One year on.: My elective heart surgery... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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One year on.

Tickertalker profile image

My elective heart surgery went badly wrong and cost me an arm and a leg. I remember being told, while pinned to the bed, that, a year from now, I would be fully functioning again and happy with the benefits of my operation. Surgery to repair an aneurysm and replace a bicuspid valve is never going to be risk free. I knew that. There was, I was informed, a very small chance of a stroke or even death. I wasn't too concerned as, having just returned from a jungle trek across Borneo, I was reasonably fit. And, anyway, I was reassured, the team carrying out the surgery were so good that they had actually featured on TV carrying out open heart surgery. Well, that year had now passed. Was it worth all the pain and suffering for, what I'm told, are long term benefits? Absolutely not. If I could swap twenty years of the new me just to have one week of the old me back I'd do it in a heart beat. Every day is a struggle. I'm told I will probably live longer now. What a curse.

63 Replies

Sorry to hear how you are feeling now. In what ways has your surgery affected you?

Having a stroke that took out my right leg and right arm. I have improved and can get out now but even a short and very wobbly walk to the shops leaves me exausted. My left knee. which has had to do extra work, has now become more painful than the right. I wake every morning feeling like I've just done ten rounds in a boxing ring and kneeling down is ill adviced because I can't stand up again. I could go on. I split with my girlfriend just before surgery and my son is moving out next week. While I'm lucky to have a nice home and should count my blessings, I just can't see a future. My old life was so active. I guess I feel like surgery, rather than giving me a new lease of life, has aged me 30 years overnight. Once a week I go and care for my 95 year old mum and she often seems more sprightly than me. I know that if I hadn't had surgery I could have dropped dead from a ruptured artery but, chances are, not for another ten years. A risk I wish I had taken.

Do you know, I'd love to hear about your Borneo trip and I'm sure others would too. You still have a lot to give you know. How about writing about it and perhaps send your story to a newspaper or TV (and a copy to me who gave you the idea).

Wishing you well.

Jean

If I ever write that book, you'll be the first to know. Promise.

Qmimi profile image
Qmimi in reply to Tickertalker

So sorry to hear this. Don’t give up pls. Things are hard now. You will learn new ways of coping and getting on with things your way.

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Qmimi

Not planning on giving up. I think I was just feeling down in the dumps yesterday because I've signed up for a dating website and have painted myself as the devil may care free spirit that I once was. Got my first date next week and, when I struggle to get out of a chair, it's not going to look so good.

jowalk6 profile image
jowalk6 in reply to Tickertalker

If that's the reaction you get from a date hun maybe they aren't the right person. The right person will love you whatever. I hope you start to enjoy life again x

"I know that if I hadn't had surgery I could have dropped dead from a ruptured artery but, chances are, not for another ten years. A risk I wish I had taken." There is a lesson here. Can a surgery be counted as an "overmedication"? One should be extremely cautious when considering an invasion of the body.

Hi,Gosh thats quite a story and so sorry to hear or went wrong. What happened?

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to

What went wrong in hospital? Well just about everything, I could honestly write a book. I was an in hospital for two months rather than the expected week and was finally discharged in a wheelchair. I think the most scary moment was when a doctor in the stroke unit had a hunch that I was allergic to blood thinners (I wasn't) stopped my Warfarin and put me on a drip of Vitamin K. Pure kryptonite when you've just been given a mechanical heart valve. I was rushed across London for a potential third operation. (I'd already had two in the first week.) and was left in a Covid isolation ward for three days just thinking 'This is how it ends'. After being discharged it took me months to get any sleep. I just spent all night every night searchng the internet for risks of blood clots. PTSD I think. It's been a hell of a ride.

It requires phenomenal bravery to share your experiences when open heart surgery doesn't go to plan.

Respect.

Are you the guy who conjectured about travelling to Morocco? If so I hope you make it. You write well, so if it is you then that would be an account worth reading.

Good luck!

