Once again I have had to take an enforced sabbatical from blogging. The cause was a persistent and invasive nuisance; in other words pain. I had reconstructive surgery on my foot early in April and it has not been a pleasant experience. The fitting of an external fixator was part of the procedure and as these things involve passing several metal rods through both the leg and foot infection becomes a very real risk. To date I have had at least five infections. In the past month I have had three infections that literally followed each other but two of them went untreated. I did call a doctor out for the first of these three but he chose to do nothing. He told me that he was reluctant to prescribe me antibiotics because I had already used them for previous infections. Despite me insisting that this is how the infections are treated he refused to do anything, but he did tell me that I did have a nice house.
It was not the first time that I have encountered this reluctance on the part of a medical professional to treat me as a patient. I live with chronic pain and a few years ago I tried to get myself referred to a pain management clinic but I was denied on the grounds that I was already under the care of two specialists. It did not seem to matter that one of them was a neurologist and the other an orthopaedic surgeon and that I only ever saw them as when required. Neither were concerned with the pain that I experienced. That is how medical care seems to work, no one wants to deal with a patient who is apparently under someone else’s care even if the other doctor or doctors are not concerned with the current complaint.
Before the infection started I was able to walk around my house without using crutches. I was progressing very well with the physiotherapy. Walking with the external fixator was of course uncomfortable. The rods pass right through the muscles of the foot and every step causes them to tear the muscle fibre. It is kind of a vicious in that I have to walk to build up my fitness but the walking also causes pain. Fortunately, I do have painkillers to help with this. When an infection takes hold the pain becomes so intense that I can no longer put my foot on the floor and I am reduced to hopping everywhere. The painkillers do not seem to help with the increase in pain. They also do not treat the hot-cold flushes, headaches, and other symptoms caused by an infection. As a result of the pain I lose my appetite, struggle to sleep, and writing becomes little more than a fond wish.
Despite the very real risk of septicaemia getting swift and appropriate medical treatment seems very difficult to achieve. I complained to my surgeon about the lack of response from the GP and he said he would write a letter to the medical centre and remind them that they are responsible for my primary care; surely this should be already understood? The fact is that today everyone seems to want to avoid dealing with a patient who appears to present complex conditions, possibly due to fear. Not that this situation helps people like me.
My writing has inevitably suffered as a result, not just my blogging but my novel writing as well. I do not find pain to be inspirational, not even the normal level of pain that I am used to. When it becomes excessive sitting down with my laptop is not even a consideration. I was hoping to get my fantasy novel finished before winter but I have not done any work on it for at least four long weeks now. I find that situation rather frustrating. Next week I am to undergo another surgical procedure intended to promote bone healing in foot as it seems that this has not happened as planned. I hope it works. I want to get back to normal and that includes getting back to writing.