Following on from my appointment with the surgeon 2 1/2 weeks ago, I had my CT scan today, at Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay, to find out whether Miss Piggy, my hernia, has returned. This is a private hospital, but it takes NHS overflow for various procedures. Today the mobile CT scanning unit was in the car park and this is where we went.
The whole thing took a lot shorter time than the scans I’ve had at Torbay Hospital, where you are sitting around for ages, drinking and waiting your turn, and afterwards they like to keep you hanging around for a while longer before removing your cannula in case you exhibit any adverse symptoms from the X-ray dye. Today, though, we sat in the waiting room near the entrance to the hospital and were soon called, and they did the procedure straight away, inserting the cannula into my arm for the dye, and removing it immediately after the scan.
Mr. Pullan, my surgeon, had instructed me to perform the Valsalva manoeuvre in the scanner. Normally, you have to take in a breath and hold it while the scan takes place, but in order to make any hernia more obvious, I was instructed to exhale against my closed glottis in order to produce a strain on my abdomen.
I should have the result of the scan fairly soon – I was told that the report would be made pretty quickly, but there may be a delay in hearing from Mr. Pullan – I don’t know if they will phone, or whether they will call me in for another appointment.
I have been spending the past 2 1/2 weeks hoping the hernia has come back, so that they will go ahead and do the permanent repair in a controlled fashion, so that I am properly prepared and as fit as possible before the operation. The alternative is to wait for the sutured repair, done three months ago, to fail, and this could happen at any time, out of our control, and I am anxious to avoid the possibility of another obstruction, which would put me back in hospital requiring another emergency operation, again most likely performed by a general surgeon who is not qualified to insert the mesh around the stoma. He would again make a sutured repair, and we’d be back to square one again. There is a limited number of times the procedure can be done, and eventually the area would be so weakened that they’d have to relocate the stoma to the other side of my abdomen, which I am very anxious to avoid at all costs.
It’s a weird position to be in, hoping against hope for a hernia! Ah well, my life these days seems to consist of a series of weirdnesses, one way or another! We shall just have to wait and see what the scan reveals.