Between 09:45 and 11:15 yesterday morning I found myself at the mercy of Mr. Andrew Holden, the Associate Professor of Radiology of The University of Auckland and, that dear reader, was an amazing experience. In that hour-and-a-half he placed a handful of stents (six I think) into my common iliac arteries and restored the blood flow to my right leg. As things were there was no discernible pulse in my right foot, my foot was permanently chilly, I had the pins-and-needles sensation so typical of diabetic neuropathy and walking any further than a few yards at a very sedate pace was out of the question. I can now feel the pulse in my foot, it is warm to the touch, the pins-and-needles have abated significantly and I would be very surprised if I can't walk as far as I damn well like!
The stents have opened up the artery around the large (~70mm long) stenosis in my right common iliac artery. I lay there and watched it happen folks. The arteriogram at the start of the procedure showed no blood at all going past the stenosis; it looked as if the artery simply didn't exist beyond the first few millimetres. He then placed the stents and more contrast agent was injected and I saw it. A clear pipe of the correct diameter. I had tears in my eyes.
What's more, he thinks that a new type of stent could be used on the similar blockage near my left knee and I'm going to see him in a month or so to set that up.
I guess the real reason of this post is to say to
- Mr. Andrew Holden
- The Radiology team on Level 5 of Auckland Hospital
- The staff on Ward 41 of Auckland Hospital, particularly:
- Jim Richardson;
- and all the others of you whose names I cannot remember.
You're stars, each and every one of you. You cared for me and about me.
p.s. I hope I wasn't that bad a patient.