Tuesday, February 01, 2005

When your legs let you down

Multiple Sclerosis is a bitch of a condition, both for the sufferer (in this case my mum) and the carer (my dad). Life is truly struggle.

Back in the autumn, Mum had a bad fall and sustained injuries on her legs that just would not heal. As a result she’s been having to go down to the see the nurse at their GP’s practice twice a week to have dressings changed etc whilst the wounds slowly healed (aided in part by some antibiotics).

There’s no such things as a quick trip out for Mum, getting in and out the house and in and out the car are tortuously slow and painful exercises.

To make matters worse, just after Christmas, she had another bad fall, twisting her ankle and bruising her legs badly. When I visited for the weekend a few weeks ago, things were really bad, with Mum in severe pain and with movement even more restricted than usual.

Looking at the leg, which was very red, swollen and hot, I feared I recognised the signs of Cellulitus and sure enough on the Monday the doctor confirmed this and course after course of antibiotics is only now starting to beat back the infection.

Her foot was also twisted out and giving unusual pain, but it was hard to tell what pain was being caused by what.

Another trip to the doctor’s on Monday, resulted in a visit to the hospital today. Sadly the X-Rays reveal Mum has fractured a bone in the foot (that’ll explain matters then!) and is now the proud wearer of a light-weight cast (bright blue apparently). Fortunately the fact that Mum has been unable to ‘walk’ more than a couple of steps of late means that things probably haven’t been made too much worse by the late diagnosis.

Apparently the foot feels far less painful now it is supported and Mum has nothing but praise for the excellent doctors, nurses and radiographers that handled a person confined to a wheelchair so smoothly (“we’ll bring the X-Ray machine to you seeing as you can’t get up on the table”, “we’ll get the cast team to come to this hospital rather than make you trek up to the one they’re based at” etc).

I’m slightly worried as to how we’ll monitor the cellulitus now that the leg is covered up, but I guess that’s one for the GP to figure out.

Mum and dad both seem very cheerful in the circumstances, but I know it’s not what either of them needed. More limitations for Mum and more strain on Dad.

I’ll see if I can squeeze in another visit soon…

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