I'm back in the UK after a week in Poland and can say I'm absolutely thrilled following my treatment and with meeting all the amazing people who were having the same treatment as me.
Myself, my mum and younger sister arrived at Krakow airport on Friday evening and were greeted by Peter, one of the Euromedic Taxi drivers, as we exited the airport. He dropped us off in Katowice, a 45 minute drive away, at the 4 star Qubus Hotel, which was very comfortable and had helpful and cheerful staff. In the lift en route to our room, we met Cara and her husband, Mike, whom I’d 'met' on TIMS.com via a previous post, Off to Poland on Friday.
We settled into our room and after a pleasant (BBD friendly for me) dinner, we retired to our beds for the evening to ready ourselves for the next day, a trip to the Tomograf Clinic to have my MRV taken, which didn't show any sign of narrowing veins
So on to Monday and the day of my procedure. It started off painfully, with a nurse unsuccessfully attempting to attach a cannula to the vein in front of my elbow. After 6 unsuccessful attempts a senior nurse came and inserted it for me at the first time of asking. Myself and all the other patients treated by this nurse all have the bruises to prove her incompetence, or maybe it was just a VERY bad day at the office for her!
A few hours after this I met Dr Simka who performed a Doppler scan on my left and right jugular veins. This revealed that both were extremely narrow and had minimal or no blood flow. ‘YES!’ I thought to myself as he told me the (good) news. An hour or so after this, I met Dr Ludyga in the operating theatre. The anaesthetist, Dr Machura, injected me with a local anaesthetic. I was told the operation would last around 40 minutes or so, but to me it felt like 10 minutes, Dr Machura did tell me that that my perception of time was likely to be exaggerated! Once Dr Ludyga located the narrowing in my left jugular vein, he performed balloon angioplasty and told me that the response shown by my vein was excellent and that no stent would be required. The sensation of the ballooning was a strange but not uncomfortable one. My left arm felt as if someone was taking my blood pressure. My right jugular vein was next to be treated and again, he said that the vein responded excellently to balloon angioplasty and that once again no stent would be required to keep the vein open.
I'd been sleeping inclined for the last 6 months+ and had seen firsthand what circulation, however it's achieved, can do to my body. The feelings of warmth in my hands and feet along with the clarity of thought were great but didn't come close to the sensations I felt after being 'liberated', my feet and my right hand especially felt like they were on fire(!) and the surge of blood through my body just felt great. Upon returning to the hotel the next day, the ease of which I was able to lift my legs up onto my wheelchairs' footrest was unbelievable. So effortless, as if my muscles had grown stronger overnight, although this was just due to more blood reaching them, resulting in improved muscle performance. A day and a half of rest later when I decided to have a walk using my walking sticks was amazing. My spasticity had disappeared although the improvement in my balance was less so, but nonetheless, an improvement.