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Messages - Ball Hopper

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1
GAA Discussion / Re: Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: July 30, 2021, 10:15:34 PM »

Cork seem to have sorted out their underage teams at least.

Indeed...a pair of one-point wins over the arch enemy should do wonders for those squads.  Stopped the 9 in a row Munster Minor titles bid for Kerry tonight.

Cork have a fair few dual guys in both minor and U20 panels...always interesting to see how many opt for the hurling only, as that is considered far superior by all in Cork, especially the County Board.


2
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: July 30, 2021, 10:08:47 PM »
Well folks, the news is not as good as I'd hoped. 

The pressure of the leak test was enough that a small track was noticed at the site of the previous space.  This little space measured 2 cm, versus the 5.5 cm original gap.

It seems the vacuum therapy did not close the space from the inside to the surface, but got a covering over what was left of the opening.  This covering was easily punctured during the leak/pressure test.

Consolation is taken in the much smaller space that remains.  Most of the progress was due to the vacuum therapy, but that is no longer suitable as the sponge can't really fit in the space and it is not so effective if only at the "mouth", so to speak.

So the plan to finally close it off involves placing a treated gauze over the space.  It will work like a desiccant and dry out the area which will encourage everything to come together in a more solid way, along with salts and whatever else to encourage healing.  I guess the natural wetness doesn't allow a more solid scab-like cover to form.

The gauze will be replaced every week in the surgeon's clinic and photographs will be used via flexible sigmoidoscopy to monitor progress as well.  There will be no anesthesia for any part of this procedure, with all tools and equipment inserted via the closest opening. 

Starting next week, the surgeon expects about 4 or 5 visits will be enough to close the space fully.  Another leak test will be held at that stage.

It is good that nobody is rushing the reversal surgery until I'm 100% healed internally and ready.  I'd much prefer that than going ahead now and running the risk of serious infections down the road. 

Oddly enough, I didn't feel any great disappointment in failing this leak test - I just took it as another small step to take on my journey back to full health.

Diet and exercise are doing great, all blood tests are normal and the peripheral neuropathy is fading, even if very slowly. With the warmer weather, I can actually walk barefoot on normal surfaces without any great sense of cold, although the sole of my left foot feels like there is an insole attached to half of it.  I'm not sick in any way, just waiting for a wound to heal fully. 

The month of weekly gauze placement will be up in no time at all and I'm pleased that the finish line is almost in sight, but even more pleased that I'll be back to 100% in no time really.  Thanks again for all the support - it really does mean a lot to me.  I'll update again in about a month, say mid to end of July.

So I'm looking at end of July for the next leak test and if all goes according to plan, maybe I'll have the ileostomy reversal surgery on 5 August, exactly a year after the major surgery of 2020. 


I should be in great shape for the All-Ireland final.

Looks like I'm doubtful for the All-Ireland final.  Healing is slow, but at least moving in the right direction. 

The gauze/packing material seems to have helped, or else I'm healing a little bit anyway. 

Next appointment on 9 Aug will be with full endoscopy and live on the screen in front of me. 

We will probably schedule the next leak test for that week or the next - by 20 Aug for sure.  The surgeon thinks the "hole" will not be so deep next time and will be more of a "dent".  Such a dent means nothing will be trapped that might cause infection later, so ileostomy surgery can be scheduled if that be the case, probably early September. 

The one possible issue that could cause the reversal surgery to be postponed is the presence of any small wisps or tracks at the back /inside part of the "hole".  Such tracks could trap any small particles that would result in infection.  We will cross that particular hurdle and the associated treatment/schedule when we get to that point.

So that's where I'm at for now.  All depends on leak test, as usual.  Doing well in every other aspect...weight about right for surgery (knowing a few pounds will be lost over the surgery and first few weeks thereafter).  Recent blood draw showed everything normal, except for glucose being a little high. 

Pleased enough to be making progress, although missing the one-year time frame for the reversal surgery dropped my attitude for about 10 minutes. 

Must make sure I'm not in hospital for the All-Ireland final and the replay.

As always, thanks for the great support - I think I can nearly see the finish line now (bit of a disclaimer there). 

Will update again in late August.




