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to be a petulant child and feel Hard Done By?

(76 Posts)
Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:23:46

am stuck at home with a knee injury, I can't weight bear at all and need crutches to get even a tiny distance

I have been referred to the Acute Knee Team (who knew?) and should be seen fairly quickly. My GP thinks I have torn my anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus

The real bugger is that I can't get to the loo safely without help, because I can't get the crutches up the stairs and I need them to get to the loo from the top of the stairs. When dh or kids are here they take the crutches up and give them to me when I get there

I needed the loo earlier and obviously dh couldn't just pop home and help me, he is 5 minutes away by bike and would come if he could but he is under serious pressure today. So we agreed (via messenger) that I would try by myself and take my phone so I could ring him if in trouble. So I did it by myself, couldn't get the crutches up the stairs so had to half-hop/weight bear on the bad knee, which is now agonising. Am aggrieved and sorry for myself. Especially as when I was trying to hop to the loo the phone fell on my foot <childish wail>

I can't phone a fried to come and help me go to the toilet, I really can't. And I can't get at food and drink either because I need both crutches to get to the kitchen. This has been going on since last Monday and I am fed up!

self-pitying rant over. Please don't flame me. Am not blaming anyone.

Katla Sun 17-Feb-13 11:22:36

I'd pee in a jug and put down sink - my grandad used to do this as he was 90 and peed all the time (prostate issues). I always used to bleach the sink when I visited.

I used to pee in sink in room when I stayed in uni halls to avoid trek along corridor in night blush

sydlexic Sun 17-Feb-13 09:15:32

Stay upstairs, get DH to make you a packed lunch and a flask before he leaves.

maddening Sat 16-Feb-13 20:57:01

You can also do it on line - that's how I did my hernia referral - you can view the available hospitals and look at ratings, wait times, patient reviews and book your appointment - actually a v good system - if there is a hospital you prefer but not ob your list ask the gp if that hospital has the right facilities and they can add it ti yiyr list of available hospitals to book from.

ZebraOwl Sat 16-Feb-13 18:46:50

Golly. Look at me being useful & not just a babbling fool. Am glad to have been of some help: you are v welcome & feel free to message me if you think I might be able to help more...

Oooh, is that a choose&book thingy? I had one of those once, I think. Mostly I can only see one person in one place IN THE WORLD so I don't get any choice... Um, yes, waiting time starts from receipt of referral. You should've been given the choose&book stuff at your appointment, though (or had a "normal" referral sent through by the doctor) not be getting it now. Boo. And also hiss.

Seems a bit mean for your shoulder to be picking on you too. Is it that it's not liking the crutches, do you think?

Greensleeves Sat 16-Feb-13 00:14:07

Hi, thanks for asking after me! And thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement, it's bloody lonely being stuck day after day and MN makes it all OK grin

ZebraOwl your post was so packed with helpfulness I have printed it out, thank you x

I'm still in pain and still can't weight bear, with the added fun of now having trapped a nerve in my shoulder so I can't turn my head properly or use my left arm properly! I have done that before though. Am using scarf as a neck brace and gritting my teeth a lot. Am unbelievably fed up.

I got a strange document from the GP surgery today, it is a form with a password on it; apparently I have to ring up the specialist and quote the password at them to get an appt. My suspicion is that the magical "two week wait" the GP waxed lyrical about begins when I make the call. And the almost 2 weeks I have been housebound in pain don't count <cynic>

steppemum Fri 15-Feb-13 22:56:06

Hi sorry if repeating. I had bad broken ankle last year and was on crutches and couldn't weight bear.
(we do have downstairs loo though)

I went up and down stairs on all fours, or on bum with crutches in one hand. it was slow and and painful. I couldn't use crutches on stairs, I just didn't feel safe, partly because I felt wobbly anyway, so felt more wobbly on crutches.

I used an apron and a thermos. Made a thermos of tea, put thermos and mug in apron pocket and then crutched back to lounge. rucksack is a great idea (which I didn't think of)

I got dh to bring everything into the lounge in morning. It was a nightmare if I forgot something.

Worse part was when he went away for 1 week 3 days after i got out of hospital. We have 3 young dcs, and they needed to get up dressed, packed lunches school etc etc. Nightmare week. I only survived because my friends made a rota and someone came every night to bring dinner and put kids to bed.

soaccidentprone Fri 15-Feb-13 22:44:19


just wondered whether you had rec'd your referral letter yet and how you're doing generally?

valiumredhead Thu 14-Feb-13 09:58:29

Personally I would go to A and E and not move until I had seen someone - it is an emergency if you are left at home, not shown how to use crutches properly and can't get to the loo safely.

maddening Thu 14-Feb-13 09:19:24

Can you make a nuisance of yourself at the gp? Really fight for the things you need - straight away you need crutches and a comode. Then you need to know the current situation of the referral - where are they in the process?

HintofBream Thu 14-Feb-13 08:36:38

It seems crazy that you are having to wait for a proper diagnosis. I tore my ACL skiing and was xrayed and plastered immediately in a french clinic with a letter for UK consultant and was re -xrayed and re plastered again back home. Leg in plaster for six weeks, a bit skinny and wobbly when plaster off but ok for skiing on in less than twelve months. Agree with Zebra, if you had turned up at A&E you would have been seen and sorted.

NeverQuiteSure Thu 14-Feb-13 08:30:33

How are you feeling this morning Greensleeves? Did you manage to get some sleep?

ZebraOwl Thu 14-Feb-13 01:38:33

Sorry if I missed the explanation, but why can't you go upstairs using your crutches? I've had an awful lot of time on crutches, including several months following major reconstructive work to both knees at the same time (not as clever as plan as my surgeon insisted, really not) so do know that crutches-on-stairs can be tricky (& nerve-wracking), but it should be doable. If it's a stability problem, do you have a bannister so you can use one crutch & hold the bannister for more sturdy support.

