A big update

Wow, has it really been that long since I last did a blog post? Either I’m slacking, there has been nothing much happen or I’ve been busy. I think it’s a bit of everything really, let me do a bit of catching up and tell you what’s been happening.

The Job Centre are helping me to start up my own business as an airbrush artist. I have been on the enterprise courses and after some complications, and a near letdown, they agreed to fund three airbrush workshops for me. I have had two of the three with one of the best Airbrush Artists in the UK, John Callaghan. The workshops are one-to-one and he is so helpful to me because he has worked his way up through the commercial rather than educational route. This means he is not just a great Airbrush instructor but can help with the business side of things too. I have only done three pictures so far, due to different issues, but John has said that from looking at my work I have more potential than many people he has taught. This has obviously given me confidence and he also mention that even my self criticism was good, as I can see what is wrong or needs improving. I’m really enjoying it though and the beauty of Airbrush art I that it can be done on almost anything. I’m looking forward to my last session which should be next Tuesday but due to a development with my knee this may have to be put back a bit.

So in the ‘New Business’ department I have been quite busy. As the UK is enjoying the hottest weeks of the year so far, I have to confess it is draining me. I’m hotter than I used to be before the amputation anyway and I’m melting in this weather (God knows how multiple limb amputees must be feeling), wearing my leg is difficult because of the sweating. A below knee amputee in one of the Facebook groups ended up in A&E, due to the fact that she was walking along and because of the sweat walked out of her prosthesis and landed on her stump, ouch that had to hurt. I, like many, feel lethargic and although I have been enthused with my artwork and getting on with that, the blog has not been at the forefront of my mind. That’s where the slacking has come into play, at least I’m being honest, but I must try and balance it so there are not massive gaps of nothingness in the blog.

There hasn’t been much going on. Mum and Dad were away for a week and me and Cody (my Labrador) coped pretty well. I managed to walk him up the track most days, just under a Kilometre, and a friend took him and his own dog for a much longer walk in the mornings. I was getting on pretty well with the leg, although I was getting a lot of pain in my ankle, I put that down to probably not walking properly and the fact that I had started using it more. Nothing major happened really, I didn’t go to Physio because I didn’t want to leave Cody for about four hours (even though he has managed that long before), the next week I didn’t go because of the infection and there was none this week as my Physio was on holiday.

The last thing to update you on is my knee and its infection. The antibiotics seemed to get on top of the infection and it appeared to be healing up quite well. The antibiotics run out last Friday but all seemed OK, until Sunday that is. Sunday evening I felt a pain deep in my knee that I was never supposed to feel again. Going into denial mode I thought it was probably nothing and would just sort itself out. Monday morning I knew that wasn’t going to happen, the pain was substantially worse and I had restricted movement in the knee, walking on crutches was difficult. Having gone through all this before and having made an appointment to see the GP on Wednesday morning I had a pretty good idea that I would end up being sent to A&E. Tuesday was more painful still and walking on crutches wasn’t wasn’t an option. Movement was even more restricted and even more painful when putting weight through it, i.e. transferring to the toilet. It was strange though, to look at it there was very little redness, it didn’t feel that hot but I just knew that pain, this distinct and unlike anything else pain from an infection.

This morning, and with my 08:40 appointment, I got to go in and see my second choice GP at about 09:10. She was surprised that I hadn’t already gone to A&E, I said that if they had looked at that they would have just sent me away and said come back if it gets any worse. She didn’t hesitate though and because of the restricted movement and the half replacement she sent me straight to A&E. We got there just before 11:00 (because we popped back home to pack a bag in case I was admitted) after an age I went in where they did my observations and took some blood, we were then sent round to X-Ray. After over an hours wait I had two X-Rays taken and went back to A&E. the blood tests came back as my white cell count was normal but my CPR (inflammatory marker) was 250 which is extremely high. They decided they would admit me to do surgery and at about 16:45 I landed on the ward. The immediate negative is that they have increased my medication again (after all the hard work of getting off some of it) and introduced OxyNorm back into the mix, so having trouble to keep my eyes open and feeling wrecked again.

There are a few things they could do in Theatre tomorrow. They will stick a needle in a place away from any redness and scar tissue (good luck there then). If a certain type of fluid comes out they will grow cultures and clear it with antibiotics. If puss comes out they will use 2 Litres of Saline to flush it and clean it out. They would then put a camera in and if it has spread they will have to open it up further to clean a bigger area. Basically they don’t really know what they will do until they get in there but at least we have options. There is nothing I can do about any of this, I can only role with it and hope that they can get it sorted first time with no more recurrences. I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but knowing my history that could be wishful thinking.






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