Thanks for your feedback. It means a lot. Not sure if it was me planning a trip to Morocco. Maybe it was, I was considering moving there at one point. Not sure that that's such a good idea now, but I've been there many times already and have some good stories to tell. Including falling through a roof and landing on a family's dinner table. There was couscous everywhere. I do hope that I feel ready to travel again one day. I just can't quite get my head around the idea of booking a relaxing cruise rather than motorcycling through the jungle. If not, it's been my good fortune to visit over 50 countries already, so I guess I've already done my fair share of exploring.

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. From personal experience I know what it's like when surgery goes badly wrong, but, I can't imagine what's it's like for you.

I sincerely hope you can pick yourself up.

Good luck...

Thanks, you probably do have a good idea. Empathy trumps sympathy every time. I know that surgery is a risky game and some of us just get the fuzzy end of the lollypop. My old girlfriend went into hospital to have surgery for a constant migraine a couple of years back and ended up in a wheelchair. Much worse than me. I'm sure I'll feel brighter on another day, I guess my son moving out in a couple of days and getting used to the idea of living alone has just focused my mind a little.

MelB51 profile image
MelB51 in reply to Tickertalker

I only have sympathy to offer I’m afraid but your remark about the team saying they were so good they had been on tv struck a chord with me. I remember watching a medical programme following various surgical interventions and one was a heart operation. They interviewed the patient prior to surgery who seemed such a nice man looking forward to being more active with grandchildren etc. Anyway, he died during the operation. I felt I knew him and it really upset me but here’s the thing….the surgeon just seemed to shrug his shoulders, whist you could see a nurse visibly upset in the background. I had the overwhelming feeling that the surgeon had made a mistake but was really cavalier about it. I said at the time that I would run a mile if he was to operate on me but for the life of me I can’t remember the man’s name or even which hospital it was. Probably a London one though. Obviously there are good, great and then the not so talented people in every field, including doctors, who I worked with during all my working life as a Clinical Scientist. They are not all clever even and certainly not infallible. I attended an open heart surgery operation many, many years ago when I was studying for my MSc . It was really interesting and successful. The medical staff performed like the slick well-organised team that they were and we even had Eric Clapton singing in the background! I learned a lot that day and have never forgotten the experience. I visited the patient afterwards too. My friend was in another theatre observing a different procedure to do with valve replacement and that went awry with everybody panicking and blood everywhere. Unfortunately that lady died.I think you seem to have an awful experience and you are entitled to some self pity. It can be hard to count your blessings when you feel so low and even angry. I think that eventually you will come to terms with what you have but when you’re ill through no fault of your own, it is extremely hard to be forgiving and not express frustration now and again. I know this from my own experience. I am ill after having contracted Legionnaires Disease via mist sprayed from a fan. I was unlucky to get a bonus of the bacteria and I ended up in an induced coma for almost 3 months and went into multi-organ failure. The medics wanted to ‘switch me off’ on several occasions but happily my family resisted and argued against it. In the U.K. it is the medics who have the right to take the decision which I also feel is wrong, after my own experience. Anyway, a very long reply but know that you are not alone and that you are not being unreasonable!

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to MelB51

Thank for your considered reply. I have pieced together the jigsaw and think I have a fairly good idea of what went wrong. The operation that I was told I needed, the last minute change of plan, the reason they decided on a shortcut and the resultant heavy loss of blood, mentioned in my hospital notes, all seem to paint a fairly clear picture. Sadly, the arrow of time only runs in one direction and I have had to live with the consequences.

I can sympathise for others, but, for myself, no, my wife, yes all day long. My way of thinking is simple - live life as best you can, you're a long-time dead,

Fair enough. As someone once said to me, 'If you want sympathy, you'll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.' Harsh but maybe true.

🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣 That’s a cracker!

You have not lost your sense of humour then!!

It took courage to write that piece. A reality check to all of us hearties. Surgery can go wrong. We try not to think about it as it never happens to us. Does it?

