For those of you who’ve been following my saga of late, things have taken a turn for the better, to be followed by a turn for the worse.
I’ve had a long meeting with the Tissue Viability Service nurse, and a treatment plan has been put together which, I’m told, should fix the leaks and infection in my legs in 7-10 days.
The underlying condition – bilateral lymphoedema – is, sadly, a gift that keeps on giving, so I’m stuck with it. And probably with repeat infections too – it’s the nature of the beast. As is my having to wear compression socks for the rest of my life – how old-fartish is that?
You know, prior to the crisis – gradually assuming capital-letter status as The Crisis – that put me in hospital, I looked pretty much like my avi photo which was taken when I was 60, in Appledore, Devon. Now, 6 weeks in hospital has aged me 10 years or more, about which I am deeply unhappy. Vanity? Probably, but I was happy with how I looked – now I’m not.
Anyway, I digress. When I went into hospital, assorted goodies were on offer. A care package, which I quickly realised I didn’t need and terminated the assessment – no point in wasting time on me when there are people who really need them; a profiling (electrically-adjustable), bed, and a wheelchair-friendly flat, both of which disappeared from the agenda with alacrity.
Still, I’m getting the bed, probably next week. The Tissue Viability nurse says it’s essential in getting my legs to heal and – cheerful soul! – it’ll be better for my carers further down the line as my heart failure is only going to get worse. Which I already know but she needn’t be so sodding cheerful about my prospects of being confined to bed! Which I won’t be – if it gets to that stage I’m out of here. I made up my mind about that as soon as I heard the diagnosis.
The other thing I’m unhappy with is that she wants me to go to bed for 2-3 hours in the afternoon, to rest my legs. No. Absolutely not. Thanks to ME I spent years in bed in the afternoons. I finally broke the cycle, I’m not going back to it. Anyway, it’ll keep me awake at night, when sleep is problematic enough already.
For me, though, the important thing is stopping the leaks. If I’m not leaving a track like a snail, and a puddle every time I stop, I might recover some semblance of a social life, even if it’s only going to the pub for too much beer.
In the meantime, as in hospital, I have strict instructions to eat a high-protein diet. This is because the fluid leaking from my legs is an organic soup that’s mostly protein, the loss of which has to be compensated for. This will be easier at home than in APH, where the meals got ever smaller the longer I was there but, of course, protein equals calories, and I need to watch my weight. Meals, then, need to be proteins, veg and carbs, in that order to keep the calories down.
Otherwise, I’ll balloon – been fat, not going there again. At the moment I’m 79kg, which is about 13kg above my allegedly ideal weight but, as I have dense bones, my ideal weight looks skeletal. While I look far less so at my current weight a lot of that is retained fluid, so even now I’m a bit skinny.
Not, on the whole, a bad look…