Family, Cultural beliefs, Political decisions, Relationships, Social Fairness, Inspiration, Religious (alternate) views, Agnostic Views, Humour and Just Random Thoughts. So watch out for some fireworks laced with humour
It’s been many moons since my last post. Just in case you need a recap of this journey or if you are new to my blog, you could click on the below links.
My last post was on the day of my last surgery (hopefully this is it), I was using this space as a means to concur “nil by mouth” especially the massive coffee craving I was having. Suffice to say I concurred the coffee deprivation as well as the surgery.
It is almost an year since the accident. If I think how long it has been it feels daunting. If I think in that one year what I have achieved, how far I have come it feels… Nah, it still feels like a massive waste of an year.
I am all for thinking positive. But it is important to be honest with yourself too. It doesn’t help anyone, especially to yourself to build a fake rainbow. To curl up in the fetal position and to drown yourself in self pity is not the answer but nor is the opposite which is to lie to yourself and say it’s all peachy when you know it is far from it. You need to be realistic, honest and accept what has happened and then, tackle whatever you have been dealt with.
I sound like an expert now. But the truth is far from it. There were many demons I had to battle and I would say a big part of these blog/posts are for that reason. If someone could benefit even an iota, lessons from my thorny path, then, I see that as a positive.
From where I left off …
The ambos arrived, the same two angels in the green uniform from the morning, wonder how long their shift was? In spite of how tired they might have been, they were still absolutely beautiful to me. They assisted me to get over from the hospital bed to the ambulance trolley. The whole day I had lost count how many times I changed from trolley to bed and bed to trolley. On all of these occasions, I insisted that I move over myself, I proudly used my core muscles to lift and push myself and do the transfer myself.
I wasn’t going to give up on me that easily. If you look hard enough there is still something left in the tank.
I learnt that the reason the phone call to the boys were not going through was due to the fact they were in the underground apartment. The phone reception isn’t great underground and only possible in some parts of the apartment and the bedrooms were not one of them. The ambos were willing to swing by the apartment and get the boys to follow us to the airfield. Yes, like I said they were just absolute angels.
We were met with more angels at the airfield. They too were at the end of a very long shift. Still they did not let that interfere with the compassion and professionalism that was required to get me transported. They allowed Arj to accompany us on the flight. Hubby was going to drive down the next day or more like in a few hours after sunrise.
It was going to be an hour and forty five minutes to Adelaide. Sky Rocketing blood pressure and the pain that was now at another level were concerning for all.
He asked me if my dislocated shoulder was put back. I explained to him that I did not have a dislocation just that I had a fracture, thinking that he was mixing me up with another patient. I asked when he could fit me in for the surgery, explaining to him about our drive back the next day. He was flabbergasted. He then vehemently started to stress that I had a dislocated shoulder along with an array of other issues. But it appeared his main concern was the dislocation.
The surgeon went on to explain that I had a shoulder dislocation, a fracture and also a bone that had chipped (the bone that had chipped had some tendons ripped off as well). I have always liked the idea of being a triple threat, just didn’t realise that I was going to perform it with my shoulder. The surgeon was still harping on about the dislocation. In my mind I am thinking the fracture should be a bigger concern than a mere dislocation. It shows my lack of medical knowledge or the lack of sports injuries.
He asked why I was not air lifted. I explained that as it was not “life threatening” and that we were advised to drive down the next day. He was livid. He said “it may not be life threatening but it could be life changing”, by now hubby had arrived from the shops and was listening to the surgeons rant. He then went onto explain that the dislocated shoulder has to be put back as soon as its possible. Any delay is a step closer to permanent nerve damage.
There were multiple phone calls that went between the surgeon, the hospital and us. By now it was about 6pm or so. The surgeon advised us that he had spoken to the doctor at Coober Pedy and he didn’t think he was capable of performing this procedure (he said it with a bit more colour and annoyance). He asked us if we could drive to maybe the next bigger Hospital. Which was at Port Augusta. This was still not a short distance, 540kms and a 5.5 hr drive. This road is notorious for it’s Kangaroo related accidents. Not the ideal time to drive and still a very long drive with a patient in the car. Even the surgeon was not keen on this idea, but he just wanted this shoulder back in ASAP. He was worried that it was already been out for too long.
I don’t know who made the next set of phone calls, I think Arj rang the Ambo’s to see if they could transport me to Port Augusta, thinking that might be safer I would be lying down and strapped in rather than in a car. Hubby rang Port Augusta hospital to confirm if they could in fact perform the said procedure. Ambo’s advised Arj that there was just the one ambulance for the whole district and that they would not be able to go that far leaving a whole community without an ambulance. Hubby also found out that Port Augusta too didn’t have a doctor on duty who was capable of doing this procedure. They had given another piece of information which was now ammunition for hubby , that they had a similar patient that morning and the patient was airlifted to Adelaide.
