The great unveiling

Wednesday 22nd January

The Infection Team had little for me and really only asked if the Psychiatrist had seen me again, which he hadn’t. Two of the Doctors from the Orthopaedic Team came to tell me the cast would be split later that morning and the Registrar would be round later in the afternoon to see it.

Instead of being dragging down to the plaster room the lady came up to the Ward. When I had my cast taken off last time it was cut with the traditional electric saw, all she was clutching was two bandages, I was intrigued. At my bedside she took out a pair of scissors and scalpel blade. When they put the cast on they had placed a strip of padding down the right side of my leg. She took the scissors and cut the cast at the top which went through the Tubi-Grip and everything, then she switched to the scalpel blade and cut down the rest of the cast. The scalpel made light work of the plastic type material and it didn’t take long before she was finished. Next she took the bandages and wound them around the outside of the cast to secure it back on again, job done.

Because Wednesday is surgery day it was early evening before the Orthopaedic Registrar got round to see me. We took of the cast then he pulled off the dressing, like they do, which made the abscess hole bleed. Everything looked great and later that evening the Nurse came round to remove the stitches. As usual there was a problem, they had put so many knots in them and the skin had started to grow over some of them already that she had a problem getting them out. In the end she had to call a HCA (Health Care Assistant) to help her. After lots of pulling, tugging, scraping the skin, digging the scalpel in and what seemed like an age, she managed to get them all out. She put on the worst sticking, non-waterproof dressings and then reapplied the Cricket Splint, all I had to do then was wait to see the Orthopaedic Team the next day to find out what they were going to do next.

The Psychiatrist came up to the Ward at 19:30 and we went off to a quiet room for the meeting. He apologised about not seeing me Monday but he phoned the Ward to let me know he couldn’t make it. I told him that no days or times had been set so it was OK but the message was not passed on to me. He said in hindsight it was probably a good thing as he couldn’t make it Tuesday either and would have lied twice. One of the biggest things to come from the discussion was him telling me about a guy called Jon Kabat-Zinn and his work with Guided Mindfulness. How his meditative work is extremely useful and has helped many of his clients. It gives you techniques to help you focus when there are many stressors, factors and thoughts going on around you, to bring you back to the moment, the here and now. He told me to research it on the Internet and sent me an email to links of some files I could download and try for myself. I was feeling quite good and even the psychiatrist said I seemed much better than the last time I saw him. I’d been told earlier in the day that I had an appointment for my Endoscopy at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford at 10:00 on Friday Morning. The Psychiatrist told me he would try and catch up with me on Friday and that’s how a useful meeting finished. Late evening I watched the first half of video on YouTube, which helped me understand what Jon Kabat-Zinn does, why it’s useful and how it works. It was a workshop he did for Google employees and I found it useful to see that before listening to the meditation tracks. It will take time and practice to be able to make full use of the technique if it works for me but it’s definitely worth a try.

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