Tag Archives: swelling

Part 2 – The Pain Continues

Quick note – the antibiotics are working and I’m near enough free of pain, but as I’m writing about Wednesday night and Thursday I thought I’d go for sympathy via a heart-rending title. 

My reward for demonstrating fortitude was a letter to Harvey 2 ward at the City Hospital. That was where, a month previously, my tale had started. It was also, give or take, quarter of a mile away from where I had started my journey that morning.

I got there before my notes did, and was shunted off to the Day Room of Despond. That’s not its official title, it’s just my description. I’ve been thinking of John Bunyan since reading Mr Standfast, and this seemed as good a time as any to get a reference in.

It’s also a chance to roll out my new literary project. I’m thinking of an historical crime series set in late 17th century England and written in a hard-boiled American style under the pen name Damon Bunyan. Yes, first the temperature comes down, then the puns return…

By the time I was finally called through to the ward I was quite comfortable in my recliner in the day room. The chair in the ward was quite painful to sit as the…er…swelling got in the way. It was also bad for my swollen and infected foot because I couldn’t put it up. Still, no matter, as I would be lying down soon. Apart from one thing…

Either a rule has changed in the last month, or I have put weight on, as I am now officially too fat to lie on an ordinary hospital bed.

It did, at least, allow me to hear this classic gem of English recalcitrance when I asked if I could just lie on the bed for a while.

“It’s more than my job’s worth to let you lie on that bed.”

I’ve never actually heard that in real life before, just in comedy scripts.

Fortunately an enterprising junior doctor, anxious for some hands on experience , found that the bed in the triage room was strong enough for me. He and his senior colleague explained that the abscesses needed draining and that it was probably better to avoid anaesthetic (as in general or spinal), the subtext being that it’s not good for fat people. Local anaesthetic, it appears, does not work well on abscesses.  This left one choice, involving just a stiff upper lip and a large measure of macho insouciance.

“The procedure,” said the senior doctor, “is not without discomfort.”

He was correct. It was, I can confirm, an experience that had moments of discomfort.


Part 3 will cover the rest of the stay, the arrival of the bed and the unfortunate occurrence with the cannula. 

More Medical Details

Well, life never loses its capacity for surprise, does it?

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a swollen foot and difficulty in walking. What I didn’t mention was that when I went to bed last night it involved a major effort and a lot of pain. Even after a night spent with the leg elevated, things were not much improved by morning.

In the end I rang the doctor for advice early this afternoon, as I really was feeling quite rough. It’s not a pleasant feeling to think your body is breaking down to the extent that even sitting down upsets your capacity to function normally.

The doctor’s advice was that I should go down to the surgery quite quickly so they could prod me about. I was feeling so weak that I didn’t even argue.

It seems that my self-diagnosis was incorrect. I don’t have a swollen foot due to poor circulation, I have a swollen foot because I have an infection.  It seems that as the previous antibiotics sorted out the other infection (in a laudably selective manner) another infection was gathering in my foot. That is the cause of the swelling and the pain. It’s also the reason that it isn’t going down despite me doing all the right things.

I had an interesting temperature when the doctor checked. It was nearly 39 degrees, against a desirable level of 37 – 37.5. He’s quite keen me getting it down, as at 40 it’s officially “life-threatening”, which is, apparently, a bad thing. He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed, but as signs of having mild fever include feeling hungry and thirsty I don’t really know how I’m expected to separate this from my normal state of feeling hungry and thirsty.

We are currently monitoring my temperature with a thermometer that’s left over from my time as an antique dealer. It;s old, but it still works, and my temperature is falling.

I’m happy now.

With any luck I might start to become interesting again.

You never know…

Just Sitting…

Today’s programme of events was similar to yesterday’s, apart from cutting out the thinking.

I’m still suffering from a swollen foot, the result of spending too much time sitting. Unfortunately, as a result of the pain and swelling, I’m spending a lot of time sitting down to rest it, which makes things worse.

Despite elevation and massage it is refusing to deflate. I’ve considered jabbing it with a knife to drain it but my record of self-treatment, and the last remnants of common sense, indicate that this would be a bad idea.

I’m hoping that after the appointment tomorrow it will be full speed ahead and everything will be OK by the end of next week. Considering what happened last time I went to hospital I’m not convinced.

That’s about all I can come up with for the moment. Apart from my dignity and mobility I seem to have lost my sense of humour and my ability to put words together. This might be a good time to apologise for the limited subject matter and lack of photographs.

All I have left is my desire to post every day.

Time for an antibiotic now. I just dropped it down the side of the chair, so this might involve grumbling and bad language.