out of action


Shit happens, and back in late May it hit me in a bad way. Almost strange that I'm still around, but appar­ently I am.

Being in need of “repair” at my age, is one thing. But that I was liter­ally walking on the edge of the grave as I left bed that monday morning in late may, was not what I expected.
Oh well … been there before, and am likely to be there again before I finally go. Would be strange otherwise.

what actually happened…

Main blood vessels to the lower part of my body got clogged up, and, literally, from one moment to the next I lost most of the sensa­tion and muscle control in both legs and lower body from waist down. Pretty debilitating to say the least, and at first I was not sure how bad it was as it was not really painful or anything.
It was as if the lower half of my body had fallen asleep, somewhat like the sensation of having an arm or a leg some­times “fall asleep” because of restricted blood flow. Only this was half my body feeling like that. I could not move properly, let alone walk, and it did not change over time, at least not for the better.

Within hours I got a more complete picture, and grasped what was going on, as my body literally told me that this could turn out to be really bad, or worse – deadly serious that is. As I recognised the signs from about a decade ago, I knew this could go either way. However, I chose to focus on getting help with the immediate home and farm tasks before bothering with whether I made it or not.

Felt kind of strange to observe and keep track of my own condition as it slowly changed throughout the day, as I was relaxing as well as I possibly could while trying to make sure things around me was in good, working, order.

As noted in side notes; I spent a few days at home preparing for my absence, before contacting medical services. Must have been in that short period that I managed to damage my left leg and thereby add weeks, or rather months, to my sick leave. Have no clear idea how, and when, that all happened.

break a leg…

To literally break a leg, is usually followed by some pain. But, as I can not feel much of any­thing (for real) in that part of my left leg thanks to all the nerves that got cut during the (first) operation to remove blood­clots 9 years ago, I simply have no clear idea about when exactly I broke the fibula (see illustration).
Not that an exact point in time for that incident matters much now. The bone is broken, and I have to give it time to heal whether I have time for such matters or not.

Otherwise that leg gives me more than enough pain now, as the phantom-pain I have felt in that foot/​leg from time to time for the last 9 years, and that had weakened to hardly notice­able most of the time, has now come back in full force and then some.
Dealing with that now more or less constant sensation of pain in its many inexplicable variants as impulses from damaged nerves hit the brain, combined with the side-effects of the various pain-relief medi­ca­tion they are testing on me on top, makes staying in a good mood a little hard at times. For reasons explained above, I can not simply “walk it off” as is and has been my method of choice when dealing with such phantom pain before.

boring, boring…

Being out of action, is boring, boring, and even more “boring”. I am not a good and patient patient, and see no point in pre­tend­ing to be one.
Haven't taken my less than optimal state of mind too much out on the staff at the various places I have been at though, although my already pretty rich vocab­ulary do at times get some­what affected – “enriched” if you like – by failed attempts at medical relief from those phantom pains when they hit too hard and keep on hitting for too long with no respites.

The service and care at the nursing home is pretty good – one might say “excellent”, but such places are not well suited for people like me regard­less of our con­di­tion, and I would of course rather be home. Have to get get out of this wheel­chair first though, so at least a few more days…

I am writing this while sitting in a wheel­chair at the nursing home in Mandal town – about five minutes drive from my own home. Pretty OK i-net con­nec­tion here, so after all not too bad to be patient for a while despite being seriously bored.

Lately they have even rearranged the furni­ture in my room, and provided me with a func­tional “office-space” from which I can stay in touch with the world and releave some of my boredom.
Now and then I get wheeled to the local store so I can stock up on food I am used to – for my over­all well­being, and then also often get offered a trip around in the neigh­bor­hood to kill some time. Some well-kept park areas near by that are well worth a visit in good weather.

home for the weekend…

Left the nursing home in the after­noon of August 05, to spend the weekend at home. The plan is to test out how well I can func­tion around the house with only one good leg, with the simplest of equipment at hand, and medical personnel on short visits twice a day.
Around midnight while writing this, I can conclude that “so far so good”. I get around well enough to satisfy my basic needs, without risking worsening my medical status. All just takes longer, which in itself isn't much of a problem the way things are.

