Friday, April 04, 2008


So having had all those bleeds the Doctors recommended that I have them sorted out permanently by getting them embolized. Now I have to say I was not that keen on this, as it sounded a truly horrible experience. Basically what they do is insert a set of wires into an artery in the groin, work these around your body to the abnormal bronchial arteries that have been bleeding and plug them up with small coils, sort or angioplasty for your lungs. To be honest I was totally scared about this thinking that the coils might float off and enter my blood stream, or that I would get DVT or something ghastly, because having foreign bodies in your lungs does not sound like fun! Luckily my lovely Doctors calmed my down and the lovely Dr Appleton that did the procedure explained how safe this procedure is and that recovery was very quick, so I finally bit the bullet and agreed (that and the idea that my lungs might bleed again and not stop clinched the whole thing!)

On Wednesday I went back to Papworth and on Thursday morning I was off to the radiotherapy suite and away we went. I was quite impressed by the number of radiographers and nurses I had, 6 including Dr Appleton, made me feel much better. Getting the wires into my artery was luckily not as painful as I thought it would be, although it was a very odd feeling. The worse part was the dye they use to highlight the abnormal arteries that have been bleeding as its the same stuff they use in a CT and it makes you feel just weird and hot. Dr Appleton talked me through the whole thing and afterwards showed me some of the pictures they had taken and in a strange way they were really beautiful, the shapes of your bronchial arteries are like a trees branches in winter- how poetic! You can't really feel the wires and coils in your chest as pain, but you are aware that there is something going on which is not a pleasant sensation but is not as bad as I thought it would be! To block off about four abnormal arteries took about forty minutes, although it felt a lot longer! The most boring bit was having to stay flat for 4 hours afterwards to reduce the risk any clots happening at the wound site in the artery, but once that was done I was back up and home by Thursday evening. All in all not a fun experience that I would recommend as a holiday entertainment, but really not too awful either.