Saturday, September 05, 2020

A small anniversary

Two years ago today I was in hospital. It’s not the sort of anniversary I’d normally mention, but there are two things about this one. First, this is one of two anniversaries that are mine alone, but, also, both of them happened because of Nigel. When I posted about this incident at the time, I said:
…it was dealt with because Nigel was my angel and rock of strength (yet again). Although, he did take the rather unflattering photo…, which I shared with my personal Facebook post… Still, I did tell him to take the photo!
That photo is above (the blog post itself was based on things I said in the comments to the photo). It was my 2 year old comments about Nigel in that blog post that caught my attention, because what I said then was always true. That second thing about this small anniversary is the background to it all, and it's been on my mind as things (don’t) move ahead on my Health Journey.

Last month, on the fourth anniversary of the start of this adventure, I said “there’s not even an estimate (yet) of how long I’ll be waiting” for the cryoablation procedure that may fix my atrial fibrillation. Turns out, I didn’t know the half of it.

Had I read the letter from th DHB a little more closely, I’d have absorbed all of this in context:
On paper he would be an ideal candidate for pulmonary vein isolation, and his treatment is recommended in International guidelines.

Unfortunately, we have severe restrictions placed on our EP service… so we are unable to offer him his procedure at the moment, as he does not meet the imposed criteria. If he were to have more than two admissions to hospital or develop heart failure symptoms he may reach priority.
I knew that I wasn’t a priority, but I’d missed that part in bold, that, basically, there was no way I’d be getting the procedure any time soon, if at all. I decided to see a private cardiologist when I thought there would be a long wait, but that’s even more important now that I know it clearly could be a very, very, very long time before I get the procedure done here in Hamilton (if at all).

Here’s the thing that bothers me about this: I know that their budgets are tight, but the whole point of getting the procedure is to ensure I don’t end up in hospital and that I don’t “develop heart failure symptoms”. If they happened, both of those could be very expensive on their own, more expensive than the procedure itself.

I’ll be having a consultation with the private cardiologist next month. I have no idea what will happen after that, but first things first, and all that.

This would be much easier to face if Nigel was still with me, but, then, if he was still with me, we’d be in Auckland. My old DHB, Counties-Manukau, would have done the procedure months ago if it hadn’t been for Covid-19, or weeks ago with it. So, nothing is actually straightforward about this.

Well, except for one thing: I wish Nigel was with me to help me through this, rather than facing it alone (aside from family and friends, obviously, but that’s just not the same). Even so, I’ve been dealing with all this alone for the better part of a year now, and I’m facing it with exactly the same sort of single-minded determination that brought me to Hamilton. It worked before, and I’m sure it’ll work again.

But I still wish Nigel was with me. Every day. And not just for this journey.


fpentlin said...

I wish Nigel was still with you as well. Best wishes.

Arthur Schenck said...

Thanks. In a sense he is, not the least because I know he'd be doing exactly what I am, namely, finding a way through this problem. That's actually a source of strength!

Roger Owen Green said...

As I've alluded, I'll have to lay out my condition soon, after I tell my sisters, because it could affect them too.

Arthur Schenck said...

Roger: As you already know, putting it "out there" can be quite therapeutic. Good luck!