I went into anaphylactic shock in ICU from blood products. Copybook surgery then wham! There I was worrying about the surgery. Talking to my surgeon later he said it was touch and go! I’m still here, still ticking!

So are you! Not in the body you’re used to but still here! It must be difficult.

Every day. You seem to have a strong mindset which will help you get through life. I think adventure still lies ahead for you.

My very best wishes

❤️Maisie❤️

Do you know what, I wasn't sure if I should start this thread but I'm kind of glad I did. It's made me wake up to the fact that I spend so much time thinking about what I've lost, that I've lost sight of what I've still got. Time to move on.

Seal59 profile image
Seal59 in reply to Tickertalker

That is so brave of you. Talking and sharing about your feelings can help. It can’t change the situation but can definitely change how you respond to the situation. Also it does sound like you have such a lot to give with your travel stories and writing can also be very therapeutic.

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Seal59

Me brave? I'm not so sure. I was just wallowing in self pity yesterday. I'll try to be a bit more upbeat today. It's been good to get so much support from people I don't even know. That's lifted me. I think that, as you get older, the body just takes longer to heal and it has been given a good battering. Give it another year and I'm sure I'll be back in fifth gear. Soon come.

Gosh,that`s a lesson to us all Tickertalking.Many of us with lesser obstacles to overcome.Being on your own is tough at first but it`s very important that you eat well and do try to get enough sleep.We can`t function properly without it.My very best wishes to you.With your personality you`ll get there xx

I hope you'll carry on posting , I find people here are very supportive , and I'm sure your son moving out doesn't help :(

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Isobel1

Yeah, my son moving out is a real turning point. He moved in with me, at the age of six, some twenty years ago and hasn't heard from his mother since. Obviously this moment was always going to come and it's all good. But I had always imagined that it would be a time when I could complete my bucket list. Learning to paraplane was my number one plan. Now I'm not so clear about what the future holds. Plenty of lazing around in bed most likely.

I`m sure you won`t be doing much lazing in bed.You have too strong a character for that.You`re an adventurer,a fighter,give this your best shot xx

Will do.

Isobel1 profile image
Isobel1 in reply to Tickertalker

It must be very tough for you. :(

Oh gaud, how my heart goes out to you, I can't even begin to imagine how you feel.My own problems amount to a big fat zilch compared with yours, but in my case, I often wish I was one of my many four legged friends, any of whom I can take the gifted route of allowing them to pass over the rainbow bridge and not let their doctors take chancy risks with their lives!

For this very reason I am a member of several groups who are campaigning to get our UK laws changed with regards to allowing us legally to take the decision that enough is enough.

Not sure about that. I have had some wonderful moments in my life but have, along the way, also endured more than my fair share of suffering. Nobody wants to suffer but it is the time when you grow as a person. What doesn't kill you makes you both stronger and wiser. Pain, I've discovered, connects you to others in a way that pleasure, however desirable, never can. Just look at the support I've been getting here. You've only got one life and pain, as shitty as it may feel at the time, and happiness are both experiences not to be missed out on.

Hi, not much to add, but real respect to you. I thought the book/magazine piece was ingenious, you may not (or may, never say never) be able to travel but your experiences are who you intrinsically are. Sharing those experiences will leave you a legacy that your family, generations into the future, will know the real you.

Keep up the good fight.

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Gdav

I have been considering the idea. I sat a philosophy degree a few years back and have been toying with the idea that intertwines some interesting but dry theories with some real life experience. Not sure that I'm cut out for such hard work and can't help feeling that there are enough books in the world already. I'm not sure what one more would bring to the party.

Dear TT

Maybe you could decide to concentrate on the effects of the stroke .

Stroke survivors do recover. Not recover to how they were, but we do recover some quality of life.

One of my guidelines is that I should start with cessation of stroking. Then concentrate on how I am going to recover.

Being positive is crucial. Smiling a lot helps.

Get the booklets that the stroke association provide and read them at your leisure.

