One thing I haven’t mentioned yet it what happened next with my knee (though it’s not really my knee but the bit it sits on)
First off, my leg looked like a front row forward’s. Also the fact it was Winter and I hadn’t gotten around to shaving it didn’t help (much to my embarrassment! (Mum was right about always having clean undies but why didn’t she mention shaving your legs!) My wonderful three stooges were very impressed with my fracture and were itching to get at me. As it was so swollen it was decided to put on what they call an external fixation device…I had no idea what that was but signed the paperwork anyway as I need to get fixed..and soonish!
So the day after my accident I found myself being wheeled off into surgery to have this device fitted…I woke up and discovered THIS on my leg!
I could nearly get SBS with this thing!
Remember how they said I did a really good job on myself….well they were right…..despite my every confidence in Prue (the ortho specialist and her team of the three stooges) it was decided they need to transfer me to Royal Melbourne to have my operation.
“When?” I asked
“Possibly today” they said….at which point I cried because tomorrow was my 3rd wedding anniversary and my husband wasn’t there and I may not see him before they transferred me…..personally I blame the drugs…I seemed to cry over little things and a few big ones to.
One thing I was later to learn was there is no such thing as NOW in hospital..my transfer to Melbourne would take a further 3 days so I laid around and watched TV whilst joking around with the lovely lady in the bed next to me.
I must say whilst Wangaratta Hospital is in a regional centre, if you are going to have to stay in hospital for any length of time it’s not too bad a place to be.
Remember the old days when you had a menu you filled out every morning for your food the next day? Well, nothing so bourgeois for Wang Hospital…even morning a nice lady comes around with a IPad looking thing and reads out the menu to you and you just say what you want…the next day it magically appears .
I will also say they have doctors there who know their stuff. They were great and spoke PATIENT speak and you could also set your clock to when they would arrive each morning..one, two or all of the three stooges every morning.
Bad things I can say would be this…Dinner is WAY too early! and no evening cuppa and a bickie like at the big hospitals.
The major bad thing though are the nurses..not that the nurses themselves are bad….I love them but it seems obvious that there is a real shortage of nurses in regional areas. They need to be paid more and as a patient it’s weird having a different face every single shirt for 10 days. Contracted nurses are no different to the ones the hospitals used to employ themselves. They are dedicated, friendly and tireless workers who should be paid more (this was not a paid announcement) but I missed the consistency of having the same nurse each say who knew my little idiosyncrasies all 4 billion of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand shift changes etc. but I spent 10 days in that hospital and the night nurse was the only one I had for more than 2 nights. It’s about making patients comfortable and consistent nursing adds to it…..we bond!
That’s what the doctors had to say to me after my MRI and the results of my X-Ray were revealed. It seems I managed to shattered my tibial plateau which is not that rare (if you are a pedestrian hit by a car it happens a lot apparently) but I being the over achiever I am managed to do it on BOTH sides of my knee and one fracture was from the middle to the back of the knee. Go Me!
It was decided that I wouldn’t be operated on that night which was great becauses Hungry Jack’s was still open so hubby raced off on a mercy dash for food. When he got back I took two bites and threw up…damn those drugs! They moved me up to a rather nice ward witih one other bed and a lady who had been operated on that day…I could tell by her groans and begging for more drugs.
Finally, after about 6 hours I was settled into my ward with my stylish red and black knee brace on and a promise of more visits in the morning.
Floating into Wangaratta Hospital on my cloud of morphine I discovered that when you arrive by ambulance you can jump the queue entirely and get into the Emergency Room immediately…no waiting (remember that tip!)
I was greeted by a wonderful male nurse who’s name I think was Roger (I could be wrong though…like I said I was on drugs) He was wonderful and really lifted my spirits despite the pain I was still feeling. What felt like about 15 minutes later a couple of doctors arrived and decided to put a brace on my leg which sounded scary but actually when they did it, it did relieve the pain a lot…Roger my nurse tucked me in with another blanket and I drifted…
What felt like 5 minutes later I was off to X-Ray….here I was greet by a young giggling girl who said something along the lines of Hi I am (giggle so I didn’t get her name) I’m a student and I will be taking your X-Rays..ooookay. She then proceeded to take OFF the lovely knee brace which had be put on 5 minutes later and then I made an astounding discovery….X-Ray people are Masochists They will get the X-Ray of whatever they want despite how much pain it gives the patient.
