soared in some areas of Victoria by 10% and public transport a joke. Don't risk it Queensland it could well be YOUR job on the line.
March 10thBeen told to stay in bed till, the main Op. I'm sure there will be plenty enough time for bed after the operation. Still I can catch up on some reading. I sneak off for an hour and chainsaw some of the fallen tree. Mark shakes his head.
March 11thLove the old peoples expression "in this day and age", some little old man said it at the Kalorama General store today and it just made me smile. I saw the Sherington family , they are off camping with the kids, nice that families still do that sort of thing. The 2 boys are way too excited. Good to see.
March 12thPublic Holiday, I'm bored crazy. Marked locked the office door so I won't go in for work. He's the boss now. Yes master! (Jeannie nod).
March 13thI end up packing a bag for the hospital as they think I'll be in pain and have to stay. So that worried me a bit, so I packed....people called all day to wish me good luck. Were they scared I was going to croak on the operating table? I called Mum, I've decided not to tell her so she wouldn't worry... I'll tell her in a month or two....
March 14thIt's dark outside, I'm awake, no sleep, on edge... but a part of me wants this over with. I'm staying focused. I say goodbye to Mark, pointless for him to come in, so soon, as long as I see him afterwards. I drive to my buddy Rosemaree, she is my acting nurse for this morning. She's even wearing a cute cap! She drops me off at the Epworth on her way to work. I'll call her later so mates can check with her that I haven't departed this mortal plain. On the way I look into the sky and I spot Mars, it's always been a good sign for me, one of my omens. Mars winks at me, it will be ok.
I head up to level 3 and check in, the staff are great. I'm under as a private patient today, finally get to use my private health cover after 12 years! I pay some excess but save about $3000 so I am fine. Fill in paper work, see a specialist to run through my check list. I wait. The tv is on, second omen-Bic Runga is on the TV screen announcing Aussie tour dates... I say "Good morning Bic" ...
I'm heading through the No Return doors, it's like immigration at the airport, maybe I should think of this as a trip, I decide to take it all in. I'm in a room with a cute nurse and given my operation gear.. new outfit no backside hanging out- though my butt does look rather tanned from Hawaii- she helps me close my 'flaps" (sounds rude). My Gryphon tattoo sitting out on my shoulder- he's ready to protect me... even if I'm deep under with knock out gas.
I'm taken to my mobile bed, they put on flight stockings just in case I'm out for several hours, I get to keep them (boy I'm lucky!). I do ask if they have them in a different colour, much to the delight of one nurse. I'm blanketed up, a hose connects to the bed and heats it, my blankets ,even my cute feet covers. I am trying to be calm, I have maybe 1 small panic attack and then fight it. It's about 9.00 in the morning. There are 6 other patients in their cubicles ready for their ops. I'm the last to go in. I wave to them all- very regal.
My turn- is it too late can I run? I meet my Anaesthetist. "Nice tattoo, it looks new, a Gryphon right?". No it's old and yeah "protector of the sky and earth-that's me". I swear I saw my Gryphon wink at me! I've had no gas yet... ok...omen three! My Doctor turns up- she's ok I've decided, just her way- I think there is some strange respect or something between us, maybe just a truce *GRIN*. . She explains the several possibilities, I tell her, I'm in your hands , totally trust you and what you think is best. Oh god not the metal probe up my penis (ouch), I am trying not to think of that.
"Are you ready" they ask!? I guess "NO' is out of the question.
They start wheeling, such fine tuned beds, I listen for a squeaky wheel -no such thing. Just my heart beating, but it's a steady rhythm, I'm not calm but I'm ok.
The room is cool, the two huge lighting rigs look like they are from the mother ship of Close Encounters. I meet 3 new people, all fairly young but seem nice- they keep me calm. I ask about the lights- I want the lights! A special right arm piece is added, for me to rest on while I get injections. "This will sting a bit, the needle is thicker" (I so don't want to know). For me it doesn't sting, it's an ice sensation like they are putting anti freeze into my hand. Next some oxygen, "It's only Oxygen" they tell me, it doesn't "smell" like Oxygen. "Oh that old lie" I chuckle at them. Now to do the count- 10 to 1. I get to 7 "I'm still awake guys" I tease. "6.... time to grab onto the dream I have saved for this".
Blackness. It's full of stars.
I can hear a voice getting louder. "It's ok Peter you are ok just waking up" . I am happy no tube sticking out of my mouth or nose, they said I may have that, maybe it's gone. I so have to pee, I am busting.
"I need to go to the bathroom" I mutter..as I try to access the closest toilet near my bed.
"No you wont be able to walk"...
"No I really must go"... oh no difficult patient syndrome coming up.