Keep moving all digits, even if it’s a flicker. Your brain will eventually cotton on to the need to give you movement.

I was 90% paralysed but recovered most movements.

I suffered a stroke then four years later needed a replacement heart valve.

Having both together really is the pits. At least I had a few years to sort out the stroke effects.

Best wishes

Colin

Colin you are an inspiration. I have made a good recovery from my stroke as far as nerve connections go. It's more a question of regaining muscle strenth now. The lockdown hasn't helped and nor has the fact that my good knee has decided to go on strike. I had it x-rayed last week and, fingers crossed, I won't need an operation. I find out tomorrow.

Hi, you’ve had a bit of a rough ride too! My hubby had a second HA, in 2018, landed in hospital for tests and was told ‘you need a bypass, stay in and we will do it in the next month.His operation was successful and he recovered really well. He was signed off by his surgeon after 8 weeks, taken (abruptly) off Rivaroxaban and Amiodorone and woke one morning (9 days later) able to walk although his balance was a bit dubious, very disorientated, unable to speak and with 50% of his vision missing! He spent another month in the stroke rehab unit and was discharged but with outpatient therapy sessions.

He was determined to drive a combine at harvest- he’s a farm contractor. Harvest was early but he still managed with me in the cab alongside him to remind him (only once) what lever did what! He had an appointment at the vision clinic a couple of weeks later and his ‘missing visual field’ had returned - his eyesight was back and he was able to get his driving license back! He spent the winter cutting hedges on farms. He gets confused sometimes and says things the wrong way round. He was a whizz at arithmetic and could price a job in his head, keeping tally and calculating the total - that’s become my job as it takes him ages to get the right number out! He’s now 72, still does some work but isn’t bothered this year about combining!

You are right - you are still here and able to do things, not in the way you would have wanted and you have a lot of tales to tell and experiences to share. Enjoy what you have and hopefully now life is opening up a bit again you will get back to a fuller life.

Incidentally, last week we stayed in a B&B in Golspie with a cyclist from London who was returning from cycling Lands End to John o Groats. He had limited use of his left arm and leg following a stroke.

Best wishes, Jane

Its a bitch when all the plans you had made don't come to fruition because of your health. I find myself in a similar situation through heart surgery which didn't work out as well as I had hoped. Its very frustrating knowing that my trip to Russia which has been my dream will never come to fruition. I can't go anywhere without somebody else because I need help to walk. Whilst I appreciate that the NHS has done its best to keep me alive, its the quality of life that I miss and wonder whether it was worth it.

I'm looking for voluntary work that I can do from home to feel useful. I'm sure you have a lot of tales to tell which you could put into a book or blog if you are technically savvy!

Your life isn't over. You need to focus on the things that you can do.

I hope that you find peace.

I've never been to Russia but did consider the idea once. Did you know that there's one and only one way to visit without the hassle and expense of a visa. Fly to Finland and take the ferry or cruise to St Pertersburg. You are allowed to stay for three days and there are plenty of coach sight seeing tours on offer when you book the ferry. Of course, it is impossible to do that trip without some mobility but maybe worth considering if you could find a friend to join you.

Oh wow thats sound wonderful. Thanks for the information. I have looked at holidays for the not so able bodied but by the time you've paid your single supplement and insurance it becomes almost cost prohibitive. I've promised myself a rail journey through the Scottish Highlands. The assistance at Gatwick Airport which is just up the road from me is so good and then I would just have to find my way to the starting point. Travel insurance will be a lot cheaper too.Going back to your original post, you are obviously well travelled and very articulate and I'm sure that you have a lot of stories to tell.

When I first got ill I had half a dozen visits to a Psychologist and he told me to focus on the things that you can do rather than those that you can't. Its difficult some days when I have my woe is me head on. It also helps to surround yourself with positive people.

Good luck to you.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can take the return ferry to Estonia. Tallinn is supposed to be well worth a visit.

