Monthly Archives: July 2018

Bone spurs

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Sunday 1st to Thursday 12th July

More lovely weather β˜€οΈ so when I wasn’t at work I could mostly be found walking (I was finding some of the longer ones hard going, I blame the heat as well as my toe πŸ˜–) or pottering about in my garden 🌻 Or if an England game was on, in the pub! It was fun going out to watch the football, that is of course until they lost in the semi finals and were knocked out of the World Cup. That was sad ☹️

I visited the John Radcliffe Hospital on the NHS’ 70th birthday.

I gatecrashed a walk which the Oxfordshire NHS Retirement Fellowship (a group of former NHS staff) had organised, between the four major hospitals in Oxford, which I found out was starting off from the John Radcliffe! (Thank you for letting me join in 🀣)

And I bought some special jazzy cake which I ate while sat in the sunshine in the JR garden to, in my own way, say Happy Birthday and thank you for saving my life πŸ‘

I went for my yearly skin check. This is something I need to have because I take immunosuppressants and ‘solar keratoses’ (an early warning sign which develops before skin cancer) were found last year.

‘If you have had a transplant or have other chronic medical conditions you will be given immunosuppressive drugs. These can prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted organ or are used to treat your medical condition. These drugs work by reducing your immune (defence) system. However, these treatments also increase your risk of skin cancer and some benign (non-cancerous) lesions and infections.’

I was okay this time πŸ‘Œ

And I finally had my very long awaited podiatry appointment.

The podiatrist did an ultrasound on my big toe. He was very good and showed me the screen and explained it to me. Then he did the same on the other big toe and you could very clearly see the difference between the two. Quite fascinating really.

So – I have two spurs which have grown on the top of the two bones in the joint where my big toe joins my foot! As this joint moves when I walk they are rubbing together and this is what is causing such pain. There is also some inflammation.

“What is a Bone Spur in the Big Toe?

The MTP joint, or the metatarsophalangeal joint in the foot is located at the base of the big toe. This spot is the most common site for arthritis. This joint is very important since only when this joint bends can you take a step. Since every time the MTP joint bends when you are taking a step, walking will become very difficult if this joint becomes painful and you find difficulty in bending this joint.

Like every other joint of the body, the MTP joint is covered by a circular smooth cartilage where the two bones meet. In case of any kind of damage that has occurred in this cartilage like wear and tear of the articular cartilage, the bone ends tend to rub together. These raw bone ends rubbing together lead to the formation of an outgrowth on the bone which is identified as bone spurs. The bone spur in the big toe not only develops difficulty in walking but also causes pain while you try to bend your toe, hallux rigidus. This causes tremendous stress to the joint (occurring in humans between the age of 30 and 60) and damages the bones leading to the creation of differences in foot anatomy.”

Now while it is a good thing that at long last I finally know why my toe hurts SO bad, it seems that there is not really too much that can be done about it 😩 I’m not allowed to take the recommended anti-inflammatory medication ibuprofen which can ease the swelling and the pain, they can give a steroid injection into the joint but as I am not a ‘normal’ person the podiatrist seemed to think that it would not be a good idea for me to have this and if it gets very severe they do sometimes operate but he also thought that this would try to be avoided, so the only answer for me it seems to be is to try to alter the way I walk so that the bones don’t get the chance to rub together! The podiatrist suggested I do this with shoes with ‘rocker’ soles so I guess that I will just carry on putting up with it until I have searched out some of these shoes …

Then time for me to help just a tiny bit with setting up behind the Riverside stage at Cornbury Music Festival.

Fluid

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Monday 18th to Saturday 30th June

The rest of June continued to be hot and sunny.

I enjoyed all the England games in the football ⚽ They’re doing well so far …

I was working while really not feeling very well again. I don’t recommend it! It’s SO hard 😣 My body felt so heavy. I was exhausted, all I wanted to do was lay down. I didn’t really want to eat much and I think maybe I was a bit dehydrated. I made myself drink some extra water during the evening!

I ended up having yet another outbreak of the Shingles virus but this time I was also getting random tiny red spots coming up on different parts of my body, they were very itchy and sore, then they would just disappear and another one in a different place would come πŸ˜–

There was an evening visit to an outdoor cinema event to watch Grease which was fun.

And a visit to Blenheim Palace Flower Show.

There were barbecues πŸŒ­πŸ”πŸ₯—πŸ˜‹ and of course walks πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ

On 25th June I had my clinic appointment at the QE. I was to have an ultrasound scan too this time, so nothing to eat and only clear fluids for the six hours before.

The sonographer told me that the liver looked okay but that he could see some fluid around it. I was a bit shocked when he told me and a bit scared. I just wasn’t expecting that. Apart from the hospital stay in the summer following my transplants everything seems to have been going okay. Why was there suddenly fluid again, what did that mean?

I was allowed to eat and drink as normal now so I took myself for a coffee and calmed down.

They were busy getting ready for filming at the QE. A special live event for the TV was being filmed there tomorrow evening to celebrate the NHS at 70.

Time for my appointment to see the consultant. Professor Hirschfield, who I usually see, wasn’t there. He’s leaving soon anyway. So I saw another one of the doctors that used to come round to my hospital bed during their visits. He had the results of my scan ready on his screen. He confirmed that there was fluid, he would wait for the results of my bloods which would be taken today, before deciding what to do next. So I guess I wait and see …

I told him about the constant Shingles that I’ve been getting. He emailed a specialist while I was sat there, to see if there was something that can be done to help, as when I had the medication for it before transplant I was allergic to it and had to stop taking it. He also asked for them to take extra blood this time to check if I had any viruses, as he didn’t think the random spots were connected to the Shingles.

I also asked him if he could check if the uric acid level in my blood had gone up, to find out if the pain in my big toe could be caused by gout, as was once suspected. Best to know and be able to rule things out I thought.

So more blood was needed today πŸ˜–

Then before I left, a visit to see my lovely Critical Care nurse Anisa. She always takes me for a little walk around to see if any of the nurses remember me. They are always pleased to see how well an ex patient of theirs is doing, as unlike working on the wards they don’t get to see their patients ready to go home.

A bit of a stressful visit, time to drive myself back πŸš—