Things happen in Threes.

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!

21 thoughts on “Things happen in Threes.

  1. Brighid

    You poor thing, you had me worried there for a bit. I don’t take any meds, so when I do need them, a strange reaction usually follows.
    Oh, go with the prairie look, long sleeves, sun bonnet, much more fun than a burka, or my favorite Gudrun Sjoden. Hope your on the mend.

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Brighid – Long sleeves are the norm for me. I hide from the sun in summer and the cold in winter. The Gudrun Sjoden website looks interesting.

  3. Mike Goad

    I’m glad they were able to figure out the cause.

    Medications is ONE thing that I’m not allergic to — so far. I have mild reactions to quite a number of things and, for me, it manifests as itching rather than respiratory. When it does get severe, I break out in rashes or even hives.

  4. wisewebwoman

    Oh Poor you, GM, so much going on (or should I say ‘off’?) with your body, glad you tracked the culprit.
    Good luck on your recovery from the surgery!!
    I, too, am conducting an experiment on some drug I believe was adversely affecting me.

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Mike – So was I. This afternoon I discovered that the same anti-biotic was prescribed as an anti-Malarial drug for long term use in the likes of Africa & India. How CRAZY is that, since it is known to cause this Photosensitivity?

    WWW – All drugs are developed for Mr or Mrs Average, how many of us answer that description? In fact all prescribed drugs only work for 60% of the population. Good luck with your study. Not Statins by any chance? They almost had me bedridden about eight years ago.

  6. Delirious

    Oh yes! I have taken medication like that before. But like you, I always forget that one sentence in the precaution statement. I’m glad you figured it out though. Hope all is well with you now!

  7. d

    Oh how miserable you must have been. I am glad they diagnosed the problem and you know how to avoid it in the future.

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Delirious – I had no precaution statement. The capsules were counted into the bottle and a label attached with my details and how and when to take the medication.

    d – I am not out of the woods yet, but I have found the map and know the way! 😀

  9. Rummuser

    I have always liked to speculate about what is behind a burkha! If you wear one, I can assure you that you will create a sensation in a land which is already quite green!

  10. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – Ireland has become very cosmopolitan in recent years with people from many cultures adding colour, costumes and traditions to the mix. Mind you I have yet to see a burkha.

  11. Marianna

    I must admit to trying to diagnose the swelling and redness as I read along. Glad that you had some on-top-it doctors who quickly diagnosed you.

    Besides being famous for blogging, you are now going down in the annals of medicine!

  12. Grannymar Post author

    Marianna – 😆 I find that so funny. I had a 2nd year student nurse observe the admission process and first discussion, As student surgeon perform the first part of surgery under supervision, and when I went to my own dispensing Pharmacy, The Pharmacist called the student to see my hands and face. Hopefully several people are more aware now and others may be saved from the pain and suffering.

  13. Conrad

    Do you HAVE to be so creative??? Sounds like these docs at the teaching hospital were pretty good, though.

    I hate the thought of those gams of yours tucked in a burka, but you do what you have to do …

  14. Judith

    Sorry about your problems and I hope that the surgery for knee and hip is performed soon and successfully.
    I had melanoma many years ago so no longer worship the sun. Mind you it is winter here and there is little sun to worship.

  15. Grannymar Post author

    Judith – Welcome to my blog. Being a former ‘red head’ with pale skin and freckles, I was never a sun worshipper. Had it been particularly strong sunshine, I would not have stayed outdoors as long as I did over the few days.

    The hip & knee are painful, but since I live in a bungalow, I can keep going for a few months yet. I am on the list and will be watched and that is the main thing.

  16. Baino

    God that’s awful. Just as well it rains a lot in Ireland. Hope you’re recovering. Perhaps it wouldn’t happen with a different antibiotic. I’ve heard of it with chemotherapy but never antibiotics.

  17. Grannymar Post author

    Baino – Pity the rain doesn’t oil the joints! I’ll live to tell another tale.

  18. Darlene

    Well now I see why my comment didn’t appear. My name was not filled in. Sorry.

    I am also sorry for your sun sensitivity. It can pl;ay havoc in all sorts of ways. Having a red head complexion I sympathize with you. The sun is our enemy and in my case I have numerous keratoses that must be removed regularly along with a dozen skin cancers that have been surgically removed.

  19. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene – You are up there hiding under the initial ‘d’, I thought you had changed your handle.

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