A tough two months and more

I wrote about A tough two months that we had through December and January. Well, that has now stretched into March, making it more than 3 months!

My moon boot was supposed to come off on 13 February so that I could be back physically at work on 14 February.

On 7 February I had to rush back to the hospital emergency rooms with an infection in the wound from the ankle operation (1 January). Luckily, the doctor that operated on my ankle was in the hospital at that time, so he came to emergency immediately. He gave one look at my ankle, rattled off a whole lot of things the nurse had to get for him, and told her: “Nurse, I am going to hurt this man now!” Very comforting! He injected my ankle with anaesthetics, waited a few minutes, and then slid the scalpel into the wound with speed and precision. The stitches did not finish dissolving, and with the moon boot rubbing against it, I got this infection. He cut the stitches loose and then with tweezers he removed the stitches. After this he instructed me to clean the wound every two days and put a plaster over it. So, for a week then, I didn’t wear my moon boot and had to keep my leg elevated. I returned to the doctor for my last check-up on 13 February, and everything had turned out well, and the doctor was satisfied with my recovery. I was walking fine, but still had to elevate my leg at the end of the day and put ice on it.

Fast forward two weeks, and I started feeling a pain on the inside of my left upper leg, about two thirds up from my knee. I wasn’t too concerned as it wasn’t really painful. But, by Thursday, 28 February, I woke up with severe pain in my leg and walked very crippled to the breakfast table. By lunch time, the pain had spread to my knee and by about 14:00 my left calf was swollen way bigger than my right calf, and it was red, hot to the touch and hard.

Start of a DVT

By 15:00 I decided to go home and get to see my GP. He checked me out and felt that under my circumstances, there were only two possibilities, and they were a sub-dermal infection, or a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). He ruled out the sub-dermal infection due to the fact that I had just been on 4 different antibiotics. He sent me for an ultrasound that confirmed that my DVT ran in my upper left leg for about 25.5cm (10in). Also, my DVT is almost completely blocked with almost no blood getting through. Due to the fact that a DVT could be life threatening, I was admitted to hospital immediately and treatment was started too. Since Thursday evening, I have had 10 injections straight into the stomach and I was put on warfarin tablets. Since I was admitted to hospital, the pain levels and stiffness levels have decreased a lot.

The sad thing is that my INR on Friday was 1.00 and by today it was only 1.21. That means it is rising a bit slow. The doctor said that as soon as I hit an INR of 2.00, then I can be released from hospital. The next blood test is on Wednesday. So, it is safe to say that I might be here until at least Friday.

We may sometimes think that life is not fair, and that we “deserve” better. Really?

However, like Habakkuk the prophet, I would like to say:

“17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” (Hab 3:17-19 NASB)

UPDATES:

07 March 2013 – Had blood tests done yesterday. My INR went up to 1.58. In the mean time, the doc said that he would release me if my INR reaches 1.8. I am having another blood test tomorrow, and I am hoping that my INR will then be above 1.8. Since it went up 0.37 between Monday and Wednesday, I am convinced that getting to 1.8 from 1.58 (0.22) is easily attainable.

05 April 2013 – I was released on 8 March by 16:00 even though my INR wasn’t high enough (1.68).  By Monday 11 March my INR had jumped to 2.32.

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3 thoughts on “A tough two months and more

  1. […] while I was in hospital for DVT treatment, my doctor decided to send me for a sonar check over my pelvic area just to exclude it from […]

  2. Emma Chandler November 18, 2014 at 08:47 Reply

    Hi. I have just had ankle surgery and had a screw inserted in the back of my heel. Due to this I have to wear a boot for 6 to 8 weeks as my heel was broken and straightened. I just had the stitches out but the wound was a bit red and the nurse said to keep an eye on it. I am starting to really worry about infection as the wound site constantly rubs on the boot and I cant take it off! How did you get past this?

    • William Dicks November 18, 2014 at 14:43 Reply

      Hi Emma, you have quite a tough one considering where the wound is. When I picked up an infection of the surgical wound, the doctor had to cut loose the stitches and then he cleaned it out before stitching it closed again. So,as you can see, my situation is slightly different to yours. You could perhaps add another layer of padding around the area as a buffer between the boot and your foot. Just make sure that the boot is tight enough to prevent your foot from moving around in the moonboot. Too much movement will cause a lot of unwanted rubbing which could lead to infection.

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