Health care, hip issues… day #48

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As I stated in my blog post from last night, well, this morning when it was finally ready to be send out, I want to share some experiences of myself and health care. I have been in hospital several times due to my hip troubles. I never been hospitalized for my mental issues. So I can (fortunately) not share anything on that. But the stories (negative ones) I can tell you about my hip hospital experiences do make me understand the troubles you can crash into.

Of course not all my experiences have been bad/negative. But it’s the negative things that you will remember longest. When you’re in a hospital, it’s often to receive care and help. You sometimes are helpless and can’t do anything without someone’s help. In my case, these circumstances make me feel weak and small. I hate being dependent on others. And when feeling like this, and something goes wrong, it hits/hurts me hard. It makes me angry, sad and confused at times. I wonder how things can be allowed to go that wrong. People who are occupying the beds are often vulnerable, people working there know that. They have chosen for their occupation and took an oath to provide the best (health) care to their patients. But sometimes they can’t provide and it is the patient who suffers, not the one who made the mistakes/errors.

I want to include a picture of my scar after my replacement hip surgery. It’s not that shocking, at least to me, but I want to warn you anyway that when you click the read more link, you will also see more…

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This is an X-ray, made a few hours before my second hip surgery, back in February 2006. I have edited the image a bit. I guess most of you can see that there’s something wrong 😉  On the right side of the picture, you can see the left side of my pelvis and hip. All is in perfect state there. You can still see a part of one of the screws used during my first surgery. It broke off when I got more active after that first surgery. But it wasn’t a health problem. I don’t feel it so no problem. After the surgery I got a new screw inside my pelvis, 10 centimeter long! I still have it 🙂
In August 1997 I underwent my first hip surgery. It was a Triple Osteotomy. Dutch info can be found through this link. If you are interested in knowing more in English, please use Google (or any other search site), thanks.

In February 2006 I needed a second triple osteotomy. It had been 8,5 years since my first surgery. The first one went OK and the hospital care was also sufficient. The second surgery I got in a specialized hospital. But they were the ones who made the most mistakes and never ever took credit for any of them! But the first hospital had no experience with difficult problems, like the one I had. I was too young for a hip replacement. So I needed specialized care. I needed a second surgery. It is a heavy surgery. It brings along some risks. But I had to take them, again. Otherwise I’d be sure to land in a wheelchair until they found me old enough for a hip replacement. So I said yes and underwent my second painful surgery.

I will get to all my experiences from February 2006 after sharing a picture of 2008. Of my fifth surgery having to do with my hip, a replacement (resurfacing) finally…

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This picture is taken at home, about a week after I got my new hip in October 2008. I have 19 staples divided over 20 centimeter of cut open skin. With this picture I am going to take a stroll down on Memory Lane. Memories… Painful ones. But in the end, I am very happy I am still walking. I could have been in a wheelchair for many years without these surgeries. I do have some more scars, one very ugly one (which I hate immensely), but I won’t share those. I would love to get a reconstruction surgery there to clean up my skin. I’ve been cut open on the same place four times. That surely left a nasty scar. Am now thinking on making a picture and sharing it anyway. Even if only to give you all an idea of what I am writing about.

I just took a picture, as best as I could, from myself. It is my right hip that is concerned, as you might have seen in the previous picture. The first time I got cut open there, the scar looked hideous. The second time, February 2006, I was so happy when I saw my scar when they were cleaning my bandages. My scar looked as beautiful as a scar can be. I really was very pleased with it. I went home about a week after the surgery. Am not too sure about the number of days spend in the hospital but it was at least a week. All went OK.

After a week, my stomach started to hurt. I had to give myself shots to prevent blood clots and the needle bent when I tried to stick it in my belly. I couldn’t eat. I could’t drink. I thought I had eaten something wrong so didn’t think too much of it. But after three days I couldn’t stop crying because it hurt more and more. Called my GP, they weren’t in office that day. Called emergency GP, I had to come over by myself! I was home alone after a major pelvis surgery… Yeah I’d come right over… Not! In the end I called the hospital where I had gotten my last surgery. They asked me why I didn’t immediately call their consultant. Who? Well, the card inside my package which I got when I was discharged. What package? Never got any package at all… Ow, mistake (number one). OK, explain my symptoms. I did. When can I come? Tomorrow morning as I have no transport now. OK, be there at 9:30 at the emergency center. OK.

Next morning, crying in my wheelchair, we were waiting. I got an echo (ultra sound? What they also do with pregnant bellies to check on the kid). I heard a LOT of “Oh’s” while the lady was checking my tummy out. I had a massive bowl of fluid in my belly, 7,5 centimeter by 3 centimeter and they couldn’t determine the depth. So within a few minutes, I had a bed and surgery planned. They asked if I ate/drank anything. Nope, not in the last 4 days. They asked if I needed anything. Well a frakking painkiller would be nice. Within a few minutes I had a syringe in my behind and a few minutes after that, I finally could stop crying.