In the midst of all this I messaged Sally my dear friend and a nurse, who I usually use as my insider for medical info. I wanted to check with her if in fact the surgeon was correct in prioritizing the dislocation to the fracture. She agreed with the surgeon, she too now started to stress/panic on the importance of getting out of Coober Pedy. She didn’t want me in the car either. She was on the phone the whole night talking to Arj, giving him advise and info.
Arj and Hubby stormed to the hospital now requesting an air transfer. I was told that Arj’s sentences were measured, with the new information from the surgeon it was more of a threat rather than a request, but delivered with respect. Respectful language however the message was “or else”.
In the meantime the ambo’s took upon themselves and arrived at the apartment. Luckily the front door had been left unlocked, so they were able to just walk in without much hurdle. They found me on the couch with worsened pain. I relayed what happened at the hospital and what we had just heard from the surgeon. They were aghast. By then hubby and Arj got back. We heard from them that this doctor had only been there for less than a week and they’ve had so many complains. They said they were going to take me back to the hospital, as they claimed this to be a “unresolved discharge”. The request for air transfer could only happen from a hospital, so they suggested that we go back to the hospital and start the ball rolling.
I had another green whistle. Arj has some videos that he threatens to release at times. I was definitely in a happy place. I was just disappointed that I didn’t have a better story to tell than to say I fell down a stair, I think I mentioned to the Ambo’s that I fell down a mine shaft with a massive laughter. I also apologized for not having a shower. I don’t think I can divulge in the rest of the conversations, without embarrassing myself. So I shall leave it there.
The doctor looked a bit sheepish. How on earth did he miss a dislocation. No wonder I couldn’t lie or sit back as my the shoulder had collapsed to the front. However sheepish he felt he couldn’t let go of his ego and arrogance. Instead of getting on with what he needs to do, he was now trying to pick a fight with the ambo’s and the nurses.
He agreed for the air transfer and started a ticket. We were told that RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Services) would pick me up at 12.00 midnight. It was only a few more hours to go so the boys stayed back at the hospital. Green whistle or not the pain was sky rocketing. They administered Morphine. I am usually someone who falls asleep on antihistamine meds. But today even after all these cocktails I was wide awake.
They announced that the plane had been diverted for another emergency and it would be the next morning around 7.00am that I would be transferred. There was nothing much we could do. So I asked the boys to go back to the apartment and have a bit of shut eye.
About 3.00am the nurses advised that another plane that had completed its drop off at Alice Springs would be coming to pick me up at 4.00am. They had tried to contact the boys unfortunately the phone call was not going through. As they were underground, phone coverage was only available in certain spots in the apartment ie the living room. As these two had taken the phones to their rooms the call from the hospital was not going through.
Along with the pain, my blood pressure too was now skyrocketing to dangerous levels.
I have been told that I am pretty good with cliff hangers. So I am going to just leave it there. Sorry folks, I have to get ready for today’s surgery . Thank you in advance for all the prayers and well wishes.
Giving you another video from Bondi Rescue with the Green Whistle
We were all rather tired. Life had been rather full on. We were physically and mentally exhausted. I didn’t do much on the long journey other than take photos and agree or disagree on the music choices. I was still tired. So after our Pizza and a premade Coffee Martini for me and I think the boys had a beer we decided to call it a night.
I woke up at 5.00am checked my phone to confirm the time and decided that I needed some water. I didn’t want to disturb my hubby’s melodic snoring so decided to tip toe out the room without switching on the lights. Poor man must be very tired, let him sleep/snore a bit more, he has earned it, I thought. There was a night lamp in the bathroom which was emitting enough light for me to walk out to the living area. I confidently started my journey towards the kitchen.
Two steps out and the whole place fell into complete darkness. The beauty of the underground – no windows, so not an ounce of daylight or starlight to sneak in. It was just pitch black, I had no idea where I was, I was trying to find a wall so I could feel my way for a light switch. I made progress, I found the wall mounted TV. So forged ahead, confident that a switch was going to be at my reach very soon.
Alas, I found the big step before I found the switch. No, I think they were found simultaneously or it could be the switch and a Nano second later the step. Not sure of the order of the events, however the result was the birth of Big Humpty Dumpty in the underground motel of Coober Pedy.
