Monday, 2 January 2017

I Am A Bleeder

I'm a bleeder. I didn't used to be his way. Before atherosclerosis, before ALS, before heart attacks, before DVT, before the last 10 years, I had very clotty blood. Often if I cut myself, simply rinsing the cut and patting it down was sufficient. These days when I cut myself even the smallest cut bleeds like a sliced main artery. I cut myself this morning.

This was not a simple slice of the knife. No, this was a performance. I awoke at 8:20 AM with a growling pain in my lower stomach, one of those gas bubbles which is really telling you to use the toilet, now. Knowing the potential cost of waiting, I got up early, dozy, unstable. I transferred to my commode chair and made my way to the bathroom. I positioned myself over the toilet and took off my underwear.

I dropped them, right in front of me. So I leaned over a bit, grabbing at the handrail of the commode chair, in an effort to pick them up. This is the moment I noticed that the handrail was in the raised position, leaving me to grab at nothing but thin air. My forward lean continued unabated until I tumbled out of the commode chair and onto the bathroom tile. At first I thought I was fine. Then I got a look at my left foot. I was bleeding, lots of bleeding. Enough bleeding that my HCA, when she got here, said it looked like a murder scene. I have pictures to prove it.

There was little I could do at this point. I was on the floor, bleeding, in the bathroom. So I gathered up my strength, still weakened from my cold, and slid myself slowly into the bedroom. I managed to sit myself up against my bedframe where I could put myself into my sling. This was not all one smooth maneuver; I rested first at the bathroom door, then at the bedroom door, then against my bed. Once I had enough strength, I put on my sling and lifted myself onto my bed.

The blood trail was impressive, once again leading to comments of a scene out of Psycho or some other slasher movie. I waited for my Home Care Aide to arrive. When she did, her first suggestion was that we call EMS to bandage it. We called. They came. Bandages were applied. Then my HCA got to work with the mop, cleaning up this scene from a B movie.

Alas this is not quite the end of the story. A few hours later I needed once again to go to the toilet. I had not been successful earlier in the day. So I swung my feet off the bed to transfer into my commode chair. The bleeding started again, not so bad as before, just a drop here and there. So off I went to do my duty. Katherine was here by now, and she started the clean up.

After transferring onto the bed, she wanted to clean the blood off of my foot. No problem, except she removed all the bandaging which the folks from EMS had carefully applied. I have no replacements for this bandage, so Katherine thought a paper towel would do. After some vibrant discussion about how this was a very bad idea, I called my friend Anne to come and play first aid nurse. She is on her way now, with gauze pads, gauze tape, and hospital tape.

Anne will tape me up, but I am likely to be stuck here in bed at least until tomorrow. I need to keep this foot elevated. After all, I am a bleeder these days.

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