Back in March one of my brothers suggested a meet-up of our siblings. Dates were bandied back and forth and my sister suggested waiting until all the State visits were over and traffic disruption a dull memory. Since we are all now retired, Monday 13th was the selected day. I knew of a couple of medical appointments that might interfere and advised the others about them. Elly suggested that I travel down to Dublin on the Friday and have the weekend with herself and George before ‘the gathering’, so the plans were made.
Then I had two letters to advise me of Medical appointments. The first was for the morning of Friday 10th to see about my left hip and knee, both of which have been giving me trouble in recent months (Hospital 1). The second letter was the date for cataract surgery on my left eye, on Wednesday 15th (Hospital 2). I packed the car on Thursday night and travelled directly from the hospital appointment on Friday morning to Elly’s.
The weekend was busy and fun.
We had dinner out on the Town on Friday. George barbequed for friends on Saturday and in between I managed a walk with Buffy and girly shopping with Elly.
Sunday afternoon saw me move to my sister’s – the house where I was born. Her two dogs were delighted to see me and immediately a tennis ball was placed at my feet. It was their signal to play. When I ignored it, the ball was picked up, shown to me and again placed between my feet. So out we went to the garden and they did all the running while I moved about in the sunshine.
I have already told you about Monday, the Siblings day, most of which was spent out of doors. The sun was out, but certainly not hot enough for me to hide from. I am known to wilt & complain about hot sunshine. But this weekend I didn’t feel the need to complain. Internally my body had other ideas!
Slowly the problem grew. The first I realised was a burning sensation in my right index finger. It felt like I had been scalded. The redness came later and spread slowly to the second finger, then the ring finger and finally the little one and down the back of my hand to my wrist. By this stage the thumb had joined the club and the whole hand was very swollen. Not to be left out, my left hand little by little joined the same club.
By Tuesday morning I could have willingly chopped my hands off. The journey home in the car was pure agony. The sun of course was shining through the glass and it made them worse.
As soon as I reached home, I filled a bowl with vinegar and bathed my hands in it. It did cool things down but that only lasted a short time. Even moving my hands about indoors caused discomfort and by the time George arrived, I could hack it no longer. He was not supposed to be on Hospital duty until the next morning, but he took me to A&E immediately (Hospital 3).
I was seen quickly, but by the time bloods and X-rays were taken and results returned, we had been there four hours. All tests were clear, but it was suggested that I see my GP in the next few days and ask to have a Rheumatology appointment made. I told them about the cataract operation and they saw no reason for cancellation.
Next morning George was up bright and early to drive me in a different direction and once again sit and wait for me. Good lad that George. Elly chose well. 😉 The admitting nurse had a good look at me and asked all the questions she could think of. She went off to have a word with the Surgeon before administering the five sets of drops to my eye. The surgeon saw no reason not to go ahead with the procedure so in went the drops.
When I was wheeled into theatre The surgeon and the Pharmacist were waiting for me. Again I was questioned about my current medications and I had to recite all the drugs that I am allergic to.
Following a course of doxycycline (finished on Sunday) for an infection that had troubled me for some time, I have developed Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn following exposure to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light. I have had this anti-biotic in the past without a problem and did not anticipate any trouble this time. At no time was I advised to watch out for this side effect.
“I bet the sun was not shining when you had this drug in the past.” Said the Pharmacist. So here is another to add to the Do not prescribe list!
When surgery was over and I was wheeled out to the recovery room. They stopped and the Surgeon asked a favour. Would I allow them to take photographs of my hands and face, to be used in class. This was a teaching hospital. The drug is one they use on a regular basis, so my photographs and description might help prevent someone else going through the same agony.
The Surgeon wrote me up for some strong moisturiser and warned me to stay well covered and use a strong sun block for the remainder of the summer. AT LEAST.
Decision time….. Do I join the Badgers in their nocturnal wandering, or….
Borrow a Burka!