Thursday, 1 August 2013

Eric's hospital appointment and it's implications....

Feeling lousy but have to put an update on here.... thanks for all the lovely messages on FB, mean an awful lot :-)

Massive implications as a result of Eric's hospital appointment.

The Consultant he saw was absolutely excellent. She proposed (and Eric is going for it) to open up the arm from shoulder to elbow, remove the pin, shorten his arm slightly by removing the end of each broken bit of bone to give nice fresh ends. Then she will take a bone graft from his pelvis, together with as much donated bone as she can. Get the ends of the bone absolutely lined up, pack all the bone bits in and screw and plate it all in position.

Big operation, but he is too young for the prosthesis option and she believes that she can get it to heal. She is basically going to set up the broken bones in the best possible way, doing everything available to give it the optimum healing environment. He has none of the indicators which would suggest the bone won't heal apart from his diabetes so she is confident this will work.  He will also have the arm put in plaster so that the straight position is maintained. We're looking at him spending a couple of nights in hospital after the operation unless he bounces back in which case he could come home the next day. He did the last time so fingers crossed but this is a much larger operation. She is superb, we have the utmost confidence in her. If she reckons she can get it to heal then we have to go for it.

She is very worried about the fact that the pin is basically rattling around inside his arm, and it is likely to break very soon. So until the operation he is not allowed to use the arm apart from when he has to help me. She made it patently clear that if he carries on using it, it will break again and that will make her job so much harder.

Her normal waiting time is 12-14 weeks (yes, really that short!!) but she wants to get him in as soon as possible. We're looking at September as she is fully booked in August. I'm sure she'd have got him in sooner if she weren't already booked solid.

And here's the real headache. He will not be able to do anything with the arm for 3 months after the operation. That is absolutely nothing, not even to help me. She's acutely aware of the situation and has already said that their Occupational Therapists and Social Services will get involved. She also wants us to speak to our GP and try to get help organised at this end. Our GP is useless, and we've had no support from Social Services before now other than to pay for some cleaning so it looks bleak at this end. Realistically we are going to have to get on with it ourselves. Eric is my full time carer, helping me 24/7, although I desperately try to keep asking him to do things. How is that going to work when he can't do things, and I won't be letting him that's for sure! Carers can't be here all the time can they?

I feel utterly impotent. I should be able to take over doing everything, meaning he can just sit and rest the arm, up till he has the operation and the 3 months or more afterwards. It is at times like this that I detest CRPS, being disabled more than ever. Eric has enough on his plate having the operation, without worrying about who is looking after me whilst he's in hospital. Who will take him there and pick him up? I can't which infuriates me even more!!

We've already thought about lots of ways we can try and get through. I have been looking online and have found a riser recliner that looks really comfortable. That will save him having to pull me out of my chair. Won't make me independent as my balance is awful. At least it will mean it is just a case of shuffling along with me the few feet to the commode for example. Going to get another electric wheelchair so we have one in the house and the car so he doesn't have to get it in and out. Obviously we won't go out unless absolutely necessary. Thank goodness we have some savings!!

So there we are. Eric has a fantastic chance to regain full use of the arm. Life will be difficult in the extreme when he goes in to have it and of course during those critical 3 months and beyond. I have absolutely no idea how we will cope, especially as I only have one decent arm to use. We'll muddle through somehow. We have to.....

1 comment:

  1. I've been reading your blog for the last month or so and just re-read this post and was shocked to find I hadn't commented. I have RSD waist to toes in both legs following a series of 5 massive hip surgeries for a very rare skeletal disease. (Thankfully the RSD is still mild in my left leg, though severe in the right, so I can gimp around on crutches most of the time.) But the skeletal disease I have makes fractures a part of every day life and due to the nature of the disease, the fractures don't heal properly. Following my last surgery, which had to be performed out of state at a top hospital called the Mayo Clinic, one of my old local orthopedists took over my follow up care, which ended up involving monitoring 2 new hip fractures. He suggested something I had never heard of before and it's been a miracle for me- a Bone Growth Stimulator. They rest over the area of the bone fracture and the semi-cylindrical "cage" emits magnetic frequency which increases cortisol production and thus increase bone healing. We got a fracture to heal in under a year, which is very impressive for the disease i have. Completely non-invasive, pain free, drug free, and amazing. My grandfather, following a bad ankle fracture later that same year, went to several docs who said his only option was major surgery. He went to my doc for me last opinion, and went home with his own bone growth stimulator. His break, which hadn't changed in 4 months? Healed completely in 6 weeks. And that's in a 72 year old man with very poor circulation from long time chain smoking and heart issues.

    I hope your husbands surgery goes very smoothly. Don't forget to have him take vitamin C, 500mg per day, for 1 week before and 3 months after! (Only thing research has proven to help reduce incidence of developing RSD.) And I'd ask his orthopedist about a stimulator, to see if they're available there. It might be the trick in getting this newest bone graft to take. (Oh yeah, I had gone grafting, for the third time, during my last surgery, too, and the stimulator was the first thing to ever get donor bone to harden and take.)


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