Warning - contains delicate swears. I sometimes silently say, “Fuck off” and occasionally I say it out loud without noticing. It has happened a lot recently but rather than be a sweary Mary I shall write 'fo'. Much sweeter and makes me seem less of a strop.
I have talked before about the 2 lists I have in my mind - they are the ‘eh’ and the ‘seen it all’. There is also a Venn diagram and the section where they cross over is called ‘wtf?!’
This past week has seen new entries onto to both lists and one new into the centre. It all starts with pain; again?
Shut up woman.
Nutshell for anyone who doesn’t know;
Years of ongoing debilitating painful back issues, diagnosed with sacroiliac dysfunction, left side fused, screw into L5 nerve root (not fun), screw removed, donor bone squirted in, right SI fused, heal a bit, hurt a bit, heal a bit, hurt a lot, given the diagnosis ‘CRPS’, fo, have injections, pulsed RT, more injections, diagnosis changed to bone issue, added in sore hips from years of SI issues etc etc. How long should a list be?
I have had episodes of urinary incontinence and this started up again a couple of weeks ago coupled by the ghastliness of fecal soiling and ridiculous pain. This is as yuck and scary as it was before. I saw my GP and she said to pop along to the hospital. It was all very deja-vu of a few years ago and I explained I haven’t recovered from that so I said no and she said I could go to a different one.
The ortho doc at the hospital examined me and this is how the conversation went:
Doc - do you want to come in for a few days?
Me - no.
Doc - are you managing at home?
Me - yes.
Doc- why not come in?
Me - no thank you.
Doc - if you have a slow developing cauda equina you’ll have to come back. Or, just stay.
Me - thank you for the kind offer but NO.
Doc - you definitely want to go home then?
Me - yes. Please. Can I go now?
Doc - or…
Me - are you saying you think it better if I stay?
Doc - I am responsible so if you go and then have to come back questions will be asked.
Me - of you not me.
Doc - we will look after. You can rest and have nice pills.
Me - I can do that at home.
Doc - yes, but…
Me - are you saying I should come in?
Doc - yes.
Me - okay I will come in but I’m not staying long.
Doc - brilliant I’ll sort it.
This is a shortened version and although it sounds stroppy it was actually funny and we were laughing a lot.
A lovely nurse appeared, bundled me into a wheelchair, because I didn't want to be moved on the gurney, and took me to the ward. I was given my own room and popped onto a chair. Orthopaedic wards tend to be busy and this one was no exception. I had nothing with me so was supplied with everything up to and including net panties. You probably know of the bags that resemble a bit of net and then stretch in all directions when you put shopping in them… Think same.
Nurse Feelingfine brought me Paracetamol. Fo! I could take them at home. Two minutes later morphine arrived. Now we’re talking, fairies here I come.
It all got fuggy after that.
I had cups of tea whenever and enough morphine to shut me up. They know what patients are like.
In the morning I got told off for sitting on a chair because I was on ‘bed rest’ - didn’t know that was still a thing. I told the doctor I’d like to go home, he smiled sweetly and said, “you can in a few days.”
My actual personal nurse was amazing. Loud, funny, caring and married to a Reverend. What's not to love?
Nurse Iaminchargeofpain visited. She looked at my foot (it drops) and said, “you know that’s permanent?” Fo! When asked, “what brings you here?” I told her quite colourfully.
She then did the red flag to a bull movement. You know the one. Head slightly to the side, Thatcher voice gearing up and said, “have you spoken to anyone about your psychological state?”
She straightened her head then down it went again, “because you don’t hurt so much if you are happy.”
Lovely Nurse heard me telepathically and appeared like magic and Nurse Iaminchargeofpain scuttled away.
Then they gave me diazepam and I got fuggy again. They also gave me laxatives because they knew what was coming. Or, rather what wasn’t.
Later in the day I began my mission to escape. I fibbed and said I felt better after the diazepam and then I got moved into another room with 5 other patients. Definitely on a mission to get home. Been there done that planned the escape.
Anyway, the woman opposite returned from surgery looking very grey, asked for morphine and then said she needed a cigarette. The ward sister told her she could when the IV had run through. The cannula was in the top of her foot.
A different consultant visited me. Between him and the admitting doctor they decided I have ankylosing spondylitis, permanent nerve damage with drop foot and possibly a slow developing cauda equina. “Thanks,” I said ‘but can I go home now?”
“Well..” he started. I tilted my head to the side and breathed in, he blanched and said, “If your nurse is happy and they can do the paperwork today, can sort your meds then yes you can. Or, you can stay.”
I told lovely nurse and she said she'd ask Sister who said okay to go but much to do to let someone out and I was welcome to stay.
While they were sorting paper and meds the woman opposite got up, unhooked her nearly empty IV bag and handed it to her bewildered husband and put on her trainers. Yes, trainers. She squashed her foot including the cannula with bits attached into it and did up the laces. And here we have the Venn diagram and the section where they cross over.
By now I was prodding Mick, “what the hell” I asked, followed by, “I know, not my monkeys”. Sister arrived and took control in a fairly scary way. That’s what Sisters do.
Sister then came to me. My tummy sank but she smiled sweetly and said, “We are just sorting your meds but we are having a hard time sourcing a doctor to prescribe, a pharmacist to deliver and available diazepam.”
Oh no. I felt caught in a headlight and should have said something but my mouth would not comply. The moment passed.
Half an hour later Sister returned, “Matron is on the mission to sort your meds.”
Matron has better things to do than buzz around the hospital like a fruit fly for a fibber.
I suggested a prescription would suffice. That worked.
I left with instructions to rest, do limited physio, take meds and return instantly if all hell let loose in my nether regions.
So far no giant puddles.
Picture credit Photo by Park Troopers on Unsplash
Here you will find the up and down tales of my back and related problems.
I specialise in pain management and having been a patient I have a deeper insight into the difficulties chronic pain can cause.