Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home at Last

A short post today. Mum has taken ill, so I need to pay her some attention. After all, she has been there for me these past four months, making life so much better for me while enduring the trials and tribulations of the hospital stay. Let's hope she improves soon.

But at least the good news is that the hospital sent me home earlier this week. I got home on Tuesday - it's been hard work since then as it takes quite a bit to get about on the crutches, up and down on chairs - all those one legged squats.

The community nurse visits each day to change the wound dressing. All going OK there. A visit to my local Doctor, the pharmacy and the bank (!) on Thursday wore me out but in a good way.

Anyway, pretty tired so that's all for now.

See you next time.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rehab Week 8: Homeward Bound

It seems that my long stay in hospital is finally coming to an end. Yesterday marked my four-month anniversary. Seems like I’ve been here a year. Of course I don’t remember much of the first eight weeks I was in so much of a drug-induced daze. But the dreams were amazing, mostly very dark and scary but amazingly real at the time. But back to now…

On Thursday, the wound was inspected again and revealed some more good progress. So much so that the Doc suggested I’ll be going home this coming week. But before I get too excited at that prospect, we decided to do another of those irradiated white cells gamma camera tests I talked about in this post.

I found out a little more about the test. For instance, the second blood extraction of 20 ml is used to separate out some extra plasma, which is then combined with the white cells extracted from the first blood sample before they are reinjected.

The other tidbit is the isotope used to irradiate the white cells, a metastable nuclear isomer of the element Technetium, 99mTc. OK, enough of today’s chemistry lesson.

The test was conducted on Friday afternoon, full results not known until Monday I’d say, although the technician did say the initial scan showed a much improved result over last time. Promising at least.

If the test comes up clear, then I’m heading home, possibly on Tuesday.

That’s pretty cool news, it will be great to be back home. Of course that just presents a few more challenges. My wound has not yet finished healing and so I’ll still need community nursing care for the dressings and it could still be 6-8 weeks before I get a prosthetic. So still quite a while getting about on crutches in front of me.

Keep safe out there guys.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Rehab Week 7: A Matter of Degrees

Honestly, this hospital stay is getting pretty tedious. But that’s good news really. I seem to have fought off the MSRA infection successfully. Latest swabs are not growing any cultures, blood tests are clear and the wound looks clean with no signs of inflammation.

The remaining wound is getting smaller, if only by millimeters per week. It’s about two centimetres deep now and pretty skinny now, so hopefully I’m on the home stretch with that.

On the rehab front, well there’s only so much arm work I can do and I’m basically fit and strong enough to go home, it’s just the medical issue with the wound to be cleared up. Walking around on the crutches is a bit tricky. I’m good on the crutches but as I’m still hooked up to the vacuum unit, it means someone has to carry it along behind me if I want to have a walk.

The main rehab issue now is the range of motion of the knee joint. Over the past few weeks I’ve been working to improve the amount I can straighten and bend it. Right now I’m getting to 10 degrees in the straightening motion and 82 degrees when bending. I’ll need a lot better than that for riding. The doc says that it’s the amount of scar tissue inside that’s restricting the motion and that once I have the prosthetic on I’ll have much more leverage to help improving. Let’s hope so.

That’s all folks!

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