Tuesday, March 28, 2023

It's Been a Long Psychedelic Trip!

**If you are squeamish about blood and stuff you may want to skip this post.**

After our flight back from our cruise in December we were staying at Sissie's house for a few days before we flew back to DFW airport and then drove the 3 hours back to our house in Louisiana.

I had been sleeping in Sissie's tall antique bed with Hubs a few days before we flew to Miami to catch the cruise ship.  Sissie bought a hard plastic folding stool to aid me in getting into and out of her bed so I didn't have to catapult myself into the bed and jump down off it to the floor.

I guess I forgot how to use a stool or I wasn't quite awake fully when I tried to exit the bed on Christmas Eve morning.  I remember I stepped on the stool with my left foot but I must have been on the corner and when I put weight on that foot the stool popped up into the air and sliced open the lower part of my right leg.  I felt myself falling off the stool and luckily Sissie has one of those luggage racks in her bedroom for us and my suitcase was open on it.  As I fell forward I grabbed the edge of my suitcase with both hands to keep from hitting my head on the floor.

I stood up and looked down at my feet and Sissie's carpeting was filling up with a pool of blood around my foot.  I grabbed my cellphone and hopped to her master bath so I didn't bleed out on her new carpet.  The linoleum in the bathroom would be a better choice to make a bloody mess on.  So I sat on the toilet and used my phone to call Hubs.  That call went to voicemail, so I called Sissie.  That call also went to voicemail(I found out later her phone was in the basement.)  I knew Kim wouldn't pick up if I called her so I didn't even attempt a third call.  I could hear all 5 of them downstairs in the kitchen laughing and having a boisterous time.  The thought that I'd bleed out and die in Sissie's bathroom with all of them downstairs.

So I told myself I'll start yelling for help and if they still can't hear me I'll dial 911 for an ambulance.  I commenced screaming.  It took about 30 seconds before someone noticed my cries and Hubs came running up the stairs and found me in the bathroom.  I told him I cut myself and it was bad....well you could see all the blood on the floor and know that instantly. ;-)

Hubs yelled for Sissie's husband to come upstairs.  He was a medic in the Navy and was a battlefield corpsman in Afghanistan so the most qualified in the house to know what to do.  He sprang into action yelling for towels and things to staunch the bleeding and told someone to call for an ambulance.

I took this photo while he compressed the area and we waited for the paramedics to arrive.  Am I a cool cucumber or what? lol  Little did I know this stupid slip off the stool would lead me down a 3 month long road to recovery.
The paramedics arrived and by then Sissie's hubby had wrapped my leg up tight.  He briefed the paramedics as they led me to the ambulance.  Then they tried to recruit Sissie's hubby due to his military/medical training as they are always wanting fresh blood(no pun intended).
Hubs rode in the ambulance with me to the hospital.  Triage nurse unwrapped the wound and it began gushing again so I got wrapped up again and sent out into the waiting room.  We spent hours in that waiting room.  Kim and Sissie brought us some Mickey D's breakfast sandwiches around 11 am.  There was a homeless man sleeping in the corner and an agitated gentleman pacing around talking loudly to no one in particular.  He got angry at times and  appeared to be a drug seeker who they weren't going to  dispense opioids to so he got angrier and angrier but security didn't come to see him out.  Since I wasn't an emergency as the bleeding was stanched again we sat for hours.



Then they took me to get an x-ray on my foot/ankle.  I told the technician it wasn't my foot or ankle that was injured, it was my lower leg.
So about an hour after that x-ray they called me back into the ER.  By this time the wrap they had put on  me hours ago was unraveling and the blood had started flowing about.  As I hobbled across the waiting room to the nurse I apologized for the trail of blood I left across the breadth of the  waiting room.
Then began the wait for the NP to access what needed to be done.  She put a basin under my leg and washed the wound with saline as more blood oozed out.  The NP said I had sliced my leg almost to the bone but hadn't compromised any major tendons.  Yay me.  Another x-ray technician appeared in my cubicle with a portable x-ray machine to take a picture of the injured area as the last x-ray \ was a mistake by the hospital.  
After he left the NP put Chlorhexidine gluconate on the wound to disinfect it and I about jumped out of my skin.  This stuff burned sooooooooo badly.  It's got to be the worse reaction to an antiseptic I've ever had.
After that she hit me with some lidocaine and started stitching me up.  It was a deep wound and I needed both internal and external stitches.  She must have stitched for hours and they finally released me at 5pm with instructions to keep the area clean and dry, my leg elevated if possible and to arrange to have the stitches(external, not the internal ones)removed in 10 days.

Sissie's Hubby picked us up from the hospital and then we had to find a pharmacy open on Christmas eve night to fill the antibiotic Rx and buy rolled gauze and pads to cover the wound.  
Got that procured and went back to the house just in time for a late dinner.


Here's the wound on Christmas Day when we changed dressings.
Then Joel had his heart attack that morning which made my accident a non-event.  I spent most of Christmas in bed(the little bed this time!).  I did hobble down for dinner and opening gifts with everyone, though we were all in zombie mode at that point.

The following morning Sissie's hubby drove us to the airport.  Thankfully we had arranged beforehand for a wheelchair to get us to the gate.
I hadn't slept well since out day in Cozumel on the boat, then the accident, then Joel's passing so I was exhausted.  I put my face against the window on the plane and basically passed out for 2 hours.  No way to elevate my leg on the plane nor in the car once we got to Dallas to drive home 3 hours.

I mostly laid in bed or in the recliner once we got home.  I had an appointment to get the stitches out on Jan. 3rd.
Here is the photo from December 29th.  You can see a dark spot on the right above the stitched area which was a massive hematoma forming.


By January 1st those stitched looked about to pop because of all the pooled blood underneath the stitches.