"I have something you can use, don't panic there will be blood".
So I pee into a hospital container, and it hurts, it really hurts , my back hurts, my kidneys are on fire, if you can imagine a 1/2 size milk container with velvet blood that was me. So much blood.
I notice the bed around me has blood, a lot, they keep changing it but I bleed. They have some bandages and coverings and tell me not to even worry about the bed, it's all part of the job. My nurse is great.
She tells me Mark is on the way, which gives me a huge smile for the day. Thats all I wanted to hear. I have nurses and doctors and people come and see me. I'm given food and pills and water. I am thirsty but no dry throat. I look into other stalls and the 5 before me are still all passed out. I didn't throw up, most people do after going under- 20 minutes after I'm awake I'm sharp. The nurses are wonderful like the Angliss, the ones at Epworth Box Hill private are goddesses. I think i was under for a few hours.
My Doctor drops in and runs through it all. I have 2 stents in each kidney. She took the option A, yes the probe in places men never want a metal probe. She told me they managed to get into the cavity and crush the stone that was about to destroy my kidney and they spotted a 2nd in the area and got that-so a two for one deal breaker. We checked out scans and you can see what this tiny stone had done to my kidney, 14 more days and I may be emailing mates for a kidney operation. So I have two still, I am so damn happy in a painful probe up your penis sort of way.
I am allowed to go into a bathroom and I cover some of it in blood... only i could attempt to clean it up after an operation. Hey I'm not use to hospital day to day stuff. "Your mum taught you well" said the main nurse. I'm given wide bandages for blood areas and scripts for pills. Mark arrives as they are taking an arm stent out and blood squirts all over my new 505 jeans! He has that pretend I'm not worried look about him. I know him far too well. "Hey I'm ok" I say my voice a bit emotional husky.
We call Rosemaree and she speaks to the others. I convince my Doctor and others I will be ok, everyone else is staying, not this little white Gryphon. I have swabs pills and scripts... Rosemaree leaves work early (God bless her) and picks us up.. it's very blurry heading home. At the time I think I was ok, I was probably on planet "X". Any rational human would stay.
Mark cooks which is great, I eat, sleep, call Sis , sleep pain pain pain, so much blood. Hate that. I'm home I have my kidneys, my bed and Marky. Banshee watches me, walks over and meows in my face. "Whats wrong Gryphon, and can you feed me"! A long day and to be repeated again in 2 weeks. The good news all the tests today I am very very healthy in all other areas. So I'm staying positive. I'm told no work nothing physical etc. I guess the Steve Jobs book will get a good work out. We set up the office in my bedroom, so some easy work.
March 15thSome sleep last night, I expected zero but did get a few hours. Quite a few calls, which freaked me people calling so early when I'm just out of hospital. A few friends were needy but today it's about me, I'm putting myself first.
March 16thI've heard from nearly all of our friends. Only 2 haven't called , so I am disappointed in them , just expected more from them. I pretend that didn't hurt, but it did. As Mark says "Fuck 'em not worth worrying about". We are always there when they needed someone or wanted something. They are so off his christmas list.
March 17thThe Finns were in contact which was nice and Sue and Pete.. Always good to me those guys. Got to see the "Moonage Daydream" footage from the Pajama Club Sydney show (thanks Tania) so cool it's in the set. Sharon was going to dedicate Go Kart to me but they had some set disaster and I think it was a bit chaotic. Heaps of good emails about the gig, I send a few to Neil.
Rosemaree calls by and we head off to grab my car, I can drive a bit, well not really but will be able to do so soon. I'm hoping i can go out for an hour next week.
March 18thJane and Allie and Miss R call in , in the afternoon. I've made Jane the promised passionfruit baked cheesecake as part of her birthday present. She also wanted a copy of Wings Off Flies so that was easy. I'm having an iffy day, pain medication is only working slightly. After an hour I almost have a sob in pain, the stents have this pressure back ache scenario - imagine someone putting piano wires around your backbone and driving off with it on the back of a car. I socially am happy to see everyone but the ol' body is still weak. Not sure why I'm so moanful, there are people dying of cancer so I slap myself for that. Big girls blouse I am.
I get the call April 2nd and a double operation including the infamous Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL). In a strange way I'm looking forward to the ESWL, untrasound waves going through my body pulverising those stones. So that's it..blood and gore. A huge thank you to the many who emailed, sent flowers and cards, it was all a bit daunting - thank you- humbled by it all.
Oh my kidney stones were caused from eating too many green leafed vegetables (like spinach and beetroot) I am serious - so much for "stay healthy eat your vegies"! Who would of guessed!
Thanks everyone & good luck Kate Jones for the seat of Ashgrove in the QLD election!