Dog Bites Woman, Woman Bites Doc!

Hmmmm! Got bitten by a Berner!

What you say? Awful blimmin' nightmare silly week!

Total accident! My three, Sunny, Simmy and Barney! Royce and Kelvin came over last Sunday with Amber and Bo. Hot sunny day, just chilling out with a glass of wine. Robin was fussing Bo (who he hadn't met before. Simmy got a bit jealous and growled, I turned round to reassure him, Robin grabbed Bo by the collar, Bo broke free, I finished up in the middle of two dogs having a go. Not serious scrap, however my arm was in the middle of it and when I finally managed to stand up, I was pouring blood from four deep puncture wounds in my arm. Funny, I was checking all the dogs to see who got hurt as Sunny leapt in to sort it out too and there was blood everywhere. Took me a minute or two to realise it was mine!! Then I felt faint!
Staggered in the kitchen, arm under the tap running cold water, everyone rushing around in panic, where's the first aid kit? I grabbed kitchen roll staggered back outside to sit down and put compresson on the wounds, "Make me a mug of hot very sweet coffee!" says I, "I'm in shock!" Buggars, I'd only drunk half a mug when they whizzed me off to A&E in Hereford. "Please don't take me there," says I weakly, "The worst place in the world, call out Ros, my vet!" Well, two and a half hours later I am still in Casualty, blood stains all over me, except I hadn't dripped on the floor as bleeding had stopped by the time we got there. "Take me home" says I, "I need a drink, stiff brandy! I can deal with this" My turn, Doctor sees me, Dog Bite, "Has the dog been put down?" "No way!" says I, "It was my fault for not getting out of the way quick enough." Well, they squirt saline solution over the wounds, dab of iodine, bandage, 'scrip for two lots of antibiotics and send me home. Feed the dogs and collapse in bed!
Next day, I get up, keeping arm held high in the air. By evening, arm swelling, hurting a lot, bandage very tight. "Oh, that's natural" says Robin. Midnight, I cut bandage to relieve pressure, to my horror, splits like a plaster cast and realise was pressure bandage which had set solid. Still very tight. Very early morning, phone doc's surgery, this Jubilee Tuesday, so get locum at emergency clinic, agrees to meet me there. Peels back to reveal one puncture wound, pus erupts, blimmin' pressure cooker under that lid. Daren't do more and phones A&E theatre and am told they are expecting me.
Get there and wait further two and a half hours further in Casualty! Finally seen. "Please take this bandage off" says I, "It's killing me. Fingers buried, swollen above almost up to the armpit, thin bit where cut open bandage is, no red streak, had been taking antibios faithfully! Time goes by, arrangements are being made to take me down to theatre, knock me out General and open up the wounds, clean and scrape. Hah, superbug at work, resistant to the original antibios I was put on? Am hooked up to IV drip with different antibios!? Big Man finally arrives, Mr D.W. Williams! "Hello, Sir!" says I, "Please get them to take this bandage off!" Big Sir says "Do it!" "Aaaahhhhhh!" says I as more pus erupts from three further wounds and I instantly feel better!" "What idiot put this dressing on this woman?" says Big Sir.
"Well, actually, Sir," says Minion, "It was done here at A&E on Sunday!"
Everyone leaves the room in total silence and I am left with IV drip, dripping, but arm going down so am thankful for bit of peace and quiet!
4.00pm Tuesday afternoon. Then I am taken to private room on a ward, walking, feeling OK though arm still swollen and numb, collapse on the bed, am Nil by Mouth and lie there for hours not knowing what is happening. Couple of people pop in to ask me questions, take my temperature. I can hear Jubilee celebrations going on in the ward outside! Explore my fingers, arm high above my head clutching the bed rail. "God Save Our Gracious Queen!" Ist time, I can just clench the rail painfully, by the twelth time I can do it finger by finger as sensation is coming back! Also explore extending my fingers opening flat! "Hah" think I, "My hand is still alive and knows it belongs to me!"
12.30am Wednesday morning, Staff Nurse appears to hook me up to another IV antibio drip. "Please!" says I, "I presume no-one is about to operate on me now! I had a slice of toast at 4.30 am yesterday morning, two cups of coffee, if I dehydrate any further you will need to put me on saline drip" Jug of water, cup of coffee and a sandwich miraculously appear. Bliss! Make sure she takes temp before I drink the coffee, then I sleep until 6.30 when I am hooked up to IV drip again.
Breakfast at seven. 9.00 am. Big Sir arrives. Says "Can you clench your fist?" "Yes!" says I "God save the Queen! And also can straighten my fingers! Ring finger is bit reluctant but that's the one they tried to straighten out in A&E to cut my rings off, (oops, Robin, you've still got them) guess that had extra trauma! Hand and arm still swollen but can see my knuckles and my elbow is back! Feel fine!" "The lady can go home tomorrow on oral antibios!" says Big Sir and sweeps away!
Thursday, 2.00pm, no doctor and seems I cannot go home without his written permission and Big Sir is now unavailable as at his private clinic or the golf course. By now I am up and running, and getting a bit mad. Having to chase up the staff to change my dressings and so far no-one has properly cleaned my wounds, dry dressing once a day is on my notes and nurses are noting wounds still weeping. Well I am moving the dressings round to keep them open! Hands and fingers more mobile ,and fingers not swollen at all now! Sympathetic staff nurse tries to sort it, best she can do is Sir's 1st Minion says I can go home after fifth day of IV antibios! Sunday 2pm.