A longtime friend of us had a stroke at age 55 and could not move his left leg and arm. Even worse he lost his memory inclusive speech. Doctors said he will need help for the rest of his life. Nevertheless they sent him to a special clinic where he did a lot of exercise.

Two years later he can move again, recognizes us again, does a big walk every day with his dog (his girl friend left him). He looks better than before and lives healthier. The only thing reminding of the big impact is that his voice is very quiet and slow, he searches for words but understands and replies. And some memories of the past did not come back.

He is happier now and aware of time and life.

I am sorry to hear how your life has changed so much. It is a natural process to be angry/sad/frustrated and all the other emotions that come along for the life you had and the life you now have. It is like a grief process.

I had a nasty car accident that was not my fault which led me to having back problems which ultimately led to a spinal cord injury ( compounded by medical negligence). I lost the use of my legs but after surgery and time, I got the use back but still have many life changing problems with anything below my waist.

Initially the fight to recover kept me going but then it hit me that I would not be able to back pack; train young people for the expedition section of D of E; wild camping etc etc. If I am honest it has taken a few years to fully move on through the sense of loss and focus on the things I can do. Instead of walking up a hill, I got my friends to drive me to one and we would sit in the beautiful countryside of Yorkshire; chat and boil the kettle on a Trangia. Not quite the same but getting there! In my mind it was a step to walking up the hill. I still cannot do the walk but I tell myself maybe one day. I still cannot say that I will never do that again....just change it to ‘not today maybe another day in the future’.

I have carved a different life for myself and filled it with good friends who understand my needs and positive things to look after my mental well being and to give my body the best chance to optimise life. But I do recognise that your health journey is just that; a journey that you are in a different place on that journey to me. I want to encourage you; to say that things change with time and you can find joy in new things and lead a satisfying life. There will be days where you feel low and that’s ok. Be kind to yourself and have compassion as if you were being a friend to yourself.

I found Vidymala Burch and her work helpful and have done her course on mindfulness for health. This has helped me to find ways to cope with chronic pain that are non pharmaceutical

vidyamala-burch.com/

Other things that have helped are a good diet; sleep; stress reduction; meditation with Calm App ( there are others) and changing my work patterns.

drchatterjee.com/

thedoctorskitchen.com/

Are also good places to look at.

I am now exploring the idea of trauma and how that impacts mental health. The work of Dr Gabor Mate is interesting and there are lots of videos on You Tube.

Currently I am on a new journey with my heart and I am drawing on my previous experience of being able to recover to a point of enjoying life again from the spinal cord injury to tell myself that I can recover again from this and I can get back to doing things that I enjoy and treasure.

Keep going and find joy in the small things such as warmth of the sun on your face and clouds scudding across the sky. Wishing you peace and continued recovery. Take care.

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Diddyd

Thank you for shining a light

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Diddyd

Great response and insights.

I have found Vidymala Burch's approach very helpful too along with the Calm app in learning to come to a place of calm acceptance of my Refractory angina.

Thanks Milkfairy, I always appreciate your feedback.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Tickertalker

I wanted to say I appreciated your post.

The replies and responses have shown what we all hope the forum to be, a place where we can share our experiences, safely without judgement, being helped and supported by others.

I always marvel at the resilience of others and their ability to somehow find humour though the awful curve balls life sometimes throws our way.

TRST profile image
TRST in reply to Diddyd

Thank you for this.

It's one of the most inspiring posts I have read.

Diddyd profile image
Diddyd in reply to TRST

That’s very touching to read. Wishing you well xx

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Diddyd

Thanks. xx

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to TRST

Thanks for that, I've been totally gobsmacked by all the support I've received.

I really can empathise with your predicament. 1 year ago, today (as I write this reply), I was 1 &1/2 hours in to an 11 hour operation for a Triple Bypass and replacement of the whole Aorta. As with you, I was advised of the risks of stroke and death, but with only 3 months left on the clock of life, I merrily signed away and had the op.

