Leg report – and it’s a good one…

Warning – contains ulcer photos some of you will find gross.


Yesterday – the first for several years – was a day in which pain featured only peripherally, due in no small part to the increase in medication enforced by the vascular surgeon.

That increase – which took an unforgiveable three weeks to get to me via my GP – was immediately followed by an attempt by him to stop my supply of Oramorph. I got it reinstated after dishing out a bollocking that surprised even me, during which he complained that I don’t keep him informed enough – a charge that’s only partly true.

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Leg ulcer getting worse but treatment is still primitive…

This morning, in a discussion with the nurses about my deteriorating leg ulcer, all they can offer is compression – for which read MORE PAIN! Before they can do that they have to run an ultrasound test, and to do that they also have to check my lower leg blood pressure. And guess where the blood pressure cuff goes – yep, right on the ulcer. And that is just not going to happen.

At the moment I have a lightweight dressing on it, covered with two layers of very light tubular bandage. That, primarily, is sufficient to stop my leg swelling as well as keeping the dressing in place. It’s also staggeringly painful.

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I really don’t know what to do about my future, or even if I have one.

Self-pity warning! Things are getting away from me and I hope, by getting this out of my head (and I’ve thought long and hard over whether I should post this, the emotional cost of which has been pretty high, and scary), I can regain some control. Or, at least, a semblance thereof, because if things don’t change for the better, I’m screwed.

I don’t normally do self-pity – I just thought I’d get in with it first!

To show you one of the things that is blighting my life, I was going to leave this completely uncorrected but, by the end of the first page (there are 6 in total, plus the image), there were so many errors I just couldn’t face it. And it was becoming unintelligible. Which is why it’s taken 3 days to write just under 2,300 words.

So, anyway, I went for a walk the other day. Not a Continue reading

Pushing me to the edge all over again…

The District Staff nurse phoned the GP surgery this morning, telling them I needed a home visit (got a temp of 37.7C) – that won’t happen, I said, it never does – at best I’ll get a phone call – so she went round in person to impress upon them that I needed a real, live, doctor! And soon.

Didn’t get one.

Sometime after 15.00 I got a phone call from their reception asking if a doctor had been – well, no, but don’t they bloody know?

Later, I got a call from one of the doctors – who doesn’t know me at all, but she has announced her intention to bugger up my pain meds without giving a toss about how much damage she’s doing. And I think I’m on safe ground when I say that she appears to have not the slightest idea how appalling the pain of lymphoedema can be. If she wants to know she can ask my neighbours how often they’ve heard me screaming in agony, especially if I have to get out of bed in a hurry. Or the nurses for that matter – removing dressings that have welded themselves to raw flesh is as much fun as it sounds.

So, I’m writing this blog post because at this rate they’re going to Continue reading

Lymphoedema update…

There are days – damned few, admittedly, of late – when I don’t feel too bad. Sod’s Law dictates that, on those days, no-one will ask how I am!

Conversely, on the days when I feel like hammered shit, everyone seems concerned!

Now, don’t run away with the idea that I’m moaning about solicitous friends – I’m not – but the way it works out a lot of the time, I might come across as someone who never stops moaning!

And then there’s a friend from whom I’d expected more understanding when I took a turn – several turns in fact – for the worse recently, but who went off on a major strop because she apparently can’t comprehend why, when she thinks I should be getting better, I’m actually not. Well, here’s the thing Continue reading

Addendum to I cannot – seriously – continue to live like this…

Yesterday ended in the worst pain-related crisis to far.

In the morning, when the scheme manager saw the state I was in, she went off to shout at the GPs again. She got the guy who had turned out the previous day, and was as unimpressed as I’d been. Luckily, in the afternoon, someone else came out.

We had a chat – was I really suicidal? YES!!! And what can we do about that? Fix my intolerable pain!

We kicked a few ideas around, and finally settled on Gabapentin.

As he was leaving I asked, if it turned out there was no medical solution Continue reading

Sleep Deprivation, Pain, and Cake…

Especially cake.

It does seem, as I speculated a short while ago, that sleep deprivation is behind many of my problems, not least my reduced ability to write.

Three nights ago I started taking Cetirizine,** an antihistamine, to shut down the baleful itching in my legs that was in real danger of tipping me into a breakdown and/or suicide*** from sleep deprivation had it gone on much longer, and I’ve been getting about 10 hours sleep a night.****

**The label says “This medicine may make you sleepy.” Ignoring the fact that they mean might, not may (might is Continue reading

Oedema – Dihydrocodeine v Co-codamol results (A Chronicles of the Heart suppmement).

The last week or two I’ve been alternating DHC and Co-codamol, and closely monitoring my oedema. I opined, in this post, that the effects of DHC and Co-codamol on oedema where likely to be similar, I was wrong.

I have absolutely no idea why there should be such a substantial difference between the two drugs, but there clearly is, at least in my case, and possibly Continue reading

Opioid analgesics and pulmonary oedema…

My GP, as I’ve mentioned here before, some time ago tried to persuade me to switch from Dihydrocodeine (DHC), to Co-codamol (30mg codeine plus 500mg Paracetamol), because, he said, the former caused pulmonary oedema. I tried for a while, remained unconvinced by its efficacy (officially codeine and Dihydrocodeine are considered similar in effect – not in my experience), and eventually persuaded him to let me revert to DHC. My logic was that if it was going to cause pulmonary oedema it had had ample time in which to do so, and hadn’t, so it was a risk I was willing to take. In addition, research had shown that DHC can cause pulmonary oedema – a big difference from does cause!

It’s just occurred to me that if one opioid drug can cause pulmonary oedema, maybe others can, so Continue reading

Some thoughts about controlling pain from WebMD…

According to WebMD, some ways to reduce chronic pain include exercise, meditation, avoiding alcohol, cutting smoking, practicing (sic) better eating habits, keeping a pain journal for doctors, scheduling relaxation and distraction. (source:- ThirdAge.com ).

Let’s look at those a little more closely, from my perspective, because some are nonsensical, and not just for me.

Exercise – Simply Continue reading