Decompressive fasciotomy

Nothing really to write about the procedure itself as I was asleep at the time (thankfully), but this is what I remember about it.

I was escorted down to theatre by a nurse.  I was walking, and it felt like a hangman’s walk to the impending doom.  We went down in the lift, and then went through some smoked glass doors which I never even noticed before when we arrived in to the hospital.  Instantly, the feel of the hospital suddenly changed.  The smell of antiseptic was strong as we walked through a maze of corridors, and passed various doors marked Theatre and a number.  He showed me through a door marked Theatre One, and into a small “lobby” with a very narrow blue covered bed in the centre of the room.  He asked me to lie down, and so I got on to the bed, and shuffled my bum in to position. As if prompted, as soon as I stopped moving, two men in scrubs entered through a door at the opposite end of the room (which I assume was the actual operating theatre, and started busying themselves around me.

One of them, on my left side started messing with finger sensors, and the one on the right placed a blood pressure cuff on my arm (my nemesis).  As it was a very narrow bed, they put some L shaped metal place holders at each side to stop me rolling off.

A small scratch on my left hand signalled the cannula going in.  Ouch, that hurt quite a bit.  The popped the oxygen mask on me, and I just looked up to the ceiling.  One of them said they were going to give me the anaesthetic to put me to sleep and mentioned it may hurt a little bit.

Wow, they were not kidding, that was really painful.  I remember still looking up to the ceiling, and that’s all I remember.  Nothing else, I did not feel myself get drowsy, did not feel myself going off.  Just nothing.  That was it.

Day of surgery

Eventually, the day of my surgery came round.  I had to arrive at the hospital at 7:15 AM.  My partner came with me, and I was carrying my new PJ’s, Dressing Gown, eReader and medications as requested, via a pre booked taxi.

When we arrived, a smart lady in a suit came to greet us and took us to my private room and explained a few details to me.  I sat, trying to keep my mind off things, and we chatted for a while before I got stuck in to my book so as not to dwell on things too much.

Eventually a Nurse came in and explained what would happen next.  I was given a hospital gown, a pair of very flimsy surgical pants and asked to change in to them and put my dressing gown on. I changed, and sat, and waited a little longer.  A couple of further visits by the nurse to do some admin, and to catalog my medication I brought in.  I was very grateful for my partner being there as she helped ease my nerves.

Waiting for my surgery

After a little bit longer, the consultant swooped in.

Hello, can you confirm your name?

And what procedure are you having?

And which leg?

I assume these were just questions to make sure I was the correct patient, and I was aware of what I was in for.  I asked about both legs and he said under no circumstances would he ever do both at once.  I guess that’s due to recover and risk.  I explained that both legs were as bad as each other at the moment, and he asked which one I wanted doing.  I stuck with the left leg as in general that has been the worst.  He drew a little doodle on it, and explained the risks, such as numbness around the scar, the fact that it might recur if my genetic makeup meant I was an extreme healer ( a reference to the fact that my body may heal excessively and cause the fascia to scar and reform ).

He also said that if it does not work, then the only other option is to just shoot me 🙂

He mentioned that my leg may look different after the surgery, and that it may bulge somewhat when I walk on it, which was fine by me.  If it does work, then there is the option to have my other leg done at a later date.


Captive Birth

This is a short story I wrote ages ago, but still one of the best things I have done so far.

Captive Birth

A Short Story

By James Hall

Shannon was shaking as she stood, amniotic fluid slowly traversing the contours of her thighs. A spasm shot through her abdomen, and tears leaked from her blood shot eyes. She sniffed up some escaping mucus and let out another sob; if only she could see the state she was in, but in the darkness, she could see nothing. Her boney fingers, undernourished, wiped the tears from her cracked cheeks. The wetness was becoming uncomfortable, and it felt like she was burning between her legs. In the darkness, her arms reached to find a wall, or perhaps the door, but she could neither find or see anything. Her swollen belly gave another kick, she knew it was soon time, and that the one thing in the world she needed right now was a hospital. Don’t be stupid, her thoughts told her, you’re on your own, and no one is going to help. She would have this baby, here, in the dark, alone, with risk of infection or even death, to both of them. Shannon had still not decided if she wanted the baby to survive or not, her thoughts torn between love and hatred for the child, and despair of bringing a child into her current, hopeless situation. Many a time had she thought of punching her stomach, hurting herself and the baby, to prevent any further suffering, but could never carry it out. As she shuffled forwards, each movement causing discomfort, her skinny protrusions fingered the wall; mentally cursing the fact that it was night-time, and that the only window was devoid of light. Her hands followed the wall, as she moved closer, looking for something to latch on to. A shriek of pain engulfed her thoughts as her left toe collided with the stone latrine. Trying to compose herself, she cautiously bent down and carefully lowered herself onto the makeshift toilet.

