The busiest day

Tuesday 14th January

Apart from the day of my surgery this was by far the busiest day I’d had since I’ve been in this time. It started off with the long awaited PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) Line, that to be honest couldn’t come quick enough, which meant the cannula could go at last. I had one of the team that insert lines all day everyday instead of the Nurse on the ward who is trained to do them like last time. I still had some slight bruising from the last line that was inserted and I hoped it took less than 4 goes to get it in this time. The lady was brilliant and I was asking more questions about the process this time. They use Ultrasound to find the best vein to use and pinpoint its exact location. They ask how tall you are so that they get an Idea of the length of line they need to use. It’s marked at centimetre intervals and they record the length it has been set at. The line sits just above the heart so that anything they put through the line gets to work in the quickest time possible. The insertion was more painful than last time, but easily tolerable, probably because of the bruising that was still evident. I just had to wait for the X-ray to see if it was in the right location before it could be used and the cannula taken out.

After lunch there was a change of scenery as I was whisked down to the cast room. I was the only person in there and they were busily getting things ready. I was really disappointed when they said it would be a sealed cast because I was quite itchy all over the leg, a combination of growing hairs and a reaction from some of the medication. I’d been having antihistamine for the itching but when you can’t get to an area it seems worse than ever. The only good thing about having a cast was that I was going to do some artwork on it. I was asked what colour cast I wanted and said that because I wanted to draw on it I just wanted a white one. To my utter amazement they don’t do white so I asked what the lightest colour they did was. They told me that the yellow was the lightest but because it was a daffodil yellow it was quite bright. In the end I opted for that and they started to plaster. They applied a long cotton Tubi-Grip style material doubled over the leg to stop itching. They then wrapped it in the yellow, flexible, plastic type material. Next they used fiberglass strips along the length of the front and back of the leg, then they wrapped another layer of the yellow material around the whole thing to finish. It was quite painful as they had to hold the whole leg up, which created pressure on the knee joint. They can’t take a break in between any of the stages because of the material setting. They did go as fast as they could though and it didn’t take that long to get it finished. You can’t get it wet so they gave me a leaflet to order a cover for showering with. It took about an hour to completely dry and it didn’t feel too bad once it was all done

Instead of taking me back to the Ward they whisked me straight round to the X-Ray department to get that all important chest X-Ray. They do it while you are on the bed so you have no need to transfer at all. I spent a while waiting to get in to have it done but once I was in there it only takes a couple of minutes. When the results came back to the Ward they had to pull the PICC Line out 3 cm, which they did. Finally the last cannula could come out, which makes life so much better and easier.

I’d been suffering with a lot of localised pain at the top of the tibia again but that could have been from being more active that day and having the cast done. It’s an issue though and one that I have to keep an eye on. It seems incredible to me that although I’d had a busy day I was so knackered, especially as I was just lying on the bed all the time doing sod all myself. I suppose that’s what pain and being in Hospital does to you but I just feel so lame!

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