It’s now ten days since the medical profession applied heavyweight medical equipment to some of my more delicate bits. I’m pleased to report that the bleeding has stopped, the swelling has gone and I’m now resigned to the indignity of the catheter. Only five weeks before the replay.
I’ve been doing some thinking about my leg too and with a combination of exercise and stretching it seems to be improving. If I can keep that going I should be back to proper walking by the end of the week.
The only remaining problem was the changing of the leg bag. I haven’t changed one before so I was slightly apprehensive about what might happen. As it turned out there was no problem – everything went without a hitch and I am now connected again.
There was a potential for trouble but I managed to avoid it. Depending on which brand of product you use there are between two and four lengths of tube between catheter and leg bag. The brand issued by the hospital has 4 lengths. They fitted me with a 30cm tube after the operation.
So they obviously gave me 30cm tubes with the kits they sent me home with. Well, you’d think so. Even with a 30cm tube I have to take care how I set things up. The consequences of getting it wrong is that you squeak like a hamster and have to wipe the tears from your eyes.
Fortunately I checked before opening the packets, as the tubes supplied by the hospital and District Nurse are all 10cm. Fortunately I’d ordered the larger of the two sizes available on prescription (a different brand from the hospital supply) so the ones I collected yesterday allow me to walk without trouble.
It’s tempting to launch into a collection of catheter anecdotes (I have a few…) but I will maintain some pretence of good taste. Well, I will after a couple more paragraphs.
My latest scheme is to experiment with food colourings. I’m looking forwards to showing the doctors a bag of lurid-coloured liquid and seeing what they do. Julia is refusing to help with this, but has suggested beetroot. It is, after all, well known for turning urine red. I’m currently taking a proton pump inhibitor as part of my doctor’s crusade to test every sort of pill known to man, and this may prevent the desired result. I also really hate beetroot, which is another drawback.
On the other hand I’m not sure what constitutes a lethal dose of food colouring. It’s the sort of thing you need to know, because although brightly-coloured urine is a joke, food poisoning is no fun.