Getting into my clockwork bed last night there was a cascade of beige grit from under the dressing on my right leg. Essentially, it was me – dead skin rubbed to dust under the tubular bandage, and dribbling out with the slightest movement. And I thought, “That’s going to bite me in the arse by morning.” And it did.
I was jolted awake at some godawful early hour, not long after getting to sleep, coughing so uncontrollably I could barely breathe in. I’m used to respiratory crises, they’ve been happening since the age of 2 but frankly, boys and girls, this was terrifying. It went on for hours, with occasional slumps back into a fitful sleep for what felt like seconds at a time, before waking for another choking fit. An allergic reaction to the skin dust.
At 05.00 I gave up any hope of more sleep, and got up, dosed prodigiously with codeine linctus AND Oramorph – don’t tell my GP! – and it finally began to let up, though for a while it was touch and go whether I saw the dawn from A&E or at all.
I should probably be in hospital, as it’s this sort of event that could kill me, putting too much strain on my already buggered heart. But it’s the flu season, and being in hospital might well kill me anyway. As I said in an earlier post, it’s a toss-up – heads I lose, tails I still lose.
So, anyway, I’m much better than I was 8 hours ago. Still not great but I can, at least, breathe. Oddly, though, the deeply offensive infected sputum that’s been a feature of every morning for the past couple of weeks seems to have vanished. It’s still infected, but no longer in worrying shades of greenish-black, streaked with blood. Had it still been so, I’d planned to get my GP out today. Yeah, I know, fat chance.
I’ve tackled the dead skin problem with a gently- applied, unused (for veggies, just kept for this), vegetable brush to remove as much dead skin as possible without drawing blood, then slathered both legs with emollient Hydromol cream as, on inspection, my left leg wasn’t a great deal better than my right.
The thing is, though, it’s the tubular bandage, together with my movement, which is grinding the dead skin to allergenic dust, and I noticed on my left leg, where the bandage had slipped down, it was clear of dead ski. It seems the bandage creates it, too, so that has to stop So, when I change the right leg’s dressing later today, instead of overwrapping the 5x5cm silver-impregnated dressing with a 20x40cm absorbent pad, which is, frankly, overkill, I’m going to cut a small piece of the pad, about 10x10cm, and overwrap it with a couple of turns of crepe bandage.
Yes, it’ll be messy at first, as my trousers rub off the dead skin, but I can’t think of anything better and the nurses would not look kindly upon the idea so I don’t intend to involve them. The huge improvement that has taken place of late is entirely down to my efforts in pretty much forcing them to follow the hospital’s guidelines, as I’ve said. As there’s no leakage from the lesions now it should work just fine. I can’t use adhesive dressings of any sort, as they simply won’t stick to my skin, but I do have plenty of crepe bandages.
Also, because I now have no leaks, I can wear decent – but still as ugly as sin – shoes.
They open right down to the toe, useful as my right foot is still pretty swollen, the left only slightly. But as you can see, the heel/ankle area is quite broad – essential as mine is too swollen to fit a normal shoe. If I were to try, I know from experience that the shoe would cut deeply into the still very fragile skin at heel and ankle, and for that reason both feet will need padding, before getting too adventurous.
These things, sadly, aren’t cheap, £45.83 without VAT, which I don’t pay, but if I can regain even some of my lost mobility, it’ll be worth it, as will the ugliness.
On a different note, the water bottle I take into the bedroom every night recently go contaminated, when crapola from the water supply plastered itself to the inside. I don’t, with hindsight, think it did me any harm, but I might not be so lucky next time. So I’ve ordered a 1.4litre hospital-style polycarbonate jug ,with a lid to keep bits of me (and spiders), out. It’s bigger than I need, but I don’t have to fill it, and the important thing is that it’s going to be much easier to keep clean .
I’ve also ordered, for delivery tomorrow, a Dyson DC59 Animal, the new one.
Again, not cheap £359.95, but comes with two motorised heads, the standard one and a small, more powerful one for “tough jobs,” as well as the usual tools and a set of freebies. And yes, I do know I’m paying full list for this, but everybody else, including Dyson and Amazon, was remarkably vague about what was in the box. John Lewis was not so they got my business. Dyson’s website said all it came with was the small head, for example. Plus the freebies if they happened to have any left.
I opted for this partly because it’s a prime spider-killer, but mainly because conventional machines are a bit beyond me these days. I did use my cylinder machine a couple of weeks ago, quite successfully, but haven’t been able to since, And while the Dyson has a short run time (17 minutes), so do I, so I don’t see a problem, and it’ll be great for sucking spiders off the bedroom ceiling at four in the morning! Which, if they appear at all, is when the buggers show up.
True, Dysons are reputedly noisy, so the spider patrol might wake the guy upstairs, but as he has no worries about flushing his toilet – which is over my bedroom, just as that of the guy next door is just the other side of the wall, and neither are bothered about waking me, then I couldn’t give a toss.
And finally, just before Christmas, I finished my kitchen upgrade with a stainless steel mini oven from Lakeland.
It gets the job done, and is possibly hotter than they claim, but I’ve got an oven thermometer somewhere, so I can check it out.
All I need now is some crockery, just a few side plates and some pie dishes, and I’m done.