Looks like I'm about to hear

GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
edited 27. May 2015, 16:32 in Living with Arthritis archive
Well, I saw ortho cons 15th April, had an MRI on my ankle 5th May and my follow up appt is 27th May. This is through NHS but is actually at a private hospital local to me.

When I rang my consultant's secretary today for a progress report I was pleased in a way to be told that my consultant had said I was to be recalled to clinic. What I hadn't expected was that the instructions were I was to get into clinic asap. :!:

I know my ankle needs major surgery - I was told 2011 that the next step would be fusion and the surgery itself doesn't worry me too much. (I had 9 operations to my right knee over 10 years, one so far to my left knee, and one surgery to my left ankle, plus spinal injections). This OA is a challenge, to say the least.

What does concern me is coping afterwards. I have challenging home circumstances to say the least, I work part-time, I support both my partner and my elderly Mum with various aspects and am often having to tackle a variety of things for them. Going to work keeps me "sane", gets me out of the house and is, in a funny kind of way, my respite, if that makes sense?

I do internet shopping and drive an automatic car. With it being my left ankle which is about to be dealt with, I should be able to drive locally fairly quickly as that's my redundant leg in the car. I have a K****e for reading e-books, am an avid library user, have my weekly magazine delivered.

I also have something extremely valuable - it's priceless in fact. This wonderful forum with absolutely brilliant support. :D

Once I get next Wednesday out of the way I'll be able to use my excellent organisational and planning skills and boy, am I going to need them! I'll update after my appointment.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,
GraceB
Turn a negative into a positive!

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It sounds to me as if you are one step closer to getting things sorted out for you and that has to be a good thing. I am guessing that your Ma is elderly, so may not be able to do too much for herself, and I know that the Other Half has his own health troubles but might this be the jolt he needs to begin to take a little more responsibility for some matters around the house? I'm sure it's easy to get used to someone covering all bases (usually a male trait, why make an effort if you have a laundry, shopping, cleaning and wheelie bin fairy on tap) but why should that be? Have you spoken to anyone about arranging some care for your Ma (and maybe him) for the immediate aftermath of your operation? By immediate I am thinking around two months' worth so that you have the best possible chance of achieving a good outcome from this procedure. I cheerfully admit that I have not one clue about how these things work but if you don't ask . . . . . . DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    From what I've read on here, Grace, I'd agree that you have 'excellent organisational and planning skills' and I can understand that, with your home circumstances, you are anxious to fine tune your recovery so that you can get back to work and normality asap.

    Maybe you could consider building a little slack into that fine tuning, though. Putting yourself under such pressure to resume duties as the perfect partner and daughter will not aid your recovery. Even with the best surgeon and the utmost dedication to physio, blips sometimes happen and things take a little longer than initially envisaged.

    I'd suggest a Plan B. As DD suggested, it might be possible to get some care for both your mother and partner either from social services or your own pocket and it could be money well spent in terms of enabling you to concentrate on your own recovery at your body's own pace.

    People do 'acclimatise' to having everything done for them. I wondered how my husband and two young sons (about 7 & 10) would cope when I had my first TKR (a three week hospital stay back then). I came home to a duty roster and everyone pulling together really well. I was quite redundant :lol: It was lovely while it lasted.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,130
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Grace
    you getting out to work struck a cord with me,I looked after my mum then my dad for many years and I was still working and feeling guilty at wanting to escape..so there must be many more people like this so don't you feel guilty it is hard work.
    Right back to you, the upshot is you will need help from somewhere ,be it family or outsiders..maybe your GP could help they have all the flyers from different charity's and such, its not easy these days, gone are the home helps.... but there is help out there if you shout loud enough..I really do wish you well ...and we are always here... :) xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace,

    I can`t really add to the practical suggestions others have made, but just wanted to wish you well, and hope things go smoothly for you.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,870
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Best of luck GraceB

    I am so glad things are getting sorted out for you :)

    Love

    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry I've nothing practical to add, just wanted to say I hope it all goes well.

