Archive for February 26th, 2009

Complications

February 26, 2009

It had to be too good to be true.

The great start to the recovery from the operation took a bit of a blow at the weekend when my leg became extremely painful  and I couldn’t bear to put any weight on it.

When the nurse came to change the dressings on Sunday she put the wind up me by calling  SAMU (almost the equivalent of 999 for ambulance) because she suspected the possibility of thrombosis.

SAMU rang back to say the duty doctor would be round within half and hour. At least they weren’t going to cart me off to hospital.

It was the GP from a village about 30 kilometres away who arrived, just a little after thirty minutes later. He examined my leg and said he didn’t think it was thrombosis but he wrote out prescriptions for a double dose of anticoagulant injections and stronger painkillers. The bill for his 10 minute visit?  76 euros!!  Yes, it’s double rate for a weekend emergency and higher travel allowance.

As things didn’t improve a great deal and I was confused by the contradictory instructions – “walk as much as you can” from the surgeon and “don’t move” from the doc at the weekend, I rang our GP on Tuesday and she came round.

After poking my tender limb she agreed that it didn’t seem like thrombosis but she rang to get me an appointment at the ‘phlebologue’ to make sure, together with a prescription for another blood test.

“Keep your feet up until it’s time to go to the doctor this afternoon.” were her parting words as she pocketed her cheque for 32 euros.

So just before four o’clock I was limping into the surgery in town and making my way up to the second floor in the lift.

A long and uncomfortable wait ended when a bright young doctor called my name and led me into his room.

He investigated the offending leg with his ultrasound and was happy to try and explain, in simple terms, how the blurred images represented a cross section showing where the veins used to be. They were now filling with blood which would eventually disperse but meanwhile, the bruising would be painful.

It transpired he had lived in the Midlands for sometime and spoke good English. He was also most kind and thoughtful, taking care and apologising when he had to hurt me and allowing me time to rub the balm on my leg before helping me to replace the stocking (always a painful operation!).  We paid his secretary 75 euros before taking our leave.  This was becoming a hellishly expensive problem but fingers crossed most of it will be reimbursed.

It does feel a bit easier today but always seems worse in the evenings.

I’ll try to have more cheerful things to write about next time.