This was a journey i really didant want to make ,but after a year of pain ,infections ,swelling and feeling unwell it had to be done.
Its the 31st of may 2009 ,and after spending the last few weeks putting this trip together the day had finally come round to travel back to bangkok ,to try and find a solution to my forehead problem with Dr Chettawut .
Despite sending off my ct scan i was told that the best way to see the problem first hand was to go back in the face and look for real .
I had another coach ride back down to heathrow just like on my previous trips ,and despite feeling not good i knew this was a journey i simply had to make , so kept telling myself the solution to my problem is back in bangkok .
When i arrived at the central bus station at heathrow ,i knew i was early so had a couple of hours to kill before my flight left ,so one i had checked my luggage in and gotten through customs with no bother i decided to look round the duty free and the shops there to kill the time . Its amazing how slow time goes when your not feeling on top form ,and i just kept watching the departure boards for my flight BR068 on EVA Airways to start loading so i could head for the departure point .
Eventually the board said ,passengers for this flight please go to depature point ,and i took my time and headed to this place and waited for my flight to start boarding .
This trip was gonna be a 777 again the smaller type of aircraft ,not like the 747 the jumbo jet as i had travelled on previously .
I had asked for an isle seat so i could at least get up and viset the toilet and stretch my legs while on the flight .
We eventually boarded the aircraft and it set off on the 6,500 mile flight of nearly 11 hours to bangkok ,and i had my isle seat as i had wanted .
The flight didant go to bad really despite not having anybody who was sociable enough to at least want to chat with me .
11 hours later we arrived at bangkok airport and i knew that was another flight out the way and a step closer to getting things sorted with my face .
Obviously with beeing at this airport on previous trips i prity much knew my way around and by now i was prity tired and with the heat being evident as soon as you step off the aircraft and also dealing with the ears after depresurisation of the aircraft ,i just took my time going through customs and collecting my luggage and heading towards the collection point i had been told by Dr Chettawut to head for .
Like on previous trips when you get to the collection point and try and find a person with a name board ,its just a sea of bustling people all waiving borads and people trying to hustle cab rides to various destinations .
After walking for what seemed like forever ,i glanced over to my right and saw my name board and also Mr June ,Dr Chets assistant . At least i had found my contact and didant need to worry about ringing Tair on her mobile phone to say i cant find anybody .
So with my trolly loaded with my luggage we headed for the car park and the car that would take me to the Baan Siri .
As soon as we left the car park and the thai sun streamed in through the car windows i streight away recognised the things i had seen on previous trips and felt slightly more at ease .
A short car ride later we arrived at the hotel i had stayed at mant times before The Bann Siri, and noticed to big yellow sign that normally is the first thing you see was missing from wear you come into the hotel , and instead was only what could be desribed as a building site ,with construction of some multi story building takeing place .
We pulled up at the front entrance to the hotel and i was given a hand with my luggage into the reception ,and streight away it all became so familier evan though it had been 18 months or more from my last viset there .
Isigned in the hotels register and was taken upto my room ,a diferant one than i had previously but still on floor 8 of the siri .
By now i was feeling prity wrecked and tired but knew i needed to get unpacked and organised ,so with much effort got things hung away and also rang the reception for more coat hangers because you never get enough to hand everything up in those rooms .
I quickly got organised and decided to pop down to the 7/11 to get a few assentials in for my room ,like milk and a few other bits ,and after emptying the drinks cabinet of its contents put the items i had bought in there and started useing it as a fridge .
By now it was late Sunday evening and i had been given a slip of paper saying my consultation would be Monday morning at 9-30 at the clinic .
By this time all i wanted to do was rest and so after adjusting the air conditioner decided to get some sleep and try and charge my batteries up with myself .
Monday morning soon came round and as i expected my car arrived at the siri reception right on time and took me on the short ride to Dr Chettawuts clinic .
Iknew this was not gonna be an easy consultation do to previous things that had happened between us over the last few months by e mail ,and i really wasant looking fwd to the proceeding conversation .
As i entered the clinic i was greeted with the usual smiles and tear came over and gave me a big hug ,i then sat for a few mins and was then asked to come to the consultation office wear Dr Chettawut was sitting waiting for me .
Our eyes conected and with a slightly forces smile from both directions he leaned over and shook my hand .
This was then the start of a lengthy conversation that saw us discuss various things and i pulled out a little diagramme showing what the doctors in the uk had pointed out after doing the ct scan .
