More thoughts from the residential home

Hello everyone,

Today is a big day for me. It is now 6 weeks since the op on my ankle and I’m booked for an x-ray this afternoon to check whether the fusion has been successful. If my bones have knitted and are correctly positioned I can then move onto the next phase of recovery. I will still have a plaster but will be provided with a boot and I will be able to ‘partially weight bear’, although not enough to manage stairs unfortunately.

I have found this first 6 weeks to be extraordinarily difficult in terms of my physical self. I’ve become acutely aware of how much below par my joints are actually functioning and how important it is to have limbs in each corner (so to speak) because the others don’t have the reserve strength to compensate.

I’m still off the Enbrel injection as I have just finished a course of antibiotics for a water infection. (Personal hygiene becomes really difficult to maintain when you are unable to stand). This is not the type of information that I would normally share on a public forum, but it is the reality of the extra allowances we have to make in the event of surgery. Being off meds for 2 months now has meant that all my joints are beginning to rumble. I have been encouraged by how long I have managed to go without the biologics but am now reminded of the truly positive impact they have had on me and how grateful I am for this toxic chemical concoction I pump into my body.

The only way that I have been able to maintain any level of independence thus far has been because I have hired a self-propelling wheelchair from the Red Cross. The hospital are prepared to supply you with a zimmer frame but if, like me, you are unable to hop on your other leg, you are entirely dependent on someone else taking you to and from the toilet, bed, armchair etc, etc. The wheelchair has, therefore, has made a huge difference to my self-esteem but I am finding it increasingly difficult to sustain as my joints begin to react to the absence of my usual drug regime..

Just transferring from the wheelchair involves pushing up with my arms and right leg and then swiveling on my right foot 180 degrees until I am in the correct position to sit. Needless to say, my right knee is objecting strongly to this as are my shoulders, elbows, wrists and even my fingers today. (I have taken several breaks to type this). - One legged dressing becomes a test of ingenuity which I have had quite a lot of fun with as is reaching the clothes someone has hung in the wardrobe for you, using your laptop with your leg stuck out in front of you and washing you hair in the sink from sitting position without soaking the whole of your upper body.

So, if things go to plan today, it will be ‘bye, bye’ wheelchair and ‘hello’ crutches.

Wish me luck but in the meantime, enjoy this link – a classic. Xxxx

5 Replies

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  • That is so funny,i bet you can relate to this!!! I bet you will be glad to be a bit more mobile. I am pleased to hear that you can get about a bit better even if it is slow.The weather in the midlands is very cold and dull. Hope the weather is better in devon for you. LOve sylvi.xxx

  • It's a very tough number & no mistake. I'm glad you mentioned about personal hygiene 'cos a lot of people would keep shtum (how is that spelled?) thinking that everyone else has some magic trick for keeping fresh as a daisy & of course nobody does.

    Good luck this afternoon,

    Christina xx

  • I'm sending waves of bone knitting thoughts your way - the opposite of the Harry Potter deboning spell anyway. Hope that news is good and you're signed off for hopping, as it really sounds as if your other joints need a rest from all that hauling and heaving. It always amazes me how even small things going awry, like a toe or thumb, can make normal life so hard so a whole leg out of action must be v wearing. It seems that we're not designed with any redundant bits (apart from appendix perhaps...). In a reply today, John/ Minka suggested that we should have been designed with grease nipples in each of our joints - a brilliant thought! I think we need inspection hatches too.

    And I'd forgotten that Pete & Dud sketch, lovely to be reminded. Polly.

  • Hi there Creaky. Whenever I have to come off my Enbrel I go on to a short course of prednisilone steroids which I have found keeps everything at bay until I can start the Enbrel again. My GP now listen to me and give me them the minute I have to come off instead of waiting until I am in a flare. Good luck

  • Hi Creaky/ Judy - you are definitely the RA Warrior of this site for going through all this I feel. It's bad enough being physically incapacitated let alone when not on your own home territory and struggling with hygene related stuff too - I hope the x-ray reveals good healing and you can move onto the next stage. You are a brave and funny woman (loved the sketch too - my morning tonic!) Tilda xxxx

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