A tree surgeons recovery

Infection strikes…

Tree surgeon and wife

On the advise of the Coventry hospital we went to Sheffield, Northern General hospital to get it checked out and see what was happening. Over the years I’ve lived in Sheffield, I have come to dislike the Northern General A&E, My past experiences such as a bad sprain to my ankle and something in my eye from working  in windy conditions have all been bad ones and this experience wasn’t any better. It generally involves a lot of waiting around and many different doctors and nurses asking you the same questions.

By the time I had been seen I must of been waiting between 3-4 hours despite telling them that if its a spinal infection and if it went to my head things could get a lot worse. After blood tests and x-rays they confirmed it was a light wound infection and prescribed me some antibiotics, I had to stay on the antibiotics for a week to see if it cleared up. One nuero surgeon did say if the infection got any worse they may have to think about taking the metal work out. Something I didn’t want to happen.  I think in total I was in A&E for around 7 hours.

I emailed Coventry to inform them and update what had happened, it wasn’t long after I received one back requesting that I go back to coventry the next day. The next day we met Mr El-Mahgraby, he confirmed it was a slight wound infection and said to stay on the antibiotics as well as cleaning and changing the dressing regularly. I was relieved it was nothing too serious and was happy I could go home.

The weeks went on, weekly trips to coventry to have check ups but their was no sign that the infection was clearing up. So three weeks later on the 3rd of November they decided to open me back up again and give the infected wound a clean out.  This would be a short operation where I would be put to sleep again, they will clean all round the infected area, then I would go onto iv antibiotics again.

I was frustrated at this stage but happy this could be the end of weeks of my back leaking fluid, continuous dressing changes and also not being able to have a proper shower. It was also frustrating because in my self I felt ready to start building back up, I was feeling well and wanted to start the rehabilitation stage.

It was another great experience of being drifted to sleep, and now I knew what to expect wasn’t worried at all, before you know it, its all done and your coming round in the recovery ward. I felt a lot better after this operation compared to my last experience and was soon being transported back to my ward, this time to a ward with three others on it, I didn’t get my private ensuite bedroom this time round.

It came to Thursday night and things were looking good, the wound seemed to be healing well and I due to go home the next day. Lauren and her mum had just left after visiting me and I was just getting ready for bed when i was told I would be moving to another ward, I wasn’t happy. I was moved back up to the high intensity ward, the ward I first started on and I saw some familiar faces. The best thing about the move was I was given my own room and ensuite, I felt like id just been upgraded.

Friday came and I was right, I was forgotten about. Normally the doctors have a walk round at ten, the doctor came at around three. When the doctor came, he knew nothing about me despite looking through my notes. He was happy with how things were healing and prescribed me the same antibiotic that I was on before, but this was contrary to what Mr El-Mahgraby had recommended, he had wanted to see what the swab results were from the sample they took off my back when they operated and see what microbiology recommended. So I questioned the doctor about this. I didn’t really understand what happened next apart from he walked out of the room and I never saw him again. Thankfully I had two really good nurses who were looking after me and they chased everything up and got the correct antibiotics that I needed. I found out later that the junior nurse who was looking after me, she tried to talk to him and he just lifted his finger up in her face and refused to talk to her because she was just a junior nurse even though she was due to qualify in a couple of weeks. It makes me wonder how many other people are treated this way and prescribed the wrong medication, especially if they don’t question what the doctors are doing. I learnt the lesson that its important to question the decisions the doctors are making as its my body and we have a right to know what medication we are taking. 

Finally around six I was leaving, feeling happy to be out but not feeling 100% in myself…

Click here to follow my progress




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