"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


A long day at North Manchester hospital.
CT scan at 9.15 to check the cancer hasn't spread to the lungs. The radiographer is experienced at mammograms but hasn't inserted an IV for contrast before. She asks if I want the experienced radiographer to do it but I think go for it she has to learn on someone. She manages fine despite giggling with nerves. Scan over and done quickly but I have to sit for 20 minutes to make sure I don't keel over. At this stage neither Tom or I have had breakfast due to 7am start, so I'm a bit dehydrated.
Off to the cafe for some breakfast. Egg and beans on toast and tea - yum. The cafe seems good.
A short step away is the Macmillan office, so we call in there and pick up leaflets. The staff are great and give me contacts for support groups nearer home.
Now we have to find Cardio-respiratory for the echocardiogram at 11.15. It's at the other end of the hospital. I'm seen promptly and it seems there are no worrying changes to the mitral valve prolapse.
Back down the long central corridor to the cafe again, passing the car park office where we book a permit to save juggling small change in the pay and display machines. Thanks for that useful tip Ruth!
Buy some sandwiches and drinks and find
a suntrap with benches for lunch.

T spots a 'bridge' and whips out his camera.
In fact it's a walkway between two wings of what used to be the Manchester workhouse infirmary. In the photo you can see the Victorian structure, part of which is still in use.

Now we have to navigate to 'Outpatients E' (yes there are others A-D) for pre-op at 1pm. Again I'm seen bang on time. It seems the bloods taken on September 9th will suffice so no need for more. Just an MRSA swab up my nose, an ECG and a long check list of boxes to tick on pre-existing conditions. Apparently my blood pressure is low. By now I have the gel residue from the 'echo' and sticky stuff from the adhesive ECG electrodes so I fancy a shower!

Patient T has spent all day sitting around in waiting rooms but now he joins me for another informative chat with Clare the Macmillan nurse about 'operation day'. Perhaps finding out I will have 7 tubes (2 up my nose, 1 in my jugular, 1 in the back of my hand, 1 in my wrist/pulse, 1 in my spine (epidural for four days!) and a catheter - oh and a fingertip pulse oximeter) is too much information.

A last a final coffee in the cafe and a quick call to J to put the tea on to cook and we're off home again.

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