Apparently, the op went OK, but post I suffered s troke that shunt my jaw to the right a bit, twisted my tongue and caused it to swell up and completely block my throat. One emergency tracheotomoy later, and a Stephen Hawkins style Speech Box - I was breathing again, but had to have an NG tube fitted to create a means of ingesting medication and a constant supply of something green that gave me 1500kcals of nutrients per day.

This action led to the development of Sepsis in my leg (where they harvested the vein for bypass) and chest wounds, which then allowed the development of a severe bout of Herpes Simplex Virus (this is the technical name for Cold Sores) that was to chew half of my upper lip away, almost resulting in Cleft Pallet Recovery Surgery.

I knew nothing of this until I woke up in mid September, with a complete muscle wastage of all limbs and an inability to eat anything or drink even water.

So, here we are exactly 1 year later - and how have things developed?

Well, I've just got my Blue Disabled Badge through the post. Tomorrow we are going to look at getting a power assisted wheel chair. I've had to surrender my driving licence because I experience moments of light headedness or dizziness. I'm not allowed to ride my bikes - so they've got to be sold. My memory and cognition is best compared to some one with Dementia - good days and bad days, useful one minute and just a blob sat in the corner in another. I was hoping to study for a new career at Uni - somedays I can't even switch on the computer, let alone read or retain information. My hobby of photography has all but died. You have to be able to get out to enjoy photography, and without someone to do that - I'm going no where. I can only drink strongly diluted squash of one flavour or a can of Caffeine Free Pepsi Max, nothing else - not evne plain water. As for food, well nothing from a Bakers, Sweet Shop, Fast Food Takeaway, anything with sugar in it, to name but a few issues - and I struggle to chew anything as well - so I eat with those cutlery sets you give to babies when you are teaching them to eat with knofe, fork and spoon to feed themselves.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture - sounds familiar?

The phrase I often use to sum up my situation is: "I didn't sign up for this" - and I'm quite sure if my wife and daughters had known this is how things would end up, they would have given instructions to not attempt resucitation on the numerous occasions they had to do so to keep me alive - because they know I would never have signed up for this.

I'm told I've got at least another 2 years to go to see real improvement, until then I have to get up - do not a lot and then go back to bed. I can't read, struggle with TV and the computer, and can only just get myself to the garden to sit and watch the wind blow.

So, until then I've agreed to sit around and wait, and listen to the clinicians mantra of "Compared with where you were prior to, during, and after the op - you have made huge progress and are a million miles away from where you were".

But there are so many times when I wish I had never woken up!

I wish you well in trying to find a solution to your problem, if I come across any nuggets I'll be sure to pass them on your way.

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Brand

What a terrible time you've been having. You have certinly put my problems into perspective. Still, on the bright side, I can tell from the way you write that your mind is in tip top shape. When I was transfered to the stroke unit I was given the Cambridge cognative test and scored 100%. The bar wasn't very high, things like identifying the difference between a carrot and a rhinoceros, but now I can add passing with distinction at Cambridge to my resume. Twenty five years ago I suffered an illness that really took my mind, three years of nothing but a swirling black cloud of terror and, when your thinking goes, you really have lost everything. My problems today pale in comparison. Wish you all the best with your recovery.

Brand profile image
Brand in reply to Tickertalker

Or to put it another - “If you’ve got an ‘ology’, you’re a scientist” - for those of us of a certain age 😉 Never got transferred to the stroke unit, I did have the Stroke Physio’s to help me get mobile and active again. For all I complained at the time, I have nothing but praise and good memories for Joseph, the main Stroke Physio who helped back to some degree of mobility.

I’m not sure my situation is any worse than yours, just different. The only cognitive test I has was when I woke up 6 weeks after the op and surgeon asked if I knew who he was and where I was. But just to be on the safe side, the carrot is the one that’s orange isn’t it? 😂

As for how I see things, well, I can’t change anything so I might as well make the best of it. I’m British, and the British love a good catastrophe upon which to make light of things 👍

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Brand

I've got nothing but praise for the physios. I really didn't believe they would make a difference and, boy, was I wrong. Yes, you're right, and it's always worth remembering that you can't peel a rhinoceros so don't try.