I'd guess the reason the hospital want you to attend to get crutches is so that they can ensure they're adjusted correctly & so a physio can show you how to manage stairs etc safely. Which I get is a PITA when the hospital's a massive trek, but does make sense. Please be careful if you get crutches via Freecycle: check the bottoms of them for wear&tear as you can end up injuring yourself if they suddenly split or if they've got uneven patterns of wear. Make sure they lock into position fully & that the arm supports aren't cracked or anything. Tbh people shouldn't really be Freecycling NHS crutches: they should go back to the hospital when you no longer need them. I do still have three lots at home, in fairness, but that's one up & one down & my really quite knackered pair I can get manky in fields etc...

Definitely use a rucksack/bag that can go across you rather than just over one shoulder to trot your stuff about the house. Establishing a Base For The Day (as far as is possible) is also a very good plan. A supply of things like cereal bars/fruit & if possible a packed meal left for you for a mealtime you'll be on your own's v important. Water bottles are your friend. A flask for hot drinks is a plan. Having a variety of amusements to hand is vital: a choice of books, playing cards, craftstuff, access to the interwebs, teach-yourself-Mandarin course (or, y'know, whatever) so that ifwhen you get bored with something you don't find yourself stuck twiddling your thumbs in frustration.

Bit worried your GP didn't sort out suitable pain relief for you & that you seem to be being left so much to fend for yourself. I know there's only so much anyone can do & there will always be a wait to see a specialist but I can't help but feel if you'd presented at A&E you'd've got more help & advice for The Wait.

On the loo front, if you've not already discovered this, PJs/jogging bottom-type-trousers are your friends. Not only will they be loose around the knee area, they're much easier to get in & out of. Also, you only need to get them down enough you'll not actually be sitting on them before you sit & it's a good idea to pull them as far back up as is possible whilst you're still sitting. With practice you can do an impressive manoeuvre where you get your bottoms as far up as possible then sort of slide yourself slightly forwards off the seat to get them a bit further up before you stand up whilst finishing the ascent of the clothing. If you get a bit overenergetic you might fall over though. (I never actually fell, but there might've been a spot of flailing on a few occasions. Hem.)

Oh & before I forget YADNBU. Not even a little bit. It is vile being in pain & feeling so helpless. Not being able to do basic things is massively frustrating & can be very distressing. Hope that referrals etc come through soon but in the meantime don't be afraid to contact the GP again to ask if there's anywhere you can apply to for help, eg District Nursing Team.

holidaysarenice Thu 14-Feb-13 01:23:05

Your local physio dept will give u more crutches. It might need a gp call/letter sent over as well.

Ps there are safe ways of stairs and crutches too

Greensleeves Thu 14-Feb-13 00:13:29

soaccidentprone, when you say it may take a while, do you mean weeks? I work with young children which is quite physical

sorry to harp, can't sleep and am fretting a bit

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 23:48:46

I will try freecycle for crutches, that's a great idea. And will google for more info o recovery time etc. It's frustrating just sitting here in pain waiting to find out what's actually wrong

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 22:47:41

I'm afraid your knee is going to take a while to heal, so you are going to need to work on how you are going to safely get around.

there is normally lots of advice on the internet that may help you. when you get your referral you need to ask for a referral to an occupational therapist who will do an assessment and give you practical advice and maybe equipment to help you manage.

maybe you could ask on freecycle for some more crutches?

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Feb-13 22:30:17

I have no experience of this, or anything like it but surely you must be able to phone the surgery and ask for nursing help? Phone up and ask - you have nothing to lose!

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 22:20:04

just bumping in case anyone knows anything about treatment/recovery for this (though I helpfully don't know exactly what I have done)

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 20:56:51

No district nurse mentioned, nothing until the appointment with the knee specialist comes up. I do feel a bit "dumped" tbh, but I suppose there is nothing anyone can do at this point.

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Feb-13 20:10:00

Surely the District Nurse should be involved and giving you a commode / cardboard hospital bedpans or whatever you need?

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 20:05:32

Lyra, I could decamp to upstairs but I would be horribly bored - no tv up there blush and our room is pretty small, I would feel quite trapped - and at least down here I get to eat with the kids and help with homework and bedtime etc

Those who have had similar injuries - have you any idea how likely it is that I will have to have surgery, or a cast? And how long the recovery is likely to be? thanks for all advice x

Lyrasilvertongued Wed 13-Feb-13 19:08:26

could you set up camp upstairs - is your bedroom up there next to the bathroom? that way you could wait until dh comes home, go down to the kitchen and prepare yourself some bottles of water/juice and food for the next day to keep upstairs and ask him to make you a flask of tea in the morning before he leaves? I know it's a bit 'cabin fevery' but in the short term it might be easier than what you're having to cope with just now. Sending you get well soon wishes, it sounds awful sad

Booyhoo Wed 13-Feb-13 18:44:08

i wonder if there was a MNer near you that could come and show you how to use them properly and go up and down the stairs. only of you wanted that of course.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 13-Feb-13 17:27:18

You need for your GP to arrange for a physio to show correctly how to travel up and down stairs with crutches. There is a specific technique, though as you have just been given crutches and not taught how to use them you may not be using them correctly either.
I spent several months on crutches and initially had no specific teaching then when I did from the physios my world was transformed. I travelled to London, on the buses and tube all safely as I knew how to use them properly.

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 17:20:50

I haven't been in hospital gallifrey, nobody has shown me anything. I'm waiting to see a knee specialist until then I am just stuck.

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