Where am I

I managed to slip over on 6-November-2015 and fracture the femoral head of my right hip. This blog is just to keep friends and relatives up-to-date with my recovery. It also will show where the NHS is good and where there is opportunity to improve. If you click the images tab (above) there are a few images of the break before and after the repair.

Update 10-June-2016 - sadly the femoral head has avascular necrosis and a total hip replacement will be carried out on 15-June-2016

I am home in Stoke Bruerne

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

It never rains but it pours

So there I was on Saturday, sitting quietly in the Canal & River Trust marquee at Crick Boatshow, helping blow up balloons with a helium canister when I noticed a number of 'floaters' in my right eye. I asked a number of people to take a look and nothing could be seen from the outside but from the 'inside' it was like a cobweb between me and the outside world.  I went to first aid who, like my friends, could see little out of order.

On the way home my friend Vicky decided that we should go via Northampton General Hospital as the sight out of my right eye was 'like looking through a frosted glass window'.  We discovered on arrival at NGH that they had an Eye Emergency department which we went to. It was just being locked up for the evening but they very kindly opened it up again for me and called in the 'on call' doctor.

The doctor's diagnosis was that I had a 'horseshoe' tear in the retina of my right eye.  He asked me to return on the Sunday morning. On the Sunday, try as he might, Dr Deol (who's mother I worked with in BA - what a small world) was unable to seal the tear so I was given an appointment at the Oxford University Hospital (John Radcliffe - OUH) Eye Emergency department for the Monday morning.

I was somewhat anxious when I arrived (courtesy of my friend Steve) but they were expecting me and made me feel less anxious and 'at home'.

During the next three hours I had the tear lasered but they couldn't do it all so I had a have a small operation (local injections in my eye) to freeze the remaining edges of the tear - I think the procedure is called Retinal Cryopexy.

My eye is now bright red (blood) and vision from it still somewhat blurred but am told that will improve slowly.  I have an appointment to return to NGH on Thursday 9-June for a review.

I must say the treatment I received both at NGH and OUH was nothing short of outstanding.

My friend Steph popped in this morning to administer my eye drops and says my eye looks much better this morning (Tuesday 31-May).

There's a very good video about Retinal Cryopexy here.

Why does it happen - well the simple answer is that it just does!  I am predisposed to it in my right eye because I am short sighted to the extent of -2.75 (anything above -2 is susceptible) and I am over 60 - not much I can do about either.  My vision, which is very blurry in my right eye at the moment, will, I am told, return to 'normal' over the coming weeks although I may lose a little peripheral vision when looking downwards - that means I won't see my tummy sticking out!  There's a very good explanation here.

Friday, 27 May 2016

No 6 of an occasional update

Back to my GP last night due to the pain in my right thigh (and because my physio insisted). I must say that my GP (Alison Otto) has been really helpful; she has referred me back to my consultant (not sure when) for him to investigate what is happening.  It really is most uncomfortable at the moment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

No 5 of an occasional update

Had a session with my physio yesterday.  She says that the Ilotibial band (ITB) is so inflamed that normal muscle recovery is being affected.  Her advice to me is to revisit the GP (appointment made for 8 days time) and ask for a steroid injection to calm things down and thereby give the muscles a chance to repair themselves and possibly an MRI scan - what I am experiencing is not unheard of but is not common. The injection won't fix the issue but will give me the chance to let the muscles heal whilst the inflamation is held in check. I really struggled this morning and am feeling somewhat disappointed that my recovery has started to mark time.  Note to self - not break another hip!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Iliotibial Band issues

I have received a letter from my consultant today (Mr Northover) who mentions 'Iliotibial Band'.  I looked it up on Google (other search engines are, of course, available) and the 'diagnosis' I have read on Wikipedia is exactly the symptoms I am experiencing.

The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia on the lateral aspect of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, as it moves from behind the femur to the front of the femur during activity. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed.

Mr Northover wishes to wait until October before deciding what the best thing is for me:

  • Do nothing
  • Injections to quieten down the Iliotibial band
  • Remove the Dynamic Hip Screw (it would make an interesting conversation piece!)
  • Remove the Dynamic Hip Screw and give me a new hip

Friday, 6 May 2016

No 4 of an occasional update

I went to see my GP last night (5-May) to ask for some anti inflammatory drugs as the hip was being troublesome.  I had been trying Ibuprofen bought from the likes of Lloyds and Boots but had not found them particularly helpful.  I also had used Diclofenic in the past and found that really good.  I asked for Diclofenic and kindly my GP had prescribed them and on a repeat type prescription. I do like doctors who listen and then act.

I have taken two Diclofenic pills so far and the change they have made is amazing.  I just hope I don't need to take them for too long.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

No 3 of an occasional update

A really good visit to my physio, Liz, this morning. She has an amazing, professional, knack of making me feel happier about how things are and sending me away not needing my walking stick!  But I suppose that's her job in life!

The muscle in my thigh which is causing the most trouble is the 'vastus lateralis' as it's causing issues mainly because it doesn't like running over the plate and the screws I have.  Liz says it may take another 18 months for things to settle down but that I should also see my GP (arranged for Thursday this week) to see if she will prescribe Diclofenic which, as long as it doesn't upset your stomach, is probably safer than Ibuprofen.  I shall discuss this on Thursday and see where we get to.