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Friday 8 February 2013


You may be thinking, "This sounds nasty!!"

Well, you are absolutely correct - it was, and very scary too.

This story continues from the events contained in my post last week where I gave you a preview of coming attractions, or otherwise, and where I got the shock of my life in the shower.

No, I did not see myself starkers in the mirror either, although I did wonder at one stage whether I was experiencing a reenactment of Alfred Hitchcock's famous film, Psycho, without the screeching violins.

The night before Mrs Bluelights' discharge from hospital I indeed had nasty shock. I was taking a shower quite late at night. I had visited Mrs Bluelights at the hospital everyday for a week and by the time I had dealt with all the telephone calls from anxious relatives I was, as we say here, 'dead bushed' and ready to turn in, but before doing so I had my customary shower which I always enjoy.

All week the weather had been very cold outside, having snowed heavily for a few days, and was now well and truly iced up. The shower was nice and warm and I had just washed my hair when I noticed some blood in the bath - you see we have a shower which drains into the bath and not a separate unit. I was somewhat puzzled as to from where this was coming and I could not see properly because my glasses were parked across the room.

There was more blood - soon much more, and I began to get really concerned. I thought it may be from a leg but I didn't know from which one, so I quickly shut off the shower, hopped out of the bath and got my glasses. By now I was getting cold, I was very wet and a lot of me was covered in blood. I then looked down and saw a fine jet of blood squirting from my leg, projecting 3 feet at least. It might just as well have been an artery and to make matters worse only a few days before I had donated my 97th unit of blood so I was a little low before this started.

Put it this way, a Company Man on an oil rig would describe me as a real gusher - thank God I managed to cap it eventually. I was horrified.

I noticed also that I had squirted over the top of the bath all over the carpet which was no longer brown but in many places blood red. I judged I must have lost over half a pint of blood.

I began to get really concerned and knew I must stop the bleeding and fast and at all costs. I knew I must have caught a vein in my leg somehow, maybe by rubbing too hard with a rough towel or even by scratching it. The big problem was there was no-one else in the house who could help me and the phone might as well have been on another planet. For all I knew by the time I got to it, dialed for Emergency Services and waited for them to come I might have bled to death.

As an ex ambulanceman I knew it is possible to die from blood loss through leg veins or hemorrhoids - thank God it was not the latter. I knew had to stop the bleeding quickly and fortunately there were three white towels to hand. I got my injured leg as dry as I could and tied the towel, now blood red, as tightly as I dared round it. I drained the bath and by now there were blood clots all over the place - strong stuff is Eddie's blood.

I then got my foot dry and stood on another white towel outside the bath, but the rest of me was still soaking wet and I was shivering by now with the cold. I then carefully unwrapped the towel from my leg and was very relieved to see the bleeding had stopped - I must have quite a lot of the clotting agent Fibrinogen in my system. So I used the third towel, clean, as a tourniquet and used the towel I was standing on to get the rest of me dry.

Then I managed to carefully put on my pyjamas and a sweater and carefully walked downstairs and would you believe it made myself a cup of coffee. You see I always get my priorities right. I kept checking to see if there was any more bleeding and was very relieved to see the pin hole in my vein was completely repaired - quite amazing.

I then phoned Emergency Services and said I wanted some advice not necessarily an ambulance but they insisted on sending one and withing five minutes I heard a knock on the door and two lovely lady paramedics attended to me saying I had indeed nicked a vein and they recommended I went with them to Accident and Emergency. I said I could not because my wife was already in hospital and the next day I was scheduled to take her to an Oncology appointment. They stayed for a while and we talked about the ambulance service, having told them I used to belong to a private ambulance company which they knew. They were more relaxed about me not going to Accident and Emergency and then bandaged my leg properly and left me with some barrier sheets.

By now it was 4am and I was nervous about actually going to bed in case I sprung another leak but eventually I did and managed to get some shut-eye at about 5am for 3 hours and awoke, much to my relief without any more mishaps.

Mrs Bluelights was amazed to hear my news the next day and we did manage to keep our appointment with the Oncologist. Fortunately she was discharged that day so it was nice not to have to travel to the hospital again for a while and believe me, I was very careful showering that next evening - and since.

My GP said it is just one of those things - it just happens now and then and there is no need for alarm. She gave me some moisturizing cream to massage gently in, since the winter weather sometimes dries the skin too much.

Sorry about all the blood and gore for those with a delicate disposition but this was truly amazing because on the one hand the hospital medics could not access Mrs Bluelights' veins yet here I was squirting blood here, there and everywhere. Since all this Mrs Bluelights has had all her IV treatment and is well on the mend but remains very tired. Our main concern is that Oncology say that all the available oral hormone therapy drugs are now ineffective and there remains just one IV type plus other chemotherapy. So we are very concerned that she is running out of options.

You may be wondering, "What about the carpet?"  Well that is amazing in itself.  The carpet was fitted recently and we fully expected to have to replace it prematurely.  We had a peasant surprise because after a week the bright red turned to a bark brown as the liquid had dried and turned to powder.  It must not have penetrated too far into the carpet because I gave it a right royal vacuum and I  was amazed that ALL the stain was completely removed and as good as new.  The three towels were soaked in cold water and they too were fully restored . . . . . . along with Eddie of course.