Stupidity interlude.

So, I was debating whether to include this or not, since it’s not disability related, but yesterday I got literally the best A+E care I have ever recieved in my life.

And it was over stupidity. Or rather, it was over using a product *exactly* as the manufacturer intended, and then my own weird biology causing problems.

The problem was, as you might have guessed, a kegel ball.

I love kegel exercisors. I find them extremely soothing and stress-relieving, as well as occassionally arousing and generally good practise for sets of muscles that don’t get much use otherwise. I have several sets of them – A silver plastic “jiggle” pair that I never use, due to them being so badly constructed (Really, a woven cord on an insertable toy? Breeding ground for infections. Use once, then relegate to being a cat toy), a weighted silicone and ABS pair which looked too much like a dead mouse for me to use, and this pair – Two glass eggs in a silicone harness, sold with the instruction that they could also be used without the harness. And, in fact, kegel exercisors where all you get is two spheres/eggs, and nothing more are pretty common. So trying them out for the first time without a harness wasn’t exactly a silly idea. And using them without the harness was, I found, a lot more comfortable and pleasant than using them with a harness. I could move around without worrying about the semi-rigid connector between them pushing them into the wrong place, or the external strap catching my external bits.  And basically, I could suck on them like they were boiled sweeties. This was good.

So, time passed and I decided to remove them. One quick “Thloop” and I’d got the first one pushed out. Waited half a minute, then tried the same trick with the second one. No luck. Reached up to look for it – Can’t find it , even with a fingertip. Try squatting, pushing, jumping, stretching, jogging up and down the stairs and phoning friends in desperation to get it out.

No luck.

Further investigation eventually finds it, stuck up around a corner and three-quarters buried inside a muscle that won’t let it out. Attempts at getting it out with two fingers just results in two dislocated fingers and a dislocated wrist.

Partner gets home, by which point I have taken enough diazepam to turn an elephant in musth into a purring kitten, and with pelnty of lube and reassurance, he tries to get it as well. He manages to make it spin in place, but not to go anywhere. We have a bit of a giggle whilst doing this for the length of two episodes of Frasier (Including him picking me up and shaking me like an errant piggy-bank) and then finally give up. It’s now midnight, and I’m off to accident and emergency at St J’s, because I know they’ve got a really good gynaecology department if everything goees tits up.

I get settled in, (Everyone is remarkably nice to me and not mocking at all, desoite the fact that I feel like the adult version of the schoolboy that’s stuck a marble up his nose and now has to get help to get it back out) and by about 1am, I meet Dr Daisy (Not her real name, but since I’ve not met her before and probably won’t again, she’s not getting included in the usual initial-only naming scheme, since that’d confuse the issue). By this point I am in a LOT of pain. Cramp is starting to set in, and my hips are variously dislocating and spasming, along with everything else. I take a few more shots of morphine, and am offered a diazepam. And then, once it’s set in, over to the room with a proper door we go. Plastic speculum, warm bowl of lube.

And Dr Daisy doesn’t even bat an eyelid when I say “Can I do this myself?”

She just happily sits and directs, telling me when she can see the ball, telling me if I need to go left or right, or push in further, or rotate the speculum to get the blade underneath the ball, or angle it slightly differently, or open it further. Every few minutes, I get her to hold the speculum still, to allow me to relax my hands and fix them. After about half an hour or so, I feel a click. She tells me to try releasing the pressure on the speculum – It doesn’t close; It’s gripped the ball! Slowly, slowly, out it comes. She looks about as delighted as I feel. Freedom!

And that, my dears, is how you conduct a medical procedure. You trust the patient, you help them to solve the issue on their own, and you don’t dive in speculum-first and demanding things. This was a lot quicker, a lot easier, and a lot less traumatic than it could have been. And I got my ball back.

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Time

So yesterday turned into an accident and emergency day.

 

Right hip jammed and tore at about 11.00, phoned 111 at 13.00, had a paramedic standing over my bed and administering IV morphine by 14.00, picked up for transport to the LGI by 16.30, checked in by 16.45, saw a doctor by 19.30 and was home by 20.00.

