This is what I’m up against…

NB: Ulcer photos – don’t click through if squeamish.

I’ve enhanced the colour to make it a bit clearer. The ulcer is mottled yellow, the leg below and the foot above, pink. Between the two, on the left, there’s a semicircle of deeper pink tissue at which the arrows are pointing – that’s blood. Some days it’s more obvious than others.

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The vascular surgeon, today, pointed that out as an area of healing. No it’s bloody not! That is an area of growth. Every dressing change the ulcer has expanded into sound skin, with the boundary showing as a bloody fringe (the red band), which, in turn, is swallowed up by the yellow.

If this guy – the expert – can’t see that, what possible hope do I have of getting any useful treatment?

Oh, and he’s pretty much reneged on the surgery I need. He says that, last time I saw him, I changed my mind about having my leg amputated. Not true. We did discuss the phantom limb problem – my leg might be gone, my pain might remain! – and I suggested that we should also look at other ways of controlling the pain since there was no guarantee the surgery would work.

What we should not do, I suggested and he agreed, is get too focussed on compression, but think outside the box for once.

What happened today? He’s focussed on fucking compression! It’s not going to happen until the pain is not just controlled. but shut down totally. It’s too severe to even contemplate compression otherwise.

I let myself be talked into an ultrasound scan of my leg veins while I was there today. I was quite right in rejecting the version offered in 2013, as my leg, below, was in such bad shape it would have been hideously painful.

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7 thoughts on “This is what I’m up against…

  1. Just watched BBC news central. Amazing new treatment for leg ulcers. Leg is packed with granulated sugar. Interviews with both patients and doctors. Before and after photos. I believe the treatment was developed at Wolverhampton University.

    • It’s apparently an African folk remedy according to the BBC article I read. But as I’ve said, these things – sugar, honey, whatever, work only on infections, and most ulcers are caused by circulation failure. The cases cited by the BBC were infected.

      What they don’t tell you is that 90% of ulcers will eventually heal no matter what you do.

      And am I the only one who thinks it’s significant that, at a time when the sugar industry is under immense pressure, with its products being almost universally reviled, that they suddenly come up with sugar as a miracle cure?

      • After suffering from venous leg ulcers since 2007, I’m nearly 31yrs old now, I don’t believe ‘sugar’ will be a miracle cure. There is no miracle cure through my eyes for ulcers.

        If you have complaints about the doctor(s) who see you, maybe you could get a second opinion from somewhere else?

        Hope your ulcers heal Ron, I know how it feels to have them.

        • Thanks – the best of luck to you too – we’ll both need it! By the way, I don’t know if you’ve tried a wheelchair, but I’ve been using mine full-time for over a month now, and while it doesn’t always help, I have started having days which are almost entirely pain free (supported by 130mg of morphine b.d.)

          I’ve a neighbour, one floor up, we share the same district nurses for the same problems. They keep trying to sell me on compression, despite the fact we’ve tried it 4 times and it’s failed miserably. They completely overlook that I know they’ve sold the same bill of goods to the guy upstairs and he, 8 years on, is no better than I am. Do they think I don’t know?

          All I want, though, is the amputation I was promised before the surgeon lost his bottle (surgeons don’t like patients who might die on them), so that for the short time I have left I can live as normally and as pain-free as possible. The bastard seems happy to deprive me of that chance, even though I accept there is no guarantee of success. I have to at least try!

          • Thanks Ron but I have no need for a wheelchair. My pain is probably not as bad as yours and there’s no way I can use one at my house! anyway.
            For pain I’m taking 100mg Gabapentin and 30/500mg Codeine. I’ve taken Amitriptyline (used for nerve pain and depression) in the past, but it stopped working. I then moved to Gabapentin and it works like a dream.

            I used to go to a local health centre where I had to get my own stuff. It was a pain all the time, trailing there with a bag of bandages and a folder about my treatment and what’s been done that week on my feet(s).
            After some time they only relied on one kind of dressing which was ‘Medi-Honey’. I can’t remember exactly but the idiots placed it on to my ulcer for about 5-6weeks? when it just wasn’t doing anything for the ulcer at that time….I went back to my GP and TOLD him that I wanted to be referred to the hospital instead, because they were rubbish at their job! There’s never the same people there, so they don’t get to know you properly, and the hospital (Bradford Royal) is more ‘experimental’ at using dressings. They have the same people there all the time and they have their own dressings and bandages!
            If there’s a hospital near you who specializes in leg ulcers then I think it will be well worth going. Transport can be arranged for you if you can’t drive.

            I remember getting upset and having tears in my eyes at some point when my ulcer had grown larger only after a week when I was going to the health centre. I’m sure the staff there knew I was getting upset, but they didn’t ask if I was alright. That’s how caring they are!
            I’m telling you, I think they need to go back on training! maybe they’ll actually do there job right afterwards.

            I honestly find it disgusting that they don’t listen to you Ron when you’re having so much trouble with them, including your dressings are not big enough for your wound? I’m sure someone can sort that out for you!

            If you haven’t already, you might like to see my blog that I started only yesterday. (I actually wouldn’t mind knowing why a comment I made on your blog is showing on mine?)

            davidsunderlandsblog.wordpress.com/

            All the best
            – David

    • Oh, I expected a delay, but what is totally unacceptable is this lunatic trying to tell me I’ve changed my mind about surgery. God knows who else he’s told but it could account for my GP’s snotty attitude.

      What I said, given the phantom limb problem, was that we needed to explore every possible avenue as well as surgery, NOT instead of.

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