Sorry folks, no Chapter 11 today, even though it’s in a pretty advance state of completion. I’ll see how the rest of the week goes, and if possible I’ll try to get it completed and published before the weekend. However, I’m not promising anything – including a new blog this coming Sunday – for as you will see below, I am going to be trifle distracted over the next week or so.
I had to make a visit to my hospital in Bangkok this morning to see the heart surgeon; the outcome of which is that I am scheduled for surgery to replace my aortic heart valve on Friday week (8th June) , and will be admitted to Rajavithi hospital in Bangkok on Wednesday, 6th, for pre op preparations and tests.
My condition has deteriorated of late; I seem to have a constant pain over my heart, I can’t walk than a few yards before experiencing extreme discomfort and my BP is no longer controllable by meds. All this means that surgery is urgently required, so fortunately they have decided to bump me up the waiting list.
It must be my ‘manly charm’, as I always seem to get the female doctors, and this time it is a middle aged female surgeon. She speaks perfect English and must have been educated overseas, for no one comes out of even the best of Thai schools speaking like she does. I didn’t ask her, but I am also sure she has worked overseas.
We had a long talk to discuss my options and for me to be appraised of all the standard stuff about all the things which might go wrong. The main risks are ‘bleeding out’, which will entail blood transfusions and possibly going back into surgery again, heart arrhythmia, going crazy for a while, (apparently when they stop my heart and bi-pass my vital fluids through a machine, it can have strange effects on the brain), having a stroke, and of course, death. She gave me the risk percentage for each type of risk, and as the highest was still under 10 %, there is a good chance I will be OK. (And as I am already crazy – that’s one risk less to worry about!)
I was given the choice of an animal skin valve, which normally last about ten years, or a metal valve which will last much longer but I will have to take warfarin, (rat poison), for the rest of my life, and be monitored on an on-going basis. (To make sure I don’t die like a dirty rat I suppose…). She said the recommended cut-off age for animal valves is 65, but I will have just turned 66 when I go under the knife. However it was her opinion, after giving due regard for my overall state of health, that there is no reason why I shouldn’t live well into my 80’s, so I have decided to go for the metal valve. (I don’t want to do this all over again in 10 years’ time when I will be 76!!).
There’s no getting away from the fact that this will be major surgery and even if all goes well, I will still stay in hospital for a minimum of 2 weeks.
I have ‘Googled’ my surgeon and she certainly seems to be a ‘Big-Wig’ in Bangkok medical circles and does a lot of lecturing etc. I think I am in good hands, which is exactly what she told me…
Anyway, I just thought you should know what is going on. Noo, of course, will be with me all the time, and I think post-surgery, they are going to have a nurse assigned permanently to my case, so it seems I will be in good hands.
My apologies in advance if there is a break in blog service for a week or so, but I will do my best to do something, even if it’s just a brief update on my condition – assuming of course, that I’m still alive. (If you see no blog for a more than a month, then assume the worst…)
A Lustful Gent
Just a quick note to those of you who find it a hassle to dig out the latest chapters of my novel in the body of my blogs, I have now put chapters 1-10 of ‘Part 3- Toby’ in its own tab for convenience.
So if you haven’t yet given it a whirl, the whole unexpurgated ‘story so far’ can now be read under tab nos. 7, 8 & 9.
Happy reading, and let’s hope it doesn’t become an ‘unfinished novel…’