31st October 2017
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Day 12 | 5 May
After eleven nights of 1-2 hours sleep I had taken a sleeping pill the GP had prescribed. I managed almost six hours of dream filled sleep and woke up feeling like a different person. Today was my first trip back to hospital since being discharged nine days earlier.
The parking was close to the hospital, I had maybe 400 metres to hobble but it must have taken 10-15 minutes with lots of stops. I had never felt this unfit in my life; crutch marathons were seriously hard work!
I hobbled in to the waiting room on my crutches and there must have been over 30 people, most had big leg or arm casts, or “pots”, on. No one else had a leg brace, I hadn’t actually broken anything, I felt a bit of a fraud!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Fracture Clinic. The scar had been under sticky plasters since I left hospital so I didn’t know whether it would be good, bad or ugly.
The room was hot and the mood was glum. I said to Becky straight away “we’re going to be here a while!” And I wasn’t wrong… within a few minutes a nurse came out to say there was at least a 2 hour delay because one of the doctors had called in sick.
So it was a good job I brought some things to keep me company. I had my blogging notebook which I had just started using, my new iPhone 7 plus and new headphones. Becky seemed to be embarrassed by all of these but I didn’t care.
When I finally got to see the doctor I was so pleased to hear that I was going to be seeing consultant surgeon AB who had carried out my surgery. I had a big list of things I wanted to ask and I was just hoping he had the time to answer some of my questions.
But first there was the minor challenge of getting my watertight sticky plasters off. These had been on for over a week and were very firmly in place. A strapping male nurse came in, he did it quickly but it really bloody hurt. I may have let out a little scream!
Now that was off I got a chance to look at the scar and although my knee looked weird the scar was clearly healing very well. There were a couple of tiny manky bits but the stitches had held and I was so pleased. I knew what was coming next and I wasn’t looking forward to it… stitch removal.
A nice mature nurse came through, she was sister FM, and we bonded from the off. My wife left the room, knowing that it was going to be traumatic. I had around 60 stitches so this wasn’t going to be fun. She took out every other stitch and it was more uncomfortable than painful.
I chatted away about going mad on tramadol and she was happy to listen and humour me. She laughed at my grandad slippers and was impressed by my crazy book full of notes and questions.
Surgeon AB came in and I greeted him as a hero and the nurses tutted, Sister FM said “his head is big enough as it is!”
He spent 10 minutes or so with me and was quickly able to show me what I had done to my knee on a plastic model which was really interesting.
It turns out I had severed a couple of ligaments and ripped my tendon clean off. All the skin around my knee was de-gloved and he could actually fit his whole hand under my skin during surgery.
He said there was a lot of broken plastic and debris in my knee which took a while to clean out. I asked almost all my questions and he was great in answering them.
The last thing he did was play with my brace and put 10 degrees of flexion on it which meant I was going to be able to bend it slightly. It had been straight for almost 2 weeks and I didn’t have the strength to lift it let alone bend it!
When I was finally done at Fracture Clinic about 3.5 hours after arriving I felt good, my knee was on the mend.
And then I saw a familiar face – it was Normal Norman from the ward. We had bonded so well in the 12 hours we spent together but he was in a bad way when I left. It was nice to catch up and see him looking better. We were crutch buddies but he had the luxury of a space boot!
On leaving hospital and feeling great I was tempted to go back to the crash site but decided against it as I was still getting a bit worked up talking about the accident, maybe next week I thought.
The doctor had signed me off for another 4 weeks so I was going to have to find something to keep me busy, more on that in the next blog…