Not really sure what happened and I can’t remember much about Christmas day.
Before Christmas Martin (hubby) and I had to go to Norfolk for his father’s funeral. I didn’t feel well still had a horrible chest infection but I wanted to be there for him as he has always been my rock. Everything went smoothly and we got back home on the 22nd December. We were both tired but it had been difficult and the run up to the funeral wasn’t easy as there had to be a autopsy. Christmas eve arrived and I had started coughing more again and was very breathless, I had said to Martin lets get Christmas done and then I must seriously sort this infection out. Christmas morning arrived and I usually revert to an eight year old wanting to open presents and eat an unhealthy breakfast. Martin bought me up a cup of tea and I started all my medications thinking I would stay upstairs get everything done then spend the day downstairs. It was nearly midday when I ventured downstairs and to be honest it was difficult. Opened presents with Martin’s help not sure who gave me what. So feeble Martin was having to rip the paper off for me. We have friends who pop in on Christmas day and lots of lovely phone calls from family I am not sure what was said the day was a blur. That evening I told Martin I think I needed to go into hospital but would try and wait till Wednesday. Well that night I didn’t sleep I was coughing so much horrendous sputum up there was no let up. Six in the morning I woke Martin up and said I wanted to call an ambulance could he help me get everything together. He knows all my medication and sorted things for me quite quickly.
Ambulance arrives very quickly. They ask to speak to the patient when you phone now which wasn’t very successful. The paramedics were brilliant gave me back to back salbutamol even though I had managed to do my nebuliser earlier got me on monitors and oxygen and blue lighted me to hospital. Martin was green around the gills when we arrived at Wexham. The place was packed ambulance crews in the corridors. The crew looking after me told their supervisor that they suspected sepsis and I needed to be in a cubicle. She asked why they suspected sepsis they said chest infection which she answered I have a chest infection and I am at work. She was standing next to me! We have a young man in our support group who is an author and has a fantastic sense of humour and some of his stories about doctors sprung to mind. Instead of resorting to violence I just smiled. Anyway he carried on listing everything that was wrong and I queue jumped.
Six hours later I was in a ward. A four bedder I had told them that I was on Fungizone and really should be on my own when inhaling the drug and the answer was they would but the curtains around me! Later that night I was moved to a side room. Everything from the locker was put on my bed and I was wheeled to my new home. They set me up on oxygen and monitors again but left everything on my bed. I lay there for a while thinking someone will come back in a minute and help. Crutches, nebuliser, carrier bag of drugs, shoes, wash bag and suitcase all tucked in nicely around me. After 20 minutes I thought I can’t stand this and got off the bed and tried putting stuff away. Just bent down to put my suitcase in the locker and alarms went off. Staff nurse comes in and I say I need a bit of help well all I got is ‘why worry about the little things when you are so ill’ I said I couldn’t get into bed and was promptly told she would have to call the doctors. A call for respiratory arrest was put out and within seconds 3 doctors and a ITU nurse arrived. Blood taken from here there and everywhere back to back salbutamol again fast flow oxygen. The ITU nurse stayed in the room with me for 4 hours and sorted my bed out for me and made sure I was comfy. Didn’t sleep because alarms were going off from time to time but my breathing did improve. Thankfully after my third day in hospital and having i.v. antibiotics things settled.
I was allowed home on day 6 to finish my antibiotics at home as I have been trained myself to do them so I am now home resting and trying to build myself up again. I intend writing more about the experience as I think there will be a few people out there that will relate to it but I think I have done enough today.
Moral of the story don’t put off getting treatment when you are feeling unwell. I know that when you have a chronic illness we have a tendency to just keep going and not realise sometimes how ill we are. I was lucky I did bounce back quite quickly.
It you want a funny read – A Fly on the Ward by Michael K Chapman