The first thought that came into my head was, that I was going to wake everyone up, including the neighboring apartment. It was a one massive thud. The whole world was still in silence, other than my husband’s snoring. Well his snoring confirmed that he wasn’t going to come rushing anytime soon to help this damsel in distress.
My arm was throbbing. I thought I could walk it off. I got up thinking the pain would settle. No, it was still unbelievably terrible. I do apparently have a good pain tolerance., but this time however, I couldn’t take it anymore. So I went back to the room, woke up my husband. By now the pain was shooting up, I couldn’t sit or lie on the bed, I was trying to explain and sob all at the same time.
Arj had woken up for all the commotion and rushed in. Arj and Hubby brought me back to the living room and sat me on the couch. I think there was a glass of water or something. But Arj realised that this was something more than just a bruise. He called for the ambulance.
Two Ambo’s (ambulance officers – Aussie) arrived promptly. They could tell straightaway that I had done something major and I was in agony. They were my two Fairies (if fairies could be males). Instead of the magic wand they were waving the green whistle at me. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of having one of these – it is Penthrax a very strong pain relief. Until now I have only seen them on Bondi Rescue.
The above video might give you an idea on this amazing Aussie invention. I had the green whistle on the way to the hospital, by the time I arrived at the hospital I was in ripe old stage. I was still in a world of pain but I was way more funnier.
This was when I met Doctor Inefficient. This is a small rural town with a small hospital the size of a medical center. Not many doctors want to work in these remote parts of Australia. Rural Doctors receive additional incentives from the Government to entice them to work in these little towns. However unfortunately it only attracts the inefficient and washed up Doctors who are in it for the money and probably know that they are not good enough to make it in the big hospitals. But I don’t know how Coober Pedy managed to attract the most gorgeous nurses and Ambos. If not for their help this story and outcome could have been far worse.
I was subjected to stand for an X’ray. I had no strength to stand nor to pose for these Portraits, however I obliged. I swallowed more pain meds, an array of Endone, Panadeine and who knows what ever else. I was high as a kite but the pain was still a 11 out of 10 maybe even a 111 out of 10.
The Doctor advised me that I had fractured my shoulder – the rotator cuff, a zig zag fracture at that. However, as they did not have the facility to operate on me, I would have to make my way back to Adelaide to be operated. My husband duly asked if I could be airlifted. The Doctor advised as it was not “life threatening“, sure it was painful but not life threatening, he will not be able to request an air transfer and for my husband to drive me back.
My husband tried to explain to this man and bring to his attention that Adelaide was in fact 848Kms away, a 9 hr drive only if you were driving to the speed limit of 110 Kms for most of the drive without a stop, which he tried to point out would not be possible with me in the car, screaming blue murder. It was around 12.00pm by now. Hubby also made a point that even if we were to start driving right then, by dusk our vehicle would be devouring a smorgasbord of Kangaroos and we would be nursing more than a broken shoulder. The Doctor then went onto part with more wisdom and told us to take break for that day and travel the next day. He prescribed more pain meds and advised that the pain should ease up and for me to even think of doing some sight seeing.
I could not sit back or lie back on the bed. I hung on to the side rail of the bed. It didn’t appear that the pain would ease up anytime soon. I was mourning. At times I felt my mourning was very loud and felt bad for the patient next to me. My arm was put in a sling and I was discharged from the hospital. Not even a wheelchair was offered. I walked to the car and I have no recollection of how I got into the car seat. It could’ve been Arj my young warrior who helped me in. With the concoction of all the opioids in my system, I was feeling dizzy and nauseous but there was no ease up on the pain.
I found refuge on the couch, again I couldn’t lie back, I hung on to the armrest. Most things are a blur. I think there was some vomiting. Sense of absolute guilt took over me. We came here because things were bad. To release some stress and to relax. But I have created more stress, anxiety and work for Arj and for my overly tired husband. I tried to get up and see if we could go on for some sightseeing. I have seen people walking around normally in a sling and so why can’t I do it. But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t keep myself upright or sit back. I told myself that I was a real fuss pot.
Hubby dismissed the idea of sightseeing and said for me to preserve my strength for the next days trip. He was trying to come up with a plan to transport me. In his mind it was near impossible. He bought some big pillows thinking he could lay me on the back seat.
We received a phone call from a surgeon in Adelaide. Our Doctor in Coober Pedy had sent word to him of my injury and had requested him to operate on me. However, didn’t see the need to send the X’rays. Arj went back to the hospital and requested the X’rays to be sent to the said surgeon. Arj and Hubby were frequenting the shops, pharmacy and the hospital for various things. Another call came from the surgeon.