Never ignore a scratch, the dangers of Sepsis. Part 1

16th of July

Just a normal day, I was busy doing housework and enjoying the warm weather. Midmorning I was sorting the washing, off the line, on to the clothes horse, off the clothes horse into the airing cupboard, out of airing cupboard put away or iron.

Nothing dangerous there. Yet there was, as I hung an item of laundry over the wooden slatted shelves in my airing cupboard I caught the middle knuckle of the middle finger on my left hand.

Shit bags, that hurt, I washed it cleaned it put a plaster on because it bled and I was doing white laundry.

Thereafter I changed plasters. and kept it clean.

This is a photo taken the next day, the scratch is so small if you did not know it was there you just would not see it. In fact it is just luck that the photo has my hands in it because I was unaware of what was brewing.

It was just a normal week, Pilates , coffee with a friend , a trip to Reading nothing special, nothing out of the normal but inside me things were not normal at all.

Saturday 20th July.

I was in the kitchen cleaning up when my finger brushed against the a kitchen cupboard, it was really sore, it made me jump. I looked at it nothing out of the ordinary, just a tiny scratch with a tiny flap of skin, nothing to write home about. So I cleaned it again and put a plaster on it.

In the afternoon we took Ruby for a walk and met my friend Natalie and her family, I have mentioned Natalie before she is blind and has a guide dog. The puppy walkers who had looked after her guide dog Quala while she was in training were visiting her and we all had a chat and again I noticed my finger was sore while shaking hands.

Sunday 21st July

I noticed more that my finger was sore but as with most Sundays we have mother in law round for dinner so, just got on with things. The finger was now sore but still looked okay normal.

Monday 22nd July

I had a Drs appointment about something totally unrelated and as the finger had played me up in the night I decided to ask her about my finger too. I did and she had a look at and said “yes it does look a little swollen, just keep an eye on it and come back if you are worried” Well as we all know it is almost impossible to get an appointment with a Dr, but hey ho!

We took Ruby for a lovely wood land walk that afternoon.

I noticed that my finger was really playing up and since the morning it was beginning to look very angry. I mentioned it to hubby who was as concerned as I was. I couldn’t sleep that night my finger hurt so much.

Tuesday 23rd July

In the morning we were up early and drove to a near by walk in centre we were there by 7.45am it opens at 8am. We waited, at 7.58am a lady announced that she was sorry but she could not allow the walk in centre to open as only one of the four nurses for that shift had turn up and she had no doctors!?

Hubby and I both dialed our surgery while heading for our car, hubby got through at 8.14am he handed me the phone, when I got through I asked to see a doctor, all appointments were gone, why did I need to see a doctor the receptionist asked. I explained, I had a red and swollen finger and a new symptom my hand was going red. …she thought and then said she had one last sit and wait appointment that afternoon. I took it. As the day went on it just got worse and worse.

Okay I was getting a headache now and I was tired because I hadn’t slept properly since Saturday.

I saw the Dr, who took my blood pressure and temperature , fiddled with my finger and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and told me to keep an eye on it. I pointed out the spreading redness he said keep an eye on it and come back if it got worse. While I waited for my prescription I wandered how to manage getting an appointment the next day if I needed it and hoped the antibiotics would work.

Wednesday 24th July

No sleep, at breakfast we could clearly see a red line creeping up my arm.

See how small the scratch is, as it began to go yellow.

Hubby walked Ruby early as he had to take his mother to the hospital for a check up for her pacemaker so we decided we’d make a decision on his return.

I was by now not feeling too good so I spent the morning sitting in the sofa with feet and arm up. My friend came round and she was concerned and she suggested we mark my arm with a pen to see if it spread any further.

Hubby got home after 2pm after a short discussion we rang 111 who after listening to my symptoms told us we needed to see a doctor within two hours.

We decided that after the experience of the previous morning there was no point going to the walk in centre, we decided to ring our GP. Surgery and tell them what the nurse on 111 had said. Luckily they said we could come straight down , which we did .

The doctor called us in and at first seemed unimpressed but when he looked at my finger and the red line shooting up my arm his attitude changed.

He again took my temperature and blood pressure , the blood pressure was high. He then rang the hospital while we sat and listened, he told them what was happening and they said to come straight in and they would be waiting. Then as we left the Dr said , don’t eat or drink anything, they may be operating. This scared us both.

So we drove the 12miles to the hospital …. It was scary.

We arrived at A & E and told them we were expected, after a wait I was called in to triage. The asked a few questions took blood and put in a cannula into my arm, and put a hospital I.D. bracelet and rang the orthopedic team , who said they were on their way. Then it was back to the waiting room .

That above is the good arm!

After what seemed like an age, but was not really, three doctors arrived, and I thought I wonder if that is the team for me. It was and they called me through.

They checked me out and we really nice and calming and up beat. I did not like all the talk of operations. I was sent for x-rays which were painful because the radiographer had to manipulate my hand which made me want to cry…. But I didn’t.

After the xray the team of three were back and told me that they were admitting me as I needed 24hrs of I.V. antibiotics and they were going to make a sling for me as I was going to have my arm elevated for the next 24 hours as well.

Then they made sure where the pain was, eventually they decided they need not operate immediately . They explained that sepsis not only gets into the blood it gets into muscle and bones as well. So they decided antibiotics and elevation first.

So while I am waiting for a bed they doctors fitted me with huge sling ….and then we wait for hed. My finger and hand hurt!

It was getting late and I was very tired, there was a very strange woman sitting next to us rambling on. Then four police arrived with a very drunk and very abusive prisoner who was causing all sorts of aggrevation.

At length a nurse came along and said that there was a bed on orothpedics and they were waiting for me to start my drip. I was taken by wheel chair up to the ward, hubby came too. We were greeted by two lovely nurses who helped me get settled in.

I told hubby I would be fine and sent him home. The nurse fixed up my drip and hoist my arm up on the same pole as my IV.

Hubby had to get home because our Ruby was being looked after by our neighbours and hubby had not eaten since the morning.

For that fact neither had I . The nurse brought brought me some coffee and toast. So began a very , very long and strange night. .

More to come, tomorrow.

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