The inevitable happened

Over the last few days the abscess had slowly grown bigger and bigger. I knew it would open, just didn’t know when. When my muscles contracted to get out of bed Friday morning it proved too much for the skin, a small hole appeared and it started to weep. I managed to get to the bathroom and wiped the hole, which must have dislodged a little clot. It started streaming out, then a little clot must have reached the hole and bunged it up a bit. I managed to dress it and had an appointment with my 1st choice Doctor soon after.

At the Surgery my Doctor was a bit confused with all the emails and what had been happening. I tried to explain the best I could and then she wanted to see the abscess. As she gently pulled the dressing down the plug must have dislodge and it poured out. She quickly covered it up and said she would get a Nurse to uncover it, clean it and then have a better look at the wound. I asked if they couldn’t just squeeze it, patch it up and let me go home, as I had my appointment at the Hospital on Monday. She didn’t think that would be an option and said that if they squeezed it I would be screaming, I replied that after some of the experiences (drain removal and the aspiration) I’d had recently I didn’t think so.

I went to the treatment room and after a little wait the Nurse came in. Nurses do have a slight sadistic trait and I know they love to squeeze things. I’d not seen this particular Nurse before but she was really nice. After unwrapping the sterile kit and donning apron and gloves she was ready to begin. She removed the dressing but surprisingly it didn’t gush like it did for the Doctor, there was plenty coming out though. The Nurse was happy and wanted to squeeze the abscess, she told me we could stop at anytime. To be honest the squeezing bit was brace up painful but nowhere near screaming painful for me. Probably the most painful part was when she wiped over the top of the abscess to dry it after each squeeze session. I’m thinking pain wise it can to be described as stinging, throbbing and sore. If I tried to bend the knee the pain wasn’t from the abscess but behind the knee cap. The pain of the abscess is different to infection pain, as strange as that may seem, I can’t explain that one as it’s unique but that’s the pain I’m feeling in the knee itself.

It’s definitely the worst this knee has ever been, I honestly can’t believe I’m going through all this again and it’s freaky that it’s showing the same pattern as it did in my left knee. The Doctor came in and was surprised by how much had come out of the wound. When I had the infection in my left knee the discharge nearly always came out a kind of reddy brown colour. What came out of my wound this time was yellow and then went to the reddy brown colour near the very end. It was still continuing to weep slightly, the Doctor was concerned that if they dressed it and sent me home, it would dry up and start building up inside again. I had to give in to the inevitable and go to A&E at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

I felt sick on the way there and although I have felt that for a few days now (but never actually been sick) I knew this time it was the thought of going back in to Hospital again. No matter which Hospital the GP had sent me too it would’ve been the same, the wait, the routine, the inevitable. Even though the GP rings ahead and they are expecting me, I’m not an emergency so it makes little difference on that front. After the booking in, triage and the long wait I eventually saw the Doctor. She had not treated me before but I had seen her on the Ward during a previous stay. She was lovely, the best I’ve seen, ever! She is actually a GP and a locum at the Hospital but was soooo on the ball, knows her stuff – although not used to working in orthopaedics – and when I explained the situation and gave her the details of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, she was straight on the phone to them for guidance.

Because the Nuffield is such a specialist Centre they only have around 26 beds (I think), which are all taken. Despite the Nuffield giving me the instruction to get Hinchingbrooke to contact them ASAP if I was admitted, so they can arrange to transfer me down there, it is not an easy process like being transferred to a normal hospital.

The outcome of all this was that I would be admitted but no treatment (apart from more pain relief) given, unless I get a temperature, fever or become extremely unwell. Hinchingbrooke will keep me under observation and get back in contact with the Nuffield first thing Monday morning. There was talk of them doing a knee Aspiration here but after being given conflicting information they will only perform that if my condition changed as listed above.

The knee was re-bandaged and there it sat. I’ll probably end up sitting here with it bandaged, drying up and filling up on the inside again, I could have done that at home. I’m gutted that I couldn’t bypass a Hospital to get to Oxford, and by not letting the GP send me to A&E on Monday I only prolonged the inevitable. I’m feeling pretty crap and in more pain, the ladies in the bay are all very nice but being in here is doing my head in right now. As you know, I always try to look for the positives of a situation and after searching really hard I’ve only found a couple. I’ve been prescribed break through pain relief which is a help, if I fell really ill or spiked a temperature I can get treated straight away, and the Nuffield get the knee in a, so far, non treated state. I know it’s mainly the communication, and more importantly the system, but I still can’t believe that it has to get so bad before anything can be done. I’d love to think I could go home Monday but I know that’s probably wishful thinking. Even if the Nuffield can manage to get me transferred I certainly don’t see it happening on Monday, The most probable outcome is a few more nights in Hinchingbrooke. At least on Monday morning I have my appointments to see the Consultant and Psychiatrist, could be an interesting couple of encounters.

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One Response to “The inevitable happened”

  1. Hey pal

    As you know, I have not been using WordPress much recently but I have made a point of checking in to keep up-to-date with your progress (or unfortunately, lack of).

    I can’t express how sorry I am that you are going through this. I think back to the beginning of this blog and you were just learning to adapt to a new way of life, now you have been saddled with this obstacle.

    I know the consolation is small but I can only commend you on your attitude and patience, many would be angry and defeated by now. Your frustration is more than understandable but please try and keep that chin up as high as you can, take one day at a time and keep writing. I hope it is helping you.

    Thinking about you

    Steven

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