Thursday, June 14, 2012

Health Matters

I returned home on Monday, after a short trip to the city late last week to attend an appointment with my Pulmonary Physician and to also see an Occupational Therapist (OT). 
The specialist was very direct with his opinions, and naturally for me I became anxious and incredulous at the same time that this was my health he was talking about. I sometimes sit there when I'm listening to some most unpalatable news with an almost out of body experience. It's like they, the doctors, are speaking about someone else. I guess it is my protection mechanism, but it could also be called denial. *sigh*.Of course the main problem he says is my weight. If I regain too much I run the strong risk of not being able to use my BI-PAP machine, as it currently operates at the maximum rate of 25/12 and it will not be able to ventilate my lungs. The result will be respiratory failure. He also told me that the right side heart failure is the reason my right foot is the size it is. While I sort of knew I had this, his stating it out loud and clear makes it all the more undeniable.
Whilst there he downloaded the data from my machine and could see that I use the machine most of the time, except for the times when my anxiety was so high I couldn't cope with the mask.
He said that the machine was currently working to capacity and all was well with that for now.

On the Saturday we went to Mandurah to meet up with my daughters MIL and we
went to the Mandurah forum for lunch. Phil and I went to the disabled
toilets first. I had bought a wheelchair on the Thursday to allow me to get
to all the places I have to go. Anyway it is a large chair and it wouldn't
fit through the door of the toilet so I stood up to walk in and was unaware
that the footrest had swung in front of my foot, so when I stepped forward
my ankle caught on it and I fell over it and down I went. It is one of my
worst fears -to fall over. I grabbed at the toilet as I went and that just
sheared off and broke, and cut my forearm. I fell on the left side which is
my where the lymphodema is worst. I hit my head on the tiles and lie on my
side along side the toilet. I was so shocked. Poor Phil didn't know what to
do-he thought I knocked myself out.
I just lie there crying at the whole stupid thing. Many people walked past
in the corridor, and I felt so bad. Finally someone got a security person
who took one look and told me she would get help. Another guy turned up but
there was no way they were going to get me upright. The ambulance was called
and two lovely male officers arrived. They attempted to get me up but as I
could not help myself at all, it was futile. So they told me they would have
to call for back up and called the fire brigade and 4 more men came to my
rescue. I felt so bad, but they were all lovely caring people. They managed
to get me out of the toilet then the 6 of them lifted me into my w/chair in
a sling lifter thing.
God I was so relieved. My poor daughter wondering why we were taking so long
in the loo, came looking and promptly burst into tears at seeing her mother
on the ground.
What a fiasco.
I did get bruises, and cuts which leaked lymph fluid and so have had to
go onto antibiotics to try and ward of infection.
I am still shaky and nervous about walking. The following pics show the results of my toilet diving. The first one shows the lymph fluid beading on the cuts on my arm. This is the first time I have had this happen, so it was interesting to see, but also quite scary as simple little cuts can lead to infections and serious complications for people with lymphodema. The net one is the bruise on my left knee that bore the brunt of my fall. It is very sore, stiff and unstable. I emailed my doctor on the way home from the city yesterday and she agreed that I commence antibiotics, and as I already had a script the bloke got it filled after we got home. I'm hoping it does the trick.

So after this little adventure I am feeling sorry, sore and lighter on the pocket. It seems that if the ambulance is called and it is deemed not to be an emergency then you will be charged full cost which in my case will be about $800-$1000. I am a little angry as the bloke has gold corporate health cover with the company he currently works for and our previous health fund covered ambulance. It was a very expensive few days with a $2100 outlay for the w/chair and then this ambulance charge. Please don't think I'm whingeing at the ambulance people. They are a fabulous mob. It is the health fund that I'm cranky with.
Has there ever been a time you have had to call the ambulance out and had to pay for it?
Well at this point I will finish up so I can post it and think about the next thing on today's to do list.
Keep the comments coming dear friends, it really makes my day when someone takes some time to drop a line of two.



  1. Oh Jan I felt physically ill in the tummy as I read your words and sensed what was about to come next - your fall.

    Soft squishy hugs for you.


  2. Blimin heck Jan, what a time you had. How scary for you and your husband. It is something I always fear, falling and being unable to get up. How wonderful you were able to get such good help. Hoping you heal quickly and well. Do take care of yourself, you are much to precious to many people to do yourself damage.

  3. I'm so, so sorry that you had this terrible experience, Jan. For anyone of any size, such an experience is embarrassing and difficult. Yours was so much harder. I really feel for you and worry about you. I wish I could help you beyond just saying that I care and I hope that you find a path to health.

  4. Thank you so much lovely people. Your comments mean a lot to me.

  5. Hello, Jan. I hope you are feeling better soon! Sending you lots healing hugs. I fell over a week ago in the middle of the Queen Victoria market, despite grazed knees and palms all I wanted to do was hide somewhere and cry my eyes out!

  6. Oh my goodness, you poor thing! I hope that you are healing well and the antibiotics are doing the trick. I'm thinking of you. x

  7. Thanks Kate, I'm doingfine now thing.

  8. Oh hon I am so sorry this happened to you! And curses re the cost of the ambulance. I take it your health fund doesn’t cover it and you aren’t on any sort of Centrelink benefit? Poor hon.

    1. Thanks Bri, yes the ambulance thing pisses me of. I was under the impression that the health fund covered us for ambulance, but not aware it has to be an emergency. I will look into this more.

  9. Jan I'm so sorry to hear you've had a fall. I hope you heal rapidly and remember, you are a valuable, loved person.