Surgery went OK but they couldn’t mend my scar as it was before. They thought I might be allergic to the stitching they used the first time, which might have caused the abscess I had. They gave me plenty of antibiotics and ran tests on the fluid taken from the abscess. One nurse said it looked like they didn’t clean my wound sufficiently before closing me up the first time. But it never got acknowledged. They just blamed the stitches. But if I were allergic, why only on the inside? Answer never acquired. They couldn’t tell… But the scar… It’s hideous. I really am ashamed for it. It is silly, I guess, I know, but I hate it. It remembers me of the screw up. And now I mention a screw… Mine was sticking out a little (out of the pelvic bone) and when I finally became more active again, it scraped my muscles, causing me heavy pains and falling overs. So… It had to be taken out.

In November 2006 they planned to take my screw out. It should be an in and out surgery. So to be on the safe side, I packed my toothbrush. And of course…with my luck…I needed it. More complications! And the scar was opened again. I hate it! I got woke up the first time and it hurt like hell. It really was very painful. Internal bleeding. So back to the surgery. Luckily they just closed my scar so they could easily open it again… *sigh*

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The lower the scar goes, the deeper and uglier it looks. I can’t show you the lowest part as it would be too close to certain parts I would really like to keep private! But I hope this image gives you a good enough idea of what I have to live with on my body…

Ah well. So after a night, I could go home again. It hurt, I hurt. My pelvic region hurt and my ribs were very sore as well. After 2 to almost 3 days, I got purple bruises. Both on my pelvic region as on my ribcage. They turned out to be hands. HUGE blue/purple hands. I went to the GP. I had 3 bruised ribs. I called the hospital, explaining what was wrong, asking about complications (internal bleeding and all). Nope, nothing known about complications. But what about the ribs and hands? Nah, it should be something I did wrong after going home… Yeah. Sure. Thanks. @$$es!

After talking to other people I knew back then this is something that happens often at that specialized hospital. They make “smaller” non life threatening errors and then deny any knowledge when you ask about it. Like I would ask anyone to put so much weight on my body that I would bruise three ribs and get two blue big hands on me…

And in October 2008 I finally got my new hip. I got the surgery in Belgium. The hospital was older and more outdated than anything I have ever seen! Hospital wise that is. On the orthopedic ward they had a small shower. One… It was like the ones you buy at the do-it-yourself warehouses. It had a 15 centimeter step up! The evening before the surgery, I had to shower and it was difficult! They told me I needed to shower in the morning as well. I asked for help. They told be to be at the shower in the morning. First I had to wait till one of the personnel was done! By the time I could get in, there was still no nurse. When I finally got in the shower by myself a nurse came…to yell at me for being too late in my bed because they needed to bring me to the OR. Yeah…why should I be too late? Frakking personnel taking 30 minutes of my time and no nurse to help me! Frakking idiots!

The surgery went perfect. But hospitalisation in Belgium is worse than in the Netherlands. At least were I was staying. They didn’t have a bed for me ready when I got there. They didn’t help me but got mad for me not being ready. It all is old. The rooms on the orthopedic ward were certainly not meant to be… Too small for your crutches and all. Hell for sure. I was so happy when I finally went home.

So here I am. Age 31 and almost 11 months. I am scarred. Two on my right bottom cheek due to the triple osteotomy surgeries. One of 20 centimeter on the right side of my thigh due to the hip resurfacing. The big ugly one I shared with you. And a smaller one in the same region due to my appendix removal. I look like a messed up quilt.

Ah well… I will put this online. Hope I didn’t shock anyone with my pictures. Thanks for the usual and have a good day lovely ones 😉

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~ by Lonely Wallflower on April 3, 2012.

6 Responses to “Health care, hip issues… day #48”

  1. You have been through so much! I am inspired by your strength and bravery!

  2. Ouch!

  3. No shock, but I can totally understand why you hate your scars. Not so much of the way they look (well, that too ofcourse) but mostly because of the memories attached to these scars. I have a similar looking scar in my uhm… nether region (a lot shorter than yours, but ugly just the same, has that raw, red and stretched look like yours), but I don’t mind it because it got it from giving birth and well, even though that’s not the funnest activity I can think of, it did give me something good in return, so it’s a positive memory now. Oh, and the fact that it’s in a place where most people don’t get to see it makes it easier as well ofcourse… 😉
    It sucks that your hospital experiences were so shitty. It’s bad enough when you have to go through painful surgery, but being treated like crap and having mistakes made just makes it so much worse. Do you have any ideas yourself as to why it would have been necessary to put so much pressure on your ribcage that you would have hand shaped bruises and bruised ribs? Makes me feel like they have been performing cpr, but I fail to see why they would keep such a thing from their patient… Scary thought…

    • Thanks for the reply. I do have a thought on why I had these bruises… I think they had troubles, a lot, removing the screw. So one of them needed to keep me down, hence the hand on upper body and pelvis, while the other needed to “unscrew” me. I did have to go back in the OR just after that due to an internal bleeding. I am not thinking CPR, since the hand placement was wrong.
      But indeed, you got something nice out of it 🙂 I did too, I am still walking, but it shouldn’t have to be the way it went. It could have been a lot easier. Less pain. Less errors… Ah well, I would like to think that it only made me stronger in the end. Uglier but stronger.

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