Finally January 3rd came and I had the stitches removed.

My NP put tiny little steri-strips over the wound but the skin was contracting and pretty soon I had
on open gash again.  the NP also put pressure on all those blood "bubbles" and drained some of it.  I don't know the technical term as I don't play a medical professional on the internet. :-)


The NP had Hubs putting antibiotic ointment and then a medical grade honey on the wound daily and redressing it daily.  She also referred me to a wound care agency as this would require more care than she was capable of doing.

So after another week waiting for that referral and Hubs taking care of this(bless him!)I went to wound care.

This photo is from January 14th.  Wound care on the 11th had debrided the wound with what I called a power washer with a little metal shovel on the end of the hose.  It was an ultrasonic debridement machine.  I told them it would be cheaper to just put me on the hood of a car and run me through a mechanical car wash. ;-)  At any rate, that machine hurt like hell and became my arch nemesis.


Another photo from January 16th before another debridement with that f#*^&ing machine.

The wound care place started putting compression on the wound and told me what supplements I needed to start taking(which I did religiously).


How I spent my Birthday....getting the wound cleaned, taking meds and lying in bed.  go me.

Wound care sent me for tests the last week of January to make sure my blood flow to my extremities was good enough to withstand full on 40 millibars of pressure compression wrapping of my leg.
I passed with flying colors so the dreadful 2 layer compression bandaging began.  I spent from February 8th until March 22nd in compression dressings.


Wound Care arranged for a Home Health nurse to come deal with this twice a week besides my once a week trip to Wound Care.


At the February 16th visit they put some blue medicine, Hyrdofera Blue, around the wound which looked very funky.

At every visit(wound care and the HH nurse twice weekly)I was to have new compression bandaging put on.  The only problem with that was that the staff at the wound care couldn't for the life of themselves put compression bandaging on correctly.  Between Wednesday when I had the wound care appointment and Friday when the home health nurse came, the bandages would be falling off-usually  coming off the front of my foot.

Without fail on Friday I would have a Tubigrip on my leg and the home health nurse would be rolling her eyes.
At first, the first few times the compression bandaging the Wound Care staff put on had come undone I took pictures to show the NP and she'd want me to rat out whomever had done the bandaging.  As time went on these first bandaging folks were nowhere to be found when I was at the clinic.  I don't want to be a "Karen" about it but seriously, don't have people who don't know the proper way to compression bandage applying it.  I felt like I was paying $$ for shoddy service.

Home Health shot on Feb. 20th.  The Hydrofera Blue was wearing off and you could actually see new skin forming.


Wound Care appointment on Feb. 24th.  The wound is still oozing.


Home health appointment on Feb. 27th.  You can see creases in my skin from the compression bandages and more new skin.  the side wound on the right was healed over.




The following wound care appointment the NP took a metal tool and ripped open the right side that had healed over.  This photo is from March 10th about a week after the NP opened that part of the wound.  My home health nurse was fit to be tied!


Wound Care kept ripping things open and extending my adventure.


Finally on Friday, March 17th  I had but one tiny spot still open where the NP had reopened my wound on the right.  Home Health wrapped it up good for the weekend and when she came back on Monday this is what it looked like

Very gnarly looking still but no open areas!!!
Another compression wrapping and back to wound care on 
Wednesday the 22nd and this is what it looked like........

Everything closed up.
And I didn't even need 
Ernest Angley..........

 

So the NP said I could come back the following week(and have her maybe rip something open again??No way!)so I said thanks but no thanks, we can take it from here.
So I got a t-shirt and a plastic bracelet..........


1-855-HEAL-DAT?
I guess that's what you get when you move to WHO DAT NATION.......


Here I am ringing the bell at Wound Care.  It's like the bell at Long John Silver's you ring when you have a good meal there. lol

So glad to be done with this place.
And here is my most excellent home health nurse on the day of our divorce....


Now that this saga is behind me it's on to other issues.
Until this past weekend I hadn't worn proper shoes given the thickness of the compression bandages.  I've had to wear slippers when going out.
Now that I can wear shoes again, I find I have partially forgotten how to and not trip myself. lol
Ah, good times!


Sluggy



11 comments:

  1. You could tell people that it’s a shark bite. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Jen G.

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  2. Oh my goodness, that sounds so terrible & LONG. Really glad you are healed up & "released/graduated" from wound care. Hurrah! On to bigger & better things.

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  3. Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine. Glad you are released from wound care.

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  4. Gosh that was a nasty gash and sounds like a horrendous journey to healing. Yet another problem of aging is we don't heal as quickly as we used to.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this posting, I was waiting to hear the details, strange as it sounds ;). I am just appalled at what we call health care these days though, I am sure that is not how the world worked 20 years ago….hilogene in Az.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lawd! Glad that ordeal is over for you! Cindy in the South

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. What? She did not have “horrible” care? A bit of trouble she shared but she sounds pleased overall with her care. Hardly Horrible. Yeesh - way to be a Karen on her behalf. Wound looks great now.

      Delete
    2. Look, troll. It is a horrible wound and all the care looks horrible to me since I have never seen anything like that! You cannot post on my blog, so you come here to bother me! The wound did not look great until the end.

      Delete
    3. Not sure who you’re calling a troll or what this has to do with your blog. Sluggy sounds pleased with her care on the whole. Hardly horrible. Cool your jets.

      Delete
  8. My daughter’s a homecare nurse specializing in IV’s and wound care and I know she’s great! (I’ve heard from others!) it’s amazing the things they can do now with making actual auto cell dressings (spun out of your own blood), to wound vacs, to to certain foam packs……. I’m a RN with no real knowledge of this stuff (I’m a psych nurse) but it’s a skill that gives back people their life. Your leg looks great! Jre

    ReplyDelete

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