Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hospital happenings

It is currently 5.30am on Tuesday the 11th. I was awoken at 4.15am and promptly buzzed my nurse for more pain and anti-nausea medication. I have my blood pressure, pulse and temperature checked for what feels like the 100th time. The dim lights have been turned off so the light streams through my curtain. The other patients are starting to stir and I can hear the nurses swiftly walking up and down the hallways checking on other patients. Thankfully I am on the quiet side. 

I decide to put Spotify on random and listen to some music to block out the noise and in the hope to drift back to sleep. The first song that ironically that comes on is Coldplays 'Fix you' - 'when tears stream down your face; i will try to fix you'. 

The last twenty four hours doctors, nurses, my family and friends have all been trying to fix me. Whether it is in the form of medication, blood tests, IV drips, hand holding, distractions, encouraging words and texts, hugs and kisses. 

So let's start at the beginning. I guess you have worked out that currently I have been admitted to the medical ward in the hospital. Like usual, their is a story, the lead up to where I am now so here we go....

About two weeks ago I was feeling off and I couldn't quite pick up what it was. My joints hurt (normal) I was sleeping a lot more (nothing too unusual) and I kept feeling clamy and feverish (not so normal). On Tuesday the 3rd all day I was clamy and became pretty unwell. Then on Wednesday morning around 5am I woke up in severe pain in my left side which reduced me to tears. Dan put the shower on and I sat under there for about an hour trying to gain relief but I knew this pain was different. Still a sobbing mess I rang mum around 7am who decided to come and get me to take me to ED. It was that awkward time that I couldn't quiet wait to be seen by my GP. We didn't wait too long and after peeing into a cup it was ruled I had a bladder infection which had travelled up to my kidney. I was diagnosed with Pyelonephritis so was given morphine and antibiotics and discharged. We naively thought that would be it. 

Over the week i didn't improve very much even with the antibiotics. On Friday I saw my GP who stated 'you still do not look very good'. 'I don't feel good' was my reply. We decided to switch my antibiotics again in the hope to kick this infection. 

As much as I willed myself that I was feeling better and that the antibiotics were working I did know I was still feeling very unwell. However I was not quiet expecting what has happened to happen next....

On Monday I pushed myself to work...maybe if I got there I could take my mind of everything? Again I was greeted by you don't look well! I was fooling no one. All day I felt naseuous, had a whopping headache and my body ached. Every now and again I would either be cold or boiling hot. After work I went and celebrated my cousins birthday with the family. Put on my brave face again fooling no one. My nausea was increasing and I grew pale (or paler should we say). 

Dan and I picked up some takeaways on the way home and several times I felt like I was going be sick. The downfall was just beinging. I managed a bite of dinner but couldn't stomach anything else. Dan suggested I go get into bed and lie down so tucked me in leaving a bowl next to me. Sleep didn't come but before I knew it I couldn't stop being sick. I grew so weak and shaky. My joints felt like they had battery acid running through them ( I was in trouble!). After about my eighth time being sick Dan said he was taking me to the hospital. In true Liv style (yes I know I'm stubborn) I said all I wanted to do was go sleep but if I was sick one more time I would go in. I tried so so hard not to be, surely I was done? Well we all know what happens. Dan bundled me up and drove me to ED then put me in a wheel chair because by this time I could barely stand. We arrived around 11.30. The waiting room was quiet. I was distressed my pain was very out of control. Next thing dad arrived to be there as well. 

Once I got my room in ED a cannula was promptly inserted and bloods were taken.  Of course it was still my infection raging a war in my body. I couldn't stop shaking from the pain. 

This is was the night i pulled my 9 card on the pain scale! 

I was in absolutely agony. It's only now i realise how extremely distressing it was for Dan and Dad to see me like that. I kept apologizing to them I felt so bad but couldn't be more thankful to have them there to comfort me. 

I was started on IV morphine, fluids, paracetamol and antibiotics. Plus more morphine, more morphine and more morphine. Severe pain and severe nausea don't make for a very happy Livvy. I still don't think I have processed how unwell I  was. Dad whispered in my ear you don't need to be brave this time hunny. 

I was seen by a junior doctor who due to my complicated medical history and the state of me said I needed to be seen by the medical registrar so the wait began. The hours slowly ticked by. Dan and Dad went between trying to sleep in the hard chairs, reading trashy 1990 magazines and walking around the ward. 

The Registrar came and did an in depth  assessment on me. After his assessment and the results of my bloods it was decided I was to be admitted for IV antibiotics and pain and nausea management. 

By this stage again my nausea became uncontrollable and my blood pressure was scarily low. The doctors had to have a meeting to rearrange the beds so I could be in an isolation room for my own safety due to my low immunity. 

I was transferred up finally around 9.30am a whole 8 hours after we arrived. I was so thankful for my own room! I was still feeling gravely unwell with crippling nausea and a scarily low blood pressure. I was seen by the medical team. They were wonderful and talked me through what was going to happen. Plus my nurse was just the sweetest! It is such a comfort when you are so unwell. 

Mum came up to be with me and assisted me in showering to see if that would help freshen me up. I felt so dizzy and shaky I had to use the shower chair and mums help. Even at twenty six I needed Mums help to shower me! 

After getting changed I lay in bed willing myself not to be sick. My daily medications had just arrived and if I could only achieve one thing that day it was to hold down those beauties. I lay on my back taking deep breaths being so careful not to move. Thankfully I can say that they stayed and that was a huge step in the right direction (it perhaps could have been the increase dose of prednisone). 

After a rest mum even managed to convince me to try some soup for lunch. She told me it was chicken soup which I love so I gladly decided to try it. I thought it tasted so delicious then out of the corner of my eye I saw 'creamy mushroom soup!' My sneaky Mum knows I don't like mushroom soup and would have even touched it so she told a little white lie. Soup really helped (even if it was mushroom!)

Then over the afternoon as I napped I had Dan come and visit me; then Dad, Joe and Rhi and finally Mum came and sat with me while I had my antibiotic. My spark was slowly coming back. 

At 8pm I began my anti-biotic Gentamicin. Before that I had had fluids running for 10 hours!!  Mum said goodnight and I settled down for the night. Thankfully sleep came easily. 

The next morning I managed some breakfast and generally did feel a lot better than I had. Dan came up and sat with me as we waited for the medical team. It was decided that I could go on 'leave' and return to the ward till Friday at 8pm for my IV antibiotics. I was so thankful to be allowed to head home to recover both physically and mentally. 

I think I'm still in survival mode and haven't properly processed what an ordeal this has been. I am still very unwell and know it will take a while to come back from this. I just had a shower and have been recovering back in bed for over an hour! It's going to be hard but I can do this; somehow I always do.

Thank you to everyone who has texted or messaged me and for all your prayers and get well wishes. Special thank you to my family who once again have been my pillar of strength and comforted me through some dark days. Blessed is an understatement I couldn't do this without them. 

So in the words of Chris Martin:

'Lights will guide you home 

And ignite your bones 

And I will try to fix you.' 

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