War Wounds

Today, I went back to the surgeon to get my cast taken off (then had another cast, made of fibre glass (wooo wooo) put on).  Anyway, I managed to take a snap of my war wounds inbetween casts…

It’s bigger than what I thought it would be (that’s what she said).  Say hello to my gimp wrist…

war wound #1 war wound #2


Oddly, I was tempted to see if I could peel the skin back and have a look around inside. *Vomits.*

Fingers are crossed that it heals, because the next option is to remove the offending bone and fuse my wrist together with sellotape and superglue. This will mean one arm will be half an inch shorter than the other!

Jeremy Beadle eat your heart out…I’m gonna need to work on the goatee.

Psychologist Session

After being referred to a psychologist by one of the nurses in hospital a few weeks ago, I had my first session today.

Unfortunately there is nothing exciting to report back on, but the psychologist did agree that I was showing some signs of anxiety and stress – and apart from my rubbish sleeping skills, there was nothing to be overly concerned about.

That was until she told me I didn’t breathe properly…(I was once told I don’t blink properly too, how I’ve lasted on earth I’ll never know).

I have short, shallow breathing (which is  a sign of anxiety and contributes to stress) and I don’t use my whole diaphragm to breathe. So she wants to fix that.

Almost without pausing for breathe (no pun intended), she then moved onto asking if I was still getting a Morning Glory since my heart attack.

Woah there! Any chance you can segue into that a bit better next time

Medications/stress/anxiety can all affect it blah blah… Oh, ok, that’s why you’ve brought this up (not literally).  I stopped short of telling her how proud I was of finally being able to bash one out this morning…left handed.

Not long after, the allotted hour had ended and she send me packing with some breathing exercises and knowing how much of a wanker I am – I know people who wouldn’t take an hour to come to that conclusion.

Most of the session was spent telling her my back story, but she said there’s some things for me to work on, and asked me to keep a record of my mood each day over the next couple of weeks. According to the doctors/nurses, and now the physiologist, I’m heading for a big depression crash soon – (depression is very common after a heart attack), but if it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses etc telling me that, I wouldn’t put myself in that bracket at all.  I feel almost the total opposite and for the majority of the time have been in a good mood since it happened.  *Shrugs.*

I’m still a bit blurrggghh about going to see a psychologist (and she didn’t look anything like Dr Melfi), but I’m keeping an open mind and I’ll give it a couple of sessions and see if I get anything out of it.

Left handed post

I had that operation on my wrist last Wednesday.  This was the second operation on the same bone as the bone graft I had last year didn’t heal as it should’ve, so this time he was doing a blood vessel bone graft thingy majig.

As with last years operation I was told there is only a 75% chance of it healing.  But this was lowered further when I spoke to the surgeon afterwards who said “your blood vessels are what I’d expect to see in a 60 year old smoker.  I’m not confident of it healing as your bone didn’t look too good either…it’s about a 50/50 chance it’ll heal”.

Given I’m not 60 and Ive never smoked it’s not exactly what I expected to hear. But I didn’t expect to hear ‘you’ve had a heart attack’, either, so nothing is surprising me at the min!

Add my dodgy blood vessels to my dodgy heart, then maybe I’ve got some mad Benjamin Button thing going on?  It would certainly account for my lethargic, sloth like, nature since my teens….

The wrist and my heart shit have started to catch up with me in the past week though. I’m starting to feel a bit trapped by it all (I can’t do this/I can’t do too much of that etc, don’t forget to take your tablets – I took 19 tablets the other day. 19!).  I think cabin fever is setting in.  Now my wrist is covered in a cast that just adds to more things I can’t do.  Although, I think I’ve only just shook off the after affects of the anaesthetic/painkillers 6 days later, so that probably hasn’t helped my mood since I came out of hospital.  And although I’m supposed to limit myself to 2 units of alcohol per day, it’s my birthday on Thursday so I’m in 2 minds whether to have a few (which will turn into several) drinks or not and shake off the doldrums (I havent had a drop of alcohol for 3 months and said I wouldn’t drink again until at least after id seen the cardiologist again in May…dum dum duuuumm).

In the meantime I keep wondering what type of scar I have under my cast.  I know there are two (one zorro shaped one from last year which he said he’d open up again and there should be a new 2 inch scar on top of my wrist).  Having a scar is always good addition for any man.  I just need to invent an animal attack story to go along with it. It’s got to be better than the rather pathetic “I fell off the couch and needed a bajillion operations to fix myself again”

End of left handed, one finger, dad typing, post…2 hours after I wrote that first paragraph. Sigh.

Can’t think of a title, so I’m making one up

I finished my cardiac rehab program a last week…amongst other things I’m now a master in laughing at old people doing thai chi.

But on the more serious side, I found it to be worthwhile and if nothing else, it’s got me back into exercise, which I was very nervous about doing. I mean how long should you exercise for after a heart attack? How much can you exercise? I wouldn’t have a clue (and I’d be terrified) of doing too much and making myself have another heart attack. So it was beneficial for me to at least do some of that whilst I was supervised and my pulse was being taken every few mins.

