A mixed week

I’m not really sure what happened last weekend to be honest but this massive wave of tiredness came over me, I had to fight my eyes constantly but the sleep always won. Every time a Nurse came they had to wake me up, they all commented on how sleepy I was and the difficulty I had keeping my eyes open. I don’t think it was a reaction from the antibiotics or medication, may be my body just needed some more rest. Apart from struggling to watch Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night and the welcome visit from Mum and Dad on Sunday, I pretty much slept the weekend away. As for the pain it was still this isolated area just under the knee and at the top of the shin. The main part of the of the knee is not too bad, even when it grinds away, it’s just uncomfortable and stiffens quickly. I have some pain in my lower leg and ankle but that’s to be expected given the circumstances.

This was the day the Farmer was having his below knee amputation. After getting myself ready for the day I asked the Nurse if I could see him before he went to Theatre but they had just come to collect him. I asked the Nurse to tell him I was thinking of him and I’d see him on the other side. Because of the locality of the pain I was getting below the knee I was wondering if it what’s from the tightness of the clips. After speaking to the Consultant they decided to send me for an X-ray, just incase the spacer had slipped, which they have been known to do occasionally. Later in the day they Orthopaedic lady came round and told me the spacer was fine and although they wouldn’t take out all the clips, as I had not reached day 14, they compromised by taking every other one out. The knee was healing nicely but the lower abscess site was still active. It was while the Nurse was taking the clips out I realised the pain was just as much from the abscess as the clips. With some clips gone I was hoping for a little pain relief in that area.

The German lady who had been in the bed opposite me got her place at the community Hospital nearer her home, as soon as she shipped out another lady was brought in. The new lady is a black lady, quite poorly when she came in but a little bubblier now. It got me thinking that in all the times I have stayed in Hospital previously I have only ever been with British White people, except for one Polish lady. In here so far It’s been more multicultural, with a a lady originally from Germany, China and now from St Vincent, West Indies. At least I’ve managed to learn a bit about other cultures in here which is quite interesting and something I can take away with me.

I heard the unfortunate news that lady opposite will loose her leg. When she was told this she just said “yes”. Later one of the Nurses asked her if she was shocked by the news from the doctors to which she replied “yes”. There was no emotion in her reply, it was just as if someone had said “do you like watching TV”. It wasn’t until her Daughter and other relation came in that she finally let her emotions and tears go. Her relations where prepared for the news as she had not been able to use the leg for so long and there was no improvement, they are almost happy it is happening so they can all move on again. In her early eighties I wonder how she is really feeling? I wonder how I would feel if I was told I’d loose my other leg in my eighties? She is a very strong character with a great personality and has such a loving and supportive family, and probably many close friends too. I’m sure that following her surgery (in the next couple of weeks) and rehab she will have a much better quality of life.


Unfortunately on Wednesday morning the Chinese lady had to go back to Theatre for revision surgery on her leg, as the infection was not under control. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. As I didn’t have time to fold a thousand cranes (although I’m beginning to question that statement), I got creative and folded her just one, this time from paper and not a bulky serviette, which turned out much better.

The clips finally came out and the wound looks good, the bottom abscess site still reminds us it’s there by discharging a little when the dressing is removed. Hoping that after a couple of days when the skin has a chance to stretch a bit the pain in the localised area will become easier. The antibiotics have now been giving me an upset stomach so all laxatives have been stopped.

Wednesday I slammed into the wall and it was a case of earplugs in, curtains around me, under the covers and stayed there all day. I may write a longer more dedicated post about how I’m feeling but I have no enthusiasm for anything at all, not even the blog, drawing or Internet, in fact to highlight how bad this situation is I don’t even fancy watching Despicable Me!!! My all time favourite and cheer up film. Food is still pretty much the same, no appetite, eating because I have to and not because I want to, and as from yesterday (Saturday), feeling sick after some of the small bits I am eating. I know how my Nan felt now, I ask for a small portion and get a plateful, I’m put of by it as soon as I see it. They identified form a blood tests that one of the antibiotics was affecting my liver enzymes so made a tweak that seems to have brought them down again. As for moving closer to home, Ely are saying they can’t take me because I’m on intravenous antibiotics, the antibiotic Nurses here have told them they’ve shown them how to deal with it, Hinchingbrooke was brought back into the equation at one point but I think it’s out again now. Team Nuffield (Oxford) keep fighting Team Princess of Wales (Ely), while I’m just sat here in the middle of it all.

Friday my OT (Occupational Therapist) took me down to the main entrance and showed me around the shop, canteen etc. Although I knew what was there it was still very kind of her and we sat outside in the fresh air chatting for a while which was nice. It was a bit fresh out there in my shorts pyjamas but nice all the same, I thanked her for her time, she’s a lovely person who hasn’t let her own disability get in the way of what she wanted to do.

With one thing and another Friday was the first day I managed to see the Farmer since his surgery. The Nurses had been saying he seemed more upbeat and smiling and I know he’d had quite a few visitors which was good. Talking to me he said that he felt quite good the first couple of days, just glad it was all over and OK pain wise. It was when the Physios started to mobilise him that the realisation of being an amputee dawned on him. How just getting from the bed to a chair with part of your leg missing is a struggle and difficult task, let alone doing loads of the other everyday things you take for granted. I’m trying to encourage him as best I can and tell him it does get better/easier with time, which it does. I might take him on a little wheelchair convoy down to the main entrance a buy him a coffee and have a chat one day next week. I broached the subject with him on Friday and he said he’d like that, he’s such a gentle giant.

At least the week ended on a more positive note with a visit from Mum and Dad, who I hadn’t seen in a week. The smaller positive being a calligraphy pen that I’d been fighting with for over two days to get to work suddenly started working during their visit, Hussar. Small things please small minds.

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