Dr Chettawut added a few bits to the drawing and we chatted about what might be done and what problems might crop up with complications regarding the surgery .
It was made prity clear to me at this stage that it would probably need some sort of bone graft to try and reconstruct the frontal area over the sinusus ,and that i needed to give him a free hand to do whatever he wanted while i was out under general anistetic .
By now the consultation had swung slightly from the normal friendly thing you normally get to a sort of upsetting cituation wear i felt rather upset by the attitude towards me .
I could see by the look on his face that because i had stated that i had taken a blow on the forehead ,the whole tone of the consultation had deteriated and that the vibes beeing sent to me clearly showed that this surgery was being done grudgingly .
At this point i couldant contain the tears anymore and after being told that i hadent apreciated anything that had been done for me over all my visets ,felt totally destroyed and hurt .
Dr Chettawut then got up and told me ,if i had the wrong attitude ,then he wouldant do the surgery on my forehead ,and at this point left his office ,leaving me in tears sitting there .
Ashort while after Tair came in and tried to console me because i felt really upset at this statement on top of the worry about the upcoming surgery . Imade it very clear to her that if i really hadent apreciated what had been done for me over the last few years in bangkok ,would i really have run a suport group for Dr Chettawuts patiants and sing his praises on my own website and various other forums on the net .
Afew minuets later Dr Chettawut came back in and made his usual statement " so to sumerise things " ,and said that i would need to sign a special release form he would get drawn up to allow hin free access to do what ever he wanted with the forehead repair work .
By now i knew i had to sign or agree to any thing or my trip would have been pointless and i would have travelled to thailand for nothing .
Having asked if i could get the pre-op tests done here in bangkok before surgery ,and was told yes ,the cost would be $150 us ,i told him that i would need to do that then and that i had bought the money to cover it ,he looked abit amazed and told Tair to arrange for mreto have various test done at the Piyavate tomorrow and i would be collected and taken there ,but he would not accept the fee and told me he didant want the $150 us .
I told Dr Chettawut i would agree to anything he had requested and after he had taken another barrage of photos of my face with my hair pulled back ,i was taken back to the car and driven back to the baan siri .
I knew it wasant going to be an easy consultation for me because of the circumstances ,but i never really asumed that the statement about not apreciating his efforts with my surgery over the previous trips would be hurled at me and this really caught me off guard and upset me alot ..
Its tuesday morning and right on time again the car came to take me to the Piyavate to get the tests done.
After a short drive that only took maby 15 mins we pulled into the hospital and i was handed over to a greeter at the main entrance and taken to the check in desk.
Once they had my details i was taken to see a doctor who had me fill another form in about my general health.
This doctor streight away seemed like he was gonna be a stick in the mud and started quizzing me about allsorts of crazy things ,and then said he wanted a whole load of tests done because he felt my overall health was not good .
After explaining that if he had just been through the last year i had been through maby he wouldant be smiling to much either .
He went on and told me he wanted a fitness test ,and this would include running on a running machine ,the sort of thing you get in a fitness centre and they would do the EKG after to check my heart ,also they would check my bloods ,and do a chest x ray. Well ive got to admit i never expected the running on the machine thing and after they had kitted me up with sone trainers for my feet ,they led me to a room and asked me to start by walking on the machine ,and this would get faster till you were at running pace . Iwas told to say when i had done as far as i could do and and they started the test , and i started by walking wich got to a very fast pace till i had to start trotting .and eventually running .
Once i had said thats it ,they stopped the machine and did the EKG on my heart ,wich all seemed ok ,and i was led off to do the x-rays of the chest . Soon after i was taken back to sit outside a room and await the test results ,and after a a short while i got another shock when a nurse rolled up with some sort of bill demanding 11.000 bhats to cover costs .
This really shocked me and streight away i said i dont understand this im a patiant of Dr Chettawut and ive payed for the surgery as a package deal and covered the tests with that fee . She kinda looked at me a bit vague and i must have explained several times and she sorta went quiet on me then walked off and left me sitting there wondering if this was gonna cause a major problem for me regarding getting the surgery done .
After sitting there quiet a while i was starting to get rather fed up by now and walked over to the desk to see what was happening ,and it apeared she was trying to ring Dr Chettawut to talk about the cituation . Iheard Dr Chettawut tell her that he would sink the costs and asked to put myself on the phone . He asked me if i still had the $150 us i had been given back by himself ,and i commented yes ,if you want it ill send it onto you .