3
GAA Discussion / Re: Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: July 30, 2021, 09:27:09 PM »
Munster U-20 Football 2021

Quarter-finals:


8 July:  Tipperary 0-16 Limerick 1-10
8 July:  Waterford 4-5 Clare 1-9

Semi-finals:

15 July:  Cork 3-12 Kerry 3-11
15 July:  Tipperary 0-11 Waterford 0-9

Final:

22 July: Cork 3-20 Tipperary 3-10



Munster Minor Football 2021

Quarter-finals:


21 July:  Limerick 2-9 Tipperary 1-9
21 July:  Cork 5-28 Waterford 0-3

Semi-finals:

30 July:  Limerick  3-11 Clare 0-12
30 July:  Cork 1-15 Kerry 1-14

Final:

11 August:  Cork v Limerick at Neutral Venue 7:30pm

4
GAA Discussion / Re: Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: July 21, 2021, 11:33:54 PM »
Munster U-20 Football 2021

Quarter-finals:

8 July:  Tipperary 0-16 Limerick 1-10
8 July:  Waterford 4-5 Clare 1-9

Semi-finals:

15 July:  Cork 3-12 Kerry 3-11
15 July:  Tipperary 0-11 Waterford 0-9

Final:

22 July: Tipperary v Cork in Thurles 7:30pm



Munster Minor Football 2021

Quarter-finals:

21 July:  Limerick 2-9 Tipperary 1-9
21 July:  Cork 5-28 Waterford 0-3

Semi-finals:

30 July:  Clare v Limerick  in Ennis 7:30pm
30 July:  Cork v Kerry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh 7:30pm

Final:

11 August

5
General discussion / Re: Death Notices
« on: July 18, 2021, 10:46:10 PM »
I’m feeling a bit melancholy tonight but my baby brother Sean, aged 46,  passed away recently.

RIP Sean. 

Sympathies to you and your family Harold.

6
GAA Discussion / Re: Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: July 09, 2021, 10:23:38 PM »
Munster U-20 Football 2021

Quarter-finals:

8 July:  Tipperary 0-16 Limerick 1-10 in Thurles
8 July:  Waterford 4-5 Clare 1-9 in Dungarvan

Semi-finals:

15 July:  Cork v Kerry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh 7:30pm
15 July:  Tipperary v Waterford in Thurles 7:30pm

Final:

22 July

Munster Minor Football 2021

Quarter-finals:

21 July:  Limerick v Tipperary in Limerick 7:30pm
21 July:  Waterford v Cork in Dungarvan 7:30pm

Semi-finals:

30 July:  Clare v Limerick or Tipperary in Ennis 7:30pm
30 July:  Cork or Waterford v Kerry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh or Tralee 7:30pm

Final:

11 August

7
GAA Discussion / Re: Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: July 02, 2021, 12:25:26 AM »
Results:

Quarter-finals:

26 June:  Limerick 4-18 Waterford 0-12
26 June:  Kerry 3-22 Clare 1-11

Fixtures:

Semi-finals:

10 July:  Limerick v Cork in Limerick  3pm
10 July:  Tipperary v Kerry in Thurles  7pm

Final:

25 July: Tipperary/Kerry winner at home  4pm

8
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: June 19, 2021, 05:36:11 AM »
Well folks, the news is not as good as I'd hoped. 

The pressure of the leak test was enough that a small track was noticed at the site of the previous space.  This little space measured 2 cm, versus the 5.5 cm original gap.

It seems the vacuum therapy did not close the space from the inside to the surface, but got a covering over what was left of the opening.  This covering was easily punctured during the leak/pressure test.

Consolation is taken in the much smaller space that remains.  Most of the progress was due to the vacuum therapy, but that is no longer suitable as the sponge can't really fit in the space and it is not so effective if only at the "mouth", so to speak.

So the plan to finally close it off involves placing a treated gauze over the space.  It will work like a desiccant and dry out the area which will encourage everything to come together in a more solid way, along with salts and whatever else to encourage healing.  I guess the natural wetness doesn't allow a more solid scab-like cover to form.

The gauze will be replaced every week in the surgeon's clinic and photographs will be used via flexible sigmoidoscopy to monitor progress as well.  There will be no anesthesia for any part of this procedure, with all tools and equipment inserted via the closest opening. 

