More leg problems.

My nurses are taking the piss.

Yesterday I was told that my two lesions had merged into one big ulcer. Not happy, but not unexpected.

Thing is, I can’t actually see for myself due to the awkward location – I can see it clearly only with my camera and it was late yesterday when I thought to check for myself (I take photos at every dressing change). This is the result.24 April 2014 - 1
As you can see, while the lesions are indisputably a bit bigger, there are still – clearly – two of them, separated by a “wall” of sound skin.

So what was the nurses’ motivation in telling me that the wall had gone? Why lie about something I can see for myself? If they thought I wouldn’t check they don’t know me very well.

Well, in the next breath they started banging on about compression again and, doubtless, telling me I now had an ulcer was a lever to persuade me to accept it.


I have two holes in my leg, and nobody has ever explained by what mechanism wrapping my leg tightly in multi-layered compression bandages** will heal those holes. I have found no literature on the subject either, and the Lymphoedema Network website is utterly silent on the subject.

**I’ve been told that compression needs to be from toes to nuts. That will leave me with a leg that can’t be bent, which will make life impossible on so many levels. I’ve also been told, with equal certainty and by the same nurses, that it will be from toes to knee. Better, but only a little and, either way, it’s still very painful and more pain in my life I do not need, I have quite enough already.

Plus, I know people who have leg ulcers, and who have been in compression for years, with no improvement, so screw that.

And – most important of all – compression has been tried, three times, twice by nurses, once by the hospital, with the same disastrous results each time.

IT DOES NOT WORK. Not for me, anyway.

Note: These lesions were healing until the idiot nurse spat on them a while back! Yes, it was an accident, but it should not have happened. Now they’re infected and worsening visibly. I think the only way forward is to remove the nurses from the equation and leave me to take care of myself. OK, some nurses are excellent, but some are not, and I have no control over who turns up, so keep me supplied with dressings, and supervised, but otherwise leave me alone.

5 thoughts on “More leg problems.

  1. What the hell has happened to basic hygiene and common sense with these people portraying a life of caring and nursing? I am convinced there are special rules to ensure a good percentage are employed in the profession as human pest controllers to eradicate the chronically sick and those reliant on help rather than displaying any aptitude to ‘care’. Surely a simple face mask is a hell of a lot cheaper (and a damn sight less painful for you) than the crap you are now enduring yet again and I’m under no illusion that once more they will attempt to force the cheapest dressings that they can get as BOGOFs upon you irrespective of the outcome or your individual need. I wish you well and hope you don’t suffer too much with this episode.

    • The dressings I needed last year cost £45 a day! My GP refused to pay (so it gave me great pleasure recently to screw his budget for £800 for for a 6-month supply of Hydrocortisone!).

      Community nurses aren’t issued with masks, which is beyond me as most of their patients have open wounds in some form, mostly ulcers.

      The Tissue Viability Nurse is coming soon, and if all he has to offer is compression then he can piss right off! They’re bloody obsessed with compression despite, in my case (and I doubt I’m alone), it doing nothing but harm.

      The big problem is patients – whether they’re dealing with GPs, consultants, or nurses, they just cave in and do as they’re told. They never question anything. Then I come along and question everything (just because something has always been done – like compression – doesn’t mean it should be done forever). And they don’t know how to respond because they’re so used to getting their own way.

      It’s like getting a sample of oxygenated blood. They tap an artery buried deep in among the wrist bones, and it hurts like a bastard – I’ve seen grown men reduced to tears – yet there must be an easily-accessible artery somewhere .

      When I had it done, I was warned by the junior doc (a babe – I think she was chosen as a distraction!), that it was very painful and usually took her two tries. So I said “You know what you do on the second try?”

      “Yes. . .”

      “Well do that first!”

      And hey, it worked!

  2. no Ron you arent on your own where compression bandaging is concerned. think ive said this before. my ex next door neighbour, much older person than you. had it done a few years ago. within 24 hours she could not walk. they insisted on it but after a further 24 hours she told them to come and take it off and not to suggest it again. took her over a year to recover from that. plus like you, she feels the tried and tested treatments worked best for her. but they had their own way. shes now in hospital with infected legs looking at being transferred permanently into a nursing home. her independence gone and no doubt she will follow it as ive seen happen countless times.

    • It took 10 weeks in hospital all together, plus, on the last stay, about 6 litres of intravenous Vancomycin followed by oral Rifampicin, to get rid of my infections. And it’s a constant battle to keep it that way.

  3. I’ve been taken to task by a friend for “constantly” accusing the nurses of lying.

    So, when they repeatedly tell me things that turn out, as here, to be exactly opposite to the observed facts – or “untrue” – what other word is appropriate?

    Well, maybe they just made a mistake?

    What? How is that any better? I’d sooner they cynically lied than were so stupid they couldn’t see, and report accurately on, what was in front of them. My future treatment depends on the accuracy of the information they provide to the Tissue Viability Nurse.

    They told me that the strip of sound skin dividing the two lesions had been eaten away. Very clearly, in the above photo, it has not. In my book, that’s a lie.But they also took photos of it themselves, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how theirs compares with mine, and with what they reported.

    I’ve just changed my dressing – it’s a suppurating mess but, changed a day earlier than it would otherwise be, there are some clear signs of healing. The solution, to me, is obvious – the dressings need changing more frequently, say every 2 days, maximum.

    One last point. The nurses can’t change my dressings without causing pain – but I can. The pain, therefore, IS avoidable. There’s a compound called Cavilon which is sprayed on and around the lesions, so that the constant wetness doesn’t cause the surrounding skin to break down. When the nurses do it, this – despite the “no sting” claims on the label – burns like acid when it hits the raw flesh. When I do it, it doesn’t. Why?

    Reading the instructions it’s clear than the nurses hold the spray far too close to the wounds, so it’s too concentrated. This also means that each squirt covers a smaller area than it should, needing far more product to be applied than is recommended – so it burns.

    And people wonder why I complain!

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