After my second emergency operation I was back into the surgical recovery unit briefly, then back to the ward. I don’t remember huge amounts about it, until one afternoon, I was visited by an infection control nurse.
I’ve already detailed the whole story in this post but I shall summarise a bit for you.
I had MRSA. It was unclear if a visitor had brought it in or if I had picked it up in the hospital, but I had it. At first I thought this meant I would die, and that ignorance is a problem, but I was given a course of antibiotics (Vancomycin) a special body wash, and nasal gel. I was put into a side room and barrier nursed – visitors also had to wear aprons and gloves, and be even more though with their hand gel use.
I still had to do physiotherapy – learning to walk again and it was quite isolating being on my own and not chatting to other patients in the bay – but it did mean I got better sleep. The rest of the hospital stay was fairly uneventful. I had my staples removed, and was eventually allowed home, about 3 stone lighter and trying to get used to life with an ileostomy bag.
There followed a few weeks of dressing changes, a few scary moments when I blacked out due to anaemia, and slowly building up my strength – progressively longer walks, being knackered just from having a shower, getting rid of the MRSA and getting back in touch with friends.
One story always makes me chuckle now – a friend from uni, who I spoke to on a fairly regular basis – thought they had somehow offended me as they hadn’t heard from me, to eventually after about 6 weeks get a voice mail from my mum explaining I was in hospital. This was pre-Facebook!
So having spent 7 weeks in hospital, now it was time to start rebuilding my life – finding a job, getting benefits sorted (I was self-employed at the time so no sick pay) getting off the painkillers and steroids – and this all went quite well. Some leaks and the odd big explosion, but all was good. I started working, in December 2005 as a youth worker in Peterborough and was able to return to fencing. Without a colon, things seemed to be much better. However, I was not finished yet…
This blog post is part of a series I’m writing in the run up to my stoma surgery in January 2015. If you’ve found it interesting, please do share it, and if you can, support CCUK & the ia by donating at my Virgin Money Giving page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RichardHarris19