    Deb xx
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    thanks for your replies, very much appreciated.

    Mum, who is 90 years young, has complex personal care - three visits a day - so I don't actually do the physical caring for her. Its more visiting her, dealing with her meds, correspondence, banking, etc.

    We've just put in an attendance allowance claim for my partner so if successful, and if it's dealt with before my op, we may be able to use that to get practical help in. My friends have offered to help with things such jobs as changing beds, etc., for us. Anything I can't do at the moment, and if my partner can't do, is already on our slippage list. It slips off the 'to do' list and just disappears.

    I know I'll have to be sensible and I will be. It will be the having to ask people to do things that, although I struggle with at the moment, I can normally get done - in a fashion.

    Thanks again.

    Take care,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Had a regular chiropody appointment today. This lasted 20 minutes or so.

    After 5 minutes of sitting in one position for my chiropodist to work on my feet I had to ask her to stop so I could move my bad ankle. We eventually got through the session but I've never had to stop and start this treatment before today.

    This is worrying a little as this is a new development. I'll be adding this to my list for Wednesday's appointment with my ankle man and I feel this is more evidence of the deterioration in that joint. I was in so much pain afterwards I couldn't believe it.

    Positive thoughts and pocket dwellers for Wednesday would be welcome. I promise to wash my feet before we leave. :lol:

    Must remember to take my questions list with me. I must be a consultant's worst idea of a patient! They always ask "have you got any questions?" I say "yes" and get my typed A4 list out!! :roll:

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good for you, Grace. I get my piece of paper out, too. I even have a typed list of 'points to remember' when I see my GP! I've only once had an adverse reaction when a consultant told me to put away my piece of paper as 'he would ask the questions and I would answer'! I think he was away the day they did patient/doctor relationships!.

    I'll be in your pocket on Wednesday. I hope the appointment goes well and you have a positive outcome.

    Meg
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Count me in, Grace. I'd just see this as proof positive that the op was needed now. I hope the surgeon sees it that way too.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks ladies for your replies. This flaming ankle is getting worse by the day now. I'll be asking for the earliest possible date for surgery as this is getting to me now.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You can pop me in too, hope it goes well and you get an early date
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Will be in your pocket Wednesday Grace! You take care and I'm glad things are starting to get sorted for you. :)
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'll be there too, Grace. Thinking of you.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much, you're all so kind.

    I feel I'm ready for the appointment. I have my list of questions ready and will make sure to have two pens on me, just in case one gives up the ghost.

    I'll update tomorrow night after I've seen the consultant.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck, Grace – whatever form that might take :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Firstly thanks to all pocket dwellers. Mind you, I do think some of the squirming and fidgeting that was evident from my pockets was a little on the un-necessary side!

    And as for when my consultant started talking to me in his lovely French accent - well! The squirming nearly went off the scale! :roll:

    MRI has shown arthritis damage to two of the three bones in my ankle; it also evidenced the inflammation and the huge amount of fluid. Both attributable wholly to the bone damage. Cartilage is thin but intact - at the moment. The front of the ankle is okay - it's the bones underneath where the problems lay.

    I have agreed for my consultant to do an exploratory op (arthroscopy) to try and repair as much of the damage as possible. This will be a day case under a general (yet another "power nap" for me). Once this has been done my consultant will be able to tell me whether I need any more surgery. He said there's a 60 : 40 clearing the issues : more surgery ratio.

    I'm happy with this approach as I need to get this sorted asap due to the pain and swelling. I hope for the best with this and it'd be great if this "buys" me even a little more time before I have to have a fusion. If it doesn't, well that's life. At least I'll know we've given it a chance.

    The consultant's secretary will contact me next week and agree a date for this to be done. I've done some of the pre-op paperwork already - it seemed sensible to do this whilst I was there today.

    I appreciate your help and support with this. Naturally when I have my date, I will announce it on here so you'll know I'll be disappearing for a couple of days.

    Thanks again.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds like a sensible plan, hope it goes in your favour.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich