Recovery

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Family – Part 3

Published March 1, 2019 by helentastic67

Family Part 3

Family Part 3

Now, it’s a week later since I wrote the previous post, so having lost my train of thought, forgive me if this post seems disjointed. It seems that many people would claim their family is fucked. (had to be said) However, brain injury and disability brings out the worst in families.

Family and brain injury

You like to imagine, families can put aside their own issues to rally around the person with the shittier situation.

But, No! I have family members that don’t understand my brain injury, don’t want to, or just figure they will get on board ‘Team Helen’ when the only team player (my mum) on Team Helen is no longer here.

Not team Helen

My mum is almost seventy now, I love her so and I don’t think it’s fair my much younger sister be expected to take over one day.

My father, who I also love and respect because he’s my father. I only see once or twice a year because I make the effort when in the part of countryside near where he lives. I can never stay over at his house where he has plenty of room, because I’m not having my father help me after my shower. Seems a fair compromise.

Shower

If my father has been to Melbourne in the last fifteen years, it doesn’t occur to him to visit and I’m the only daughter of three that has regular contact with him.

I think my family are all in their own world and my mum is the only my family member to spend any significant time with me, to solve problems, do forms or paperwork and now she is older and because her memory has been affected by a rather lengthy medical procedure, if she starts something with me, but takes it home to complete it. It’s not getting done.

Problem solved

She will have every reason under the sun for why I can live with a half-baked solution even if it’s me being $30 short on my income for a debt I rightly don’t have, and she is happy to keep calling every 3 months when the government agency must be contacted to have them not take any more of this from me, but this is how it is. It’s easy for family to ignore what I need because they don’t need those things. They will offer solutions that don’t consider the big picture.

Family

I’m the only person who lives where I live full time and sees the situation in its whole. All the fall out if something is overlooked and the changes to my environment that may impact my health and home. (Referring to build up of moisture in my home from wet laundry or even just if I buy the wrong kind of clothes dryer that leaves more humidity and moisture into my environment) And just how exhausting it is every single night in the colder months to re-hang my washing inside on other racks so they can continue to air-dry inside.

Air Drying

Winter is approaching and it’s looking to be my second winter here without a clothes dryer still having not recovered from buying my front-loader washer a year ago outright.

Not recovered

Now, I’m sure this subject is far from covered, but I’m sure to circle back at another time.

Torture – Part 2

Published August 10, 2018 by helentastic67

Torture Pt2

Torture – Part 2

So now, to how doctors buy themselves time and the active torture that was to temporarily fix the problem. They promised me an Epidural.

Doctor buying time

Have you ever wondered why “women in labour” ask for the Epidural? I don’t know from personal experience, but I’m told it hurts. It hurts like pushing a big square wardrobe out of a small place in you body, wardrobes don’t belong…

Women in labour

And the Epidural doesn’t hurt because of the happy pregnant lady hormones.

Now, they promised me an Epidural as part of delivering me a nerve root injection or a Cortisone shot. (you will hear people call it)

Cortisone shot

At the time I was on two waiting lists, one with my hospital (because I thought they would get to me) and another hospital closer to home. (that is, I didn’t have them do my surgery, my own mother might have killed me. Because she had been told they had the best surgeon to see.)

Waiting list

Have I mentioned, I’m a public patient? Because I’m poor. Yeah. So it generally means, you go with whatever you can get, whenever you can have it and not before.

The term for it is triage, they prioritise the patience that are less mobile and more ‘at risk’. Just making a point – ALL YEAR, it took all year!

Still, I digress.

The Nuero root injection goes like this, in nothing but your knickers pushed down low on your hips and a gown that is open at the back, you lie down on your tummy on a CT scanning bed. There are two people in the room whom you will hate by the end of the procedure. (if you follow my advice and learn from my experience.)

Lying on CT Scanner

Firstly, they give you a local anaesthetic. Now I will remind you, it’s been a while since my last local, so you forget how much it stings.

Sweet Jesus! (Which is likely what I said)

Sweet Jesus

The doctors claim it’s because the needle is so fine. Really? Torture device.

Then they wait until it starts to kick-in and then I swear it’s like a pick-axe! They insert it in my lower back, telling me to breathe and relax.

Pick axe

When in pain, it’s good to keep breathing, but when lying on your tummy and working where they were, it’s impossible.

Keep Breathing

Then, they roll you into the CT machine and take a scan. The doctor comes back in and utters some words like “Looks like we’re heading in the right direction” and they ram the needle in further.

Heading in the right direction

I don’t think a “Sweet Jesus” was what came out the second time. They offered me more local, but does anyone need reminding, a local really does mean ‘local’.

Not sweet Jesus

Then another scan and more core breaking agony. Three times they took to get that needle all the way to where they wanted it. Then they injected me with the Cortisone, or whatever, that was meant to give me blessed relief from the pain.

Another CT Scan

I did feel something shoot down my right leg, but that was it.

I recall getting up after it an asking “What’s next?”

They told me that was it and I could go. OK

My sister had told me, if I was getting an epidural to ask at the end of the procedure “Where’s my baby?”

Wheres my baby

The Jewish doctor and his registrar just looked at me. The female nurse, over to one side gave me a little smile.

Tough crowd.

Anyway, I left the hospital with my mum and was still in pain, but now with a very sore back.

The second one I had at a different hospital, they made me stay lying down for an hour or so afterwards, in a small recovery room with nurses overlooking about six beds. They were very insistent I not get up and walk straight away in case my legs gave way and I fell over. Is that the sure sign it worked? Maybe not, not sure. But I really needed to pee.

Recovery

I was offered a bedpan, seriously, the push bedpans in hospital, like it’s more convenient for them to change the sheets than wheel me to a toilet and wheel me back to bed.

Bedpan

Grudgingly the nurse bought over a walker (you know, not just for old people, but predominantly) and I told her no. She kept insisting and I thought she was very slow for not realising you needed two hands to work one. I growled further to get it out of my way. I’m sure she thought I was the rudest cow in there that day. (I probably was)

Eventually, a wheelchair was produced and I was wheeled to the toilet. The chair pushed so close to the toilet and locked into place, I struggled to wriggle up and around it to wash my hand after I had gone.

Wheelchair

I pressed the duty call button and waited for some time for the nurse to return to me. My mum was patiently waiting my return. My mum was patiently waiting for my return, I briefly contemplated getting up and walking back using the hand rail on the hallway wall as an aide, but I waited.

Call button

I swear I waited twenty minutes, you get I only needed to pee.

The nurse finally retrieved me, stating she only realised I was not in my bed when she did a head-count and realised there was one bed empty. Oh, the call button doesn’t work? Nor did the nerve root injection.

Head Count

But, humoursly, the night light was comment from the nurse that had been in assisting my injection. She must have been new to that area.

An older more experienced nurse enquired as to during all the CT scans if she had protected herself from the radiation.

Radiation

She replied “OH yes! I hid behind the Doctors.”

Oh facepalm.

What about me? I’d suffered four or five, that day, I was informed the staff get fifty or more in a day.

I guess getting a needle rammed into your back with only a local, really doesn’t make for a happy Hellonwheels.

Sad Helen

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