Infection confirmed

19th December

There were loads of cock ups regarding my last appointment at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. From Patient Transport times and communication, appointments and what they were for to where in the building they would take place. I was over an hour and a half late for my appointment time because of the Transport issues, after transferring from stretcher to wheelchair I raced around to Outpatients, stopping only to go to the toilet. When I got there I was told that my appointment with the Consultant had been cancelled but I did have a Pre Operation Assessment in a different department and my Consultant would see me there.

When I got round to the Pre Op Assessment area I was given a form and a booklet to fill in plus a bottle for a urine sample, if only I’d have known that was coming, I’d just been to the toilet. Because I was so late they had to bleep the Dr but that gave me time to start on the forms. Eventually the Dr called me in and we went through to an examination room. I had to go through absolutely everything again and all my history. She checked my pulse, breathing and looked at the wound. She asked me what we were doing at the beginning of the consultation. I told her that it was supposed to be for stage two and a full replacement but the knee was infected again and the Consultant may want to see it.

Next I moved round to bloods, we had to wait a short while as the Dr had to add some more tests as we were now talking about infection again. In the end they tested for pretty much everything and because my GP had written to say that my Liver Function results were abnormal again they included this one too.

After that it was back to the main waiting area where I was still tackling the forms. the Consultant and his registrar were next to see me. I knew that the infection was back, it had been becoming more painful, inflamed, hotter and the scar had deteriorated too but you hope its not as bad as you think. He looked at it and said that it wasn’t looking anywhere near as good as last time he saw it, it was doing really well. He felt there was heat on the right side of the knee along with redness. To cut this section short he felt that they had no option but to debride it again and not put the full replacement in. So basically this is back to the beginning of stage one, agressive wash out, cement spacer put in and 6 weeks IV (Intravenous) antibiotics again. He also said that instead of giving me an articulated spacer they may put a fixed one in, which will mean I’ll be unable to bend my knee at all. They left me back in the waiting room to move to my next section and disappeared.

After a short while they came back. He did say that to give me just the smallest chance of hope it could be that because of the movement small parts of cement may have broken off and caused the inflammation and infection. He told me that if the deep tissue results come back sterile and nothing is grown he would possibly put the replacement in. This really is a slim hope but I think we both know that the chances of that being the case are highly unlikely.

Next I was in to see a Nurse where I had to go through all my History again, which was doubling up with the stuff I was filling in on the form that I was still ploughing through, including my medication I also had my MRSA swabs taken, blood pressure done, temperature taken etc etc.. I was also still being pressed to provide a urine sample, which eventually I managed to do. I handed it in through the little window and then went on to see an OT (Occupational Therapist). I’m not going to go through all this but I told her in no uncertain terms how let down I’ve felt by my Community OT and I didn’t think there was anything we could put in pace now but to wait and see how things go after the surgery.

Even though I was totally confident about what the Consultant was going to tell me it doesn’t always sink in until you actually hear them say it in person. As I was moving round the last couple of people I was becoming lower and lower as the reality of what was said started to fully hit home. Eventually I was allowed to go but was told that they had picked up a urine infection from my sample (the second since Id been out of Hospital). I was told not to start any antibiotics and they would call me if they wanted me to do anything about it.

With the increased activity in the knee I now had all my fingers crossed that I didn’t end up in Hospital over Christmas or the New Year. The plan was to get me in for surgery as soon possible in the New Year but knowing that at least one hole looked like it would open soon I was beginning to doubt I would make it that amount of time. I cant put in to words how I felt, although I knew it was coming it didn’t help to soften the blow. My mood had improved slightly after the last appointment but now I’m back to where I was before if not lower, it totally sucks and I can’t face going through it all again.

Infection Confirmed

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