Monday, 15 February 2010

Day 27 – From zimmer to crutches

Monday 5th October 2009

My wound hadn’t been leaking during the night but I wasn’t getting too excited. Knowing the luck I had had it would start leaking anytime soon…

Doctor Zara called in just before breakfast to say hello and also to say that she won’t see me for the next couple of days as she was working nightshift. At first I thought she was quite snooty and a bit aloof as she was very posh spoken and very forthright, but once I got to know her, I really liked her.

I was getting a bit sick of bran flakes for breakfast. John had been bringing in some sultanas and raisins so I could liven them up, but they were still boring. I tried a bacon sandwich once but it was awful. You wouldn’t think it was possible to ruin a bacon sandwich, but the hospital catering department had found a way.

Louise, one of the young auxiliary nurses told me that one of the male patients really enjoys the cooked breakfasts. He had a huge plate every morning. Urgh !!!!

I guessed this would be D-Day for my wound as Kermit would be doing his rounds shortly. I had prayed to everyone I could think of but no-one seemed to be listening.

The actual operation didn’t bother me, it was the anaesthetic. I got away without vomiting the last time, knowing me though, I won’t be that luck the next time. Plus it would mean another couple of days stuck in hospital.

Kermit arrived just after breakfast and said he would have a look at the wound tomorrow then make his decision. I had resigned myself that no-one was listening to my plea’s so it would be another trip to theatre.

My wound decided to leaking big time !!! I stood up to stretch my legs, having been sat in the chair for a while, and blood came gushing out. It was all down my dressing gown, my nightshirt, my legs, the floor. It was everywhere. Kairen, the South African staff nurse, drew the short straw and came to sort me out.

She said that the swab which Natalie had taken the other day had come back negative for infection. Kermit wasn’t too concerned about infection as the antibiotic beads inside my hip cavity would kill it off anyway.

Andrew, the microbiologist, called shortly before lunch to see how I was getting on. I told him my wee was now turning orange and he was pleased with that as it meant the antibiotics were working. He wanted to arrange another blood test to see if the infection was slowing disappearing.

Gemma, the occupational therapist, came to do an assessment on me. As we don’t have a downstairs loo, they were going to have to fit a commode in the dining room. Lovely !!!! As there was no-one at home during the day it would have to be fitted the day I leave hospital. That meant I couldn’t be discharged on a weekend and also I wouldn’t be able to go to the loo until it was fitted. I would have to sit crossed legged….

Gemma was going to arrange a wheelchair for me. However they were out of stock so were waiting on a new supply to arrive. How can a hospital run out of wheelchairs !!!!!

She was also going to arrange an additional handrails for the two lots of stairs we have at home. I had been having problems walking up the stairs anyway because of my knee, so that would be really helpful. As I wouldn’t be very mobile when I got home, she thought it would be best to refer me to a social worker who would be able to arrange any help I would need around the house.

Alicia, the physio, asked if I would like to try walking using elbow crutches today. I said I’d love to so would be back that afternoon with a pair.

Had my trip down to the occupational therapy ‘house’. When I had my hip replaced I had to complete various tasks around their ‘house’; getting into/out of the bath, sitting on the loo, getting into/out of bed and making a cup of tea, before I was allowed home. This time it was to see if there were any equipment they could get to help me when I eventually went home. As well as the commode they would also be giving me a tall perching chair for the kitchen.

As soon as I got back onto the ward I buzzed for a nurse as my wound was leaking blood down my leg. Natalie changed my dressing and I decided it wasn’t worth putting on another skirt as it was only going to get bloody again.

A little later I was walking back from the loo when I heard, “Marie. You little hussy ! You’re flashing again”.
It was Sister Charlton. I explained that I couldn’t put on my dressing gown as it was covered in blood and that everything I put on a skirt it kept getting blood on it from my wound.
“Here”, she said, going into the linen cupboard, “wear this”.
It was a theatre dressing gown.
“There”, she said, as she helped put the gown on me, “much better….”.

Had a walk with the elbow crutches this afternoon. I was quite wobbly at first but soon got the hang of it and managed to walk several feet. I knew it was going to be a slow progress but I was determent to leave the hospital on crutches.

As my side room was right next to the nurses station I could hear everything that was going on, including telephone calls. I overheard a conversation between Sister Charlton, and I think the social worker, regarding me.
“Her husband works full time so he can see to night time but not during the day…. It looks like she’ll be going back to theatre for a washout. We’ll know tomorrow….”
Sister then started to get annoyed, “He works full time… How should I know what time he goes to work….”

While waiting for the loo to become available I started chatting to the ladies who were in side rooms 1 and 3. They were both called Mary. Mary in side room 1 was the lady who kept calling her friends on her mobile. She told me she’d had a hip replacement. I already knew as I had heard her telling everyone…. She was a nice lady but very outspoken . Mary in side room 3 was lovely. She had a knee replacement nine weeks ago but fell and got cellulitis in her leg.

My dinner was chicken and chips. The chips were ok, if a little cold. The chicken was small, round and very flat, coated in something which certainly didn’t seem like breadcrumbs. It was like no chicken I’d ever tasted….

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