Day 6 - Team Work

"We meet the challenges head on"

We are Mark and Jackie Oldham. January 8th, 2016 will forever be a date etched into our memory.

Through adhesions to old scar tissue, Jackie lost all but 60cm of her small intestine. In the ensuing six days whilst Jackie was in a coma, she lost her large bowel due to septic shock and had two more major operations to finally bring the small bowel to a high output ileostomy, and the remaining piece of large bowel to a mucous fistula. Traumatic was an understatement. Finally, eight weeks later, having endured catching MRSA, been bed bound for nearly all that time, Jackie was fitted with a Hickman line and our home journey started.

TPN is now a way of life. We initially had Braun Transcare providing the nursing, but now we administer the TPN ourselves. Myself, that is Mark, does all of Jackie's connections and disconnections, dressing and Bionector changes. We work as a team. We have had fantastic service from B Braun and our nutrition team at the QMC in Nottingham has been so supportive.

TPN is now a way of life. We initially had Braun Transcare providing the nursing, but now we administer the TPN ourselves. Myself, that is Mark, does all of Jackie's connections and disconnections, dressing and Bionector changes. We work as a team. We have had fantastic service from B Braun and our nutrition team at the QMC in Nottingham has been so supportive.

This is not the path we would have chosen, but we meet the challenges head on; we talk and we laugh - we have each other and our blind, diabetic Border Terrier dog, Alfie, who is a great listener.

So, surviving on artificial nutrition has given us a second chance, everything takes a little longer, needs more forward planning and has limitations but beats the alternative.

From attending the PINNT get together last year in West Bromwich, we turned the corner. Meeting inspirational people who were on artificial nutrition gave us hope. Artificial nutrition is a life enhancer not a death sentence. Until you have walked in another person’s shoes it is difficult to understand the daily issues. Step by step, some small, others a little larger, we can all make strides.

My career is now a carer, a nurse, a friend and confidante. I've learnt a tremendous amount about SBS, TPN, the digestive tract, ANTT and diets. I've also learnt so much about myself.

Lend a hand in HAN awareness week. 

Mark, husband/carer for Jackie

HAN Week