Complications

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.

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12 Responses to “Complications”

  1. tillylil Says:

    I hope Bear has been suitably sympathetic and Whale has not asked you to do too much running around.
    Hopefully the leg will be much improved in a few days.
    Saw Pete F last week and he said to say Hi next time I contacted you.
    I hear Ruth has a tumble downnstairs and was admitted to hospital for a week although I understand she is ok now.

    Fortunately CC and Jay have taken over the cooking and waiting on Whale so I’m having a good rest.
    Please give my love to Pete and Penny and tell them the garden has remained fine apart from the mole hills!
    You’re right about Ruth. I think she had a very painful time but is over the worst now.

  2. Genie Says:

    Hope your leg is better very soon. Am sure more cheerful posts will occur with the return of your good health.

    Thank you very much for commenting and for your good wishes, Genie.

  3. lilalia Says:

    How scary that first diagnosis was. I know the nurse was just being cautious, and that is good so, but the half-hour wait must have seemed like an eternity. I wish you a full recover soon.

    Many thanks, Lia.

  4. Keith Says:

    I echo Tillylil words about Bear and Whale. In fact I would go so far as to ask if they are doing all the household chores and looking after you properly?

    Breakfast in bed? Constant cups of tea and sympathy?

    I had a brush with my doctor only yesterday. I have been suffering (in silence I might add!) with a sore place on my foot that wont heal. Like you, I limped painfully into the surgery and explained.

    He never even touched me or got out of his chair. I took my shoe and sock off and he leaned over and looked and said “That must be an ulcer. Book an appointment with the nurse and get it dressed. Next!”. So I did, and the next available appointment is 20 March! Three weeks!

    As I said before Sandy, despite the high cost of living in France now (near negative exchange rate) don’t even consider coming back to this sh*thole Britanistan to live, you’re much better off in la belle France!

    Good Heavens, Keith, as I’ve said before, you really ought to think about coming to France. You could fall to pieces under the NHS by the sound of it and they’d make an appointment to put you back together in a few months time!

  5. Z Says:

    Unless you come and live here on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. I can’t believe the quick and helpful treatment I’m getting for my little difficulties, and all free at the point of use.

    I’m so sorry about the problem you’re having and I hope it clears up quickly. At least it isn’t a thrombosis. I trust the family starts to appreciate you at last – you’re so taken for granted. Let’s hope that it brings out the protective side of Bear and Whale and they start to compete with each other to look after you best. I’m sure you extravagantly thank the one who does anything for you within earshot of the other…

    Umm, not too much chance of the men waiting on me I’m afraid. Whale is in a wheelchair and Bear is rather decrepit. Fortunately CC and Jay have taken over the chores.

  6. Claude Says:

    Hope you are feeling better after this scary episode. Hugs

    Thanks Claude. 🙂

  7. Pat Says:

    My instinct would be to keep it elevated as much as possible but follow their instructions. If you are on it during the day it would feel worse in the evening. Best wishes for a painless recovery and don’t overdo it:)

    Many thanks, Pat. I am using the recliner armchair rather a lot recently. Walking often makes it feel better but as soon as I stand still it feels uncomfortable.

  8. Pat Says:

    Yes standing is a killer.

    You’re so right!

  9. Little old me Says:

    How you are feeling a bit better now, well no I am not, I hope you are feeling a lot better.

    Just do as your told and enjoy the rest.

    Thank you Helen.

  10. canisfamiliaris Says:

    30 minutes to answer a 999 call? Is it that remote or are they just slow?

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Sandy

    Sorry I have been ‘quiet’ lately, but we were on holiday for a week and then I had problems with the website that took a lot of time to resolve (and frustration)!!

    All OK now, though!

    derek x

    It’s not quite the same, Derek. There’s one number (18) which puts you through to the ‘Pompiers’ who come out in their red (bumpy) vans for fires or medical emergencies and another (15) which you ring, when your GP is not on duty, for advice. This usually means that a doctor rings you back or, as in this case, they arrange for someone to come to you – or they decide to send an ambulance to take you to casualty.

  11. guyana gyal Says:

    I was going to say the same as Pat, keep it elevated…is there some way you can lie down and raise your feet every now and then? That’s what a friend suggested my mum do when she had a painful knee. It seemed to have helped.

    I hope you heal soon, that someone is taking care of you and you don’t have to stand too often.

    Don’t worry about the cheerful stories, when you have, you will tell. Sad, cheerful, they’re all a part of life. Many hugs x x

    Thanks G-G. My daughter is doing a good job of looking after me and I have a reclining armchair to out my feet up every so often. I’m in danger of becoming quite spoiled and lazy . . . .

  12. bretonne Says:

    Much sympathy, I think the pain to the wallet is nearly as bad! My leg is still swollen but I have been swimming, to the gym, even last night breton dancing, and can now walk to the village and back, though I have to find somewhere to hitch up the elastic stocking for the walk back. I ‘ve decided the sensible thing is: stop before you get tired or the leg starts aching, and alternate periods of leg up and moving around. I was so scared when the specialist told me the clot had moved upwards I sat down when I got back home and rewrote my will! Anyway, it’s a question of time, it will take a while for the blood to disperse. The pain is truly awful at the beginning, I thought my toes were going to explode. Take it easy, and be OBVIOUSLY an invalid!

    Poor you! My homeopath reckons Arnica 200 with Ruta 30 (I think they can mix remedies together here) then lachesis 30 every half hour when it’s bad and bothrops 12 if it’s swollen. lachesis also lowers your blood pressure and, obviously you need to be careful with arnica if you’re still having anticoagulant injections.

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