3 traumatic injuries to me
Multiple Sclerosis was the the one factor that joins these 3 traumatic injuries together. None of them could be described as fun but hey, I survived.
Sepsis December 2013
I have used intermittent self-catheterisation to empty my bladder since 2005. this visit to hospital occurred in 2013.
I had just received a new type of catheter that is the size of a pen and it extends to 14”. and had already used quite a few of them. One Friday evening a group of us went out for a curry at our favourite Indian restaurant. After a couple of hours and a couple of Tiger lagers I had to go to the loo. When I used the catheter this time it was a different story. The end of the catheter that is supposed to go into my bladder cut my urethra and I saw a few drops of blood but I did not pass any urine. I spoke to my MrsB about the incident when returning home at about 10 pm.
I went to bed at about 11 and my balance was appalling but I did not fall over. After a few minutes in bed I was panting, cold, shivery, and could not settle, tossing and turning. Somehow I knew something important was not right with me. I told MrsB to phone an ambulance. It arrived an hour later.
I arrived at A&E at 1 am
Immediately I was put on an uncomfortable A&E trolley, impossible to get into a comfortable position. I do not remember much about the next few hours. Apparently my temperature was now nearly 40 with a low blood pressure. The hospital inserted an indwelling catheter at about 5 am. Finally at 4 pm, 15 hours after admission I was transferred to a men’s ward surgical ward. The relief to be off the trolley and in a comfortable bed was truly awesome.
The hospital now pumped me full of antibiotics and put me on a drip. Everything was now looking rosy but no one explained why I was admitted to hospital. A couple of days later I was about to be discharged when the doctor told me that bacteria had been seen on the blood sample. I now had to stay in for at least two more days and receive more antibiotics. Only then did I discover that I had sepsis. I was discharged a couple of days later.
Bladder issues, Summer 2019
MS now means significant bladder issues for me and I am now incontinent. Every 5 – 6 months 1 receive a Botox injection into the bladder, this makes the muscles of the bladder permanently relaxed. I am unable to have a pee (pass urine) naturally because I cannot squeeze the urine out of my bladder, I have to drain my bladder by inserting a catheter into it. One day quite suddenly I’m unable to insert catheter into my bladder so not able to have a pee ;-(. Not good news which ever way you look at it
I took myself to A&E, arrived at 15.00 and it was not crowded, phew. I even remembered to take mobile phone, charger, pills and catheters.
Triaged in A&E shortly after arriving. At 18.00 an indwelling catheter was eventually inserted, with great difficulty, and now I could empty bladder, it was very full.
The hospital wanted me to see doctor who was a bladder specialist the next morning so kept me in overnight. That was OK by me because I could listen to Liverpool playing in the Champions League final.
I talked with the doctor who was doing the rounds He put me down for a CT scan and discharged me. Now I also had an indwelling catheter with an on/off switch.
About 4 weeks later I had the CT scan and 2 weeks after that I saw the same bladder specialist doctor. He insisted on calling me young man and could not see any problem with my bladder. He also said that next time I come into his hospital there is no option but to have a suprapubic catheter. I thought his attitude was quite shocking. He dismissed me and told to see nurse in the hospital to have the catheter removed.
The nurse was very helpful, she could see I was in distress. I wanted to know more about the problem and was there a solution which would not involve a suprapubic catheter. She thought that I must have an enlarged prostate gland. I must get a prescription for Finasteride, a drug that slightly shrinks the prostate gland which will make it a lot easier to insert a catheter.
Problem solved and I have not had another the problem of not being able to insert a catheter.
No one at the hospital except the continence nurse seemed to understand why I could not insert a catheter. The whole experience was frightening.
Poor balance Summer 2021
It was a hot summer’s day and I was watering the garden at 1 pm on a Sunday. Pulling the hose and I fell over onto hard concrete. I don’t really remember falling over.
Immediately I knew that I had dislocated my left shoulder. When I moved there was intense pain in my upper arm. Lying on rough concrete I could not move and I felt very uncomfortable. Could not even sit up or change position. MrsB called an ambulance which arrived at 3 pm. In hospital on an uncomfortable trolley by 4 pm. There was an enormous queue of people waiting in A&E
Triaged fairly quickly but the big queue was not moving. No pain relief for hours. I eventually got some morphine at about 8pm but only when I was in tears with the pain. No food or water + A&E trolleys are very uncomfortable.
X-Ray at midnight, at 2 am shoulder relocated and back home by 6 am, 15 hours after I fell over. As I left the hospital at 5am on Monday morning the corridors were still full of people waiting to be treated. At home I had to be carried upstairs and helped into bed. My arm in a sling but not given any exercises. I stayed in bed for 2 days, unable to do anything except lie on my back. Getting out of bed was not optional I could barely use my left arm or put any weight through my shoulder. Also I was too frightened of falling over again.
A couple of weeks later a referral to a physiotherapist arrived. The physiotherapist explained what happens when a shoulder is dislocated. I had six one hour one hour sessions over the next couple of months and I did all the exercises he suggested. Now I have no problems with the shoulder.
So that’s my story of 3 traumatic injuries, never to be forgotten.