Now I'm Bionic Second Part
Saturday 19th August 2017.
Just as I thought everything would be fine now I was home and in my own environment, another nightmare came to claim me. I had more blisters coming up on my backside, even though I smothered my bum in savlon cream. I also started to come up in a rash that night, which I can only describe as like having hives...not that I've ever had them, but what ever the rash was, it itched like mad, traveling all up my back and legs. I spent most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday in tears because I couldn't sleep, the itchy feeling was driving me nuts, leaving me nauseous too. I had so many strip washes during the day just to try relieving the itchiness, then smoothing savlon on the area, but none of it made any difference. I was beginning to wonder if this nightmare would ever end. Although my hip was fine, my skin was in a right mess.
Tuesday 22nd August 2017.
That was it, I'd had enough and couldn't take anymore. No sleep for three nights was more than this body should have to cope with. I phoned the doctors surgery to make an appointment. Luckily Steve was still on holiday otherwise I had no idea what I'd do.
I got an appointment to see the advance nurse practitioner at 3pm that day. She took a look at the rash and said it looked like an allergy to something. We went through all the medicines I'd taken. I said the only new tablets I'd taken were the Dabigatran, which were blood thinning tablets, which I'd started taking on the Saturday night. The nurse then informed me that if they were causing the rash, the only other option was to inject into the stomach daily for the rest of the thirty days, which the nurses had been doing in the hospital. I cringed at this idea, just hating needles with a passion, just the thought of sticking one in my stomach every day sent shivers through me. It was a catch 22 situation as I needed to have the blood thinning, otherwise I could get a clot.
“Well,” said the nurse. “The only other option is to come into the surgery daily and we'll give you the injection.”
I must have sighed about a million times wondering what the hell I'd got myself into. Having to go to the surgery daily for the rest of the month, meant I'd have to get the bus in daily and that would not only cost me a fortune in fares, but I also wasn't ready for traveling on buses, it was bad enough coming home in the car, with all the bumps in the road, my hip definitely didn't like traveling.
In the end nurse prescribed me some allergy tablets called allacan. Then she proceeded to phone the surgical assessment unit at the hospital. They said an orthopedic doctor named Anthony was on call and he would see me, but I would have to wait some hours.
I didn't hesitate and said that would be fine to wait, I just needed to see someone. We left the surgery at around 3.15pm. Steve went and got my prescription, what a wonderful man he is. Then we drove to the hospital, wondering how long it would take to see someone.
We arrived at the hospital close to 4pm. Steve dropped me off at the entrance and went to park the car. Finally at the reception we were told to sit in the waiting area. There were a lot of other people there too, also there were two wards within the area we were waiting.
Sitting there trying to pass the time, two hours came and went, as did the people waiting. It was a bit like A + E to be honest, but we did have the luxury of coffee, tea, milk and a kettle, oh and water, not that I had any, but Steve was grateful.
Finally a nurse called me into a room, where I had my blood pressure checked and also some blood taken, here was I thinking I'd never have to see another needle again. After she'd done her bit, I was asked to go and sit in the waiting area again.
We glanced at a notice on the wall which read: It would take at least two hours for the blood test results to come back before I could be seen by the doctor. By now it was 6pm, which meant we'd have to wait till 8pm. Me and Steve were both really pissed off just thinking about it. I did feel sorry for my partner, this was no way for him to spend his holiday.
Spending the next two hours sitting, dragged by so slow. We both walked up and down the hospital corridor to try and pass the time. The nurse kept informing me that the doctors were aware I was waiting but were very busy in A + E.
8pm came and went. Soon it was 9pm and I desperately needed the toilet, but couldn't use the general one as it was too low. When I told the nurse I'd had a hip replacement and needed a higher toilet seat, she informed me they never had one in the ward. Steve went bonkers and said it was ridiculous that we were in a hospital and they never had one available. Then another nurse overheard our conversation.
“If you don't get one soon,” I implored, “I will be doing it here on the floor.” I was now in floods of tears at the prospect of holding it in which I was finding difficult by the second. In fact another nurse came to my rescue and was very apologetic. “I'm so sorry, just hang on, I'll get one from another ward.” Both me and Steve looked at each other thinking what a palaver.
Then as one nurse disappeared, low and behold another nurse finally found the right seat for me. She made it higher and let me use the nurses toilet. Phew! Was all I could think, what a relief.
Back with Steve, there were now only two other couples left apart from us. It was 10pm and I really needed to take a pain killer, but didn't realize we were going to be out so late, so never bought them with me.
After many inquiries, the nurse informed me that the Doctor was still aware of me and apologized, but that A + E was very busy and like a war zone, he was rushed off his feet.
Seven hours later, it was now 11pm. I was tired and my hip was painful from sitting so long, even with the walking up and down the corridor, but I needed a pain killers desperately.
Then in walked the doctor with two others in hospital uniform. He called me into a room and I lifted my dress to show them my back, bum and legs. After much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that it was the dabigatran blood thinning tablets I had an allergy to and should come off them immediately.
I knew what was coming next, as he informed me I needed the needle in the stomach daily. There was nothing I could do but accept a daily supply of needles.
“It's so easy,” said the doctor. “The nurse will show you how to do it.”
So I got Steve to come in. He watched the nurse and offered to do the daily task, which I couldn't believe he seemed quite happy about doing thankfully. “Again, where would I be without you Steve...my hero!”
It was so late by the time we got home and I was tired as hell. I just took some pain killers and the allergy tablet with a bowl of soup, then went to bed. I managed to get some sleep, but even though I was zonked out, having to lay permanently on my back had me getting up throughout the night to walk around. Going up and down the stairs, I was beginning to feel like the grand old duke of York, but there was satisfaction in the knowledge that I could master them on my own and it was good exercise.
Thursday 24th August 2017.
I'm feeling so much better now and the rash is almost gone. Yesterday Steve washed my hair over the sink which was such a palaver, we ended up with more water on the floor than in the sink, as he used the washing up bowl to swill out the shampoo and conditioner. Will be so glad when the walk in shower goes in. The second time he washed it, was with him standing in the bath and me with my head back sitting on of all things the commode, it was so funny and I couldn't stop laughing.
Strip washing isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it's a daily routine which I do each morning. Then Steve gives me my injection, then takes off my orthopedic stockings and washes my feet and lower legs, it's such a relief as the stockings are so tight and claustrophobic, especially during this hot spell we're having.
After all this has been done, I feel as fresh as a daisy, so go for some short walks. The first time I went out, it was just a little way down the road, but this day I went all the way to the Co-op with Steve to get some bread. I amazed myself by walking with just one stick, while Steve carried the other just in case I needed it. I found it very tiring, but a great achievement.
Saturday 26th August 2017.
I actually went with Steve to do the weekly shop at Sainsbury's, it was good to get out and walk about, though I was unable to do much else than read the shopping list out. Steve had to get the items off the shelf if they were too low or high. With our trolley loaded up, poor Steve had to put the items on the conveyor belt, then pack it all up, load it into the car, then unload and pack it away when we got home, all I could do was let him get on with it, very frustrating.
To finally sum up my feelings on the hip replacement. I'm so grateful that I went ahead and got it done, I'm amazed at how quickly I'm walking and without that pain I had before. All I can do now is have patience and take things slowly. I have the positive attitude and no that all good things come to those who wait, now that I'm bionic.
It's 1st September 2017.
It's becoming easier and easier to walk each day, as I try and walk about 30 minutes a day and keeping up with the exercises too. Just have to remember not to do too much, other than that everything is hunky dory.