It's now been two and a half weeks since I finally had the bar in my chest removed and I thought I may aswell give everyone an update as to how everything's going.
The cuts at the moment are still tender on both sides, the right-hand side isn't too bad and the swelling has gone down on it a lot, however the left-hand side is still fairly swollen and quite painful to touch or when my arm rubs against it. This pain is quite annoying too because I like to sleep on the left-hand side of my body (I had a similar problem when I was 15 and had Epididymitis - the right ball lay on top of the left one causing horrid pain in my "regions"). This pain though isn't too bad when I casually take my medication, which I was only prescribed two weeks worth, but because after the first week I wasn't taking it all the time, I've made it last longer and it's working a right treat - well besides the other morning when I had the weirdest experience of my life. I kept waking up about 7-8 times in the space of about an hour, feeling like I've slept for hours but then suddenly waking up knowing what's around me but at the same time not knowing who I was or what anything was around me (if you get me?) and also having a mini-flashback of my life combined with the feeling of falling whilst awake - all this lasting only a couple of seconds to which I ended up just grabbing my mate who's currently stopping over. I have no idea what on earth happened but I didn't like it one bit. That said, I'm still taking my medication.
I have noticed too that in the previous post about my operation ("PE Nuss Bar Removal: Day 3 Monday") I didn't mention about what the surgeon had said to me before I went to the discharge (yuk!) lounge about any after care. Basically after him saying everything is good and what-not, he said that I do not need to go back and see him for a check up at anytime, however if I notice my chest going back inwards and/or start getting chest-related problems (i.e; shortness of breath or other breathing related problems) then to contact the hospital and not my normal doctor and he will arrange an appointment so I can see a chest specialist once again for them to check what's happening and if I am needing another round of surgery. (Which I believe is two bars that time)
Now as for myself... I actually feel in great shape... I'm eating well, not drinking as much, still smoking - but not as many, as I'm finding things to keep me occupied and I'm not exactly lazing about doing sod all. I'm also happy now that when I cough my chest doesn't feel like it's being yanked inwards and so far I haven't actually sneezed since the operation so I don't actually know how that will feel. I did get asked by one of my close girly mates when I went to see her, "Can you not feel the bar anymore?", to which I stood there and said to her "Weirdly I know the bar's gone, but even though I can't feel it gone - as I couldn't feel it there, unless it was grinding against my ribcage - I can sense a void inside me". Quite weird to explain, but I suppose I can tell something is missing... well it was in me for 2 and a half years (not 3 and a half years as the Daily Mail mentioned).[[gad]]
So what's next for me?
Well I got contacted last week by the BBC once again and they asked if I'd had the operation, to which I said yes, we had a quick natter about it and then I was asked if I was able to come in at some point next week (meaning this week) and have another interview. Obviously I've said yes and I'm on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio just after the 11am news and following song. Hopefully this time I won't keep saying *erm* like I did last time, but as I said last time, I was distracted by timers and things around me. So that's the radio, I haven't heard anything from any of the papers yet, though I suppose once they've got wind they'll probably want me for one of those crossword magazine style life stories that'll give me a silly title like "Young Man Saved By Foot-Long Steel Bar To Snap His Ribcage Out!" or something along those lines. :/
Besides the media side of things, I thing what I may do too is create a Pectus Excavatum information site that's focused mainly for people in the UK - as I'm constantly receiveing emails and tweets from a lot of people (which are more than welcome!) and a lot of them say pretty much the same thing that they can't find any information about it in the United Kingdom... it's all mainly American websites - which is no use as it doesn't list the hospitals that are available to do the surgery within this country. Plus also I do still have a copy of some operation photos from a visitor to my blog from a while ago, who had the Ravitch Procedure (a different method), so I will also use them on there too. I will actually start putting pen to paper in April and work on that as I believe it will help the awareness of the condition because, as I've said many times before, the doctors in this country just don't really know much about it... they just shrug their shoulders and say "It's normal" or "It's just cosmetic, you don't have to worry about it". To which I must add, if anyone gets that response from their doctor, then ask for a referral to a chest specialist - by law the doctor MUST give you one. At least a chest specialist will know what to do and what to look for.
Anyways, over the next few weeks I will keep you updated on how my chest is and also the progress of the Pectus Excavatum information site too.
Now, I've got to try and sort out my possible spinal nerve problem... already had my MRI and the results should be with my doctor today, so I'll be checking in with him and finding out what they've found as to why I've no feeling in my bottom area. Crude, but yet another wonderful dodgy part of my body. Hey-ho.