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Blog: Proper Poorly
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For LO! It really has been QUITE a time of it that I have had.
It all started last Tuesday, when I complained of a horrible ache down the back of my right leg. As mentioned pre-hiatus, we'd just been to Tenerife so I IMMEDIATELY thought "Deep Vein Thrombosis!" but then checked NHS Choices, saw my lack of symptoms, and felt reassured that I'd probably just STRAINED it on a volcano somewhere.
Next morning I noticed there was a big red patch behind the knee that was hot and sore. At work I googled it and suddenly discovered that this was a BIG SYMPTOM of DVT so PANICKED, rang my GP, and within the hour was sat in an office discussing it. This felt all very efficient, but unfortunately my local GP service is contracted out, so we tend to get Locums who are... not necessarily the most switched on. "Yeah, it could be DVT, or maybe an infection? You should probably go to A&E?"
THUS I turned round and went back the way I came, and was shortly back again five minutes from my desk at UCLH A&E department. I thought this was a good idea as, once they said it was all fine, I could just cross the road and go back to work. It turns out it WAS a good idea, but not for the reasons I thought!
In quick succession I saw a triage nurse, a very jolly Posh Young GP, and then an almost as posh but even jollier Consultant in Ambulatory Care, who "oohed" sympathetically and sent me up to Imaging, where a not quite so jolly SCAN guy put jelly all over my leg and did a SCAN, then said "It's not a clot." PHEW! Deep Vein Thrombosis OFF the suspects list!
As I wandered back down to Ambulatory Care a couple of THORTS occurred. Firstly, that the NHS really is BLOODY AMAZING. I'd just popped into A&E off the street and all of this was going on entirely for free. It took a little while sometimes and some of the support staff were not hugely friendly (there's a lot of that thing where they don't look you in the eye, like London Underground staff do), but CRIKEY the Medical Staff were INCREDIBLE, the system WORKED, and nobody was saying I should pay for it. It's easy to take for granted (or, clearly, to think it should be scrapped) but when you're in it you don't half see it for the insanely amazing thing it truly is.
The other thought was that the body is just a body. I'd been prodded and poked and looked at in ALL sorts of unseemly places, and I realised I didn't really mind at all. Perhaps it is my destiny to become an NUDIST in old age?
Anyway, I went back to the consultant who got me hooked up to an antibiotic drip,for LO! it was my old enemy CELLULITIS, getting me in the KNEE for a change. She took off my shoe and as she did she said "Cellulitis in the leg is often caused by - AHA! Proving me RIGHT! - Athlete's Foot!" I didn't even know I HAD Athlete's foot, but apparently fungal infections like that can cause Cellulitis nearby. This was something I would think on ANON!
I went home with MASSIVE amounts of medication, spent Thursday in bed, and then the NEXT day The Medications On My Script said "I don't think that's getting better - go and see them again." I'd been told by the consultant I could just pop in if I had any worries (see above re: AMAZING) but I thought it would be easier all round if I googled my consultant's email address and sent her a photo of my KNEE - technology! It's GRATE!
A couple of hours later she replied, VERY sympathetically, asking me to come in again and see a Nurse Practitioner at The Hospital Of Tropical Medicine. Everything here was UTTERLY FANTASTIC - the nurse was brilliant, sympathetic, and explained ALL SORTS of things, and I ended up put on ANOTHER drip and booked in for TWO MORE over the weekends.
I thus went in first thing Saturday and Sunday morning for MORE DRUGS through the CANULA what was stuck in my arm, like I was the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN or something. Again, everyone was LOVELY, and then I was back to see my original nurse this very morning, where I got MORE DRUGS, was told I'd probably be off work all week, put on EVEN MORE DRUGS to take at home AS WELL as the ones they were giving me, told I didn't have MRSA *or* HIV (which would be a relief if I'd thought I had!) and staggered out feeling pretty bloody BLESSED to have this incredible service to fall back on.
I've not been this poorly, I don't think, since I had my TONSILS out back in 1908, so it's all been a bit of a shock to the system. Luckily I have The Walls Of My House to look after me, and she's been doing a FANTASTIC job of it too. I've also had time to think about what's been going on and WHY a) it happened this time and thus b) why I get poorly so often with similar things, and it's led to some LIFE CHANGING THORTS - though I think you've probably had enough of this for one day, so let's do that NEXT time!!
(*don't worry, they're good ones!)
posted 22/5/2017 by MJ Hibbett
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Get well soon Mark!
posted 23/5/2017 by Peter
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