Angel staff nurse smothers me IV thingy and hospital ID tag in Mummy drapes and I sneak out the back door and go home for a few hours! Her head would have rolled, she took it on herself to sneak me out, Some time at home to cuddle my dogs, they were so understanding and Barney who has been rehomed to me and suddenly away, what a boy, he understands too.
Well, by now. All the hospital is doing for me is IV drip midnight and six in the morning (Sadistic night Staff Nurse,1.00am and 5.00am!) IV drip at 2pm and rest of the time I am wandering around, arm and hand almost back to normal, can use it to open cold tap in staff kitchen that nurse confesses she finds difficult with good hand, have sorted out overflow in loo, (fully dressed all the time, no-one realises I am a patient), nipping to the shop for the nurses and helping with the washing up. Bored, getting dangerous!
Friday lunchtime! Am told now is hospital protocol that I cannot go home until Monday and I have seen Big Sir when he does his rounds, kowtow! Ask to see man in charge seems I am A-team, B team is running the show. Finally B team 1st Minion comes to see me. Well, he gets very hard time! I lambast him and tell him what a stinking mess I find this hospital protocol where I get pumped full of highly expensive IV drugs when I should be at home, managing my own wound management a damn sight better than their policy and if they hadn't f***ed it up in the first place I wouldn't even be here! And four days later here no-one had dressed my wounds correctly and this was the second time I have had problems with this A&E Dept and unless it was sorted by Sunday and I could go home heads would roll!! Exit 1st Minion saying he would speak to the Boss Man!!!
I fumed and fumed, made myself endless cups of coffee when really I shouldn't even have been in the kitchen, everyone was keeping out of my way, fixed the loo again as Engineer still hadn't arrived, copped junky patient in the garden who was about to Shoot the Dragon when I appeared round the corner and went and got his Mum! I was in bad mood!!!
Haaahhh! Calm Jean, go and do your finger exercises make sure the hand is working. Go to bed, IV again at Midnight, rest until then! Just settled down and knock at the door and in comes Mr Registrar, VIP, almost 11pm now! Well, I sit up in bed and shake hands. Tells me he has come to clean my wounds properly and I tell him it's about time someone did! Ask him to turn his back while I get dressed, slip on my jeans! OK ready for this exchange! Says he is told I disprove of the way this hospital deals with animal bites, puncture wounds. Policy is that IV antibiotics work!
I tell him he is talking dipshit, is he expecting that pumping in drugs one end will shove out the bad stuff the other end. How about dealing with the wounds themselves? Ah, but this is only done under General Anaesthetic! Then, Oh Boy, was he in for big trouble.
He had a good half hour where he couldn't get a word in edgewise where I told him he was totally inexperienced in this field. "I have kept animals all my life, young man!" Was trained by highly qualified vets how to deal with this (they hate that as Vets are always more highly qualified than them!)That I no doubt had dealt with more wounds of this kind than he had ever seen. And I have never lost an animal to septicemia or had animal with abcess that was not now thriving. Then he called my bluff! To my puncture wounds!
OK says I "What would you do with me under General" "Scrub them and clean" "Go Fetch!" Came back with sterile scrub (actually pretty plastic toy that works but is not macho!) I take it, get my arm underwater and scrub, tons better than picking them off I promise you! Then over to him. Well he reluctantly picks up syringe (no needle) fills it with sterile water. "Best you can do says I, my vet, has foamy pink animal wound cleanser that also helps prevents sides of wound sticking together" Tentively inserts into deepest puncture wound, more says I. Then he squirts it! Finally gets the message this does not hurt, is pure relief from that itching!! You could not keep a cat still unless it appreciated the benefit! Well, he washed all my wounds.Dressed them and then exerting macho bit insisted I rested my arm in this goddamn foam arm rest contraption they have that lifts your arm up in the air. Complied, rolled over and demonstrated how easy it is to fall out of bed if you are in one of these. Hmm! He left saying crossed fingers you get out Sunday, I sent him crossed fingers bad hand (been practising) Will Do!
Sunday, I am home with Official Discharge. I had threatened I would discharge myself, go Private, just sneak out and leave a note! Whatever, I was coming home! Angel Staff Sister knew it, my bag was packed at 6.00 am! Last of the IV injections was 2pm, end of five day course, had arranged with Kelvin and Royce to pick me up. She set me slow drip (could have turned it up!) By the end, had been visited by all Officialdom to sort out discharge papers! And then Mr Registrar 2 appeared! Took one look at wounds and said they look fine by me, signed and I was free! (He fled, had no doubt heard from Mr Registrar1)
Have to make appointment with Big Sir for Thursday and guess will have a few things to talk about. I expect he thought I was home Thursday last week ANYWAY!
What a waste of a week!
Last night Kelvin, Royce and I sat outside just one week later, seems the last week was but a dream! All our Berners are peaceful, Robin is back in Manchester.
Off to soak my wounds in hot salt water! Aaaahhh!

3rd July '02 Four weeks plus later, all is well! All healed!

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