More Leg Buggeration Fixed…

No, not my right leg, that’s still progressing nicely – and reasonably pain-free.

This is my healed left leg, and now it’s taken against me. Last week the nurses’ manager agreed with me that the tubular bandage should be left off as it was doing nothing useful.

Wrong.

What it was doing – keeping shed skin confined – turned out to be extremely useful. In bed, this meant I wasn’t breathing in my own dust, to which I am highly allergic (the reason I bought my Dyson DC59, if you recall, as my living room carpet was, effectively, full of me).

Since last Friday, the amount of toxic sputum I’m bringing up while in bed, from about 03.30 onwards, and for hours after I get up, until mid to late morning, has been horrendous. and antibiotics are having no effect on what, as well as an allergic reaction, was a vicious infection.

I did two things to tackle this. First I started a course of intensive antibiotic therapy (1g of Amoxicillin every 8 hours). This did little so, yesterday, after a flash of inspiration, I replaced the bandage on my left leg.

This morning I’m more or less back to normal. COPD makes for a messy start to the day – coughing and expectoration being triggered by the change of posture occasioned by getting out of bed taking place as usual. This, on the basis of better out than in, has to be allowed to run its daily course. Importantly, though, I wasn’t kept awake coughing my dangly bits off for most of the night. True, I slept badly in expectation of it, but it didn’t happen.

So I need to revert to keeping my left leg bandaged 24/7 (just a single layer, no dressing), as not only do I have the problem in bed, it’s clear from looking at the floor that, for now at least,** I’m shedding wherever I go. In bed the sheets rub off the loose skin, during the day it’s my trousers – and I am absolutely NOT going back to wearing shorts!

**The Dermatology unit has prescribed a steroid cream which, I’m told, will fix the problem, which is a form of eczema.

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6 thoughts on “More Leg Buggeration Fixed…

  1. they say we learn something new every day .in your case its definitely true Ron. at least you quickly found a solution of sorts which has worked for you.good that your legs are so much better now.

  2. Hopefully that is a simple fix 🙂
    Don’t like the way you describe the COPD – poor John seems to be getting worse and does have trouble first thing or a morning. He ended up coughing like crazy this afternoon at the dentist as she laid him flat! Good job it was only for a check up – it’s on his notes about the COPD and he has told her before as well.

    • I might have told you this already, but a few years ago I was invited to join the Wellsphere network as COPD patient expert (normally, you have to ask them to be admitted, and prove why you should be) – it’s one subject I know at least as well as many doctors.

      I also got this, in 2009, when I was writing about the pneumonia vaccine, then for years couldn’t recall which post it was a comment on til I found it yesterday – it’s the sort of thing that makes blogging worthwhile, as well as being an acceptance by the medical profession that I know what I’m talking about:-

      From:- EU-VAP/CAP | December 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      We are the EU-VAP/CAP Study Group. Our research is about Pneumonia in Patients requiring mechanical ventilation in European Intensive Care Units. Thank you for posting. Our respect and support.
      Dr Despoina Kulenti (study coordinator)

      So I can’t say I’m surprised you don’t like what I wrote, but at least it’s honest, unlike too many doctors, including the one I saw last Friday – she tried to tell me I can’t have COPD as I’ve never smoked! I just hope she’s better informed about dermatology!

      Anyway, John needs better meds – but I’ve said that – and he also needs codeine linctus – it’s the only thing that will shut down a cough. Prescription only. Legally it’s available OTC, but the addicts have buggered that for the rest of us and most pharmacists won’t sell it now, even if they know you.

      Lying down is a major problem with COPD – I’ve not been able to lie down for years. I slept sitting up on the couch until, last year, I was given my electric profiling bed. I still sleep sitting up, but in bed now, which enables me to keep my legs elevated. If John has access to an OT or Community Nurses, it’s worth trying for a profiling bed if you have the space. It makes a big difference. As does a good backrest, but they don’t work too well in a double bed.

      Any change of posture can trigger a violent coughing fit – getting out of bed, or into bed or, as happened, lying down, and having to lie down for diagnostic procedures, or treatment, can be unavoidable. Codeine linctus is invaluable in those circumstances. It takes about 20 minutes to kick in, but the effect lasts for hours.

  3. Thanks for that Ron 🙂 I’ll make an appointment at the doctors for John so that he can get the Codeine Linctus on prescription. That will be a great help as he has to have a couple of fillings, see the hygienist and go for a scan on his shoulder soon. We’ll inquire about the bed as well but will wait until after April as that’s when the new funds are all allocated 🙂
    As for a doctor saying you can’t have COPD due to you never smoking, I hope to goodness she doesn’t treat lung cancer victims! Imagine if she told people that they can’t have lung, throat or mouth cancer due to not smoking – it’s just as serious as what she told you and she should actually be reported for that – she’s bloody dangerous!
    As for what you did say – I know it’s horrid but it has to be done to clear you for most of the day and I know it’s coming more with John and it will soon be a daily occurrence. I’ll just have to get a harder stomach 🙂

    • Sounds like John might benefit from a physio referral – they can teach him how to cough more effectively to clear his lungs, and how to “huff” when needed, which can be more effective (and quieter).

      His GP might say, when asked for codeine linctus, that he needs to cough. That’s true, as far as it goes, but my response to my GP was “Yes, but I don’t need to cough until I pass out, or puke on my boots, do I!” at which point she shut up.

      Might be worth asking about the bed now – people like to use up all their allocation before the end of the financial year for fear if they don’t, next year they’ll get less. And they might actually have one or two beds in stock, as they did here (they get serviced and re-allocated when people die or no longer need them). One thing I find useful about mine is that I can raise the whole thing to hip level – makes changing it a lot easier. Pity I forgot about it yesterday, and did my back in!

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