Leg report – I’m doomed…


Not done a leg report for a long time – there’s probably a limited market for gross photos!

Things, though, are going very bad, very fast – I have two bleeding and infected ulcers in my leg that are getting worse by the day. The bleeding, I’m told, is “a good sign”. Colour me unconvinced. The bleeding is likely to provide an avenue for infection to enter my system, resulting in septicaemia – in what possible way is that good?

This is what greeted me when I took my sock off.

Dressing, May 12 2014

The bulge in the dressing is blood and, as you can see, it’s burst it open at the bottom. The white area, and the grid markings, are an indicator mechanism that shows how full the dressing is – this clearly needed changing daily. It’s supposed to be left for 4 days, I routinely change it at 2 days, and that’s obviously not enough.

This is the undisinfected crapola that has become a huge part of my life this past year. Removing it is more painful than anything you can imagine (assuming this has never happened to you).

Uncleaned lesions

And this one show the degree of swelling. The tubular bandage at the top usually comes down to the ridge you can see in the flesh of my leg. I can’t bring it down to my foot, as I need to, as the ulcers are far too painful (even the air touching them is agonising).


Now then, last week I sent off a swab to the microbiology lab at APH. Their job is to locate and identify any bacteria, or other pathogens, and recommend a suitable course of treatment. What they’ve said is they found a mixed bag of flora and fauna (my guess, both fungal and bacterial infections), and I should carry on with my normal cleansing routine. UTTER BULLSHIT!

The reason the swab was sent was that what we’re currently doing isn’t working any longer – so what is the fucking point of carrying on with it, you useless bastards?

What they should have done is prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic (assuming that it really is impossible for them to be more specific), and a fungicide (if that’s what’s needed). FFS, it’s hardly Nobel-prize-level biology – it’s about as basic as it gets – treat what you can see. And if what’s being done isn’t working, try something different.

And, of course, we had the old favourite, compression, dragged in again. I asked the nurse to explain just how ulcers that made me scream if they were even touched** – and by me, taking a hell of a lot of care – could possibly be tightly compressed when the pain was already unbearable. Silence was the answer.

**I’m back to screaming myself awake in the night if I move carelessly when I do actually manage to sleep and, two days ago, when I got up I made it from the bedroom to the couch – and the pain was so horrendous I passed out before I could even get to my Oramorph.

Today, I took it while I was still in bed, half an hour before I got up. Better, still in dreadful pain but at least I could function.

One thing is certain, though – I will not endure another year like last year. I’ve lived with severe, intransigent, chronic pain for over 30 years, since I was struck by lightning in 1983, but that pales into virtual insignificance when compared to what I have currently. I’ve told the nurse a way must be found to end my pain. I don’t know how (amputation is my favourite solution), but someone must.

If that’s not possible, then I’ll end it myself. I know that will distress some of you, and I’m sorry, but no-one should be asked to live like that, and I can’t, not again.

7 thoughts on “Leg report – I’m doomed…

    • I know the cause of the deterioration – from the timeline – is that idiot nurse spitting on it, but there’s no way I can prove it and it wouldn’t change anything if I could. Pisses me off, though.

  1. I understand every emotion and frustration you’re going through. Amputation does, on the face of it, sound like the way to go but what do I know. Sending supportive hugs (that are not too tight, of course!) and thinking of you.

    • Thanks Sarah.

      Tried to discuss amputation with the vascular surgeon last year (vastly worse than it is now – pretty much an open wound from toes to knee, though pain level was about the same), wouldn’t even talk about it – just obsessed, then s now, with compression.

      There’s a theory that our bodies don’t remember pain (one reason, apparently, some women are happy to have lots of babies). No idea about the parturition aspect, but from experience the theory, as a whole, is a total crock. My body is scared shitless!

      • Not as devastating as a leg but I had the same experience with one of my fingers. I was so sick of the pain and infection and it was so distorted (curled right over so the nail touches my palm) that I went to see the surgeon about cutting it off. I imagined that they would chop it from the second knuckle but it turned out that it would have right at the main knuckle which put me off a bit. He warned against and if I hadn’t been so uncertain myself, I could see that if I’d been determined, it would have been a nightmare getting it done. I thought about it for some considerable time and decided against in the end. Now I’m glad I didn’t get it done. The infection cleared up (eventually) and the tip and nail do have their uses when it comes to typing. However, if I knock it….well you get the drift and I go through the same thought process. At the moment it’s okay but my other fingers….!

        • Ah – if there’s one thing I don’t have, it’s doubt. If I got the surgical go-ahead tomorrow I’d be looking to play Long John Silver in a Teasure Island panto by Christmas.

          I’ve already got wheels, and a prosthesis would help for the times I have to be on my feet (I can’t cook or bake in a wheelchair – not in this flat, anyway), so it would be more a change of focus than a radical lifestyle change.

          Even without the idiot nurse’s contribution, this crap is incurable. If I’d managed to heal the ulcers – and I was so close – it could all have come rampaging back at any time. As, indeed, it has.

          • If I was in your position, I don’t think I would be in any doubt either. You have to go for it. It’s your right. (You can play Long John as long as I can play Ben Gunn!)

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