The main problem for the source of pain was they were trying to line up my knee and my ankle to take a shot of my knee, unfortunately they didn’t notice my knee was actually dislocated so they were trying to break my ankle to get it into the correct position. I can honest say though big brave silent tears coming out of the corner of my eye were REAL…..
Happily, I returned to Roger and the first thing he said was “Oh No, they didn’t take the brace of did they?”
“Yes, they did!” I said through brave tears!
Roger again patted me and got the doctors back in. By this time I learnt they were Ben, Daniel and Mohammed (whom later I was to fondly call The Three Stooges) They authorised ,better stronger drugs and told me they may operate tonight…(hmm ok) I was straving but no soup for you till a decision is made.
OK so there I am lying on the ground, no blood but a distinct grinding noise coming from my right leg.
Given I had zero chance of climbing BACK into the truck cabin on thing was certain…I needed an ambulance. Luckily Benalla was only over the Freeway overpass so hubby rang with confidence an ambulance would arrive shortly. He was wrong!
Hubby made me comfortable by putting a blanket over me and a pillow under my head while I rambled about things like “I have paid for our Ambulance Subscription” “Oh know we are supposed to go on holidays next week” “How’s the dog” all in between little sobs as I was trying really hard to be brave.
The pain continued to increase which to me was a good sign, I could move my ankle and wriggle my toes but I couldn’t move my leg and OMG my knee hurt! I wanted to take my shoe off but hubby wouldn’t do it (given we both have seniors first aid certificates this was a good call)
25 minutes later I was kinda concern about the ambulance still not arriving…I was craving that little green tube they give you to suck on…I knew it would be the answer to all my prayers which was currently completely focused on getting drugs to kill the pain.
After 30 minutes my ramblings turned into hatred for the Ambulance service….didn’t they know I was in pain? Where were they? I can’t even hear sirens and surely I deserve sirens!
After 40 minutes and me now calling Ambulances MoFo’s (work that one out) my husband decided it would be a great idea to call them to find out where they were. Will on hold the Ambulance FINALLY turned up….quickly I grabbed the little green tube of heaven and inhaled…deeply. The rest is kind of a blur….I vaguely remember them cutting the bottom leg of my pants off (damn I loved those pants!) and being bundled onto a stretcher and into the ambulance…they stuck cotton buds with something wonderful up my nose and I drifted…..on my way to Wangaratta Hospital.
That was the noise I remember in my head back on the 11th August 2011 when I slipped and fell out of my husband’s mack truck. The last voice I heard was my husband saying “Hang on I will come around and help you out” Damn, I wish I wasn’t so independent sometimes!
Really, it was my own fault and those funny things we call coincidences that aligned the planets for this to happen.
First off hubby called and said “I am coming through and have to drop a trailer off near Benalla, do you want to come?”
I looked at the clock and noted I had about 30 minutes before I finished work and also guiltily released I hadn’t been “riding shotgun” with him in the truck for a very long time. So I said sure and can the dog come too?
40 minutes later we were all sitting happily in the truck on our way an hour from that we arrived at our destination. In my attempt to get out in my own defense I was concentrating on the dog. It’s a 15ft drop from the cabin of the truck and I didn’t want her jumping out like she does from the car…also I had my handbag which is a must have in any truck if you are a woman 🙂 but in the end I was just thinking of everything except where my right foot was going next.
Basically I dropped 15ft and landed straight legged on my right leg, I heard that bone crunching noise I will never forget and a million thoughts went through my head….My hip? Ankle? Tibia? Fibia? I just knew something was broken. I screamed to my husband “I’ve broken something! Get the dog!”
At that point I didn’t realise that my life as I knew it then was going to dramatically change.
I haven’t blogged for a while, mainly because I was in an accident and was seriously hurt. It’s taken a while to recover but I am recovering. So I thought I would change the focus of this blog and chat about my experiences during my recovery. Some good but lots of it bad and even more of it funny 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading the chapter as they unfold.