** This story continues on from Part 1. If you have not read Part 1 you should read that first before you continue reading on. You can read Part 1 at the following link: https://www.iamkangy.com/it-has-finally-hit-home-part-1-of-3/ **
After the discussions between myself, Dr Michelle and the Surgeon about amputation, everything for me changed. My mindset changed and did a complete 180-degree turn. I didn’t want to return to being homeless after leaving the hospital. I didn’t want to go back to the lifestyle I had lived for 22 years before my admission.
Over the first couple of weeks there were constant issues with my cannula constantly blocking and the fluids and IV drugs not being able to get into my system. They had to keep getting a specialist up to the ward to put in a new one nearly every single day. After nearly 2 weeks of this, they decided that they were going to put a PICC line in. That is similar to a canula but goes into your arm and is feed through to just above your heart. The first time they put it into my right arm. For the first week, it worked like a gem. Then it blocked. And as a result, they had to take me back up to surgery to put another PICC line into my left arm (they had to do this in surgery as you had to be in a sterile environment due to where the line was going – getting an infection near your heart could have killed me) and hope this one stayed without issues. And thankfully it did. Once it was in my left arm and feed into the top of my heart this one was fine. There was no longer any issues getting the fluids and IV drugs into my system. So, as a result, it did slowly start to mend the wounds and for the time being the discussion of amputation was over. However, I still needed to spend weeks longer in hospital. It wasn’t long after this that I was moved from the surgical ward down to the rehabilitation unit at the back of the hospital. OMG, didn’t I hate that place, I was also the youngest person in the unit by at least 20 years. And also the easiest person to manage. But I couldn’t handle staying put so I would constantly wander off. In the end, my doctor gave me permission to go up to the cliff face as the hospital overlooked Mona Vale Beach. This gave me a chance to have a few smokes, get some fresh air and get away from the hospital. I still had to wheel my drip with me and have my phone on me in case the doctor needed to see me and then they would call and I would make me way back to the unit, which was less then a 10 minute walk away, going slowly as I couldn’t walk fast with how my feet were.
I had the most wonderful Doctor and Social Worker whilst I was in hospital. They both worked so hard to find me somewhere to live for when I was going to be discharged. They didn’t want me going back onto the streets as it was going to end up causing further issues with my feet and legs as we wouldn’t be able to keep on top of the infections. There was also no way they were going to release me onto the streets with a PICC line still attached.
They both were having regular weekly contact with Coast Shelter on the Central Coast as this is where I wanted to go. I knew most of the workers and trusted them. I also knew that I would get the help and support I needed through them. We just had to wait until a spot became available.
During the next 6 weeks, I had multiple surgeries on my feet to remove bits of skin and infection from inside the wound and also one of those surgeries was to remove part of the bone in my right foot. They were trying everything they could to try and make sure amputation didn’t happen. Lucky for me things began getting better and amputation was taken off the table at the time. But, that also doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be needed in the future. Even too this day with the infection constantly returning into my feet, that hasn’t come up really for now. It just means we get over the infection and within a couple of weeks, it is back again. And even to this day the amount of pain is so bad that I am still on a very high dose of pain medication.
All of a sudden after over 2 1/2 months in hospital I got a phone call on a Monday morning from Coast Shelter who informed me they had a spot for me. They just needed 2 days to get the unit cleaned out and furniture put in so I could move in any time on Wednesday, I straight away let my Doctor know and she was ecstatic. Plans then began very quickly to get me released on Wednesday and transported up from Mona Vale to Gosford.
Around lunchtime Wednesday, the Ambulance arrived at the rehabilitation unit to take me to Gosford. It was great I got to sleep and lay down the inter trip. I had the driver and a nurse with me just in case anything happened as I still needed to keep the PICC line in for at least another week to finish the current high dose of IV drugs.
So, Wednesday 9th May 2018 (which also turned out to be Aunts 48th Birthday) I moved out of the hospital and into a transitional unit until I get my forever home. Which honestly we didn’t think would take this long, but there are health restrictions on the type of property they can give me. So I have now been here for just over 2 years. And the amount of changes and milestones we have overcome during this time has been completely amazing. All this information will be in the final part of this story. So, I am now ending Part 2 and Part 3 will be coming your way very soon.