Leg ulcer update: Hospital appointments.

Regular feature #3

This week I’ve had two major hospital appointments. I’ve had an appointment to see the Dermatologist on Tuesday and an appointment to see a Plastic surgeon today (Friday). Both appointments fell on days where Ella was at nursery, which was great pot luck. However when Ella came back from nursery on Monday, she had a high temperature and was really clingy and didn’t really eat much for dinner. I knew that if she woke up the same the next day, she wouldn’t be going to nursery and she would have to come with us to the hospital appointment.

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Well at 10.30 that night she woke up crying and still had a high temperature, so I took her downstairs and tried to settle her because there was a big chance she would wake the other two up as well. Taking her downstairs was the only thing I could do but at the same time I knew it was the worst thing to do. When the medicine had kicked in at around 11pm, she thought it was play-time and wanted to get every toy out of the toy room. Finally at 1.30am she started to get tired and she went back to bed.

Tuesday morning, she woke up at 7am with the older children and she was still the same. She couldn’t go to nursery with a high temperature, being clingy and emotional, it wasn’t fair to the nursery staff or the other children. She was coming to the hospital appointment with us.

I always get nervous when I’m going to a hospital appointment. I always think that maybe this time they would have found out why my legs not healing or maybe they have found a new dressing that can help with the healing process. I’m always hopeful but at the same time I have to remind myself that there is an 80% chance that won’t happen.

We arrive at my appointment with a very clingy toddler and I thought we were going to have a hard time but it turned out she was so well-behaved and just sat there playing with her baby and picking at her snacks.

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However the appointment itself was a complete fail. After the nurse had taken all my dressings off, I had to sit there for 15 minutes waiting for the dermatologist to come down. She had a little look at my ulcer, then spent 20 minutes asking me questions like what dressing I had been using and if I had any concerns about my ulcer. Then after all of that she drops the bomb that they are discharging me and can’t do any more to help. They have tried everything they can and they no longer need to make appointments for me.

I was crushed, I seriously could have burst into tears there and then. I really couldn’t understand how they could discharge me, no more hospital appointments with them, seriously there must be something else they could do. As we walked back to the car I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, I had to let all my pain and disappointment out.

I had to pull my self together, I couldn’t let my older children see me in a mess like that. It already affects their lives enough without seeing me in floods of tears. I now had to wait until Friday to see what the plastic surgeon was going to tell me.

wp-image-1302898640Last night my head was in a completely different place, I had to write a list so I wouldn’t forget anything. I had to get everything ready for school with the older children, making sure all homework and letter were put in bags. I had to get Ellas lunch ready, clothes ready and changing bag ready for nursery and then get everything I needed ready. Normally this would just be getting my coffee and clothes ready but last night I had to add my paper work for the plastic surgeon, paper work for my x-rays and  remember to put new dressing in my bag just in case the nurses at the hospital didn’t have them and remember to have change in my purse for the parking.

Trying to remember everything and at the same time being an emotional wreck, worrying about what was going to happen the next day was so tiring that the moment my head hit the pillow I was fast asleep.

Getting up this morning was really hard, I could have easily gone back to bed and slept the day away. But I didn’t I got up, I got ready and got everyone else ready. I decided, to make sure the morning went smoothly I had to push all my nerves to the back of my brain and just get on with it. Callum went off to school OK, I took Kira in and she was happy, took Ella in and she got a little upset but it’s only her second week in nursery so she is bound to have some down days.

All three children were in school and nursery, I had done my mum bit for the morning and now as were driving to the hospital, my nerves came flooding back to the front of my brain like POW!! Remember me!!

wp-image-141765258Sat there in the waiting room my nerves become more intense because I thought, this is my last chance, please god have some good news for me, I think hubby could sense it, he went and brought me my favourite coffee with a shot of caramel.

Finally we get called in and again, the nurse takes off my dressing and I have to wait again for the surgeon to come in. He comes in and my heart sinks, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for….

He sits down by my feet and starts to look at my ulcer, mentioning that it’s cleaner than the last time he saw it. Then his face expression changes, He tells me my scan results are back and everything is fine! To anyone else this would normally be a happy time. All my arteries, blood vessels and veins are working just fine and he can’t find out the reason why the ulcer is not healing.

Medically my leg is working just fine!

All he could say was maybe it had something to do with my port-wine birth mark that starts at my toes and travels all the way to my hip and the ulcer is bang on my birth mark.

The plastic surgeon then goes on to tell me that he doesn’t want to operate and do a skin wp-image-308273763graft because he doesn’t think there is enough healing progress and he is worried that the skin graft will die and it will be a waste of time and I will be left with another open wound.

I held on, I held on as tightly as I possible could, I really didn’t want break down in front of the surgeon, I felt like I just wanted to run to the nearest toilet and let it all out and hide in a corner until everyone and everything went away. Another failed hospital appointment. Another hospital appointment that has left me so emotionally low that I wanted to run away and cry.

wp-image-1464649102To finish off the appointment he has recommended a new dressing for me to try. Its called PICO. At the moment I haven’t had the energy to do too much research into it but I do know that it’s an adhesive three layer patch, attached to a battery powered pump by a tube. The pump gently removes all the dead skin and top layer of bacteria off the wound and will hopefully encourage my body to start healing again.

I really want all of this to stop now. I want someone to come up with something that will help my leg heal, something that will help with the pain.

I just want a normal life, I want to be the mum my children need me to be! 

xx
Lucy At Home

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