As all medical tests, x-rays, etc. indicate that I likely will stay out of action for months, staying at home between hospital visits for check-ups and possible surgeries makes most sense – if my plan works out that is. The local medical expertise is not quite sure if my plan will work out as I envision. Me neither, but in a few days we will all find out.

After having spent the weekend at home, and having so few problems with getting around in the house and per­for­ming essential tasks, I conclude that my little plan works for me and my wife. From here onwards it is only a question about how well it will work for the health care admi­ni­stra­tion and others we have to cooperate with until I am back on both my feet.

following a slow healing process…

The unusually slow healing of my broken leg-bone is some­what depres­sing, but as there is nothing I can do to speed up the process I try not to think about it and not complain too much. Short notes follow…

(12.aug.2022) Now we are into the “planning ahead” phase for autumn and winter on the farm, and very little of that belong in the public sphere. So, enough writing on the subject, for now.

(16.sep.2022) As I write mid September, I still spend most of the time I am awake in a wheel­chair. Training to get around on crutches, and have been driving around the yard on the old J.D. Gator. Can not do any real farm­work yet, but at least I am home.

(29.oct.2022) Have reached the end of October, and am trying to perform some of the daily farm routines – like feeding our cows and such, while avoiding over­stressing my broken leg. Healing is irri­ta­tingly slow, but will take even longer if I add to the damage by acting care­lessly.
Next check-up at the hospital should be in a couple of weeks time.

(22.nov.2022) Yesterday (21.nov) I spent the entire day and well past midnight on medical check-ups. Started at my GP's office, followed by a  long stay at the hospital's emergency depart­ment. All caused by a tiny tear in the skin at my left leg that had opened for an infec­tion – the result of the medical home assistants ending the treat­ment with special ointment to keep the skin soft and flexible about a month back. Should never have happened…
Left with pre­scrip­tion for a 7 day cure of anti­bio­tics to prevent the infection from spreading and ham­per­ing the healing of the broken bone.

(02.dec.2022) Have spent two nights at the hospital (from 29.nov to 01.dec), for heavy intra­ve­nous medi­ca­tion and a blocking-out procedure to improve blood­flow in left leg. According to the specia­lists this seemed to be the best way to ensure healing of the bone despite the ongoing infec­tion.
I definitely can feel the positive effect of increased blood­flow in my leg, as the more or less constant pain at day­time is signi­fi­cantly reduced, and at times it is almost gone. By now I have had a couple of good nights' sleep with­out being woken up by pain after an hour or so, and that the pain comes back when I get in a more upright position – in the wheel­chair mostly, is as expected.

As I understand it: to increase the blood­flow by blocking out an old res­tric­tion in an artery higher up in the leg, was not what was origin­ally planned. They had wanted to let the bone heal in its own good time with the res­tric­tion left in place, but the skin-tear which opened up for an infec­tion increased the risk for it all going bad and ending in leg-ampu­ta­tion.
I sure do not like even the thought of ending up with an arti­fi­cial leg, so I'll go for almost any­thing to avoid it. The added medi­ca­tion over the next six months or so to make the blocking-out of the artery last, is not a problem.

With only a few days experience with the effects of this change in medical procedure, all seems and feels good and I sure hope it continues this way.

(06.dec.2022) In a few hours a taxi will take me to the hospital again, to con­tinue treat­ment where we left off the last time (see above). Have expe­ri­enced some serious bursts of pain in the leg at times, but not worse than what I have felt before the blocking-out procedure.

(08-10.dec.2022) Spent two nights at the hospital, where they via CT scans and various other tests con­clu­ded that extreme pain and sleep­less nights was caused by the increased blood­flow to the leg. Skin­wound was treated, and lower leg wrapped in a comp­res­sion bandage. Leg is extremely sensi­tive to touch, but according to the doctors I now can put full body­weight on it and begin to walk again. Not that the pain caused by simply touching the floor allows for much walking just yet, but it's a start.

