Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day 22 – Unhappy was an understatement

Wednesday 30th September 2009

I was still in ward 44 as yet again ward 42 refused to take me. I wasn’t allowed to unpack my belongings as they were going to try again in the morning to see if they would take me.

Didn’t finish my final batch of antibiotics until 2am. My arm, shoulder and elbow were really aching as I had to lie in an awkward position because the antibiotic liquid wasn’t dripping in the chamber properly.

Doctor Zara came to see me just after 7.30am to check that I was ok after yesterdays excitement.
“Last night I told one of my doctor friends what happened and he said ‘it wasn’t one of Mr Green’s patients, was it”.
“What did you say”, I asked,
“I said yes and he replied “I don’t want to be in your shoes when you tell him”.
“Does he know”, I said.
She shook her head, “we’re trying to buck up the courage to tell him”.
“Good luck”, I wished her…

Kermit called just as I was having breakfast.
“Your line is due to be removed today”, he asked.
Before I had a chance to answer, Sister Clarke, who was accompanying him, replied it was, then quickly glossed over what had happened yesterday. He hadn’t heard her so asked how my wound was doing. He would give it another 7-10 days and if there wasn’t any change then I would have to have more surgery to ‘wash’ out the wound.

Another week in hospital !!!! I was gutted as I wanted to go home, and I certainly didn’t want another trip to theatre. I was lucky the last time as I didn’t throw up, but knowing my luck, I didn’t think it would be second time lucky...

Sister Charlton came to take away my washing bowl so I asked if I would be moving to ward 42, as I felt like a nomad with my things still in carrier bags. She replied that it was still the plan once I got my blood clotting sorted and my line out. I asked what was the matter with my blood.
“Before we can remove your central line, we have to make sure your blood will clot. At the moment yours isn’t so we want to run some more tests”.

About 10.10am a porter came to take me down to x-ray.
“What for”, I asked.
“Dunno”, he replied.

I looked down at my dressing. It was handing off. I tried to press it back on but it wasn’t sticking very well. I had already told Sister Charlton that it was coming away earlier this morning and was told it would be changed later.

The x-ray was for my hip. It was a little embarrassing having to lie on the x-ray table with a dressing hanging off.

Having been away from the ward for over an hour and a half I was desperate for the loo. When I finally got back to the ward and to the loo, most of my dressing fell off into the toilet bowl…. Instead of changing the dressing, all they did was patch it up. I was not impressed.

There was still no word when I would be getting my central line removed. Just before lunch Sister Charlton came to take more blood (took two attempts – as always….) and said the line would be out this afternoon.

Shortly afterward Andrew, the microbiologist, came and said that he wanted the line removed as soon as possible. The longer it remained the more chance it had of becoming infected, and as my system was riddled with infection, he didn’t want another one added to the list. He explained that I would be given two different types of oral antibiotics, starting today. One to be taken four times a day and the other twice a day.
“Do you wear contact lenses”, he asked.
“No”, I replied.
“Good”, he said, “as one of the side effects from the antibiotics is they turn your wee red... It also causes contact lens to turn red as well. We have to warn patients otherwise we might get sued”.

One of the staff nurses came with my afternoon painkillers and said she would be coming back with some IV antibiotics. I asked why as I was supposed to start taking oral today. She replied that there was still no word yet when my line was going to be removed so they may as well use it while it’s there.
“But the microbiologist said I was to start taking them orally”, I repeated.
She just shrugged her shoulders.
“When can I have my dressing changed as it’s hanging off”, I asked, showing her the dressing.
She just shrugged her shoulders again.

To say I was unhappy was an understatement. Surely these people communicate with one another, so why the blank look about my antibiotics. My dressing was soaking, so too was the mat I was sitting on. I wasn’t able to walk to the toilet as the dressing was hanging off. I couldn’t do any walking exercises as the physios wouldn’t let me walk because of my dressing. To hell with it, I thought. The next time the physios came I’m was going walking….

My central line was not coming out as apparently there was something wrong with my ‘count’. I was going to be given ‘something’ (didn’t know what, they didn’t tell me….) to help my blood clot. More blood was taken and it would be taken again tomorrow to see if the ‘count’ was normal again.

I was getting a little fed up. I had been in hospital for nearly three weeks and there were no signs of me making much progress. At this rate I would still be in another three weeks !!!!!!

There were two bits of good news late afternoon. I had been given a zimmer without wheels and was told I could walk short distances but only under supervision, and Amy, the third year student nurse, said she would change my dressing.

She said she would meet me in the dressing rooms so I had to make my own way there. It was quite a hike to the dressing room and I was not supervised while walking which I wasn’t pleased about. By the time I got there I was shattered !!

When John arrived that evening I told him what had been happening and it took all my strength not to burst into tears. I felt really depressed and that wasn’t like me.

One of the staff nurses came into my room and said that I wasn’t to be given oral antibiotics until 4th October so my line would remain in until then.
I challenged her about this, repeating what Andrew and Kermit had said.
“It’s on our computer as 4th October so it must be right”, she replied.
I was not happy. I then asked her what the ‘something’ I was to be given to make my blood clot. She replied that it would be vitamin K. However there were some disagreement between the doctors about how it was to be administered, so they would finish off their disagreement sometime tomorrow. You couldn’t make it up !!!!!!!

She then tried to flush my central line, ready for the IV antibiotics, but it had become blocked again. I would have to have a line put into my hand, she said. I showed her the state of my arms and hands and said I wasn’t having any more lines put in, especially since I was told I would be starting oral antibiotics today.

She left the room then came back a few minutes later to say that all the day doctors had gone home and that there was only the on-call doctor available. I got the impression that she didn’t really want to contact him.
“You’ve got to have your antibiotics”, she snapped, “so if you won’t have a line put in your hand, then you’ll have to have another central line put in”.
I was about to explode with rage. She must have noticed by my face.” I’ll contact the on-call doctor”, she said.

30 minutes later she came back and said that the doctor had agreed for me to have oral antibiotics. Result !!!!!


  1. Good for you, Marie. A triumph at least.

    You must have been crushed about staying there even longer.

    This must be a good form of therapy for you writing this down. You've a lot to gain from this. xxxx

  2. It seemed like I was always having a battle with them for one thing or another.

    If you think I was crushed then, wait until you read future entries....

    I've never been a diary person and I'm not one to write down my feelings. However I really enjoyed keeping the journal so I'll be keeping it going when I (hopefully) go back in to get my hip sorted.

  3. I tell you, if I could back 20 years to when I was young & illness free, I'd take out private medical insurance. Sheesh...



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