Starting next week, the surgeon expects about 4 or 5 visits will be enough to close the space fully.  Another leak test will be held at that stage.

It is good that nobody is rushing the reversal surgery until I'm 100% healed internally and ready.  I'd much prefer that than going ahead now and running the risk of serious infections down the road. 

Oddly enough, I didn't feel any great disappointment in failing this leak test - I just took it as another small step to take on my journey back to full health.

Diet and exercise are doing great, all blood tests are normal and the peripheral neuropathy is fading, even if very slowly. With the warmer weather, I can actually walk barefoot on normal surfaces without any great sense of cold, although the sole of my left foot feels like there is an insole attached to half of it.  I'm not sick in any way, just waiting for a wound to heal fully. 

The month of weekly gauze placement will be up in no time at all and I'm pleased that the finish line is almost in sight, but even more pleased that I'll be back to 100% in no time really.  Thanks again for all the support - it really does mean a lot to me.  I'll update again in about a month, say mid to end of July.

So I'm looking at end of July for the next leak test and if all goes according to plan, maybe I'll have the ileostomy reversal surgery on 5 August, exactly a year after the major surgery of 2020. 


I should be in great shape for the All-Ireland final.


9
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: June 19, 2021, 05:16:22 AM »
Much better news this time…

On 27 April I had my fifth and final vacuum therapy session – no need for a sixth session as the space has filled in fully and there is no more to be done. 

An overnight stay was required for observation for the first placement.  There was relatively small discomfort – having the pump on a shoulder strap 24/7 was a little inconvenient (a bit more than the ileostomy bag).  The pump failed on week 3, so it was removed and I had a few days off until the next scheduled hospital procedure.

A month of further rest and recovery with no therapy will take me to next leak test at the end of May.  A successful leak test will then allow the ileotomy reversal surgery to be scheduled for some time in June.

Needless to say, I’m delighted to be finally done with this issue that first appeared in early October last year.  The surgeon says he will go straight to vacuum therapy in future cases similar to mine.  I will enjoy the month of recovery as best I can…like everybody else, I can’t wait for GAA to resume.

All other health matters are doing well…the peripheral neuropathy is starting to fade.  The warmer weather is certainly helping.  Diet and sleep are both in good form as well, although the occasional afternoon nap was required lately – I’m sure being under general anesthetic every week had some sort of cumulative effect, even though the medics said it shouldn’t.

I’ll update again after the next leak test, but it finally looks like I’m rounding the bend and heading for the home straight…in Grand National terms I’ve negotiated Beecher’s Brook for the final time and have just a few regular fences left – they can still be troublesome though to a tired team, so keeping up with exercise and diet will be important to keep me as fit as possible to handle the next fence.

The umbrella of “cancer free” that is over me is certainly the basis of my attitude, along with a great family and medical team.
 
As always, thanks so much for the support.  Looking back on my initial post, I had hoped for ileostomy reversal surgery in September 2020 – I’ll miss that by at least 9 months, but I am so grateful to be in the shape that I’m right now.

10
GAA Discussion / Munster Football Championships 2021
« on: May 13, 2021, 03:45:12 AM »
Senior Football

Quarter-finals:
26 June:  Limerick v Waterford in Limerick 3pm
26 June:  Kerry v Clare in Killarney 7pm

Semi-finals:
10 July:  Cork v Limerick or Waterford in Limerick or Cork 3pm
10 July:  Tipperary v Kerry or Clare in Thurles or Ennis 7pm

Final:
25 July


Great to have a schedule of games again.

11
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: April 29, 2021, 07:57:10 AM »
Much better news this time…

On 27 April I had my fifth and final vacuum therapy session – no need for a sixth session as the space has filled in fully and there is no more to be done. 

An overnight stay was required for observation for the first placement.  There was relatively small discomfort – having the pump on a shoulder strap 24/7 was a little inconvenient (a bit more than the ileostomy bag).  The pump failed on week 3, so it was removed and I had a few days off until the next scheduled hospital procedure.

A month of further rest and recovery with no therapy will take me to next leak test at the end of May.  A successful leak test will then allow the ileotomy reversal surgery to be scheduled for some time in June.

