cancer / Coping with cancer.


Love is kind,..…………..

I wanted to write an up tempo blogpost about how Michael has recovered well and how we are now home etc.. but it has not quite worked out that way.

I said on Friday he was getting grumpy, well that was just the start of it.
On Saturday morning he rang me because ” THEY were talking about him! ” Then he got hostile towardsthe staff. He became awkward and demanding and was having hallucinations.

Turns out he had developed an infection which was making him behave like this
But it didn’t make it any less easy trying to deal with.

Talking to the nurse today, I discovered that ,   post operative cognitive dysfunction after major surgery,  is a know condition and can last for months.   Nobody warned us about this and it was very distressing.

Four days later his temperature has come down;   the paranoia and hallucinations have stopped,   he reports a bit of memory loss, he is still a bit grumpy,   but the poor man has tubes everywhere and no control over his bowel.   It must be very uncomfortable.

I would like to report that he stoically put up with all the discomfort, but he didn’t. He  demanded this, that and the other, then loudly complained about the “service in here” when they couldn’t immediately see to his needs.

I would also like to report that I smiled and patiently put up with his rudeness,  but I didn’t.   I was embarrassed and  exasperated with him.  Especially because I was  tired because he kept ringing me up early morning and demanding I come to the hospital with iced water.

Overlaying this was the fact that it was upsetting to see him like this because I know that withdrawal from drugs and the infection was talking and not Michael.

The above quote which is a bible passage from Corinthians, kept running through my head.

Love is patient, love is kind, ….love is not quick to anger


Still today he seems to be slightly improved. His temperature is down and he is tolerating fluids and they will try to remove the naso-gastric tube later.

It is going to be a long recovery, in more ways than one!

Love Denise

A year ago today we were still in Estonia.


11 thoughts on “LOVE IS PATIENT. ………

  1. Man…I have never even heard of post operative cognitive dysfunction before your post above! Another thing to worry about in regards to surgery. I looked it up a bit and it seems to happen a fair bit with heart surgeries in particular, certainly more major surgeries in general (general incidence being 5%-10%). It is even considered the most common complication after hip surgery. Certainly age is a factor (>70 years) (increases risk) as well as longer duration of anesthesia, respiratory complications and post operative infection as well as other things and there are different sorts of this side effect (some being merely withdrawal ). It remains relatively poorly understood (and now a fairly new area of research) . This is all news to me and I guess you have already been so instructed! Anyway…my best to you and Michael (I understand your feelings, Denise) …Hugs.


  2. Hi Sue. Thanks for stopping by.

    I wish the nurses had explained this to me before. It would have been less distressing . I suppose they thought I understood because I alerted them to the fact that his mental state was not right because ha kept ringing me up at home with the paranoia.

    It was only a couple of days ago that the nurse explained it fully. The trained nurses were fine with him, but I was embarrassed when he was shouting at them, complaining and demanding. .She said it was something to do with the toxins from the long anaesthetic.

    I guess he had all the risk factors.except cardiac surgery. Now I think about it, a friend of his, who did have cardiac surgery, , had the same thing. He thought the staff were plotting against him and walked out of the hospital. He was brought back by a taxi driver when he tried to hail a taxi!

    Yesterday he rang me at 12 midday, in an agitated, state and sad he was discharging himself because there were not enough showers. and how he would re organise the NHS. LOL! Of course he still has a drip and a catheter and couldn’t go anywhere, so I explained that to him and he calmed down. When I arrived at 13 45pm he was fine, happy and calm and had some insight that he had had an “emotional outburst “as he put it. This seems to be the only sign of mental disturbance yesterday so hopefully he is getting better.

    He is not expected home before Monday. Tolerated his first solid food last night.

    Love Denise


    • Oh, my! Hopefully now his post operative cognitive dysfunction has gone or largely abated..and I suspect it has as you have made no recent mention of it! now we can chuckle a bit…as to his wanting to reorganize the NHS as there are NOT ENOUGH SHOWERS in the current system! ha! I know it likely was not so funny at the time though..oh, dear.


      • Well yes I can laugh about it now. I think he thought he was the chief executive and then he berated me for “not telling them before they built the new extension!”.

        Actually, frighteningly, a man on the same ward, withdrawing from alcohol, went berserk with a fire extinguisher on Monday night, hitting another patient who’d had a toe amputated and was in the same room that Michael had been in…causing serious injuries. The nurses had to lock themselves away and call security because he was trying to hit them too.

        Michael obviously had a lucky escape….

        Love denise


  3. Just stopping by to say hi and find out how things are going.
    Love is not always patient but I think you will need a lot of it now. Patience that is.
    I can only imagine how uncomfortable your husband must be, the poor thing!
    I hope he continues to recover well and you don’t forget to think about yourself from time to time.


  4. What a nightmare for both of you Denise! Glad to see that Michael is improving daily, hope that is still the case and he will be home soon. Remember to look after yourself as well as Michael. Stay strong, love from Janet xx


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