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Eastern Europe Trip

A year of adventure and misfortune - the story of our Eastern Europe trip, the accident and subsequent recovery, and our lives up until September 2008... For the latest blog, click on Blogs in the header...

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Christmas postponed... but not for too long...

Talk about a roller-coaster ride! Tracy's recovery seems to have more ups and downs than a yo-yo...

First, there was the visit to the physio last Thursday. They assessed her elbow and shoulder and gave her some basic exercises to get some movement back - and gave encouraging indications that the stiffness and lack of movement was 'expected' and 'recoverable with time and effort'. They referred her to the specialist hand unit for physio on her hand, and we got an immediate appointment for 8am the following day. This went well too, with a reasonable degree of movement in her wrist (she can't bend it back yet, so no 'rolling on the throttle' movement) and also reasonable movement in her fingers - again the prognosis is good, with expectations of 'months and months' of exercise required to extend the range of movement but high expectations for a good recovery. They even made up 2 splints - one for the daytime so she can exercise her fingers, and one of night-time to keep her wrist straight.

All good stuff...

Then we hit a problem on Monday morning. When Tracy tried to get out of bed she was in much more pain than normal and when finally stood up she couldn't move her right leg to walk. We laid her down and adjusted the back brace, but the problem remained and she was in real pain. Desperate to go to the toilet, I had to lift her onto the commode in the bedroom as she simply couldn't walk. I rang the hospital for advice and was told to take her to either our GP or A&E... only there was no way I was going to try and get her downstairs, so I dialled 999 and called an ambulance. When they arrived, they put Tracy onto a back-board, which made her back even more painful as her spine protrudes where it was broken and the board was solid and flat. They then carried her downstairs and into the ambulance and off we went, back to Hope Hospital. The journey was one that Tracy won't forget in a hurry, as she was in absolute agony with every jolt (and there were many) and the paramedics were unable to give her any more pain releif as it would have made diagnosis more difficult when we arrived. They did everything they could to ensure that as soon as we arrived at the hospital she was seen, and it wasn't long before she had a shot of morphine and was on a more comfortable bed, having been initially examined by the registrar. Then it was off to have an MRI scan, which fortunately revealed no further nerve damage and suggested that the bones in her back had simply shifted a little, causing the pain by trapping or pushing on a nerve...

And so she was admitted back into hospital, but not as yet back to the spinal unit. This afternoon she saw the consultant and has been told that she's booked in for a CT scan tomorrow (Wednesday) and an operation to pin her vertebrae on Monday (Christmas Eve). The operation lasts for around 3 hours, and afterwards she'll spend a night in ICU before returning to the ward (hopefully by then she'll be on the Spinal Unit so she can spend Christmas Day with the team she already knows well). After that she'll have some physio to get her up and about, then hopefully she'll be home before the weekend (in time for New Year).

Clearly, having Tracy in hospital at Christmas is not what we wanted, but at least now she'll have her back fixed and that should put an end (or start to put an end) to the pain she's been in all this time.

So, in the Beattie household at least, Christmas will be postponed for a few days until Tracy has had the op and is back home to enjoy it with us...

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