Well this cituation seemed to get resolved and i was taken back to waite for the test results ,and a few minuets later hushered into the room again to see the original doctor who then went through the test results.
He confirmed my heart was ok and the bloods showed i was enemic ,wich suprised me ,and at this point he tried to get me to come back another time to persue this problem ,at wich i commented ,not really ill talk with my own gp back in the uk .
Anyway his attitude seemed to improve towards me and he evan broke into a smile on his face ,and said your ok ,your results show your fit enough for surgery to proceed .
So after spending all morning at the hospital i was eventually collected and taken back to the baan siri .
Later that day my great friend Salisa arrived at the hotel and made her way to my room and as arranged after having a good chat we got a cab and went to Seacon Square shopping so i could get the kettle and toaster i wanted for the stay at the hotel ,and also picked up other food items from Tesco to at least get some food in my fridge before the surgery . Later that evening Nut rolled up at the siri with the concent for for the surgery and after reading through ,there was one point i didant like ,and this was one of the sites to take the bone from to do the bone graft . This was the skull area and i told her i wouldant agree to this ,so she rang Dr Chettawut and he said ok ,so i signed the release form .
By now it was prity obvious that there was not to many girls at the hotel at this stage ,so the company i normally enjoy from other patiants was just not there ,and this made quiet a diferance and left me in the cituation of not knowing really what to do to fill in the time i had each day .
This was surgery day again and what had taken over a year to reach .
Wednesday morning was here the surgery day and obviously like previously i couldant do food or liquids after 12pm the previous night because of the operation .
Right on cue the driver arrived and we made our way to the Piyavate . On this drive my mind really on seeing certain buildings and landmarks brought back memories of this trip in april 2007 when i made this trip to do my 15 hours of ffs surgery at this hospital.
Once we arrived ,the normal check in took place and because they already had my details on computer from previous trips and because i had the plastic card from 2007 it all went smoothly and they led me off to do a couple of x rays on my face ,then off to another room to get changed into the gown ready for surgery .
Everything seemed to be going ok now and i soon found myself being wheeled into the operating theatre to wait for Dr Chettawut to arrive . First i felt quiet cold laying there and they placed an line in my hand ready to knock me out and the next thing i remember after glancing around the room and seeing all the equipment was the anethatist come over and start chatting with me after saying " hi tina how are you " ,and joking with me ,at least i recognised the friendly face from a previous trip .
They obviously put some sort of heater on and blew the hot air up the cover that was over me and i could feel myself drifting almost into a comfy sort of sleep ,and i didant wanna fight this so just relaxed and i get they must have dropped the anistetic into me because i never saw Dr Chettawut arrive ,i had gone and slipped into oblivian ,and knew nothing else .
Wakeing up after recovery saw me in a position wear i wasant sure how long i had been out and not sure till i glanced round at the clock in the hospital room really what time it was . One things for sure like on previous occasions these nurses dont understand english to well and after rejecting several bowels of evil smelling soup that resembled somthing the dishes had been washed in , on about the 5th attempt i managed to get a cup of coffe .
Later that day Dr Chettawut came to my room and said all had gone well and explained what he had done regarding the frontal sinisus ,and these had been decimated and bone taken from my hip area and bone fragments used to build a new part for the frontal sinus area .
I asked how soon i might get back to the baan siri and he said ,if you feel ok and are well enough you can go back today ,ill arrange transport for later on that evening .
He left the room ,then sudenly came back in and said " you must make sure you take all the drugs ive issued for you its very important " then left the room again .
Later that evening Nut and Shri came with her car and took me back to the hotel ,and saw me upto my room . This was the first time i had chance to see what dressings were on my head and also have a better look at the drain coming out my hip area .
All in all things seemed to have gone prity well surgery wise and it was a matter now of letting things heal up and contending with that pipe stuck in my side for the next week or so .
I spent the next couple of weeks prity much staying local round the hotel and my friend Salisa came a few times to see me at the hotel and we went to the big shopping mall at Seacon Square and looked round the shops .
This wasant a happy trip by any means and to be honest it was hard to pass the time spent their at the hotel Baan Siri because of having no close friends this time round to share time with .
The healing all went well and Dr Chettawut saw me again before my departure day back to the UK ,but the pain had gone and I seemed in pretty good shape and very much looking forward to getting back home to Nottingham
I got my normal ride back to the airport by Dr Chettawuts driver and after checking in their ,boarded the Ava Airways flight back to the UK.