Friday, 24 February 2012

24th February 2012

after a bit of a cock-up on the part of the hospital re' admission times (Awake at 7.00am and we intended to go at 8.00am but records had been mislaid), we took Steven to the hospital at 10.15am for his operation which started at about 11.45am. Returned to room at 2.15pm in fine order, laughing and joking. He wasn't aware that he'd been in the operating theatre for so long, so assumes he went to sleep. He was given injections all around his upper chest and arm, and was aware of the operation, but didn't look. He can remember the surgeons talking, and heard and felt hammer and chisel on his arm. He felt discomfort but no obvious pain. His arm was in a sling but he soon removed that for more comfort. Almost immediately he could move his little and ring finger, and we had a laugh as he tried to give me the "finger". He was also able to move his arm slightly. He was in a lot of pain after about 5.00pm, and was given painkilling drip. The pain returned at about 8.00pm with a vengeance. He's put up with so much we just want it to end, he doesn't deserve all this. He had visits from friends Dominic and Jessica, and Pablo and Cesar, and they livened him up with jokes and daft stories. He hasn't got any appetite, but we'll start fattening him as soon as we can. Due to the excess of pain, it was decided to keep him in hospital for another day.
Steven was released from hospital mid-afternoon Wednesday. He's still in pain, obviously from the op'. He has a large bandage on his left arm to prevent swelling of his hand. It's the bandage which is restricting the full arm movement, but even with the bandage on his arm movement seems better. As I said he has full hand movement. He returns to the hospital Friday for checking over. In the meantime we're back on the roundabout of other hospital appointments, grrrrrrrrrrrrr. We also have to cancel the NHS appointments for his arm. We're 4,000euro lighter, but there's no way we could wait another 2 months just for more scans, not even a consultation nor an operation, so as far as we're concerned it's money well spent.
Today Friday, Steven's arm movement has continued to improve, and believed to be just the bandage and operation swelling restricting movement. The bandage was removed. The scar is about 5inches long, and the area around the wound is incredibly bruised, more so than his hip operation. The elbow has been re-bandaged with a smaller dressing much to Steven's delight. The surgeon is pleased with result. Strangely I haven't got to touch the dressing until next Thursday when the stitches will be removed. With the hip operation I was changing the dressing on a daily basis. Steven has felt rough today, and we tend to forget that surely he is entitled to "off" days, and for the first time he missed his speech therapy. He can catch up later. Yesterday we spent 2 hours at hospital for a CAT scan on his foot, that didn't help his mood, nor ours. That's our first complaint since treatment started, the hospitals are so overwhelmed presumably the same as UK. We will consider soon whether to go the private route for his ankle problem. What has really amazed us about Steven is his incredible patience. He has no worries at missing "life", concentrating on getting better in order to enjoy his life in the hopefully near future.
Best regards

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

14th February 2012

took Steven to the private hospital today to get their opinion regarding Steven's left elbow. Examination of the x-ray revealed that Steven did break the point of his elbow in the accident. As with his hip, there was no operation earlier because the hospital didn't think he would survive. As a result, the elbow hasn't repaired properly, hence the extra bone or calcification at the elbow point, putting pressure on the Ulna nerve, causing the pins and needles in his fingers, and preventing the arm from bending and straightening. The surgeon (he did the hip operation) is confident that a small operation to remove the offending bone will cure the problem. The operation will be next Monday 20th February. Steven has been told that the whole left arm will be "frozen", he will lie on his back, and if he wishes, he can view the operation via mirrors!!! Steven is unsure about this, I'll update you on that!!.
We have decided to take this route, since appointments within the NHS system go into April, and still no date for an operation, preferring to see if the calcification will disappear by manipulation. But the pain and this timeline, and the varying opinions have forced the decision onto Steven and us, making up Steven's mind to go ahead now.
Steven wasn't impressed when he heard me make a spoof 'phone call to the doctor, suggesting the operation be done without anaesthetic to save money. It's this type of humour which keeps us all grounded.
best regards

Sunday, 12 February 2012

12th February 2012

firstly, a slight correction to the last message. I said that Steven was to see the "head doctor". Silly me, especially knowing Steven's brain injury, what I should have said was "Steven's head of department doctor" i.e. the one who is co-ordinating all the various treatments, sorry.
We are now not sure whether Steven has a hernia, it may just be inflammation from the operation to his hip, especially as nothing was found in the Echogram. Steven is taking more medicines and we'll review it as soon as possible. After a few days it looks promising that this indeed is the problem.
The elbow injury is causing some concern, Steven is now experiencing pins and needles in his little and ring finger of left hand. Steven has an appointment at yet another hospital in Elche, specialists in Nuclear medicine, in late March. This will be to examine the bone density of his left elbow. Apparently if he has an operation too soon, any calcification will regrow. We were told this before. We will continue to see both private and NHS doctors and depending on the amount of pain, and the information received, we'll decide which route to take. The private route will be quicker but is it better?? The pain and the possibility of damage to the Ulna nerve will decide for us.
best regards

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

7th February 2012

busy and wasteful day today!!!!!
First we went to the main hospital to see a foot specialist about Steven's left ankle. According to the doctor, the main bones of Steven's ankle are intact, however right in the middle of all the ankle bones there is a small crack. It's this crack which is causing a lot of problems. This has affected the nerves in his foot causing pins and needles, and preventing Steven from moving his foot upwards. The specialist doesn't know yet how to handle this, and will decide after yet another CAT scan in two weeks time. We asked here for a full doctor's report on Steven's problems in order that we can show this to the Social Security in the hope of getting Steven a pension, but was told that we have to do this from his ordinary doctor, so more appointments!!!
From there we went to the private hospital to see Steven's hip surgeon about his elbow problems. But first, the doctor decided to check on his work, and discovered that Steven "may" have a hernia in the upper groin area of the left leg. So from here we were sent to another doctor for another examination who agreed with the hip doctor. This doctor sent Steven for an Echogram. This didn't solve anything so Steven, apart from being covered with cold gel, has to have another CAT scan later. From there we returned to the hip doctor who wanted Steven to have his hernia sorted first, but Steven was insistant on his elbow being repaired due to the pain. Steven was sent for another x-ray which will be done whenever we feel like it but probably next Tuesday. At this rate Steven will be glowing with all the scans. All that took just a few minutes to write but actually took over 4 hours and nothing solved, and causing him to miss his physiotherapy session, and they 'phoned to find out where he was!!
Best regards Terry

Monday, 6 February 2012

6th February 2012

Not a lot to tell you. Steven continues to improve slowly. We wish he would eat more, but he just doesn't feel like eating despite being hungry. Although at his ideal body weight according to BMI, we think he ought to be a bit heavier. He has no pains in his leg except muscle pain as he continues to teach the muscles to work. He is though experiencing more pain in his elbow, so we've decided to bring forward any operation on his elbow. We see his surgeon tomorrow Tuesday, to start the process if he agrees to it. The surgeon did say to wait 2 months, and by the time any op' commences it will be 2 months. We have bought him a small cycle machine to exercise his legs whilst watching tele'. He has been given a breathing tube to practice breathing. He continues his speaking exercises, and his sit-ups to strengthen his diaphragm. He continues to have all manner of physiotherapy every afternoon, from massage to electric shocks.
Bets regards Terry