(To read my cancer story from the beginning start here – April / May 2018 – You Have Cancer)

Having a Feeding Tube Fitted – Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)

My sister in Law Elizabeth stood up to the plate once she knew about my condition and was a great help.

She drove me over to my next appointment with Mr Walton and came in with me to take notes, I was terrible at asking questions or listening to what I was being told.

We went in to see him and he sat me down to explain the procedure, basically a 10 hour, 4 surgeons, life changing operation where they would cut away half my jaw, take a bone from my leg, reconstruct the jaw, take some skin from my belly for grafts, followed by a course of chemo and 7 weeks of radiotherapy, etc., etc.

I think the only bit I really heard was; cut away half my jaw

I had visions of looking like a zombie and by biggest concern was I didn’t want to look too bad and frighten the kids.

He said they needed some more scans and X-rays later that week on Friday I would have a tube fitted and the following week I would be in for the operation.

The 1st 2 or 3 months from the initial dentist visit to getting to see him was slow, but now it was full steam ahead.

Elizabeth came with me again for the X-Rays and CT scans which as I was extremely claustrophobic were not as bad as I thought.

Coping OK with all my previous visits, I told Elizabeth I would be fine on my own going to get my tube fitted so on Friday morning drove myself over to UHCW for my appointment at the Endoscopy ward.

How are you getting Home? – Driving – No you’re not

I turned up at reception with my appointment card and the 1st thing the receptionist asked was how I got there, she then asked how I was getting home and when I told I was driving she said, No you’re not!

She said I was to be sedated and couldn’t drive afterwards and to call someone to arrange to be picked up.

Knowing Elizabeth couldn’t come because of her own children I phoned my mum who said that was fine, even though she had never been to Coventry before and wasn’t a confident driver (that was to change over the coming months).

I then sat in the waiting room waiting to be called to have my Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube fitted.

I was called in after about 10 minutes where the explained the procedure, got me to sign a form and fitted a cannula.

I can’t remember a lot about the procedure other than the fowl tasting stuff they squirted in my mouth before inserting the tube and 10 minutes later I was laying on a bed reading my book thinking what’s the big deal about that.

Half hour later I was thinking this is silly just waiting here and that I would ring my mum again and tell her not to bother coming over as I was fine and would drive myself home.

Before I had the chance to ring her though a nurse came over to check me out and give me a demonstration of how to use my PEG.

I think it was a combination of sitting up too quickly after being lay there for about an hour, the effects of the sedative and the fact she lifted up my shirt and I saw my PEG for the 1st time but the next thing I remember was a face up close to mine asking if I was OK and 3 or 4 people around me trying to pick me up off the floor.

Apparently, the nurse had turned her back for 1 minute and I was gone, flat out on the floor, passed out.

At least I knew now why the receptionist had said “No You’re Not” when I told her I was driving myself home.

They put me back on the bed where I had a sleep for about an hour before my mum turned up and took me back to her house.

Story continues here – Pre Op Arrangements

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