In order to avoid a charge that I was over-promising and under-delivering, I decided a week ago not to issue any updates on my probable discharge from hospital.
So it may not have been completely apparent to you that I am still in hospital, almost four weeks after my heart transplant operation and double the time that I was told – and shared here – I would need to remain in hospital.
My view, after too many instances of hearing “tomorrow, tomorrow”, was that, until I had in my pristinely sanitized hands (a requirement to avoid picking up germs) a doctor’s note instructing the staff to “chuck him out now”, I would simply await the great moment with patience and fortitude. After all, the glass is a whole lot more than half-full, three-quarters full in fact, according to the echocardiograms. And I am thankful for what has occurred already and optimistic about all that lies ahead.
Medical professionals, understandably, may be conservative.
The latest delay in release firstly flowed from an earlier delay which caused my schedule of biopsies to run into each other, so it didn’t make sense to be released just for a couple of days only to have to come back for the next biopsy (doctors advise that an overnight hospital stay be reserved for a biopsy in case there is a need for follow-up treatment based on the biopsy result). The second biopsy returned near-perfect results too on my heart’s performance.
Secondly, the doctors wanted to do another “tap” to drain fluid from the chest cavity which has been building up again despite the tap last week, and conduct tests on what might be causing the fluid to accumulate. The heart sac or pericardial cavity requires some fluid to protect the organs and networks in the chest area from damage due to simple functions like a violent sneeze. But, too much fluid puts unnecessary pressure on the heart to perform and diminishes breathing function – which, of course, I know much about, experience which easily convinced me the extra stay in hospital was justified to nail that fluid build-up.
The tap was inserted yesterday (Friday) under general anaesthetic and the drain (a real plumbing analogy here) removed today, with around 500ml of fluid from the chest.
Now I wait for results. Not quite the special weekend I was expecting to spend with my beloved. That still lies ahead – I look forward to many of those. Doesn’t mean a bit of frustration doesn’t creep in, especially when communication channels don’t work effectively.
But hey, Cape jazzing is alive and well in a ward at CBMH tonight. Dr Victor, Malaika, Hotstix and Brenda are pumping through my headphones in time with my beating heart. “I love to truck” is no longer just a pipedream but an anthem offering a real possibility I can get out on that road again. And as for Tsoang Tsoang and Vulindlela, we do have big weddings of special family members to anticipate.
It will all be a blast when they chuck me out of here.