Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What a week!

Hi Blogger friends. I've been absent since last Sunday (which was Ambrose' post anyway) but I had a good reason for my non-blogging. 

It all started a year ago here in SA when Grant went to the doctor with a painful elbow. The doctor treated him and as this happened the day before we left for Tanzania, Grant traveled with a slightly painful arm but nothing too serious.

A week later he visited the hospital in Mwadui as his arm had swollen up again.  The doctor there looked at the swollen elbow and diagnosed an abscess under the skin. He sent Grant to John, the nursing sister (the same one who treated my cat bite wounds successfully in September) and so started a long serious of draining the wound - although there was nothing much there -  and then daily dressing of the wound for about six weeks. 

The pain subsided slightly but by late January, Grant's arm swelled up again. By now we were on our way back to South Africa. As soon as he could, Grant visited our local doctor again and was treated for pain. A few weeks later he was back at the doctor who now sent him for X-rays. These revealed nothing and Grant's arm seemed to be fine for a few months.

In July he started to complain about the elbow paining again. Back to the doctor for pain injections and oral anti-inflammatory medication. 

And all the while, although some days the pain was less than others, if he just dared to do anything in his workshop, he'd not close an eye that night. (Of course, this meant I didn't get any sleep either!)

Then we put Grant's elbow issues on the back burner while we ferried MIL to and from the city over a period of five weeks when she had her eye laser procedure. 

By now, Grant was in so much pain that he was in and out of the doctor's surgery on a regular basis. The doctor tried to make an appointment with a rheumatologist who 's first opening was the 20th January 2016! 

By the last week of October, when I booked him an umpteenth appointment, I told him to sit in the doctor's room until his receptionist had managed to get him to a specialist in the city. Within an hour of him returning home that day, the receptionist whom I know well, phoned me and said Grant had two appointments for Monday 2nd of November! How about that?

We arrived at the first appointment where the doctor took a sonar scan of Grant's elbow. Grant was quite fascinated as he could see the workings of his arm under the skin squirming on the screen before him. The doctor, however, said that Grant's elbow, arm and even his shoulder showed sever signs of stress and damage. As he handed Grant the disc to take to the next appointment, which was to the orthopedic surgeon, he wished Grant "good luck"! 

After this specialist had examined Grant and seen the sonar results, he immediately booked Grant into the Medi- clinic within the same building complex as the specialists' rooms. He'd scheduled surgery for Tuesday afternoon. 
Grant unpacking his suitcase (we'd taken one each, in case !) into the cupboard. He was thrilled to have a private room at the end of the surgical level wards

After a year of uncertainty and trial and error, suddenly things moved incredibly quickly. The nursing staff took umpteen tests; a physician visited Grant to check his lung function and the surgeon came in early the next morning to tell Grant that he'd undergo surgery later that day.

I'd booked into one of the many B&B's just opposite the clinic; once I'd dropped my small overnight case in my room, I went back to wait with Grant in his ward! 
The prospective patient
 waits to be wheeled into the theater! 

I sent WA messages to family and friends (thanks to Blogger friends who'd missed me online for their concern and support) Rina who was caring for our home and pets in my absence;  and of course, to sons, John and Angus and their wives who wanted regular updates on how "Dad" was faring! 

At 10 to four that afternoon, Grant went into theater and I dashed downstairs to buy a yogurt and fruit for my breakfast. He was on a Nil Per Mouth diet because of the impending operation, so I couldn't eat in front of him!

He was wheeled into the ward at 10 past five that evening; apart from his pale countenance and the bandaged, half-cast supported arm, he was compos mentis and quite chatty! 
Comfortable and for the first time, a pain free arm! 

The next day Grant was up and about.
Here he checks the fluid in the nebulizer which the sister attached every afternoon!

I arrived at the hospital every morning before 7. I'd sit in the visitor's chair near the window and keep Grant company. By mid-morning I'd walk across to the shopping mall, where I'd buy a tub of yogurt and a small fruit salad. This would cover my breakfast meal - albeit a little late! 
This photo was taken a couple of hours before the doctors discharged Grant! 

The orthopedic surgeon explained that somehow Grant had picked up an infection under the elbow skin. Under surgery he'd taken swabs of the matter to have analysed. He said the results could yield TB, cancer, arthritis to name a few! He also repaired the damaged tendons and when he asked Grant to give him a "thumbs up", he could do this easily.  

Fortunately, on the last day, the results returned and the matter was plain ole stapphylococus which is sensitive to oral antibiotics and he'd treat Grant accordingly. 

After four nights and five days in the city, at last we were on our way home. Grant insisted on driving 

By 2pm we were back in Marquard. Grant has to keep the cast on for the next two weeks when he goes for his check-up with the surgeon. At last he'll be able to work comfortably - he's left-handed and at last I'm able to catch up on my sleep! 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


  1. Whew! Grant has been through a lot with that arm (and you have vicariously too). I'm so glad you were able to get it all sorted out and that he is on the mend. I'd wondered where you were but assumed you were perhaps having to deal with MIL health issues only to discover it was Grant's issues. Big hugs and good rest. xx

  2. Hello Jo! Oh dear, I was thinking you were off on a road trip. I am glad your Grant is OK now after the surgery. I hope he recovers fully and his arm is back to normal soon. You have had a busy couple fo weeks with MIL and Grant. I hope things calm down now. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

  3. so sorry he's been living with this on-going pain and uncertainty all this time, but really glad to hear the results were quick and positive! heal well, grant!

  4. thanks for filling us all in and I am pleaed that it was not more serious. Driving home with 1 arm was not a bright thing to do as it put both of you at risk and I am sure you were not very comfortabe about him doing it. Hope he improves quickly.

  5. Oh, I'm so glad to hear the good results -- and that this time they were quick!! Take care!!

  6. What an ordeal. But glad an answer, of some sort, has finally come.

  7. Oh my goodness, I wasn't feeling good myself so I only visited those who had commented on my posts and of course missed all this ! You must have had a hard time ! Glad that it is over now ! Grant must be relieved all this pain and for so long must have been dreadful !


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