Last Wednesday, I had made plans, voluntary work in the morning, an interview with an employment advisor in the afternoon and a relaxing evening as it had been a busy week after the funeral I went to on the Monday and a friend coming round with a new TV on the Tuesday. However my relaxing evening didn’t transpire.
As usual I went to the hospital to carry out my voluntary work, had a mixed morning, then had to navigate travelling from the hospital to our city centre by 2:30 in the afternoon I left a little earlier to compensate for the time as I finish by one normally, if I remember rightly I didn’t have to wait long. I arrived at my appointment early got served my coffee and got on with the conversation, took my bus home about 3:45ish but it was late, and I think I was in a traffic jam.
By the time I got home I was ready for a relaxing evening but it wasn’t meant to be, something wasn’t right. It all started on the Sunday, unusual aches in the far right of my body, I thought it was a bit of trapped wind to be honest or constipation, it would come and go, sometimes I get constipation before my cycle, everyday I was getting some discomfort then it would wear off until Wednesday.
By 5pm I was experiencing unusual pain ordinary pain, followed by fiery tearing shafts of pain, long and short of it I ended up in our local A&E (Accident and Emergency) for non UK people. I was there from 7pm until about 2am before I got seen too, the first set of nurses weren’t that great. Also in the meantime I’d been physically sick, and there had been one rather aggressive drunk woman, shouting her head off. At the same time a woman next to me who worked in a care home passed me some tissues.
At 2am another waiting room greeted me and eventually a lovely nurse dealt with me, I had trouble understanding her, but she really went to the ends of the earth to help me. I found it difficult to talk the pain I was in. She gave me morphine that did nothing, but eventually gave me liquid paraceatamol that did the trick. I think before she did that I had a CT scan as they thought it might be a kidney stone, I then got seen by a lovely doctor who asked me a lot of questions its horrendous business being asked a lot of questions when your dealing with a lot of pain at the same time. It turned out I had something on my ovary which is what the CT scan had picked up, so I would need an ultrasound to show more details. Still in A&E I was put in a side room overnight, with a drip hanging out my arm, because the drip stand wasn’t great I had to have my arm at an awkward angle on a narrow bed, so I barely slept.
Thursday morning I hadn’t been given enough water for my scan so I had to drink more to get a proper one, much better. oh yes, blood tests too. The day staff weren’t as nice and helpful, I had to drag my drip stand into the bathroom with me for the loo, the night staff made sure I had the stand right next to me before they shut the door on me, but the day staff just got me inside and slammed the door behind me. I was concerned I would pull the drip out.
I then got moved to the surgical assessment unit, where again mixed experience, one ward assistant training to take bloods was great at getting the needle in without really hurting me, someone else staff trained was very rough the night before. I was finally allowed to eat, earlier in the day, another examination and questions from a female doctor who was lovely. I had difficulty getting comfortable to go to sleep although my main pain had decreased considerably I was left with bad constipation and stomach spasms, my best position was on my back with my head turned slightly to the right, well on the Thursday night at 1:30am I had just got into a comfortable position to be told I was going to be moved again. This time I was moved to a plastics ward, which at least was more modern.
The consultant came to see me to say I was going home that day, and they would operate, that I would have another appointment and once I moved my bowels I could go home, and then disappeared, which hardly gave me any time to ask questions. I didn’t go home till the following day, I saw a much kinder consultant, who answered questions, who didn’t think what I had was ominous, but they do have to do further tests to make sure.
Now I’m at home recuperating from my ordeal, the strange thing is at no time was I frightened, in fact I was very peaceful, even though my BP at one point had been at a staggering 157, I don’t know what the bottom line had been. I’ve always been used to what my former GP described as a disgustingly normal BP. I still have to take meds and more tests to follow.
Upon reflection I’m glad I came through it, I have a deeper appreciation of what being in hospital is like as the last time I had been in I was only 10. I can take what I’ve learnt and hopefully make patients that I see in hospital have a better and more comfortable experience than I did. For now I’m putting my feet up before I face that particular world again.