THANK YOU FOR AMPUTATING MY LEG.
On March 13th 2018 I underwent an operation to amputate my right leg above the knee. The operation was elective and it had taken me 3yrs of fighting to convince people that I was serious. In the end, the only way I could make people sit up and listen, was to threaten to do the job myself.
After being refused by yet another consultant at yet another hospital, I went to see my GP to lay it on the line. He was telling me that he’d exhausted his options and that there was nowhere else to go but I didn’t believe him and so explained, in as calm and rational a way as I could, that I’d be doing the job myself. I thanked him for his efforts and got up to leave his office. My GP stopped me as my hand was on the door handle and asked how I’d go about doing the deed… I explained that I’d buy a new chain for my chainsaw and would clean the grease off properly before soaking it in Vodka. I said that I’d call 999 and would explain that I’d cut my leg off and then I’d wait until the Ambulance crew were at my door before doing it. I’d leave a note on the door telling the crew where I was and how to find me, I’d apply a tourniquet to the top of my leg to restrict blood flow and then I’d do it. I literally watched the colour drain from my Doctor’s face and heard him saying, very quietly “that would kill you”, and then I left his office.
A week or two after my conversation with my GP a letter arrived. The letter invited me to attend a clinic hosted by a consultant in Coventry. I googled the name and it turned out to be one of the most senior Orthopaedic surgeons at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry – happy days!
We attended the initial consultation and spent around two hours in total at the hospital, when we left we did so very quietly because, after 3yrs of effort, we’d finally found someone who was willing to help. It took one conversation, a set of X-Rays and a proper look through my medical notes and my new hero was happy. He wanted me to get a second opinion from one of his colleagues, he wanted me to visit the prosthetic service who would be responsible for supplying and fitting a leg as and when the time came and he wanted to be certain that I knew what I was asking for, once he was happy that I was happy, off we went.
Unfortunately, the wound developed an infection called a Sinus Tract, which is a series of tunnel-like holes that open underneath the original wound. Without being too graphic, those holes fill with some pretty nasty stuff and it quickly becomes a very big deal. On April 27th I was admitted to Rugby St Cross Hospital where I underwent additional surgery to clean out the wound. The Infected/dead tissue was removed and a vacuum dressing applied. I now return to Coventry every other day to have the dressing changed (it’s a complex operation that takes a specialist nurse around 45 minutes to complete) and the wound is inspected – at the time of writing, 5th May, all is going well and the wound has started to heal nicely. Hopefully this is an end to the misery, I’ve officially had enough now.
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