Knocked the feeding tube out of my stomach. Day and a half in a&e. Now in normal ward being fed through a drip. Hope they’ll be able to put a new tube in early next week.
Added 3 November 2013: Actually, there was a great deal more to this episode than my brief upate suggested at the time. I knocked the PEG out of my stomach when I was drying myself after a shower. It wasn’t difficult. Nobody told me what I should do if this happens, but I now know that you can often just put it back in within 24 hours. As it happens, I did try and put it back in myself and it seemed to work until I was fed through the tube. It went straight through which was not nice. (I’ll spare you the details.)
So it was the following day I went to Can Misses hospital in Ibiza. At “urgencias” I eventually saw the duty surgeon who I recognised because he’d carried out a hernia operation on me a couple of years ago. Fortunately I was unconscious for that. Having seen him in action I wouldn’t want him to operate on me again.
To get the tube back he first tried forcing a variety of other PEGs into the hole. None worked, although it was agony. I should also mention he was being observed by a student. When the first method failed he moved on to other implements including a pair of scissors, all the time repeating the mantra: “Just relax…” Eventually he gave up.
I thought they’d be able to put a new tube in fairly quickly. Then I was told it would take at least a week. The complication for me was that I had to get food and water into my system. That meant through my veins. There’s only a finite amount of time you can do that into your arms as things keep collapsing.
For the first day I was in a gurney in a corridor, then I was eventually moved into one of the noisy a&e wards. It was an improvement. Thanks Barbara for pushing them to get me moved. I then spent most of a day waiting to see if they could find a room for me in one of the ordinary wards. Fortunately they did. Even better, the other patient sharing the room was allowed home for the weekend. So I had three peaceful nights to myself.
In the end, I only met my room-mate briefly, a local guy with inoperable stomach cancer, though you’d never have known he was ill. He was replaced by a young Senegalese “looky looky man” who made his living on San Antonio’s beaches selling sunglasses and “bling-bling”. Nice guy, in perpetual agony from a leg abscess.
Meanwhile, as I waited for the op to put a new tube into my stomach the veins in my arms had all collapsed. So I needed another op. This time it was to put a shunt straight into my carotid artery. This is regarded as somewhat risky because it offers a direct route for infections to get into your heart. Unfortunately there was no operating theatre available, so they just had to improvise and do it on my bed with maximum hygiene precautions. Or so it seemed.
A couple of days later it became clear just how risky that little op had been. My Senegalese room-mate was persuaded to take a shower. As soon as the bathroom door shut nurses and doctors rushed in. I was told I’d be moving and within five minutes I was next door. The results of tests had come back and it turned out I was sharing a room with somebody. He was now quarantined with nobody allowed in without a mask and gown…