Monday, April 02, 2007

Cellulitis? Just the beginning....

Sounds ominous, doesn't it? Well, it may not be quite horror movie standard, but things did get worse..... much worse.....a bit worse, at any rate.

My cellulitis improved with the ingestion of FUCKLOADS of antibiotics (2 kinds, 4 times a day), but I was left with a very angry, purple, hot lump right where the very first sign of the infection had a appeared. Rather than get, say *smaller*, the lump got bigger, and hotter and angrier and I finally realised, with the help of the internet, that it was a big abscess and determined to take myself to the doctor on Tuesday and go "Look! It's an abscess! Fix it!". This I did, at 15.40 and was sent, posthaste to the hospital to have it drained.

I thought they would just make me wait for ages, then stick a syringe in it and make it go away, but i was wrong.

I was seen by a doctor at 17.00, had x-rays to check the infection hadn't gotten into the bone, and blood tests to check the infection hadn't gotten into my blood by 18.00, and was admitted to the orthopaedic ward by 19.30 to have surgery first thing the following morning, which I really wasn't expecting.

The orthopaedic ward is an interesting place to be, since it is largely populated by old women and men waiting to have hip-replacements, and I was easily the youngest patient by a margin of about 50 years. I was in a room with 3 little old ladies: one was lovely, sparkly and articulate (and referred to the other patients as "old women" despite the fact they were her age), one was fast asleep for the first day, but after her surgery the following day cried almost non-stop, and the other was stark, raving bonkers - totally unaware of who she was, where she was and what was going on, and as such was utterly terrified and prone to screaming for long periods for no reason. As you can imagine, this was conducive to both rest *and* relaxation...

Anyhoo, the first night in the hospital was one of the longest of my life and I didn't sleep at all, mainly because I was a bit scared of what they might find when they opened up my leg the following day. There's something very isolating about being awake in a hospital at 3am or 4am, with the nurses chatting, or marching around and you with nothing to do but worry or listen to Regina Spektor on your headphones. I gave up pretending to sleep about 5am and got up for a shower and watched the Clangers on the cool wee personal TV things by each bed.

About 8am a woman I now know to be an anaesthesiologist appeared and asked some questions about allergies and whether I "fancied a spinal" as opposed to a general anaesthetic, but I had a general in the end. Sadly, when the surgeon rocked up with his entourage shortly after this I was utterly brain-dead from not sleeping and couldn't understand his Irish accent, which earned me a very stony glare, and I reckon I'm lucky I still have my leg.

They took me to theatres about 9am, and got me all prepped including giving me pain killers through my veins and it really hurt and kind of made me panic because I was woozy and it was all really scary and nasty, but after that I don't remember anything until I woke up after surgery (which only took half an hour). I was seemingly a bit cold after the operation so I had a cool blanket thing full of hot air, and also lots of morphine (which was lovely), spent a bit of time trying to talk to the nurse and failing miserably because I was too drugged up, and then spent the rest of the day sleeping, really.

After that it's mostly sleeping, pain killers, waking up for hospital food, more painkillers and bucket-loads of IV antibiotics and blood pressure and temperature monitoring, and aside from a bit of low BP dodginess all went very smoothly and I got out on Thursday in time for getting Lewis on Friday, which I'll post about a bit later.

I'm on the mend and looking forward to getting home and weighing myself and finding out the true damage I've inflicted on myself over the last week (feeling *very* heavy*!) and having abit of fun :)

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