Editor’s Blog 3: Does the journey continue?

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As with anyone who has had an operation many adjustments to life have to be made. I was lucky I had a great consultant who ensured my care and attention from the nurses was second to none and the three ladies who were based in my ward, with their own traumatic injuries were a great support.  They helped me learn quickly that dignity meant nothing when ill and using a bed pan isn’t as bad as I made out during my first experience.

 

After a difficult week in hospital learning how to get by with one working leg, going home to my parents was the best news I had in a long time. It took some doing, as passing the tests given to me by the physiotherapy team was not easy. For those of you who have been through this will know how difficult it is to walk on crutches ensuring you keep your leg straight and not bearing any weight on the leg.

 

My consultant had told me within 12 weeks I should make full recovery and be back to good health I had already marked it in the calendar for end of Feb 2014. However, seems my journey was to take another route.

Arriving home, after all the fan fare of the London launch and operation was my first feeling of trying to get back to normality. My parents had made arrangements for me to live upstairs closer to the bathroom, to make things easier for me whilst my right leg was in recovery. A week in and recovery was going well. Flooded with messages from family and friends across the globe and visitors galore, everything seemed to be going in the right direction. However, the next set of events really proved how high my pain threshold was. For those of you who have had similar injuries will know how hard it is to sleep, when you have to keep your leg completely straight and it’s tied up in a huge cast.

I remember the night well, it was 5am in the morning and I was having another restless time sleeping. An hour passed and I had used this past hour to hydrate myself with lots of water and for those with weak bladders like mine will know that with water comes the need to use the toilet.

It was around 7am, and I didn’t want to wake anyone to help me to the bathroom. My parents for those who don’t know work, 7 days a week 12 hours a day, running their little corner shop. So the added job of being my carers is no easy task, especially when they are close to retirement age.  Ironically the date was exactly this date last year, so you can imagine it wasn’t very light at 7am. I switched on my lamp and grabbed my crutches and rolled over to get off my bed. As I got down on to my crutches, I accidentally put my right foot down on the floor. This is the foot, which had holes drilled into the knee bone to join my tendons back together and was the same leg I was strictly forbidden not to put my foot down or bear any weight.

As I touched the floor for that split second insufferable pain shot up my leg and the need to go to the toilet vanished quicker than I could say argh. I managed to compose myself and get back on to my bed, still in excruciating pain. As I tried to calm myself down I had thought the pain would disappear, unfortunately an hour passed and it was getting worse. This is when I realised parents are a real blessing and when you’re in such situations they come to your rescue from nowhere.

My mother always had a habit of coming into my room as soon as she got up, to see if I was OK and despite me being annoyed that she is overly protective and doesn’t need to keep checking up on me, thank goodness she never listened to me.

At around 8am my mum popped into my room. I pretended to be asleep and didn’t want to tell her what had happened, as I hoped the pain would disappear. Luckily, my mum’s motherly concern ensured she popped back into my room to see me half an hour later. By this time I had to tell her what had happened as I couldn’t hide the pain any longer. An ambulance was called and within less than 15mins I was sat in A&E with gas and air.

Despite being early morning BRI A&E department was busy and hectic with patients queuing and waiting to be seen. This was also the same time BRI was making headlines for failing on customer care for their patients over November and Christmas. Beds were short and the waiting list for care was huge.

Anyway, to my disappointment the first consultant who saw me, was arrogant and implied that I was simply creating drama over a small incident and that I should take pain killers and go home and all will be OK. My family, neighbour and a close friend were with me and I don’t think they’ve ever seen me lose my cool with anyone, but the pain was such that I hurled abuse at the consultant and told him, how I didn’t want to be in A&E anymore than he did and if he doesn’t get my leg checked immediately there would be serious trouble. After finally having my leg checked by an expert and waiting almost 6 hours, I was admitted back in to hospital.

fp hospitalThe following day I had an X-ray done and the day after discharged as the consultant who checked my X-ray said there was no damage to my tendon repair and I am OK to go home. I was very surprised as my pain hadn’t reduced, in fact it was getting worse and I could feel my leg getting tighter around my cast.

Nevertheless, I went home, only to be back in hospital the next day for my routine outpatient check up with my consultant. During consultation, there was grave concern as my X-Ray was being analysed. My consultant was rather surprised that I was discharged from hospital when my X-ray showed some serious concern with my bones. Naturally I was surprised and wondered what he was talking about till he worryingly explained.

It seems that my bones in my right leg had started to shrink. Not only that, I seemed to be showing a hairline fracture around my knee area and a fracture to my right toe.

The excruciating pain was coming from bone loss. No one knew why my bones had started to rapidly shrink and I therefore, was not allowed to go home and was admitted again into hospital.

Over the coming weeks, my bones had shrunk so much that I no longer had an ankle and my right leg just became one big piece of flab. Consultants had booked me in for every test possible as it became difficult to find out what the cause was and whether I would walk again.

Originally, I was diagnosed with a rare illness called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, which apparently only 1 in 4000 people suffer from, but after seeing bubbling in my bones, not to mention my ability to cope with pain, tests for Myeloma, Bence Jones, Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and much more had started.

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These tests opened the flood gates of concern from my loved ones, which lead to increased hospital visits and increasing the support for my emotional needs. I wasn’t used to all the attention but was humbled by calls from relatives in India, Paris, Africa as well as UK based family and friends. The question they all asked was when will I be better and when I will walk again.

The only thing I could say was “you know me I’m still alive and that’s all that matters”, with a huge smile on my face. But deep down the same questions bothered me too. Will I ever recover and get back to work? I stayed in hospital till mid January 2014 and during these months in hospital I had to make some serious decisions about business and life. One of the biggest decisions was to close Asian Sunday Newspaper (both London and Bradford). By December 2014 the newspaper had stopped publishing and all staff had been made redundant.

 

The fact that today Asian Sunday newspaper is still being printed and has broke many stories and continues to be the leading FREE Sunday newspaper is probably down to my faith, the strength and support from my loyal business friends and family. It doesn’t matter what obstructions or mishaps come in your way, if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.

See you all same time next week.

 

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