Back on track

Wednesday 6th November

First thing in the morning I got a text from my Dad to say he had sent me an email with two pictures of the wheelchairs next to the bed. Later when the OT (Occupational Therapist) came round we covered two things, firstly I showed her the photos and she was happy that I can use that bed as a temporary measure. I said that one of the things I would miss the most is my Monkey Bar. It’s a triangular handle that hangs over the bed so you can use it to pull yourself up off the bed with. She asked me to turn over from one side to the other on a flat bed as I’d been doing it. I was using the Monkey Bar to take some of the weight off the leg when turning over. I then tried the whole process without using the Bar and I found it painful, not really in the knee but in the lower leg and hamstring. She had brought me round a leg lifter the day before but we didn’t get a chance to try it out. The leg lifter looks like a dog lead with an invisible dog on it, you put one end round your foot and hold the other end to lift it, clues in the name really. Anyway, I had a go with it and it did make a difference when I turned over, I was quite surprised, another little gadget to take home.

The biggest challenge of that day by far was to get the antibiotics right. The IV (Intravenous) Team came round with loads of stuff, boxes, sharps bins and basically everything I needed to go home with me. I said that the Ambulance people would be well chuffed when they saw what needed to be taken with me. That said, with me on a stretcher there is a legs worth of space to pile some stuff on to. I had two types of antibiotics, the first one was mixed into a bag and put through a giving set, most people would refer to it as a drip. The second was made up and given directly by syringe, both straight into the PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line. I set it up in the two stages and the order that it all goes together to make it easy for myself, I took pictures of it as well just incase I needed reminder at home. I was a bit faster today and had stage two ready before the drip had finished, which takes about 30 mins. I asked the lady when they were watching me if she could tell I’d had any sort of previous experience, she said that she could especially the way I held the syringes and ampules for drawing them up. They seem happy, I was fine but just asked questions more for reassurance than anything I think. They said they would come at 09:00 the next day to get it done before I go home, which at least gets me another day with them being around, that’s a bonus.

Everyone was flapping about a bit making sure things are in place. Patient Transport was booked for any time after 11:00, which could literally mean anywhere from then till late evening. All that was left for me to do was get a good nights sleep to get and early start and sorted in the morning. It was really strange though, as much as I didn’t like being in there the bay dynamic had changed and it was a better environment. That can change with any one person going out and another person coming in though. Part of me was so looking forward to getting back home, being with Mum & Dad, saving them a fortune in fuel, seeing my boy Cody, a decent bed (when it turns up), etc. etc. This time I have to say I also had concerns. I’d been in this situation before wearing a brace with these sorts of restrictions but that was when I had two legs and flying around on crutches. It was hard enough then though let alone managing as an amputee. I was also hoping it wouldn’t put any extra pressure on my parents, although talking about it when they last visited we didn’t think it would. It was going to be interesting that’s for sure, especially at Christmas when my Aunt and Uncle come and stay with their gorgeous Cocker Spaniel, Misty.

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