Drain and pain still an issue

Wednesday 27th February

Today was the first time since Saturday evening that I saw my Consultant. I explained to him that I’d mentioned to every member of the plastic team I’d seen that he had asked for compression but nothing seemed to happen. I was concerned that he had done all that hard work in there, I didn’t want it all undone because his wishes were not being followed. I mentioned about using a stump sock and he told me that it would be a good idea, only if I could get it on and not to rush it. If it was too painful then I should leave it off. He was happy the drain was doing its work and hoped it would be able to come out the next day or Friday. With still over 100mls being drained off into the bag I really couldn’t see that happening, especially as there seemed to be more coming out than yesterday. I had also been leaking from the drain site so I had to have that redressed. He said that from his point of view it all seemed good, the issue with above knee amputees is that there is such a thin bone to be able to do too much with. I have to continue to work with the pain team to get that under control and I was hoping physio would get involved too. They will check the haemoglobin levels again but the Consultant said if it drops again it will not be from the stump. Apparently I lost very little blood/fluid during surgery and not that much had been drained. So much for being told by the member of the plastic team that the transfusion was as a result of the surgery then!

I had been trying to sit up and then lay down again, to try and begin to sit up for longer periods of time, as I kept feeling sick, hot etc. My blood pressure was still low although the heart rate seemed to be slower now. The pain in the stump was also stopping me from sitting too upright, pain and pressure, the further I tried to sit forward the more the stump felt like it was going to explode. Dad took some photos of the stump and it’s bruising, the likes of which I’ve never had before, that’s Liposuction for you.

The only major bit of excitement we had on the ward was the woman in the bed next to me got moved out very rapidly that morning. I turned out she had MRSA so her bed space was deep cleaned and we were all swabbed again! The guy had only been out to change the curtain a couple of days before (as it was damaged) and had to put yet another one up, at £25 a time. This story wouldn’t seem so bad but she came in the ward on Saturday and she was only swabbed yesterday. I didn’t think for one minute any of us would be affected by it though. The worse thing was that she’d came from West Suffolk Hospital, where she’d just spent 3 weeks, and they forgot to tell Addenbrooke’s she had it! The turn over in the bay was reasonably quick, from all the different things people where in for I quickly realised that this was basically a dumping ground, for people who couldn’t get beds on the ward they should be on. On a happier note, when Leah visited on Monday she brought me a lovely Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows & Whipped Cream, which I’d never had before and only wish I hadn’t then as it was gorgeous. Also there was a portion of Tiffin, both of which had come from Costa Coffee, I owe her big time now as she will probably be living on the streets after paying for that little lot. I had saved the Tiffin, as I just couldn’t face it, now I felt that little bit better it was time to indulge in that scrummy triangle of cake. This is yet another thing I’d mentioned many a time, as we talk in the Cadets/Military of being back in time for Tea and Medals or Tea and Tiffin, but I didn’t actually know what it was. I have to say it’s yet another thing I wish I’d never found as it too is so go, but so bad. Oh well I have been through a lot just recently and think I can allow myself some little treats now and then. I know that as soon as I can I will have to start working hard and being good to myself, so I will probably try and cram a few more treats in until that time.

I saw the lady from the pain team again, she apologised profusely to me as she found out what had happened. Apparently who ever did the referral had only mentioned that I’d been started on Gabapentin. They were not told about the back problem, multiple surgery history, chronic pain disorder, etc. etc. They triaged on the information they were given, had they been told the full facts I would have been treated as a priority! We discussed a further jiggle to the medication, which again didn’t go smoothly on nights. This time the new medication had been written up but one of tablets that should have been removed was still on the chart. You can’t take both medicines at the same time as they can cause a reaction. I told the nurse that we had stopped the tablets but she had to get clarification before she could let me have anything, so that was most of the night gone again! In the end she said that if I didn’t have the tablets that I’d said had been stopped she could give me the new medication. On handover she did tell the day staff to confirm exactly what I should be taking and that the drug chart reflected that.

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