Monday saw me go to the Hospital as the pain was still a read b$%^&*. The infected area had also stopped reducing, so in accordance with my release instructions from Hospital last week I went in for a check up.
Blood tests and movement showed a good infection reduction to that point. The pain was suggested to be bone bruising, but unsure. I was then told to visit again Thursday (yesterday) for another check up. Meanwhile I was told that I didn’t need the sling or to keep my arm elevated all of the time.
Bradford Sling... still
Thursday – Ominous Hospital verdict:
Tendons & Wrist actions themselves seem okay… but inflammation & continued deep pain have pointed the Doctors to the following:-
Put arm back straight back in the sling and keep it upright.
Take another 10 days of top strength antibiotics.
Visit hospital Ortho-ward again next week.
Specialist Microbiologists mentioned.
Talk of surgery & flush raised it’s head again…
…So… Infection still a problem…
In linked news – Thank you Speedway Squadfor not one, but two mentions in episodes 101 and 102.
I have no idea what I need to get mauled to make it three in a row…
Chris goes out to a party. She hardly ever goes out (I don’t tie her up), so I really wanted her to have a good evening. It was fancy dress & she looked great!
Later that night:
All the cats have just come in. Before I get to lock the cat-flap I hear a thumping, crashing noise in the kitchen.
I go out & find a mean feral tomcat freaking out.
The first thing I thought was….
No one will believe the description of this cat! It’s a cacophony of the most evil cats ever drawn on cartoons!
It had one snake eye glazed in a white mist, a glaring black eye & a scar across its nose. Both ears were shredded & it was covered in dirt & mud. It’s growl was guttural & menacing…. It was a cat that would need to be toned down in a book or film because it was too unbelievable…
It was a cat that, had Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seen it, literature would of had “The Cat of the Baskervilles” in place of that, on comparison, soppy hound.
It was big. It may have had a Bulldog as a father…
It was mad… The cat flap was set to “In only” to get our cats in for the night. This had the effect of cornering the Hell Cat…
As I went into the kitchen, crouched down & arms out, to keep it in one place & to open the door for it (which would work for most cats), it went nucking futs.
It shot straight at my left arm (furthest from it!) and went to town, biting down hard on my wrist, to the bone. This was a new level of pain for me…
I pulled free… or tried to, but as most people with cats know, a cat with a fight in mind is like the bastard child of a Chinese finger trap and a garden wood chipper…
It span up and around my left arm, sinking its teeth in again, and kicked out tearing my right hand.
It let go & shot into the house. I gave chase & managed to get between it and the stairs. As cats run scared they go flat out with no care… claws out getting grip on whatever they can…No way was this git tearing up stairs and shredding my sleeping little Alex!
I managed to herd it back into the kitchen by using a blanket to fence it in.
I freed up the cat flap, grabbed some water & chucked it at the cat to make it bolt out of the door from its position on the kitchen shelves….(I was praying it wasn’t about to start flinging pits and pans at me!!!)
…. Success! The cat bolted…
I examined the damage… Shaken & still in severe pain from the bite.
I cleaned the wound up. It looked deep, but clean. I covered it with antiseptic cream & dressed it. I wasn’t about to call Chris & ruin her evening. If it got worse, then I’d call her.
The bite has swollen a little, but looked mostly like bruising.
We took a trip to Frimley Park Hospital to get it checked out. The medic was surprised at the bite radius… and due to the nature of the wound I was given a Tetanus shot.
Medic said I’d done a good job with cleaning & dressing it (I should hope so! I’ve just re-qualified as a First Aider!), and told me to return in 24 hours for a further check up, as bites like this can turn bad quickly. I was given some heavy duty antibiotics and headed home.
Wrist is painful to bend. Went for my usual cross country jaunt, but had to leave my Nordic poles at home as I couldn’t use them on the injured arm.
Couldn’t sleep as arm was throbbing. Put it this way, try slamming your fingers in a drawer… then keep doing that to the beat of your heart… and do it a bit harder each time so you don’t get used to it.
I was running a high temperature, but I put that down to a bug that Alex had just got over. Sleep wasn’t easy.
Standing in the bathroom I had sweat running off of me. I still put it down to a cold bug as I had a bad throat too.
I took a shower & noticed the bite was much bigger & redder…
We went to the Hospital for the check up…
One of the staff took my wrist & moved it up and down… something I really couldn’t do myself.
In two words: It Hurt.
Moments later a Doctor came in, saw the red mark (infection) had spread down my arm and said straight away I was to be kept in overnight.
The “these things can go bad very quickly” had happened.