👍

Goodness me ! That’s so dreadful and miserable for you ! When your life has been particularly active it certainly hits harder I think than for people who live mundane lives doing little or nothing actively . I lived in Borneo for about 9 months many years ago ….absolutely loved it and spent many an hour running on the beach and through the “ ulu” getting bitten by red ants now and then and having leeches stuck to bare legs ha ha - all in the name of keeping fit and having fun !!!!! Also,played squash , netball did yoga and keep fit and now am terribly frustrated at having my ‘wings clipped ‘ by persistent AF ! Although not as drastic a situation as yours , I can relate to how you must be feeling ………I recently did a CBT course to help me lift my spirits and see the positives instead of the negatives . Don’t be averse to reaching out for help …….. and keep talking about your feeling to whoever will listen !!!

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Keibval

Nine months. Lucky you. Malaysia or Indonesia? I think my most memorable day was an encounter with an orangutan. I was so engrossed that I didn't realise that I was leaning on a giant python until someone showed me a photo afterwards.

Keibval profile image
Keibval in reply to Tickertalker

We were lucky enough to have posted there through the Army and lived in in a place called Kuwala Belait …….near the border with Malaysia . My husband has a picture of him with three other workshop guys holding a 15 foot python they had come across inside the goat pen , which belonged to the Ghurka soldiers we were attached to . The python was very lethargic as it had swallowed a goat and they had to remove it . It was taken to join ‘ hissing Sid ‘ another snake at the jungle training camp , where after some time it would be released . We absolutely loved living there , what a privilege - and a fabulous experience for our young children in their early years ! I used to love to sit under the porch every evening and watch the sky changing colours against the silhouetted backdrop of the palm trees and then the amazing thunderstorms that arrived with the torrential rainfall …..would go back there in a heartbeat……..ha ha , is that a bit Freudian .?

Tickertalker profile image
Tickertalker in reply to Keibval

Ha, I don't know if you can see, but my profile picture is me in Indonesia with a giant python wrapped around my neck. I can be a bit of an idiot sometimes.

Keibval profile image
Keibval in reply to Tickertalker

I did zoom in on your picture actually 😂🤣 before I replied ! I am writing a journal of all of my exciting adventures …….due to having had the worst 5years of my life with health , bereavements and general ‘disasters’ ! My daughter suggested it and bought me a leather bound book to write in-and I have had so many laughs and great memories as well as having travelled the world with my husband and children - it has been a great mood lifter and reminder of how lucky I have been ! It lifted quite a dark cloud for certain and would highly recommend it as a self therapy to anyone . As they say ‘ count your blessings ‘ !

Wow! What a stream of fantastic interactions you have produced TT! You have certainly given me and I’m sure many other Hearties an example to emulate should our surgery not go to plan.

With your articulate and positive ability to describe your situation you can’t fall to make an impressive recovery: albeit there will be a new TT at the end of it but a far richer and more empathetic character. It’s been fascinating to share your change of attitude as the replies tumbled in - you are honest about your reactions, which many people find difficult.

I suspect anyone who contacts you on the dating agency is going to be a lucky girl!

PS please put pen to paper, I’ll be first in the queue!

Sue 👍🏼🙏🥂

Thanks Sue, can I quote you on my first date?

👍🤗🙏

Wow and double wow, what a story. My own probs are nothing compared to yours. I’m ashamed to say that I have been suffering in self indulgent bouts of misery, over some mis management of prognosis, but it’s nothing compared to other people. Your post has prompted me to pull myself together, and just get on with whatever life brings. It’s a sad, but very funny, when my grandson 10 yr old, says he comes in to say Goodnight, in case I don’t wake up in the morning. That must be the effect of my negativity. Good luck for whatever happens next.

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