Page 5 - Matt Carter Story
P. 5

Page 5 of 6
               Matt Carter’s Storey

               4 - And finally ...

               In this final instalment I describe what           potholes, go slowly over speed bumps, and
               happened after my oesophagectomy bringing          take corners carefully. It all helps.
               matters more or less up to date.
                                                                  It was such a relief to be back at home in
               Being discharged from hospital was a relief        familiar surroundings and close to my wife.
               in one way, wanting to get home and                She has been incredible throughout,
               basically relax and recover under my own           supporting me when I needed it but giving
               steam, but it was a difficult moment leaving       me space to do things for myself and not
               the safety of the hospital where they looked       fuss over me too much.
               after me so well. Being able to phone our
                                                                  My sense of appreciation of life was intense
               ANP (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) or the           that day and has remained the same since.
               ward for advice was a great comfort and we
               knew our surgeon wouldn't hesitate to step         Because I love food I wanted to choose my
               in if something urgent cropped up.  Also           meals but it's vitally important to follow the
               reading OOSO's booklet was a great help,           dietician’s advice and the tips in the OOSO
               preparing us for the return home and what to       booklet. Soft foods at first, little portions and
               expect.                                            often. Six small meals a day spread out two
                                                                  hours apart. However, just after two weeks
               On the ward a duty consultant visits patients      at home I was eating toast (brown seeded
               every morning to review their progress but
                                                                  granary bread); duck eggs being a high
               they won't commit to a discharge date more
                                                                  protein favourite; grated cheese on baked
               than a day or two in advance. They need to         beans; full fat milk in tea; cream in coffee
               be sure the patient is well enough to go           and soups and so on. I was also keeping high
               home. So, being released can happen                protein seed bars and packets of nuts in my
               suddenly and the patient's family need to be
                                                                  pocket for snacks.
               aware of what's going on and to be prepared
               for it.                                            Within three months I was eating small
                                                                  portion, full English breakfasts and roast
               The day before leaving hospital the                dinners.
               consultant said I might be allowed home
               and, sure enough, the next morning he              Drinking alcohol in sensible amounts is fine
               signed off my release. Leading up to               and sipping away at a couple of pints of an
               discharge, physiotherapists made sure I was        evening is a pleasure! A small alcoholic
               able to walk a reasonable distance and to get      drink before a meal seems to help relax the
               up and down stairs safely. In addition,            new stomach and allow food to pass through
               dietitians talked me through a booklet             more smoothly.
               outlining the kinds of food I should eat and       Now, two years on I've regained 20lbs of the
               how often.                                         40 lost and cut down from six small meals a

               I was well enough to walk out of the hospital      day to three with occasional snacks. Don't
               to the car waiting by the front door and, with     eat too much or too quickly as either may
               care, I was able to climb into the front           cause 'Dumping syndrome'. This is
               passenger seat. Driving wasn't an option and       effectively a pain in the stomach minutes
               in fact I didn't drive for about six weeks after   ahead of a quick trip to the loo.
               the operation. We checked with our                 I also carry a pack of dextrose tablets which
               insurance company who confirmed I
                                                                  really help if I eat something too sweet that
               wouldn't be covered if I caused an accident        leads to headaches and extreme tiredness,
               during that time. Besides, I was still on          almost like a diabetic reaction. Dextrose
               painkillers and quite drowsy. Common sense         tablets from any chemist seem to help curb
               must prevail. Ask whoever drives to avoid

               \\NOV2012\E (Data)\Temp\Temp\Matt Carter Story.docx
               Last Updated on 18Oct2017 by Roger Beaumont
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