Goodbye Mr F and Goodbye all.

Two weeks post op and I am off to my follow up appointment- things are going well and I have been progressing nicely. I have been giving my arm a good push five times a day with an umbrella; I am determined to progress.

Last week when I went to see the physio she told me that she had spoken to the Lovely Mr F and that I should expect him to put a negative slant on the op.

‘I am disappointed’, is the Lovely Mr F’s opening line. ‘And I spoke to the physio and she is disappointed too’.

‘Well I am not’ I retorted. I have been thinking about this since the operation. When I first made contact with the Lovely Mr F from the hospital in France I was desperate. I had been indiscriminately been hit on the slopes by a young reckless skier and seen by a senior french consultant who told me that my fracture was too severe for him to cope with. My GP put me in contact with the Lovely Mr F whose first words to me were ‘ That skier did a good job on you, its bad and I don’t quite know what I can do, but I am going to try to repair the joint’.

The repair is amazing – I can’t quite believe how well the first operation went. Nor can I believe that I am lucky enough to be able to write, take my earrings out, do up my shoe laces, use the mouse on the computer, put on mascara.  It was months before I could do those things. Ok, So I struggle with clothes still, putting my hair in a pony tail, laying down on my right side and so on but so what.

‘Have you got an umbrella and I will show you how much I can stretch’, I say. The lovely Mr F doesn’t hesitate, ‘ here, use a leg’ he says as he hands me one of those models that doctors use to explain your anatomy to you. I take the leg and proudly show him my movement.

‘You are the perfect patient,’ he says and I glow quietly inside. ‘You really are the perfect patient because you are glass half full’. It is true, I am an optimist and whilst my optimism has been thoroughly tested it remains intact, and it is has helped me get through the last 18 months.

I could go on to say how difficult he found it getting in the joint with the camera because of the scar tissue, how he couldn’t manipulate the arm fully under anaesthetic and just how much scarring from the initial trauma and then ( in his words) some brute shoving a load of metal in me there was but what’s the point?

In case you are interested here’s the photos;

IMG_2866This is before where you can see all the debris and scarring.

IMG_2868And this is the nice clean joint afterwards. Clean, but still very stiff.

The Lovely Mr F goes on to explain that there is nothing more that can be done for me and he doesn’t  need to see me again. I knew I was getting to the end of this journey but I didn’t know that it would be today – I thought I might have one more consultation so I was a little unprepared. I thank him, shake his hand and say goodbye.

‘Go skiing,’ he says and I reply that I will. ‘ Send me a postcard when you get there.’ I most certainly will.

I walk out of the door slightly discombobulated and feeling released, relieved. I can put this chapter behind me and live my life.

The end of seeing the Lovely Mr F also seems an appropriate time to bring to a quiet close this blog. For me, writing this has been like therapy, it has been a place I can bare my soul and say how I am really feeling about what has happened, but now is the time to finally move on, the end.

And remember, painful endings are often new beginnings in disguise. 🙂



Déjà vu?

I arrived home from holiday to discover that whilst I have been away a date has been booked to have a pre op check up – which I have missed. I phone and rebook it and rearrange my plans to be there. I am expecting to be asked the same nonsense 90 or so questions again but  in fact it is worse.

‘You’ve been here before, haven’t you?’ said the nurse. It transpires that as the last operation was so recent and due to some admin muddle I didn’t really need to come in for a pre op check. Now I am here she checks my BP, I think to make me feel like it was worth the 25 minute journey. ‘Ah, you’re seeing the lovely Mr F’ she says. I thought it was only me who called him that!

On the day of the operation George drops me off at the hospital and I wait to be called onto the ward. ‘You’ve been here before, haven’t you?’ says the ward clerk as she takes me upstairs. This time though, we turn right instead of left, on to the daycase ward. I feel like it’s a mini promotion.

The nurse comes in to check me in. ‘You’ve been here before, haven’t you’ she says, ‘and you’re seeing the lovely Mr F’.

When Mr F comes in to consent me I say to him ‘ Do you know all the staff call you the lovely Mr F?’. That’s very nice he says, but I wish my patients would call me that. (!)

When the anaesthetist comes in he says ‘ You’ve been here before, haven’t you?’

Yes, I say, and please can we talk about pain relief. The first op, having the metal in was truly hideous and took me weeks to recover. Having the metal out was a walk in the park and I had thought that as this was keyhole it would be straightforward, but the one thing that has been different about this journey through the hospital is that everyone says it will hurt more, he is planning on doing a lot of work in the joint and I should be prepared. My physio tells me that normally after a decompression it is three weeks of pretty bad pain.

In theatre the anaesthetist puts the needle in. I love this bit and  I know why pop stars get addicted to it, but before I know it I am in recovery. The Lovely Mr F comes to see me on the ward after the op and I feel really, really unwell and even though I don’t want to make a fuss I mention to him how rubbish I feel. He tells me that is because he has done quite a lot of work in me – and he is sorry but he is not happy, he did not get the movement that he was hoping for from the op.

I sit in the bed, feeling crap, a half eaten egg sandwich in front of me and dressed up like a tit in stockings and theatre gown. ‘That’s OK’ I say, ‘Thank you very much for what you’ve done for me’.

He leaves and the nurse comes in to take my BP. ‘What did the lovely Mr F say?’ she asks.

‘He said’, I gulp, ‘ that it was not great and that he didn’t get much more movement. And I am so upset’, I continue, ‘partly because I feel so much worse than last time, and partly because I know there is nothing more that can be done’.

‘It’s OK’, the nurse replies. ‘ What you need to do is watch the Olympics, take your mind off it’, she says, as she turns on the TV.

And she is right. Within minutes I feel inspired by what the Olympians achieve and motivated to prove what I can achieve.

This won’t be déjà vu – this will be progress.