I was still in pain from my wrist manipulation and apparently weak from the infection spreading…
The Doctor went to put in the needle for my intravenous drips and to take samples from the line. I’m not keen on needles, but I don’t mind them and it’s really only the thought that makes me cringe…
The needle went in. I felt fine. I’ve had needles in me before – injections and giving blood, so no drama… but my head went light…
I told the Doctor I was becoming dizzy & nauseas. I was laid back & the dizzy became a 25 vodka shot drunken stupor…
I felt all energy drain from me, I became clammy (sticky, not shellfish like) & a cold sweat poured from my head. Chris said my skin went very pale & my lips turned white…
Thank God I’d done that First Aid re-qualification! As all these symptoms occurred I was mentally aware. I realised I was going into shock. Had I not realised this, then the experience would have scared the Hell out of me.
I lay horizontal for a while as my body spun back to speed, then was wheeled away to get my first IV of antibiotics.
After the first dose I was then placed into the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) for observation overnight.
This is where you find me now… Laid up with my arm in an elevated sling to stop the infection tracking any further. A “Bradford Sling”… a sling that I am sure has been banned as cruel and unusual in the Geneva Convention.
I was going to wait until I got home to do a blog entry, but so many kind and curious friends in the flesh and in cyberspace wanted to know what’s been happening…
To all those who have followed this on Twitter and Facebook and given me support and best wishes, I thank the lot of you! You’ve kept my spirit up wonderfully!
To Chris and Alex – I love you loads and was so happy for your visits today (even when Alex played “poke daddy’s IV needaarrgghhh!”)
I’m still in hospital – and feeling quite lucky really.
This morning a Surgeon tested the infection and became very aware it may have got into a tendon or two.
Straight away I had my food and water stopped. A drip was put in my arm and I was prepared for surgery for the night.
The surgery involved to clean the infection from the tendon is not for the faint hearted…
From elbow to hand on the back and front of the arm two cuts are made.
These are opened up so that the surgeon can flush through and wash out the infection.
The arm is dressed, but left un-stitched, for 24 hours at which point it is flushed out again, checked over and stitched.
Lots of follow up checks take place.
In really simple terms they peal my arm & jet wash it.
Midway through the day the Surgeon was encouraged by the reduced swelling and slight pain reduction. He was encouraged enough to postpone (in view of cancelling) the surgery.
That’s where I am now… In a slightly happier place… Schrodingers Cat Bite, so to speak…. Until it is checked tomorrow I am and am not having surgery…. Slightly ironic…
Latest News Wednesday Morning:
Just had trippy 2 hours due to pain killers. I mean proper trippy….
I realised as soon as I took them that I was off to la la land, so whacked on Pink Floyd: The Wall, and just let it drift over me.
Vivid stuff… weird imagery…. Still half out, but had to buck up as Ward Reg just did walk arounds.
Surgeons & microbiologist came and checked me out.
They are happy with my range of movement and rate of swell reduction.
Pain in tendons has reduced & is now more focused around the actual puncture points.
Due to this I am to have one more IV antibiotic course and then tablets for 10 days. I also have to keep my arm raised in the Bradford sling still…. even at home, where I’m off to today….
Yes! I’m being released!
If things start to go backwards though, that operation will be waiting for me.
Thanks everyone for your continued support and messages. They really helped keep me positive through the most frightening experience I’ve encountered so far!
Do you remember the heady delights of my recent past ? I certainly do. Such memories!
Things slowly levelled out once I got my new job. After ending up with all cards, accounts and overdrafts maxed whilst trying to keep our heads above the water line I thought things were finally working out….
Sure, we’re living one month to the next whilst getting back on our feet, but we are in a position where we (thought) we could see light at the end of the tunnel – Oh how I laugh!
You see, the Almighty (must be one, because blind bad luck just isn’t this constructive) took me saying “At least it can’t get any worse…” as a challenge. As per usual, the Omnipotent one has been playing with a marked deck….
I got a trip to America recently with the new company – It was business, but so cool too! A new experience for me. On the weekend of my return some numpty idiot driver decided to try and drive through a solid object… that object being my wife and Alex in Bernie (The Berlingo….. not my idea…).
That wrote the car off, so we had to get another car…. bear in mind we live from month to month with no spare cash…..
During the time the claim was being investigated we were supplied a courtesy car – a rather lovely Golf TDi… We were told that once the claim was settled we would have the car for 8 days after receiving the money so we had time to buy a new car… 8 days… that’s a bit of a push!
The Golf TDi... I want one!
After the fuss of claiming for the car crash (the other party admitted it all) we finally had the cheque sent to us… BUT we were then told that the courtesy car had to go back 8 days after the claim was settled…. which means settled – post cheque – 3 days -, clear cheque – 5 days, have money to buy car… 8 days after settling… HANG ON… that’s the day we give the courtesy car back! We have just one day to buy a car!
I dropped Chris at work last weekend and my Mother in Law came up to help look after Alex as we toured car lots looking for cars. I didn’t want to go private as I only had enough money for a deposit until the cheque cleared, and I also wanted some warranty – so trade sales were the way forward.
As I only had the day to buy a car, I decided to look for 2 types of car. A long distance car for me, or a town car for Chris. We need two cars, so at least if I could get one of those I’d be in a better position – and it gave me double the options on my 1 day shopping trip…
The first car I looked at was okay… the place it was being sold from was okay…. and then we checked out a list of other cars throughout the whole day…..