Needless to say, I’m delighted to be finally done with this issue that first appeared in early October last year.  The surgeon says he will go straight to vacuum therapy in future cases similar to mine.  I will enjoy the month of recovery as best I can…like everybody else, I can’t wait for GAA to resume.

All other health matters are doing well…the peripheral neuropathy is starting to fade.  The warmer weather is certainly helping.  Diet and sleep are both in good form as well, although the occasional afternoon nap was required lately – I’m sure being under general anesthetic every week had some sort of cumulative effect, even though the medics said it shouldn’t.

I’ll update again after the next leak test, but it finally looks like I’m rounding the bend and heading for the home straight…in Grand National terms I’ve negotiated Beecher’s Brook for the final time and have just a few regular fences left – they can still be troublesome though to a tired team, so keeping up with exercise and diet will be important to keep me as fit as possible to handle the next fence.

The umbrella of “cancer free” that is over me is certainly the basis of my attitude, along with a great family and medical team.
 
As always, thanks so much for the support.  Looking back on my initial post, I had hoped for ileostomy reversal surgery in September 2020 – I’ll miss that by at least 9 months, but I am so grateful to be in the shape that I’m right now.







12
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: March 04, 2021, 01:42:49 AM »
News not great this time, but not exactly bad either.

As I had two failed leak tests (October and December) at two-month intervals after my August surgery, it was decided to give it three months or so this time round to see if time was all that was needed. 

As an added precaution against the possibility of the test equipment causing some damage internally, it was decided to get an MRI instead.

For starters, the MRI showed no sign of any cancer activity, which is a great “umbrella” to have over the entire report.

What the MRI did show, however, was a space in the rectal wall where fluid is pooling and a small drainage channel to the outside of the wall.  Normal cell fluid excesses are feeding into this space.  Picture a map with a lake having a stream to the ocean, but no visible streams into it as it is fed by surface water and small drainage channels and so on.

Draining the space is not the answer, as it will merely refill again – the space must be closed completely.  To do this, a procedure called endosponge vacuum therapy is proposed. 

The attached video explains it very well.  The infection possibilities and the associated results in the early part of the video do not really apply to me as I still have my ileostomy bag and there is zero “traffic” through that area, so there is no great source of infection present.

The sponge will be replaced frequently and the treatment will continue until the space has closed fully – initial estimate is 6 weeks, but that is very much an estimate.

Once the space is closed, I’m sure a wait of some time will be proposed to make sure it doesn’t redevelop and further tests will confirm if it is appropriate to proceed with the ileostomy reversal surgery.

I don’t have a firm date for the start of this procedure – the initial placement will be under general anesthesia and will require an overnight stay in hospital.  As explained in the video, I’ll wear a pump with a collection cartridge in a belted pouch on my waist for the duration.  Obviously, sitting will be awkward and I’m not sure if sleeping on my back is practical – I’m sure there will be alarms of some sort in the system to alert me to kinks in the hose and the collection cartridge being full, plus low battery of course.

I've no other issues at this time - the peripheral neuropathy is still with me and slowly improving, but it will take until June or so to be fully gone.  Blood tests are all good.  Weight, diet and exercise all doing well too.

I’ll update again in a few weeks with a progress report.  This is just a small detour on my journey back to full health and the “umbrella” of being cancer free makes the journey reasonably easy.

Thanks again for all the support.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENzS4YSAhqk




13
General discussion / Re: What is the point of this board anymore?
« on: February 11, 2021, 07:16:10 PM »
Well on top of it there J70...by two posts anyway.

14
General discussion / Re: What's your relationship with alcohol?
« on: February 05, 2021, 11:15:05 PM »
Can't handle the volume any more due to the bag - might as well be pouring it straight into it when it comes to beer or cider. 

Instead I've resorted to wine, which I've always liked.  Struggling to finish a third glass though - which is fine by me - so we share a bottle late at night on Friday and Saturday only. 

15
General discussion / Re: Medical Status of Boardmembers
« on: February 05, 2021, 11:11:41 PM »
Hopefully test results will be good MR2. 

Send her our best wishes.

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