Monday, September 22, 2008

My twenty week journey back to Perfect Health "THE SUPER CHALLENGE"

Week 8 Day 1

What's going on in my head?

Well quite a lot as it turns out. Last monday at 8am I was at the rooms of my plastic surgeon...sounds really pretentious doesn't it, but actually it turned out to be quite serious.

I had discovered a soft pouch below my head scar which seemed to contain some sort of fluid and wanted to get it checked out. I'll pop along to his rooms get it checked out, take some sort of 'back of the head fluid reduction' miracle fix pill and head on to the gym to train, I thought.

Not quite. "What are you doing right now" he asked...I mumbled something incoherent whilst my feeling my skin grow clammy..."Oh dear" I thought, and since he took whatever I mumbled to mean 'nothing much', he followed his delivery up with " walk across to the hospital, check yourself in, I'm opening your head up in an hour and a half."

BANG - it felt like a 12 guage right between the eyes.

I did what I was told after moving cars, re scheduling clients, cancelling apointments, making necessary arrangements all in the space of half an hour and found myself being gentled into one of those very pretty hospital gowns with no back.

Interminable forms had to be filled in and it was deja vu.

Right on time I found myself lying in a bed outside one of the nine operating rooms at the Sandton medi clinic - my second home.

"Ahhh, hello Mr Macdonald", voiced a couple of the theatre staff soothingly as they scurried past to cut into some other poor soul, "welcome back".

I was wheeled into the theatre where I had a chat with the anaesthetist about what to expect. I knew it so well I actually told him how this was going to go.

Couple of hours later I woke up in the ward feeling awful. Turns out, after cutting my head open they scrubbed out quite a lot of infection had a look around and closed me up.

My neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon then appeared and started to discuss taking the hardware out of my neck or not, whether the infection was in my spine, the possibility of opening up my spine again, sending me to "nuclear medicine" to have all sorts of tests and the fact that I would be extending my stay in hospital for a week or so.

WOW. My girl arrived after they had gone and I'm not ashamed to say I had a mini melt down.
"I can't do this again" I said to her with tears rolling down my cheeks. I was really struggling with the concept of a major cut and scrub AGAIN. My very recent memory of this was NOT pleasant and although if I had to I would obviously go through with it but the overflow of emotion 'thinking' about it was instantaneous and uncontrollable.

My girl brought some balance to the situation and we started talking about the reality of the situation.

Neither I nor the medical team knew what we were dealing with until we had seen comprehensive scans of my spine and cranium.

No point in getting wound up about something in the future so focus on the present.

  1. Look for something positive out of this. The immediate danger of infection has been largely eliminated
  2. Focus on enjoying the rest.
  3. Make some new friends in hospital. I met a bald lady with a bad fresh scar on the top of your head at the admissions desk. As I walked past I said flippantly "I've got one of those, what happened to you." She replied " Had a brain tumour removed, my second." Gulp...I asked her what she was doing at admissions. "Admitting my daughter, she just had a stroke."

And I think I've got it bad. There is ALWAYS someone worse off than you are.

So, after all the tests and prodding and probing, it seems there is no infection in my spine and minimal infection in my head which is being treated with fairly strong antibiotics. I have to return every 3rd day to head my head dressed and I am hoping to return to training next week.

I feel like I have gone backwards and for that brief 'melt down' moment I allowed myself to wallow in self pity.

Upon reflection however, I got to have a good rest in hospital, found out I have no spinal infection (BIG WHOOP) made some new friends and became fully aware that I have the greatest motivation ever to get into and stay in perfect shape.


I blinked and lost a week but I'm back with a vengeance and by the end of this week will be back on the horse and training as hard as ever.

It's great to be back ....I've missed you.


Marbella said...

Goodness Dougal...we have missed you too. So pleased to hear that the infection has been fixed, and is just now in the *waiting awhile* phase. I just knew something had happened, and am glad it´s over again, and soon you´ll be back at full steam. About time you have some good luck, some happiness, so am sending strong vibes for just that!
Welcome back!

Ron said...

Hi Dougal, great to know that the infection turned out to be a minor one. As always, I admire the way you manage to be so positive about everything that has been happening to you, and how you are able to share with us the wisdom you gained from these experiences.

To a stronger, even more resilient you!

Anonymous said...

Dougal, I am so grateful to know you! You have touched me and so many others with your continued resilience. am listening to a song thinking of you...
the words are,
"I'll praise You(God) in this storm...You have never left my side. Where does my help come help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the heaven and the earth."
With much love.

juli gets happy said...

Dear Dougal,

I am shocked and happy in he same time that you are "back to life now", it scared me a bit that we didn't hear from you during some days and we knew you were not on holiday.

You will be back to training nice to your guardian-angel and keep up your exceptional positive attitude.


Debbie said...

Dougal, we were worried about you. So sorry to hear about having to spend another week in the hospital. So glad you're doing fine and we're happy to have you back.

dougal said...

Thank you to all of you precious friends for your concern. It is nice to know that whilst you are isolated and away from normal life there are people out there who care about you and are praying for your welfare. I really appreciate your touching comments and thank you for taking time to let me know how you feel.