Friday 6 November 2009

Generally responsive and dealing with pain

Wheeled about

Unlike when I went in on Wednesday to try out my orthopaedic shoes at the hospital, yesterday, I did a lot better, it was neither tiring nor stressful.

The appointment yesterday was to see the chief consultant in charge of my treatment, as a leading authority, he is in such high demand, short notice appointments are almost impossible.

One other reason why my visit was not tiring was because I had a friend chaperone me which meant I did not have to win the determination race of the movement on crutches and the perspiration that so easily knocks you out. I use chaperone in the broadest possible sense when really I was escorted.

In fact, the reason the chaperone was useful was because, I could then be pushed around in a wheelchair. The wheelchairs provided at the hospital are not big-wheeled that would allow you to self-propel, so help is needed and my chaperone was ever so helpful.

Hospital pressure vs. Home pressure

Eventually, my time came up after my blood pressure was taken which read 119/78, I really have to ditch my portable blood pressure meter. You get these devices to use at home and they are just way off the mark, the number of times it has indicated I was pre-hypertensive to the point that my thinking was aligning to a lie are too numerous to mention – these home devices might be indicators but are best at the disposal of the hypochondriac in need of an excuse to see the doctor.

They lack precision and do not necessarily put you in the know, beyond a simple set of bathroom scales; any other device is best left to the specialist and the specialist tools.

Nurse wanted to be sure I could stand on the scales to see if I was gaining weight, I thought I was losing weight at home but on the scales in hospital, I seemed to have gained something – probably because of my heavy soled right foot shoe – I am not complaining lest I be threatened with hospital fare again.

All looking really good

The consultant wheeled me into his office and asked how I was feeling and we ended up in the pedantry of the difference between fine and a lot better – generally, one would say one was feeling fine which meant one was feeling well, but in an international setting rudimentary exactness is required.

So compared to when he last saw me, I was considerably better by all accounts; I was surprised to see that unlike the rounds he makes with many doctors, these consultations were made alone.

We went through how I was responding to treatment and the markers showing that a lot had improved, I also got a lot more information about the diagnosis and what indicators get checked as part of the treatment regime.

I was well informed, always engaged and allowed opinions that his expert views helped clarify, debunk or affirm. I had one complaint of a serious irritation that started just a few days before leaving hospital and was concerned that my pain management drugs did not feel as effective as the exposed fresh tissue after the removal of necrotic tissue meant more sensitive surface areas of pain.

New tool to the pain

Thankfully, I knew how to bandage up my foot and had taken all the stuff required to bandage it up again, I took off the bandages for him to observe the foot and he thought there was great progress in the healing, most especially now, the dryness. There was this banter about the dry wound management and the moist wound management camps where changing from the latter to the former offered great improvements in my case.

A few prescriptions were ordered and reorders were posted the ones I already had with a face-to-face appointment set for 3 months hence, meanwhile, we would have a telephone conference in 3 weeks.

The ante has been upped for pain management to using a fentanyl patch which is quite good for cancer pain but has very strong narcotic properties. In fact, I got a phone call from my pharmacist this morning to warn about the interactions with one other medication I was on.

The patch to be applied to the skin over 72 hours releases 12.5 micrograms of the active agent per hour, after about 12 hours, I cannot say I am feeling the full effects yet, but one does have to be careful – this is now serious pain management, no more your over-the-counter pain remedy.

After seeing my consultant, I got a big box of chocolates and went up to say hello to the nurses on B.06, there were 2 on duty that I recognised fully by name. It was nice to see them, the priest however was not in his office and when we returned home, we ordered a Chinese takeaway.

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