Monday, 26 April 2010

Day 41 – What a carry on

Monday 19th October 2009

My wound was still leaking like there was no tomorrow. Bummer !!!!

I was sick this morning shortly after taking my antibiotics. The past few days I had been feeling queasy about ten minutes after taking them, but this was the very first time I had actually been sick. I pressed the buzzer for a bowl, but no one came, so just used yesterdays paper to be sick in to. Thankfully the mess wasn’t that much so I just cleaned it up myself. My buzzer had been going for 10 minutes and no one came so I just switched it off.

I called into see Arthur that morning. He thanked me for arranging his cup of coffee.
“You must have a lot of respect on the ward as I didn’t think the nurses gave patients refreshments”, he commented.
“When you’ve been here for over five weeks you come to know the nurses very well”, I replied.

Called into see Mary a couple of times during the day as she was still on bed rest. Officially I was only allowed to be up on my feet twice a day but the nurses and physico’s were turning a blind eye to my extra trips to see Mary.

I could hear the sound of the ‘blood trolley’ coming along the corridor, and I knew it was heading my way. It was lovely nurse Anna’s turn to do the dreaded deed. She’d seen on my notes that I needed a particular blood sample to be taken on Monday so asked if she could do it. Knowing the state of my arms, I was very surprised she actually volunteered to do it. I’m sure the rest of the nurses would have breathed a sigh of relief !!

I could honestly say that I never felt a thing. She found a vein straight away and got blood out first time.
“Can you take blood from me all the time”, I asked.
Anna just smiled, “the trick is use a child’s needle. When veins are deep, and as thin as yours, adult needles are no good. That’s why it didn’t hurt”.
I will remember that in future.

Louise, one of the auxiliary nurses, popped her head round the door and asked if I would like a bowl to get washed in.
“Yes pleased as I can’t go into the shower,” I replied, pointing to my blood saturated dressing, “and could I have my hair washed as well.
“No problem”, she said.

She came back a little later to wash my hair. I think this must have been the first time she had washed someone’s hair as she had water everywhere. The t-shirt I had put on five minutes previously was drenched so off that came to be put on the radiator to dry.

I must have had the second t-shirt on for about five minutes when I felt something wet on my leg. My wound was gushing out blood. I pressed the buzzer then used my hospital dressing gown as a pressure pad.
The plan had been to leave my dressing on until Kermit had been so he could see the extent of the leaking. However it was just too bloody to leave. Louise asked permission to change the dressing and keep it as evidence. This was granted.

It was like a scene from a Carry On Film. Louise was having difficulty in opening the sterile dressing packs using one hand, whilst the other was putting pressure on my wound to stop it gushing out. As she was struggling I offered to help.
“You can put pressure on your wound”, she suggested.
Easier said than done as I needed to use two hands to hold on to my zimmer for balance. I shuffled towards the sink and propped myself onto it, giving me a free hand.

Sister Clarke popped her head around the door. Kermit was due any minute.
“Bugger”, said Louise, who frantically tore open dressing packs and began sticking them onto my wound as quickly as she could. It wasn’t pretty….

Kermit gave me the news I had been expecting. Another trip to the woodshed. Apparently my blood samples were showing that things were slightly getting worse as the infection count had gone up.
“I’ll have a chat with Andrew the Microbiologist”, he said, “to see if we need to up your antibiotics”.
Up them!!! I was already taking 41 tablets a day.

My trip to the woodshed for a bigger washout would be schedule for tomorrow morning, unless an emergency came in.

Kermit was surprised as to how upbeat I was.
“What else can I do”, I replied, “moping and feeling sorry for myself won’t make any different. In fact it’ll just make things worse”.

I was a little annoyed though that ‘Him upstairs’, my Guardian Angel and St Jude weren’t helping. Mary, who was a Catholic, said He was listening to me. I wasn’t convinced.

After Kermit had left Louise removed the hastily put on dressing for a better one. It was still a bit like a Carry On Film as this time she was having problems opening the sterile water packet.
“I’ll go and get some scissors”, she said, then realised that if she left the room she would have to bin everything due to cross contamination.
I noticed that Norma was busy working at the nurses station.
“Norma”, shouted Louise.
“NORMA”, shouted Louise again.
I grabbed my walking stick and tapped on the window. Norma turned round. I gestured her to come into the room.
“Can you get me some scissors please”, pleaded Louise”, “I can’t open the water and if I leave I won’t be sterile anymore”.
Norma rolled her eyes as if to say ‘these youngsters’ then off she went to get some scissors.

Had a good chat with Mary that morning, then her consultant came to see her so I had to leave the room. Doctor Richard was standing outside Mary’s room so asked how I was getting on.
“I’ve won my bet”, I announced, “another trip to the woodshed tomorrow”.

I popped back to see Mary after lunch and she had a big grin on her face.
“He’s really pleased with me”, she said, especially after what she had told me a couple of days ago.
Sister Charlton who had been on a weeks leave, came into Mary’s room and give both of us a big hug.
“I’m really impressed that you’ve finally managed to cover yourself up - you Hussy”, she said, noticing that I was wearing my hospital dressing gown.
“I knew you were back today so I put it on”, I laughed, “I never wore it at all last week when you were off….”.

Andrew the Microbiologist came into Mary’s room looking for me.
“There you are”, he said, “can we pop back into your room for a chat”.

He explained that they might put me back onto IV antibiotics via another central line for a couple of days after my trip to the woodshed. It would all hinge on what they would find when the samples come back after my washout.

During afternoon visiting my mam and my sister Denise came to see me. They had been shopping in Newcastle. Denise mentioned that a work colleagues mother had had an infection in her hip replacement and died as a result of it.
“Thanks a lot…”, I said.

I got a mention on Chris Evan’s ‘Drive Time’ programme on Radio 2. I sent him a text asking if he could give me a mention as I was a bit fed up with being in hospital.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, my mum gives me good news like that. How come they get away with it!

    Mentioned on the radio, eh? wish I'd known.

    Rooting for you at this difficult time


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