(27.jan.2023) For about two months now nearly all focus has been on treatment of the wound that opened up on my left foot back in mid November. Two seven-days cures with anti­bio­tics, and one that lasted over ten days, with change of bandages at least two times a week at home or at the hospital. The treatment (as they literally dug out infected and damaged tissue from the wound) has been quite painful at times, but lately (as the wound has been healing some­what) it has not been too bad.
More along practical lines: I have taken over one of the two daily feedings of our cows by now, despite my limited ability to walk, and feel good about the progress over the last couple of weeks.

(13.feb.2023) For about a week now I have taken care of all opera­tions related to farm­work this time of year, on my own. Slow and clumsy going with the heavily bandaged leg in the speci­ally tailored boot, but I do get around nearly every­where locally, and manage to get the various jobs done to my satis­fac­tion, with­out running the risk of causing further damage to myself, the various machines, or other beings on our farm.

exempt from public disclosure…

All I have written above is from now on of less interest to me, as, for reasons that are exempt from public disclosure by Norwegian law, I no longer am the receiver of any medical treatment for my condition(s).
The last checkup and replacement of bandages for the skin­tear/­wound on my left foot from the Norwegian Health services, was performed at the hospital on February 28. My own choice given the situation I have ended up in.
How things go from here, is any­body's guess. I sure do not know.

The wound looks so small and unim­por­tant on pictures taken during my last hospital-visit on 28 of February, but as entry-point for infec­tions it could have cost me my leg according to the medical experts who have been treating me up to this point. And as things are; untreated it can still cost me my life.

What started as a tiny (totally preven­table) crack in the skin around the time when my broken bone had healed well enough for light walking, grew to leave a very large area skinless (still traces of how large area that was infected visible on those pictures), and is now reduced to that small, red, area you see, thanks to heavy and pretty pain­ful treat­ment and several antibiotic-cures. All over an about four months period as described on this page – what a waste of time.
The medical crew at the hospital and home care are delighted with the healing progress, while I as mentioned have lost interest in it for reasons outside my control. At times I actually regret calling the doctor back in May 2022, as if I hadn't made those calls my life had been over in days/​weeks no matter what with the condition I had, and all would have been good from my point of view (or lack of same from 6 feet under).

It is better to stand and fight. If you run, you'll only die tired.
— A Viking Saying

As I, according to the Norwegian authori­ties and their laws on the matters, am prevented from presenting the complete set of reasons for this very abrupt turn-around in my life perspective, I maybe should have laid the entire issue dead and not written about it, or maybe have dropped this section alto­gether. However, if time and life allows, I will expand a bit more on what is going on around me right now, and why I choose to write about it.

the treatment continues…

As of March 17 I am back on treat­ments at the hospital, while treat­ment at home in between hospital visits is still entirely up to me and what I can and choose to do. Sounds a bit con­fus­ing, I know, but the various health service systems I have to deal with work in “mysterious” and very bureau­cra­tic ways, and I can't be bothered to argue with them about my case for the time being.

The 15 days pause away from all medical treat­ments, allowed me to get other matters some­what under control. It also gave me a chance to look into, and reflect on, how things work in the various health service systems in my country. All very use­ful for some­one like me, who choose to not deal with the health services unless I really have to.

At this stage I have no problems with per­for­ming the clean-up and redres­sing pro­ce­dures of my leg-wound myself, with infrequent visits to the hospital to make sure the healing con­tin­ues to go well and I haven't over­looked any­thing.
My leg is far from pain­free, but most of what hurts now seems to be related to the cut and damaged nerves in that leg that have caused me pain for many years. Some strong pain­kil­lers now and then take care of the worst.

sincerely  georg; sign

Mandal 18.jul.2022
last rev: 20.may.2023

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