The Consultants are happy

21st November

12:20 marked my appointment time at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. Not a bad time really as it meant a nice 09:30 Patient Transport pickup and not some unearthly hour of the morning. I was still a bit perplexed as to why I was seeing a different Consultant but as long as he was as good as the one I’d seen before then I was OK with that. The Transport Crew were from PP Transport & Medical Services (the same company who brought me home from Hospital). The Team were great and we got there on time, after transferring from the stretcher to my wheelchair I headed in for my appointment.

I got round to Outpatient Reception and booked in, I was told to go straight round to X-ray. X-ray as usual where really quick, both getting me in and getting the images done. I scooted back round to Outpatients, let them know I was back from X-ray then waited, waited and waited a bit more. One of the Nurses on BIU (Bone Infection Unit), the Ward I was on as an inpatient, changed roles from working on there to joining the IV (Intravenous Team). She saw me sitting in reception and came over to have a chat with me, I explained that I’d been booked in to see a different Consultant and couldn’t understand why, she told me she’d check it out.

After a short while the Nurse came back to me and said that I’d been booked in to the wrong clinic (even though I had phoned and queried this when I received my appointment letter). Thankfully my Consultant was there and she managed to get him to see me. He looked at the knee and things were looking good. The scar was healing OK, there was no redness and it didn’t feel particularly hot in an isolated spots, including where the previous two abscesses had been. He did say that although it was healing well he was still not happy that the soft tissue (scar) had healed sufficiently for him to go back in and wanted to see me again in 4 weeks time, with the view of doing stage two early in the New Year. This is one of the things that makes this two stage surgery so depressing, it has to completely heal and then we go back in, cut it all up again and have the healing process to go through yet again!

The Infection Consultant came in and asked me about the antibiotics. I told him that my IV antibiotics – Teicoplanin & Ertapenem – finished the day before but there was no date in my Patient Record pack to stop the oral antibiotic, Fluconazole. He told me to continue to take it until the 29th November and then stop. From his perspective everything was fine and he discharged me but I remained under the Orthopaedic team till stage 2 had been carried out. This was great news and I was now looking forward to a decent Christmas and New Year then back in for a positive start and a knew knee.

The IV Nurse who had taught me to self medicate came round as it was time for me to have my PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line removed. This line was just pulled out but it was completely painless, in fact I felt nothing at all. When she had declared me safe to self medicate I jokingly (if some what sarcastically) said “do I get a certificate now?”, she said she had though about it and the conversation moved on. After she had taken the PICC line out she presented me with a Certificate for self medication. I was really taken back, she told me they had made it especially for me and that no one else had one. I couldn’t thank her enough and thought it was so nice of her to do that for me. As you can see most of the time it’s just the small things that people may do for me that I really appreciate and I’m thankful for.

Following a similar pattern, the first Nurse I spoke to was in with me while I saw the Consultants. When they weren’t in the room I asked her if she could do me a big favour. The duvet on my bed was lovely and snuggly and I’d missed it like mad, unfortunately it was really heavy and painful on my foot and leg. I asked if there was any chance of borrowing a couple of the thin Hospital blankets (as I could take them back when I had my surgery) as they were a lot lighter. She smuggled two in my backpack like some secret agent and I took them home with me. They certainly made a big difference and were much better but I wasn’t as warm. My Nan had a soft, thin but very warm fleecy blanket that I had after she died. I put this over the top of the sheet and blankets and now I’m toasty warm again too. Things were going great and it was just a matter of making the most of the time at home, enjoying Christmas as best I could and look forward to the New Year!

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