I tentatively got back on the treadmill last week – I barely managed 5 mins – but slow and steady is the name of the game.

One thing that did come out of the rehab program is that they said I’m showing signs of high anxiety and stress. Which isn’t exactly unusual after what I’ve been through, but they think some of it could be attributed to some underlying problems.

I told them about a few things in past (which I’m not sure I’ve wrote about on here or not) such as being stabbed and my mum passing away not long after (about 10 years ago). Neither of which I’ve never really talked about to anyone. Then adding to the heart issue, they said having no one close over here to talk to probably isn’t helpful as I don’t have a ‘support network’ (although even back in UK I didn’t speak to my ‘close’ friends or family about how I was feeling). But the long and short of it, is that they have referred me to a psychologist.

I sent an email back to my family and told them this and my brother phoned me (for the first time in the 2 years I’ve been in Australia) asking me what was wrong. I think he thought if I’d been referred to a psychologist it meant I was about to top myself…it took a while to convince him otherwise!

I’m very indifferent about going to see someone though. I don’t feel like I need to, but it’s also not the first time someone has told me I should talk to someone, so maybe it’ll do some good. What’s the worst that can happen?

But fuck all that nonsense off, for now. It’s Thursday, the sun is shining and I’m going to see The Prodigy tonight. As the Kool Kidz would say…BOOM!


I’m going back into work on Monday…after being off for the past seven weeks.  Seven weeks!  Thankfully I’m going back three days a week for the rest of the month so I’ll be taking it easy…and making the most of being able to say no to things for a while.

“I can’t do that, I’ve got to take it easy…doctors orders” will become my most used phrase.

The cardiologist I seen this week said he has no concerns at the minute, not even that I feel my heart flutter/do a mini jump a few times a day – which is a bit unnerving when it happens – but he wasn’t bothered about it so it must be normal.  I go to see him again in three months to do a shit load more tests when he’ll be able to tell if the heart has repaired itself.

On top of adjusting to my heart being a bit rubbish, I went to see the hand surgeon again on Monday and I need to have a second operation on my wrist. Last years surgery didn’t work.  So he’s cutting me open again and doing some other ‘bone graft attached to blood vessels’ thing in my wrist next month. Joy of joys.

Although I feel good in myself, I could do with going out and getting shit-faced, but I can’t.  Like the rest of the world, I’ve been advised against “binge drinking”, but in my situation having more than a couple could course problems at the minute. “Everything in moderation: a couple of units are ok”…which I translate to: it’s not even worth it. I’d drink them before the barmaid had had a chance to give me back my change.  Weekends just aren’t the same…but I’ll be back!

Before Christmas, when I’d send an email to the family in the UK telling them I’d done something brilliant over here, I’d always sign off ‘living the dream’.  Now I’m just signing off with an alive/dead status: “Living…”

Yes, I am that funny.

(I realise that last paragraph doesn’t fit in with anything else in this post, but sod it. It just popped into my head and made me laugh).

Animal Hats

ImageWhen did those animal hats creep into everyday society?  

You know the animal character on the top of the hat and tassels (sometimes morphed into gloves) hanging down.   Where did they come from?  Who is responsible?

They’ve just popped up out of nowhere and all of a sudden I see a grown man walking around in 25 degree heat with one on in Sydney this morning. As if it’s normal.  

Is it a thing now?  I’ve no idea what the kool kidz are doing these days.  Are people wearing them to show how wacky they are?  

‘Look at me, I’m dead mad, I’ve got a tiger hat on’.

If you’re past puberty, stop it.  It makes you look like a massive knobhead.

Recovering, slowly but surely

So nearly three weeks after the heart attack I’m recovering, slowly but surely.  I’m still a bit out of breath doing simple stuff…walking around or going up stairs is hard work if I go quicker than my heart will let me – but that’s only to be expected at the minute.  I’m off work for another 2 weeks then I’ll probably look at easing back into work (maybe part-time hours for a few weeks).

My blood test results came back and they were all clear…so there’s sod all wrong with me. I’m literally that person you read about where someone has a heart attack and no one knows why.

Just to complicate things on top of all the heart stuff – I need to go back and see the hand surgeon in a couple of weeks (I’ll probably need another operation on that bone in my wrist because it hasn’t healed)!  Work have been good with me though and my boss said they’d be ok with me working around whatever I need to do.

I start cardiac rehab tomorrow so hopefully that’ll help my recovery too.  Maybe I’ll make some new friends there…Edna and Stan will invite me to Bingo nights (or whatever old heart attack people do).

All the consultants, doctors and nurses keep telling me I’ll start feeling a bit down about the heart attack and part of the rehab is to get you to speak to someone about it all.  I can’t see myself feeling down about it…I haven’t been thinking about it in a depressing ‘why me’ way at all.  I’ve been very blasé about it (apparently it’s common for people of similar age to be blasé).  But I’ll just go with it and take what they offer…every little helps I suppose and it’s there for a reason.

The way I look at it is that I’ve fell off my bike.  I just need to get up, brush myself off and, with the stabilisers attached for a while, carry on.