Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just a quick post to tell you I'm still alive. Clumping around on the frame sucks; it also makes my shoulders hurt. The bloody brace insists on sliding down my leg (gravity, you know) so there is much ripping of velco strapping to try and get it fixed. I can carry practically nothing so taking a drink into the living room is a careful balancing act. The nurses say the wound is healing nicely but I still can't see it for myself (nor am I sure I want to) to make my own judgement. All I can hope is, that by May 17 when the plastics people look at it, it is healed.

Over the extended Easter/Anzac Day Holiday I had to get into the car and be driven to the nursing clinic to have my wound dressed. Today the nurse said it is healing well enough to take a step back in wound care. I don't know the technical specifications of all the various wound treatments they have these days, but I'll grab any piece of good news I can. Otherwise D is chasing up a mix-up in my disabled parking permit. Soon I'll settle down with the BBC and watch the wedding.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I did it! Home sweet home. Many many thanks to D who has been a life saver for me going way beyond the assigned task of caring for The Imp for 4 weeks. She's done my laundry, brought me emergency supplies, and even mastered driving my car which turned out to be suitable for getting my leg in. I am listening to blessed quiet, lying in my own bed and am trying to put all the stresses of today behind. Even tho the decision was made early in the morning, we didn't leave the hospital till 4PM. Turns out it was my surgeon who disagreed with plastics about my wound and he was finally convinced it was OK. I had 31 staples removed from the front of the knee (where the prosthesis was removed) and will have a district nurse come in every other day to change the wound dressing. I will be on antibiotics for 3 more weeks and then I don't know what happens. Tonight I am just glad to be home and just want to sleep (after Grey's Anatomy) with nobody waking me up at 7 when they do rounds. I have a grey cat on my shoulder purring loudly.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Great news, readers. I'm going home soon! Within a few days. I've been taken off the IV antibiotics. I've spoken with social work about arranging for help with cleaning etc. I have a new walking frame that's smaller and easier to manage. I will have to have a nurse come in every other day to dress the wound, which is shrinking quickly. I am so thrilled to be able to sleep in my own bed without the constant noise of hospital equipment (like the beeping IV that's going now). Lean Cuisine will taste divine after what I have been served here.

The Imp will be over the moon and we need some serious face time. As long as she stays off the knee!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Greetings from hospital. Three weeks today and my going home date might have moved forward. Plastic surgery came to look at my wound (the spot where the abscess was) and decided I didn't need a skin graft. That would knock 2 weeks off hospital stay. But today I missed speaking to the surgeons because I was in the shower and I need their input onto the issue before I can make any plans. I can get up and move around but that's no surprise to me as I have done this twice before. What remains is the infection, whether it can be treated by something other than IV benzylpenicilin every 4 hours. That may still be the sticking point. They take blood regularly which not only checks for bugs (altho being on antibiotics should suppress that) but checks my hemoglobin which can be low. I have a bloody big brace on my right leg to keep it straight.

Meanwhile I struggle with hospital food. Last night's dinner looked like dog food. If I didn't have friends bringing me fruit and goodies, my diet would suffer.
My room mate turns her TV on and falls asleep, leaving me listening to infomercials. Thank Amazon for my Kindle which is the envy of all the nurses and my constant companion. I am rereading Peter Hamilton's The Dreaming Void now that his trilogy is complete and available on the Kindle. I have DVDs to watch and watch Torchwood season 2. I can't wait till we get season 4 on UKTV. I want my Foxtel! A hospital is an incredibly noisy place. At night to cancel out the TV in the next bed I have an app on my iPhone that plays ocean wave sounds all night. I am also extremely annoyed at my mobile phone carrier which has very intermittent service here and only for sms, no voice of all the 3/4G whiz bang stuff.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Well, it's truly been a while and this time lots has happened. Over two weeks ago the strange lump on the back of my knee started to ooze. The idiot infectious disease specialist I saw a week prior to this said I would be fine till my scheduled surgery on the 28th. No, I saw my surgeon who told me to go to the emergency room in the main public hospital and that he would call and arrange my admission. Public hospital because they were better equipped and had more services available for home help. D and I frantically prepared for the unknown and then I waited 9 hours for a bed. The next few days passed without my awareness. I was in ICU due to low blood pressure (a common problem of mine) and was only really conscious 4 days later when I was moved to an orthopaedic ward.

Here I've been for almost 2 weeks. The knee replacement has been removed and a “spacer” put in that is not a knee and feels very weird. I can't put weight on it. I have a staph infection which being treated with huge doses of IV penicillin. I am having horrendous problems with my gut and nurses unfamiliar with IBS don't help. This is a world that revolves around “opening your bowels” and I can't on cue. I have a whiz bang vacuum wound dressing on the back of my knee. My spacer was replaced last week since it was doing something wrong. Man, that hurt. I now can have the wound dressed on the ward rather than going into OR.

I am both terrified and bored. Stressed and dying to go home. D is taking good care of the Imp but I miss her. Everything hinges on the staph infection being knocked out so a skin graft can go on the back of the knee. I will try to post now that I have wi-fi connection. I expect to be here another 2 weeks. Since I can't put weight on the leg, going home isn't a simple matter.