Thursday, 26 January 2012

26th January 2012

Steven continues to recover from his hip replacement. The hip pain from the accident has gone, he now only has muscle pain from the operation, and the beginnings of his exercises. He has lost a lot of muscle size from his left leg, requiring food and exercise to return it to normal. His walking, with a walking stick, is still a slow shuffling motion, with no real visible improvement, only time will do that. The Doctor is pleased with his recovery, the wound having healed perfectly. Steven is aware that all this is taking time, and we're amazed at his patience, and his acceptance of that fact. X-rays (on the Facebook site) after the operation reveal the extent of the damge to the pelvis area, being totally knocked out of shape, it is now understandable why he was in so much pain all the time. He now awaits for a vast improvement in his pain level, and walking ability before we then concentrate on his left elbow. The elbow gives him pain when he tries to bend or straighten it, thus affecting his balance. This will be looked at as soon as possible. In the meantime he continues with his physiotherapy of manipulation, exercises, electric shocks, and Tens machine. He also has speech therapy which is concentrating on his breathing and his pronunciation of vowels. Steven has "forgotten" how to breathe correctly after the damage caused to his diaphragm, and having a tracheotomy for so long. So when he speaks he has to make sure he has sufficient breath in order to do so. Normally eople don't have to think like this, it comes naturally, but not for Steven. We have been told that the offending driver has been arrested, whilst walking in Torrevieja. It's unbelievable to think that owing to the amount of time we go to town, we may have been in the same cafe as him, or even allowed him to cross the road. Initially this information was overwhelming to Steven but he's now happy that the driver is in custody. We have no further information, other than, if convicted, he will receive no more than 9yrs in prison for offences connected with the accident, including the false documents and the running away. Steven has had a medical examination with the car's insurance company. This will be repeated in a couple of months.
Best regards Terry

Friday, 13 January 2012

13th January 2012

Another typical week where it's two steps forward and one step back. Since his operation Steven has recovered well, slowly but surely. On Tuesday 10th January the last of the staples were removed. The wound has healed very well. Immediately Steven felt more comfortable, and even had a little more mobility. He was also able to sleep on his left side for the first time since the accident. He had two full nights sleep, and then had to see yet another doctor. This visit was about his left elbow and left ankle. Yet again we were given another opinion as to his problems. Where do these doctors go to get their degrees, and why isn't the information identical. It's very worrying and upsetting, because it throws us the problem of what to do next. Steven has now been told that his elbow movement is restricted due to calcification of the joint. This can only be removed by painful manipulation. Another doctor has said that it can be removed by surgery, this doctor said that if we do this, the surgery will damage the muscles and tendons, and the calcification will re-grow. Whatever happened to key-hole surgery we asked. No that won't work the doctor says. Then he spoke about the ankle. Steven has now been told that he has a broken bone in his ankle, and this is difficult to repair. He's been given the choice of either put up with an acceptable pain level (which it isn't!!) for the rest of his life; have the ankle fixed into postion by plates, forcing the body to use his knee and toes differently to compensate for the lack of ankle movement; or, have an experimental ankle replacement. We have to see another doctor next week, we wonder what he'll suggest!! There's the suspicion that the NHS won't carry out the work due to lack of funds, but we could counter that by saying the private sector only want our money!! We honestly do not know which way to turn. Nothing will happen until Steven's hip has fully healed and he has much better mobility, so we have time to think, and get more opinions. This really upset Steven, and has knocked him back a long way, putting him into a quiet reflective mood. We will get his motivation back over the weekend, and the recovery will continue.
best regards Terry

Friday, 6 January 2012

6th January2012

New Years Eve Steven had a crisis, which unfortunately was witnessed by friends who were with us for a cuppa. This was a bad one, and I ended up jumping on him to hold him down on the bed, and our friends could hear his screams and banging of fists. It´s so difficult to pin down the actual problem, but I feel it´s Steven´s inability to communicate properly, and, using his words, he feels like a “deaf retard”. As much as we try to convince him he´s doing fine he still won´t accept his problems. He has a lot of understandable bitterness for the person that did this to him. I´ve tried to impress on people that although his physical problems are improving dramatically, the brain injury could take a long time. We can only hope that with his continuing recovery, his mind gets more focussed to getting his head straight. At the moment he´s fine, and I can honestly see him walking properly within days now. His wound is healing well, and he loves me giving him a good scratch when I change his dressing.
Tuesday 3rd Jan’ Steven continues to recover from the operation. After just over two weeks the pain of the operation has gone, only muscle pain remains. His walking is still laboured, but this can only improve as the pain disappears. I’ve described how Steven is sometimes when he gets frustrated by talking, and by general understanding, this is an almost childish attitude, as if he is growing up from being a child. That evening he was in his bedroom alone, and unknown to us he was looking at his many photo’s of him taken before and after the accident. He’s done this many times, as we’ve explained what has happened to him, particularly when he was in his coma. He’s took these explanations in his stride, showing a maturity far beyond his years, yet this evening he came from his room in a state of distress, apologizing for putting us all through the trauma of his recovery. Obviously apologies are totally unnecessary, and we reminded him of how we felt towards him, how it’s been a privilege to care for him, and the fact that we’ve been amazed at the way he has coped with the many unpleasant inconveniences placed upon him. So, on a regular basis we see Steven the child and then the man he undoubtably is.
On Thursday 5th Jan’, Steven attended hospital for the removal of staples from his operation wound, but only 23 of the 32 staples were removed, more healing required, otherwise all fine. The doctor was pleased with progress so far.
Today, Steven became upset talking to his friend about how he felt after recognising he’d been in a serious accident, how he couldn’t communicate his feelings, especially the pain he felt. He tried to explain how not talking for such a long time is affecting the way he talks now. It’s the same with his mobility, because he hasn’t walked for a long time, he knows he has to learn to walk properly. It’s noticeable now that his leg muscles are of a different size, due to lack of correct use. There’s no doubt that when he’s able, he will get back to his usual fitness regime, and he, and no doubt me, will be much fitter.
Best regards Terry