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.
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).
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.