The Long Road Part2 ( or Our story Part 5)

June 2016 and J has been told he needs further surgery in fact two major operations with an 8 week gap between them. This is the surgery that was cancelled in 2015 because it was to risky… The surgeons would remove all the prosthetic metal work from Jons leg, three inches of prosthetic bone below the knee, the entire knee and thirteen centre meters of prosthetic bone above the knee, plus all the anchoring titanium rods that reach from his hip to his ankle almost.. It was infected with a smart bug that could hide from the antibiotics and learn to adapt to them so it all had to go, then they would place a sergical antibiotic cement spacer in the gap and also move one of his calf muscles from behind his leg and flip it over to cross over the top of his knee, the hope was that this would improve his ability to bend his knee and improve his mobility.

J applied for extra time to complete his course work, and applied to take a year out to have his ops and recover. He was still trying to attend class when he could but he was on lots of pain killers by this point and he was unable to walk with out crutches, this makes teaching hard and tireing even without the pain and med side effects. His leg had started to weep out of the red patch above his knee, his body’s way of reliving the pressure.

By this time I was finishing off my last two assignments, working way more than I should have been, thinking roll on summer. I desperately need to rest, looking after our son and also doing all I could to help J, whilst trying to prep for hospital surgery mode… I knew J was going to be pretty incapacitated during that 8 weeks and he was going to be home with me, I needed to prepair…

J’s admission date came and I bundled him off with his dad and as much college stuff as he could carry, we where going to have Skype sessions to get his final essay in  after his op… but things never run smoothly… J’s op was postponed for a week while they ran tests and a plastic surgeon became free to do the muscle moving part of the op. A gift really, J and I used this time to do most of his work, him writing me checking it and me finding his evidence among the reams of paperwork at home.

J had his op and came out of surgery, the surgeons had removed all his metal work, moved his muscle, and cleaned and filled the little red patch which turned out to be a sinus, a hole that ran right through to the centre of his knee where the infection was and worked like a siphon, basically sucking the muck out of his knee bringing it to the surface, like a straw. Ugh… He woke up groggy and in pain but ok, later that evening I got a call from his surgeon telling me he was having breathing difficulties and they where transferring him by ambulance to another hospital for a scan they suspected he had a blood clot on the lung, they said he wasn’t doing well and that they would keep me informed… well I didn’t get any sleep that night, calling everywhere I could trying to find him, eventually I found the right department in the right hospital and they said J was resting that his scans where clear and he was doing better… J’s version of events are very different and a lot scarier… the events of that night have left him scared, I think he’s developing some form of hospital ptsd… J was transferred back to the Nuffield a few days later…

J’s Mum and Dad had arranged to take me and our son up to oxford to see J the weekend after his op, however just before we left J called to say they might be letting him come home. We decided to leave our son with grandma and just me and J’s dad left to visit J in oxford just in case we had to bring him home… we arrived in Jons room on my birthday, best present ever 😊, and ten minuets later a whole crowd of Dr came in and told Jon he couldn’t leave till the following week because he had to have a pick line put in as the smart bug he had would respond better to introvenus antibiotics and that would give them more options later on, it made sense to all of us but I think that’s the closest I’ve seen J come to open rebellion, he really wanted to come home. 

 J’s leg had been completely encased in fibreglass, he had a full leg cast on but there where major complications, firstly he couldn’t move his leg without it being pulled, it needed to be held in traction while it was moved or he would be in agony, and I needed to learn how to hold it… gulp… the process of getting that cast made was a horror story of J in screaming agony while they lifted his leg to have the casting material wrapped around his leg. He was also going to have to have the dressings on his leg changed twice a week, his leg had scars reaching from his anckle to the top of his thigh, and the entire leg all the way to his toes was wrapped in cotton wool bandages to cushion the leg inside the fibreglass case. Changing the dressings on this leg that couldn’t be lifted with out someone pulling on his leg, that would be the same leg that was incased in fibreglass… terns out it had a lid, that came off but that in no way made it easy to do… was going to be a challenge, he would also need his antibiotics everyday so nurses where arrange to come to the house every day. 

J’s leg encased in a fiberglass cast…

We spent the next few days finalising his essay between drs visits and him sleeping. He was still in significant pain…

Me and his dad came home all six hours on the Sunday and had a rough plan to go back up on the Thursday the following week to visit again and hopefully bring him home… this gave me three or four days to get the last bits and bobs of J’s assignment together, fancy folder that sort of thing… But… on the Monday I was sitting at the computer printing out some paperwork that needed to be handed in with the essay when the phone goes and it’s J’s dad, J had just phoned he was being discharged onWednesday afternoon could we get back in time to pick him up.. what! I still had to get his essay handed in across county, not to mention sorting our son out… needless to say it all got sorted involving lots of panicking, mad driving around Cornwall dillivering essays and children to aunties and colleges, thankfully in the right order then we headed off back to oxford… phew… six hours for me to rest before the hospital I’m so glad I can’t drive J’s dads car… so very thankful for J’s mum and dad… as well as my own family.

We got to the hospital the next day and after many hours of waiting and packing and waiting more…

They finally let us go….

Getting J home sitting sideways in the back of his dads car was horrid, he felt every bump, every time his dad had to brake, and then we discovered… he had no pain meds in his hospital bag…

We tried to contact out of hours for help but they couldn’t help till we got back to Cornwall, J wanted us to press on home so we counted the miles all the way, we stopped once in Cornwall to phone out of hours again they said they would call us back but to keep driving home… they called ten minuets after we got home hours later, by which time I had found some pain relief in the cupboard and we decided to talk to our GP the next day… Grrr

We were home and the eight weeks where just beginning.

To be continued… Dxxx


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