Three Thursdays in August (and the two weeks in between)

2019-08-29 18.15.18Thursday 15 Aug 19: It was a pretty standard day given that all my days are different anyway. I started with a photo session down in Orchard Park at 0830. Then a coffee at Thoroughbreads in Cowley Road before visiting Stagecoach with Orchard Park Community Council Chair Andrew Chan. I had lunch, an excellent fish & chips, at the Red Lion in Streatham with Lorna Dupre of the County Council Lib Dem group and then another photo session, we have political leaflet to publish, at 1500.

I would then have had a local planning meeting at 1700 but earlier in the day I’d rung the Firs House surgery for an appointment because I’d experienced some discomfort in my chest during aerobic exercise. I hadn’t worried about it at the time and in fact exercised through it but something told me to get it checked out so at 1700 I was having my blood pressure checked at the start of a consultation with Dr White. It was something like 190 over 95 and together with a developing ecg it was enough for her to tell me to get Juni to pick me up and to take me to A&E at Addenbrookes.

When I arrived at the hospital I was fast tracked though triage with two more ecgs and an Xray before finding myself in a bed in Major Areas A6 ‘for people who have a serious illness or injury‘. Oh dear.

However the worst was not to be and after multiple blood pressure measurements and blood tests I was deemed to be not at risk of a heart attack and ‘released’ with a package of meds to go home.

Thursday 22 Aug 19: After my release from Addenbrookes it was back to normal and on Monday Juni and I headed off to Wales for a five day holiday starting with a day in Anglesey with Alex and Clare and their family.

Day four of our holiday was the Thursday and that started in a wet and windy Aberystwyth where the rain held off just enough to allow us to ride the funicular railway to the top of Constitution Hill. After that we headed south and enjoyed lunch at the excellent Llys Meddyg in Newport (Trefdraeth).

After lunch we continued on to the southwest corner of Wales and St Davids. It’s a part of Wales I’ve never been to and I thought it was time to visit the cathedral which makes this small town a city. It’s worth it. It’s almost hidden sitting in a hollow at the foot of the city and inside it’s austere and a contrast with its contemporaries. I liked it all the more for that.

Finally we rubbed shoulders with Dylan Thomas and Keeping Faith at Brown’s Hotel in Laugharne. It’s an excellent hotel with an even better restaurant, the Penderyn, and we enjoyed both. I’m sure Dylan Thomas would have approved of the Brecon Premium Special Reserve Gin which I drank as an aperitif and the scallops I had for starter were exceptional.

Thursday 29 Aug 19: Following my visit to A&E two weeks ago I’d seen another of my GPs, Dr Poole, who’d insisted that I get a little more proactive follow up so I had an appointment with Dr Krishnan at Addenbrookes on Tuesday the 27th. Dr K very patiently but firmly arm wrestled me into agreeing to be admitted to hospital for more tests. The big one would be an angiogram and was to take place on Thursday.

My day started early as they always do in hospital and after meds and breakfast I had my next test, an echocardiogram. This is a scan which gives a detailed view of the structures of the heart and which shows how well it is working. This I understood was a necessary precursor to angiogram which I was going to have and which was to take place later in the day.

That meant no lunch because soon after 1200 I was on my bed being pushed underground to Papworth. That meant quite a transition: an excellent District General Hospital, albeit a rather large one, to a world class specialist chest and heart hospital. And although the talk has been of an angiogram which is simply a type of X-ray used to examine blood vessels it would in fact be an opportunity to perform a coronary angioplasty whereby a stent can be inserted if that’s determined to be the right thing to do. Dr Kilani was to do the job and after briefing me he showed up in the Lab, they don’t call them operating theatres, ready for action with world war one aviator googles and Samurai body armour.

My angiogram began at about 1500 and was completed with a stent inserted in a blocked right coronary artery by 1530. There was no anaesthetic and I felt little. I was soon back in my ward enjoying a chicken sandwich.

The rest of my day was uneventful. I had dinner, I watched the TV and I had a special pressure controlled dressing removed from my right wrist. That was it. Seemed like somewhat of an anticlimax but I’ve got to remember that when I asked Dr K what would have happened if he hadn’t put the stent in he said that I’d probably have had a heart attack. But who knows when or where that would have taken place.

Postscript Thursday 5 Sep 19: I was released on Friday morning and life has been steady since. I can walk OK but I seem sensitive to the idea that I’ve had a heart procedure so I walk slow. My chest aches at times but I’m told that’s expected. I’m on a basket of meds and I’m being sensible because I reckon there’s still a lot of life left to enjoy.


2 thoughts on “Three Thursdays in August (and the two weeks in between)

  1. Sounds like you had a eventful Summer David. I very much hope you are feeling on good form again now and not in any discomfort. You’re right to take things slowly for a while too – we could all use a bit less haste in our lives.

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