Up to speed

As you can imagine, and as I’ve said before, being in Hospital is not much different from being in Prison. It’s a ridged routine, with the same things happening at the same times every day, the only slight exception being the weekend. With all the different medication and changes they keep making to them I really don’t feel good at all. I’ve never been on so much before and the problem with the antibiotics is, they not only affect the bad bacteria but the good ones too. My whole body and it’s systems are being affected while it’s still trying to recover from the anaesthetic and surgery, a massive trauma the body.

My planned change to the style of writing never really came to fruition, as long as you’ve enjoyed (not sure that’s really the word) the posts then it makes no difference really. Until I come back here for my surgery, in about 6 weeks time, there will be very little happening. Not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing but as far as the blog goes I may do a weekly summery, or mix it and match it a bit depending on what’s happening and how I feel. I’m going to get you right up to speed now so hold tight.

Tuesday

I had my first shower in the morning and it was epic. What with the kit in the room, the wheelchair – plus leg extension – and limited space it was like one of those grid puzzles with the jumbled picture. There’s one square missing and you have to keep sliding the tiles around until you make the picture up, it took me and the Nurse a lot of shuffling around to get this one together. From start (getting in the room) to finish (getting out the room) it took me about and hour and I was knackered when I came out, but the most important thing was the fact that I’d done it.

As I was now able to transfer from the bed it was time to go down for a knee X-Ray. They get much better imagery if you’re on the X-ray table, which is why they wait for the X-ray until you can transfer across. I was talking to the lady who was taking the shots about what the spacer looked like. I’d seen various images on the Internet but wasn’t sure exactly what it was like. After she’d finished she turned the PC screen around so I could see what it looked like from the side. It was really useful to see it and understand what’s been done and what I’m feeling. It’s hard to describe really but there’s a layer of cement around the end of the femur and a thin cement spacer below the femur and above the tibia and fibula. I’m not sure that many people would want to know what it looked like or how it was placed but certainly helped me.

Wednesday

From an Infection Team perspective they’re now happy with the tablet regime I’m on and I’d be on it for 6 weeks. They told me they grew a few bugs from the deep tissue samples, which was no surprise, but I was gutted to find out they were different to the ones they grew from the Aspiration taken a few days before surgery. This causes the team a major problem and makes it harder to clear the infection. Instead of being able to match the best antibiotic for the best results they are having to use a broader range of antibiotics. This means it may take longer to clear the infection or take more than one attempt before we achieve a successful out come. I’m still in the best place, these guys are great and I know they’re doing everything they possibly can to get me back on my feet…… erm foot again.

The OT (Occupational Therapist) came to see me, because I’m not in need of acute care they will not be contacting Hinchingbrooke Hospital about a transfer. They’re trying to contact Community Hospitals near to home and spoke of Wisbech or Ely. I can imagine being in the Wisbech Hospital and waking up with my bed and wheelchair standing on bricks with the wheels missing, plus it’s further away. I said that Ely is much closer and would like to try for a space there, that’s what there going to work on. She’d been in contact with Wheelchair Services about a different wheelchair, as I can’t take this one with me, Ooohhh I’m so distraught, not! They just needed my height and weight so they can organise a wheelchair slightly closer to what I’m used to but with the leg rest. It’s arranged that it will be delivered to my house and my parents will fetch it in.

I’ve had absolutely no appetite at all since the surgery. I don’t feel hungry, I don’t fancy anything on the menu, or anything at all and I’m eating because I have to and not because I want to. A couple of people from the Kitchen came up and spoke to me, they’ll work with me to see if they can help to get me back eating again.

Friday

Today one of the Nurses was chatting to me while she was making my bed. She told me there was a gentleman here in one of the side rooms who is having an amputation on Monday and he’s realIy struggling with it. I told her I’d be happy to have a chat with him and help in any way I could, but only if it was something that he wanted. She told me he’s such a lovely man, late fifties early sixties, and she’ ask him if he would like me to talk to him. Later in the day she told me he would like to talk to me so I went down to see him in his side room. He’s a gentle giant, a farmer, I broke the ice with him and got him to tell me a bit about himself, what he does and how he ended up here. He asked me some questions which I answered as honestly as I could while reminding him that things will be different in certain aspects because I’m a left above knee amputee and he will be a left below knee amputee. I asked him if he’d ever seen a stump before, which he hadn’t, I asked him if he’d like to see mine, which he did and he was surprised at how neat, tidy and well healed it was. He told me about some major surgery he’d had in the past, if I had the choice between that surgery and an amputation I would go for the amputation hands down. It’s sad to see him frightened and and I don’t know if I helped at all. I told him that if he wanted to talk at anytime or had any questions he wanted to ask to let the Nurses know and I’ll go and see him. You can see the Nurses are worried about him and they just don’t know what to say to him. Later in the evening the Nurse, who arranged for me to meet him, came back and said he’d told her he appreciated me talking to him and we would chat again. That was my good deed of the day, probably the week.

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