 

Honestly, just being kept warm, on a soft bed, and under supervision was probably all I needed. Both the consultant and the first paramedic confirmed the dislocated hip, and have expedited my rheumatology referral. This was the kind of A+E visit which reminds me why I have faith in the NHS – Everyone was professional and understanding, and genuinely listened and respected that I knew as much about my condition as they did, and tried to find sensible solutions.

 

This does, however, mean that I have to make an appointment with the GP, a task which is basically impossible. And I need to get back to complaining about them to the Ombudsman.

 

There’s something very wrong with a world in which a disabled person;

-Is scared to go to their GP, becuase the receptionists will stop them from getting an appointment and verbally abuse them, and one in three GPs at the surgery is actively hateful

-Is scared to call an ambulance, because the paramedics in the past have told them off for not keeping their house clean and insinuated that they mistreat their dog

-Is scared of A+E, due to having been manhandled by rude and dismissive consultants to the point of injury

-Is scared of getting more physio, due to the remaining physiotherapists at the local service being distinctly unsympathetic to anyone with a long-term condition

-Is scared of phoning 111 at all, after the time that they were put through to a nurse who berated them for being depressed and told them that they weren’t ill enough to be sad.

 

It’s not exactly looking good for my local services, right now.

 

On the other hand, the NHS has the most comfy blankets I have ever encountered.

What on Earth are you doing, Percy?

Time has moved on. I’m a long way away from the worlds I lived in when my last few blogs died the death.

Nowadays, I’m ill. This is my blog that I’m going to post in so that my friends don’t have to put up with my constant whining about dealing with the NHS.

I have Joint Hypermobility Sydrome, still under investigation, and yesterday I got a letter of referral down to UCLH, under the care of Dr Kk, at the end of August. I’ve had 6 months of physio (Discharged in April) first with Mircalla (who was amazing) and then with GLADOS (Names obviously changed to faintly protect their identities; In real life they’re two of the C-Series, more on that later), one appointment with Dr W at rheumatolgy last August, an appointment with the pain team in April which was kind of amazing, really.

The day before that, I was in A+E, being manhandled by a consultant who firstly didn’t introduce himself, secondly thought that his two-second dekko at my legs (still under a blanket) gave a more accurate diagnosis of “Not a dislocated hip” than Dr S’s careful and through examination the day before which, in agreement with my previous physiotherapists, diagnosed “That’s a dislocated hip.” and thirdly who manhandled me with neither my consent or a chaperone; Damaging my hip even further.

This morning, I was at acupuncture (Provided by the NHS) which turned out to be the biggest waste of my time that’s ever been concieved. Two hours’ travelling, to get there for 9am, at which point I was treated to having to lie face-down with my head at a ninety degree angle and my shoulders hanging loose, whilst Physio D put eight tiny needles into my lower back (For funding reasons, she wasn’t allowed to treat my upper back pain). Ten minutes later, they were removed. Physio D then returned, and we agreed that acupuncture wasn’t appropriate for me – The travelling and the treatment were both too much stress for my joints to take (The problem being not the needles, but the lying very still). She then told me that she’d keep me on the register, but not make me any more appointments. Very much with the same nudge and wink as Dr L from the pain clinic had given me when prescribing me acupuncture in the first place (She too is a sceptic) that this was basically a way of making sure that the clinic didn’t end up being prescribed to people whom it’d really hurt.

This afternoon was a long, long letter and reasonably-long phone call to my MP – Of the opposite political orientation to me, but still apparently a nice bloke – in which he promised to sort out the problem with my GP’s practice (Or rather, the receptionists therein and the booking process; It’s always impossible to get an appointment).

And tomorrow, lo, I finally managed to get an appointment with a GP – not my GP, but a GP. It’s a start.

Friday is my second OT appointment – the first one set me up with wrist braces, and I think this one will get me measured up for knees and elbows.

I am in so much pain right now.

 

Current treatment status;

Physio: Discharged

Rheumatology: Discharged

Hypermobility Specialist: Referred

Occupational Therapy: Under care