“Help me, you bastard.” she cried.

“Where the fuck are you”.

Continue reading “Captive Birth”

Passing Man

This is a preview of a short story I am working on.


Forty years had passed since I died. My flesh has rotted, my skin has long since decompossed. Where once there was living tissue, blood and bones, now simply minerals and calcium deposits. The remains of the life I once had distributed between the earth, the family and the opportunists. My death was a painful one which I remember as if it was only yesterday, not forty years prior. I can still to this day feel the chops and the slashes of the blade which severed my limbs. The tightness around my neck as I was afixiated, even the feel of the needle prick as it punctured my skin and the cold pressure building up around the needles entry point as the cocktail of drugs swelled into my bloodstream. Yes, it certainly wasn’t my best day.

Welcome to my blog

Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr, linked in and my own personal blogs.

So many points of contact and information, but which one to use.

This blog is now my main Internet presence.  It will link to all of my social media, it will link to my Sketches and painting site, my development site and my CRM site, as well as having random thoughts, messages and information.

Thanks for stopping by.

Blood pressure monitoring

As an outcome of my pre-operative assessment, I was required to perform some regular monitoring of my blood pressure by the GP just to ensure that it wasn’t really as sky high as it appeared during my assessment.

So, over the course of a single week, I had three appointments booked to see the nurses at my GP Surgery to get some readings done.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Each time, first reading was high, but after chatting to me and keeping me distracted, my readings came down to reasonable levels.

Diagnosis, I have white coat hypertension.

Pre-operative assessment

I was invited along for a pre-operative assessment a couple of weeks before my surgery.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  I had to go alone as unfortunately my partner had a funeral to attend.  It was fairly painless, I had an ECG, MRSA swabs, blood test and blood pressure test and everything was fine apart from the Blood Pressure.


Now my blood pressure is supposed to be under control with medication, but it seems to be very apparent that I have a case of the White Coat Syndrome.  I gave them a spreadsheet of my own readings from home which all seem to be reasonable, and I was hoping that it would be enough.

I then had a long chat with a nurse about coming in to hospital, what would happen etc.  She didn’t really know much detail about my Op, but everything seemed to point to me only having the one leg (the left one) done.  I explained that I had assumed it would be both.  She offered to check with the consultant but explained that chances are, he would not respond with an answer.

A few days later, she got back in touch with me after having a chat with the Consultant, and told me that my Blood Pressure readings were a concern and asked me to get a number of readings done at my GP just to make sure it was safe to do the Op.  I asked again about just having the one leg done and she said that she had asked, but not got a response.

Oh well.



When I finally got an appointment to see the consultant, well, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. I sat nervously waiting to go in to see him, listening to the nurse chat to others, who she obviously knew, making me feel a tad bit uncomfortable.

When I was invited in, I explained briefly my situation, assuming he would ask questions to probe deeper.  Instead, it kind of felt like he did not believe me.

“Why don’t you go for a walk then and we will see what happens when you come back”.

This kind of threw me a little bit, but I guess I was game for it as I knew that lately I could practically  guarantee that the pain would come on.  He lead me outside the consultation room, complaining about where his nurse had gone.  He eventually found a couple of people who although not part of the team, he obviously knew.  He explained to them what was going to happen, and that when I returned, they were to take me into a side room, disturb him immediately regardless of if he had patients with him so he could come and examine me.

So, I went for a walk, 20 minutes, down a hill and then back up again.  Sure enough by the time I got back, I was limping, pained and incredibly uncomfortable.

When I got back, the nurse was there and I explained what had just happened and what the consultant said.

“Well he is with a patient so you will have to wait”

This annoyed me and I explained what he said but she was having none of it.  She said I should just sit down and wait my turn.  I explained that I shouldn’t sit as the pain may pass, and she just dismissed me.  So I stood around, waiting, shuffling leg to leg in pain, sweating and angry.  I even found one of the people the consultant gave instruction to and they just dismissed me, so I just waited.


Eventually he came out after dealing with patients, and I rushed to him to make my presence know.  He invited me in, examined my leg, and spoke,

“Oh yes, there is definitely a big pressure build up there.”

I began to take my coat off expecting further talks or examinations, and he just said

“Don’t worry about your coat, you’re on my list”

He then picked up his dictaphone and started to record.