Each new place had a dodgier car and dodgier sales people…. it was futile! We ended up at some guys house. He had three cars in various states of dirt, grime and rust… and a big old scar on his face…. he seemed honest enough, I’ll give him that, but I just didn’t feel this was right… not from his driveway instead of a sales lot!
A Cowboy about to sell a car yesterday
So the day ended with me planning to go back to that very first car… much like a lady going shoe shopping….. Spend all day and then choose shoe number 1….
All the places had shut, so I would have to go back to car number one the following day. All that was left to do was to pick Chris up from work.
On the way back from her work I decided to take a 2 minute detour to pass a place I knew from years ago – a place I had bought a car from before….
YES!!! You are right!!! There wasn’t one available.
We drove off……
… only to find Farnham Carriage Company on the same road… a place I didn’t know existed…a supermarket car park sized lot full of cars!!!
It was closed, but unlocked so we took a walk around. Nothing…. until we realised the cars carried on around the corner of the lot and into the distance… and still nothing…. until we saw a small purple Ford Fiesta…..
57,000 miles on the clock. Spotless interior. All original. Engine bay was spotless – even the fabric wadding under the bonnet was in mint condition! All that for £995…..
I called the guy and said I’d be back….
We pick “Filbert” up tomorrow….
“Hurrah!” I hear you cry! Things are working out for you! A random chance at a random place and you spot a car! Bravo….
Yes… you’d be right to think that…. but the wise would think that this must just be a part of a greater plan to set me up for a fall… Offer me a chair and then whip it away as I sit down…
Thursday night We settle down to go to bed. I have the Doctors the next day as I have a really bad ear ache (5 days, getting worse… lots of pain – silly to go to work as I was dizzy and really not thinking straight – but I work through stuff that isn’t contagious.. if I can).
At 1.30am Chris notices the bed is wet… and it isn’t either of us (yet) or the mental pussy cat that sleeps at that spot…… a glance at the ceiling shows it bulging down a good 4 inches… dripping away….
"Trouble" - The Mental Puddy Tat
I quickly go into the loft (for the first time in ages) and see sodden wood frames and a dripping ball cock valve… I quickly wrap tape tightly around the valve to stem he drip… but really… this little drip is nothing…. it’s the time it has been dripping that was the problem…
Chris calls out that she needs to change buckets (as she was on bucket duty in the bedroom… drip catching). She says severla leaks have started… it only takes a slight touch and another leak appears…. the ceiling is on the very edge of letting go…
I run to Alex’s room, tip all of his toys from a huge toy bucket (half a bath size.. lots of noise, yet he carried on snoring!) and put it under the massed holes. Chris held it as I went rapidly stabbing the lowest part of the bulge…
A good 15 Gallons of dirty, fibre glass, wood, nails and plaster brown stinking water rushed out of the golf ball sized hole….
Further inspection in the loft showed that it was a matter of seconds before the ceiling would have collapsed… the whole panel was sodden and pulp.
I shut the water off outside (we didn’t have a tool at first…. then realised that last year the shut off was changed to a modern unti that can be done by hand….). Flushed the toilet, let taps run… released as much weight and water from the loft as possible.
Chris called up the Lloyds TSB Premier customer hotline as we have emergency cover with them….. they couldn’t get a guy out until 8am!!! NICE! That’s emergency for you….
I felt rubbish. It was 3.30am, I was coughing due to the damp and fibreglass. My ear was pounding…Sleep was near impossible so I chatted a while on Twitter whilst Chris got some shut eye. The wonderful ShoeGal007 chatted with me for a while and kept me sane. Twitter is such a lifesaver at times. As I’ve said before, it’s like a big social gathering of friends, colleagues and the Yellow pages! If you want to know something, then you just ask – or you can just chat away!
I got to sleep and shortly woke to go to work… but it didn’t take long to realise that that wasn’t going to happen. Admitting defeat I called in… I wasn’t happy.
A further call to Lloyds TSB and we found the next emergency plumber would be available after lunch, and not at 8am…. so I cancelled him. I had seen where the leak was, and knew it was a two minute job.
See…. It can’t get any worse….
We went out and brought a 12p washer…. and the job was done. All that was left was the wrecked ceiling, sodden storage boxes in the loft and the mouse poop….
WHAT? Mouse poop?
Yup… after the flood I noticed nibbled boxes in the loft space…. and clucters of mouse poop everywhere. Of we went to get mouse traps and sonic repellents to try and fix that problem…
No idea yet as to what the next move will be. We have insurance assessors due to look at the damaged ites, and surveyoys to check out the building itself, but then I don’t know…. I’ve never been here before!
I’ve never claimed any insurance before in my life until the last 3 weeks….. then house and car come along at once!
I’ll tell you what though – I’m not even going to hint at “Things can only get better…” because I’m sure some all seeing being will just take me up on that challenge….