Day 14 after the operation. The district nurse came yesterday to check his wounds.
The main insision is healing nicely top and bottom. But on his waist there's a teeny overlap flap of skin and it's only just closed. She had a right prod and poke trying to open it up along there. She cleaned and dressed it advising him to take it easy and not move too much there. No sudden movements and no putting strain on it, else it could open.
The drain site is a bit 'iffy'. Now the drain site is actually only a week old so isn't as far along as the main 2 week old scar. She wasn't sure how far back it 'went' and I did wonder if she was going to stick her finger in it! Anyway, she dressed it with iodine soaked dressing which would dry it up and will be back in a week to check it. We've to watch for signs of infection and ring them back straight away.
Painwise - round the clock pain relief is keeping him docile. But he is being very brave about it. He's in most agony on moving - but the pain is from under the drain site - like something tore and isn't healing. He's having to use allsorts of different muscles to get in and out of chairs/bed as they are not hospital standard at home! The Nurse said to ring the GP if worse or no change. I wondered if he'd got a hernia - though I can't feel any bulges. She also said he could get odd sensations from his innards settling and filling the gap where the massive kidney had been.
Also she reminded him that he has had major surgery and it's a massive outrage to your body. He is only two weeks down the line and is doing brilliant considering.
Plus I've been thinking about him pre op ( makes me giggle - pre op! )
The cancer took his appetite and strength. For weeks he'd be coming in from work and just falling asleep knackered. Now at the time, pre diagnosis, we put it down to getting older - he's 47 and works hard manual days of upto 12 hours. Loss of appetite, could have been explained away by his getting in late and going 'past it' for much food and he does feel a little travel sick coming back down from the Western Lakes where he works a lot. I had worried though to friends about his weight loss. I'd noticed his shoulders and collar bones. He wasn't as muscly as he was and despite the weight loss -skinny legs even, he never lost his round belly. I mean, he was never fat. He was just big. But now it's obvious that the huge tumour was displacing everything making him look like he had a beer belly - he doesn't even drink!
So not only is his body recovering from the physical surgery. He's getting back his strength from feeding those cancer cells. I've been in the position of being very weak and having to take it slowly and there's nothing more frustrating than enforced laziness for want of a better word. He does feel frustrated at not being able to 'do' at will.
I don't know why I can't sleep. I thought once this op was out of the way I'd get a full night. I can't remember the last time I slept through. I'm like a frikken new born baby. Looking after him is tiring. I mean he was pampered and well looked after before! I was practically a 50s housewife but now I have the added worrying about his scars too. We used to argue who was the most tired - he said it was him physically tired after a day at work and I'd be saying it's me, mentally tired. Both debilitating.
His appetite is back and voracious so that's a good thing! The nurse said plenty of protein rich foods. So he's been getting three square meals a day. And whatever he asks for, I get it.
Applying for 'sick pay' is another headache. It's an absolute joke. He's self employed. But has paid all his dues like a good little taxpayer. We don't need the benefits for ever. But right now, he does. Yes we have life and terminal illness insurance. We couldn't afford to add the premium for the critical illness and having read the small print - his cancer wouldn't count anyway. So off to gov.uk I went after reading the booklet Macmillan gave us.
I actually rang up for something to do on the day of his operation and was told we could apply on the
phone but he'd need to be near me. Answer all the questions and job done.
Now in theory he should be able to apply for ESA but because of our postcode, we are now in Universal Credit territory. Which is fine, because that's what the law says.
I rang the helpline. After, and I kid ye not, 36 minutes on hold, I was told by a bored sounding Scottish bloke that I needed to claim UC instead online but he'd put me through for more advice.....
Continue to hold - to non stop Beethoven on a loop.
What seemed like hours later, I was told by what sounded like and 8 year old that I had to apply online.
So I looked.
What makes me amused is the fact we had to make wills before his operation as being unwed means we have no legal rights to anything. Technically single on all official forms - being engaged doesn't count!
However, for benefits we are suddenly treated as being married and he has to claim for me and I also have to apply at the the same time! Bonkers. It's a right old rigmarole too. And I found it most strange they didn't ask us for Nat Ins numbers.
I had to then tick a box to declare I was looking for work .....????
I sent an email to my 'work coach' whoever that maybe saying how ridiculous it was. And get this, if WE do qualify - which we won't - we'd get paid on 29th November!!!
Now I'm all for welfare reforms- I deal with a lot of your typical benefit scroungers daily. But this system is preposterous. He got his free prescription card two days after we sent the form in -excellent. But UC?? I bet we don't get anything. I say 'we'. I mean 'he'. It made me a bit raaaaaar and wished I hadn't bothered - which is what they want.
Blogger is playing up so please excuse all the typing errors.
Till the next time....