This isn’t my usual crafting post.
I have been on an unexpected holiday care of the National Health Service after I dislocated and broke my ankle (in two places) when I fell at home. I wasn’t participating in anything exciting such as ‘Extreme Crochet’ or ‘High Speed Knitting’- I was simply in a hurry to get to the phone.
The story started when mum was rushed into hospital causing her to miss going on holiday. I was on standby to go and look after her when discharged; bag packed and ready to go I was busy printing off some documents regarding her holiday cancellation when the phone rang. Next moment, crunch! That’s it! Thankfully Tom was at home. Ambulance called- busy, they sent an ambulance car: ah yes, we do need an ambulance (you really did not need to be medically trained to see this was the case).
Pumped full of morphine I passed out on gas and air whilst they put on a vacuum splint. First step. Next was to get downstairs… did I mention I was in a bedroom? This was achieved by me bottom bumping down whilst one of the paras held my leg. Our stairs have a return and they had not been able to get the chair up, let alone down with me on it!
A trip to A & E in the back of an ambulance. Chris was with me by now. Straight into resus where the real ‘fun’ began. They had to manipulate my ankle TWICE to get the dislocation corrected. First time there were many meaningful looks between the staff since there was no circulation getting to my toes which had turned a fetching shade of purple… serious stuff. I was put under using ketamine- a most unpleasant experience- tunnel of death vision and all that- who on earth would do that as recreation?!
After x-ray the consultant reported to me that he was ‘despondent’ as it was not in a good position; it needed to be done again. Hell! I replied I too was despondent and that he had better get on with it but under no circumstances using ketamine thankyou very much! Drug of choice this time was propofol which I was told is soya based at which point I beamed as if they knew me…much more my style! Hey an alpro trip! Thanks Joe! Anyway, imagine being all wired up and ready for action with a team of 7 waiting to work on you… in goes the anasthetic… no effect…. more….no effect….more…. should I be feeling it by now? Yes Jill. More…more…. there she goes. A sea of faces disappeared .
Apparently I was the talk of A & E for two reasons- my spectacular dislocation and two part break and for being the woman resistant to the drugs! I was later told they assumed this was something to do with my body’s reaction to the drugs because of my Lupus. I also learnt that propofol was Michael Jackson’s drug of choice.
Days later on my way to surgery I had an interesting discussion with the anesthetists about it just before I was put under for my op.
I am not going to give you a blow by blow of the rest of my 10 day sojourn ( sigh of relief) but like other significant events in life it has caused me to reflect on human nature and our amazing capacity for resilience. I spent time on three different wards in all where I encountered aptly named nurses called Charity and Constance and a hospital chaplain called Mr Angel (I kid you not) and many other amazing people who like me were there due to accidents that had resulted in broken limbs. A fall whilst taking out rubbish, a slip on the stairs, a trip whilst walking the dogs- nothing other than people getting on with their lives. What amazing women one and all. Instant camaraderie and deep empathy for the pain both emotional and physical.
Bespoke shower wear on the NHS
On ward 7 we caused havoc one night when the end of Kate’s bed fell off (just before midnight) and I woke with a blood curdling scream, when the staff arrived (at break neck speed) three of us were crying with uncontrollable laughter. I was told at that point my surgery was cancelled for the day! Did I care?!
Ingenious ice pack
Home now. Recuperating. Not quite stir crazy- yet. Ankle plated and pinned; staples coming out next week, plaster on for a further 4. No weight bearing at all in this time then gradual. Oh how I appreciate the love and care of friends and family.
A nod to October which is Lupus Awareness month.
I was recently told I have osteopenia in my hips and osteoperosis in my spine after a routine DEXA scan because of the Lupus. The orthos were clear this is why the break happened so easily and severely. Damn! I won’t be jogging again but I will be back on my bike this side of Christmas.
Good news though: I can still pick up my needles and my crutches!
Annie and Clarabel
PS Mum out of hospital and doing well, being looked after by other members of the family. Sorry mum x
PPS Hats off to the NHS.