Oh, That Happened

I had a chunk of memory fall out of the sky this afternoon and smack me in the back of the neck – which was already feeling stressed with my brain being in a weird space as it was. The chunk of memory was of being in hospital when I was first diagnosed with diabetes – or rather it was from a swathe of time early in the weekend that I just have not been able to reliably recall or reconstruct since all the excitement hit. This may be a bit graphic for medical type stuff, so if that upsets you please miss the next paragraph as it makes me squirm thinking about it. The chunk of memory seems to have been dislodged by reading an article today about a DJ who ended up in hospital with necrotising fasciitis.

I remember the fever and flu-like symptoms and my legs ballooning and turning red – I vaguely remember friends rallying round late night while waiting for an emergency appointment in the morning – I think? I don’t remember much beyond snatches of conversation, a blink of an eye and talking with a GP, then being sent straight to A&E. I do remember having at least one set of drips in – and my parents were there, and my being very concerned that something was even more wrong than the doctors knew. I remember that my legs were bound and wrapped in bandages, and yet as soon as I put my foot on the ground I was leaving wet dark yellow viscous residues on the floor in the shape of my feet – and I’m pretty sure the only reason I wasn’t shrieking was whatever painkillers were already in me. There was a sweet smell of rot – and I remember grabbing my dad as he was the nearest and saying – “All I can smell is rot, and I’m pretty sure its me.” And that’s the last I remember – at least until I opened my eyes with two surgeons standing over me and telling me they’d got my kidneys and liver working again, and did I know I had diabetes.

Sixteen years later, I still have very visibly dark scarring on my legs. I don’t know the details of what they had to do, but apparently they did it on the ward because there wasn’t any time left. We only really found out about what particular bug had decided to complicate the number of things that had all decided to go wrong at once by reading the charts and asking pointed questions. Apparently its the type of bacteria that lives for years in the body waiting for an opportunity to wreak havoc and could have been with me since my many bouts of tonsillitis as a child. No one knows, and frankly its not worth tracing back to find out.

My brain being what it is, I can feel and smell it all over again – even as a memory – as well as echoes of the pain, though that could just be the aches of being fifty years old joining in to spread the love. As I look down at my legs, it makes me ever more grateful both for the extra years I’ve had because of the swift actions of doctors, but also for the ongoing care of the NHS – even if it does sometimes feel like gentle bullying for my own good to keep me on the straight and narrow.

My brain has obviously decided that I can cope with this memory now – and perhaps its a timely reminder to not take anything for granted. I’m pretty sure my loved ones will say there’s little chance of my doing that – and that alone is something I’m grateful for.

Well That Was An Experience

Fighting every urge to rush back to work, I’m instead listening to medical advice to rest for 48 hours, backed by the fact that my insides feel like someone’s had a good rummage in there. Which I suppose they have.

I had a double procedure yesterday to investigate my stomach issues. I had both an endoscopy (camera down the throat) and a colonoscopy (camera up the bum) with sedation. The surgeon was happy with how it all went, saying there were no nasty surprises, so that’s a relief. He did remove some polyps but was reasonably sure they were non-cancerous and he took some biopsy samples as well. All are being sent for testing, which should take a couple of weeks.

The experience was, as far as these things can be, relatively good. Having done the laxatives and fasting, I checked in and did the usual checklists of medical questioning to double check against what they already knew. For me there was a joy that there’s a bluntness to conversations with the nurses and doctors so we could relax into joking and not dancing around the terminology and details. It actually helped relax me.

I dutifully changed into the requisite gown and backwards disposable pants, took infacol to settle my stomach/get rid of bubbles in the guts, and then we were into it with, I have to say, the most painless cannula fitting I think I’ve ever had! I honestly didn’t even feel the needle and as a veteran of these things I have an appreciation of the skill that can take.

I was going to be sedated, which was a mercy, and it kind of worked in that it knocked me sideways briefly enough for the actual insertions. Being me and awkward like that, I kept waking up. As you do. Apparently this is not uncommon as they try to keep the sedation light. They had mentioned it before the procedure so I was more bemused than alarmed. They added more sedation a couple of times but again it was brief periods of being out.

Rather than feeling any worry, I instead watched the screens with fascination and switched to gas and air when they’d done with my throat. I remember admiring my own internal gut structure and it certainly all had a healthy glow as far as I could see. It reminded me of some of my organic flowing artwork, truth be told.

And then we were done, they wheeled me back to a recovery bay to observe me for an hour so I sat up with my phone and let people know I was okay. It meant I could coordinate my release with Lady M so I could walk out the door, wander round to the car park and meet her coming up from the car.

But I’m exhausted. My throat is fine, not a hint of soreness, but stomach and guts are aching gently as they wake back up and are reintroduced to food and drink.

So that’s a new experience. It’s not one I’m wanting to have again any time soon but at least I now know what to expect and that’s therefore another fear thrown in the bin. Time for a rest.

Rumble Rumble

The ongoing saga of my unstable innards continued today with the first attempt to try and find out what on earth is going on. I had an initial consult the other week, and by the end of next month I’m pretty sure I’ll have run out of places to be poked, prodded, scanned, and probed. Well, let the fun times roll, I guess. So, today’s trip was to have a CT-Scan which somehow I’ve never had before. I’ve had xrays with dyes injected, which is odd enough, but this was my first ever trip in the automatic polo sweet. So that was something I guess.

As is traditional with any medical testing procedure, I had to don the one-size-fits-none shirt and gown combination and when summoned duly padded through to answer all the questions I’d already answered at least three times already – but better safe than sorry and all that.

If you’ve never had a CT-Scan then basically they get a needle attached to get the dye in your arm, lie you down on the bed which then moves through the large metal loop full of magnets while a recorded voice tells you to breath in and hold your breath from time to time… And that’s about as exciting as these things get. At some point I’ll get the results, but I suspect the consultant will want to wait until after the endoscopy and colonoscopy booked in for next month.

So that’s something to look forward to. Sedations all round!

Yuck and Ouch

I spent most of yesterday evening in A&E last night, and before that most of the day exploding at each end (not to be too delicate about these things). It’s the third time this month I’ve had this issue, but what necessitated a trip to the hospital was that this time I started vomiting blood – which even I considered an alarming development.

So, with the boy s still at work, Lady M bundled me and the cub in the car following a hurried conversation with the NHS 111 non-emergency number, and I began the long wait between triage and treatment.

So, by 2am we knew that it wasn’t my heart, liver, kidney, or pancreas because they were all working properly. My blood pressure was fine, and there was no blood ruptures into my body cavities showing on xrays, or blood elsewhere in my guts. Yay.

So, they patched me up. Various injections and fluids helped settle things, and I’m off to talk to my gp on monday to start the search as to whether this is stomach ulcers, ripping my throat with vomiting, or my gall bladder playing up.

So that’s a new adventure.

Well That Was A Week

Somehow it has already been a week since Lady M had her surgery, and I’m pleased to say she is generally recovering well. She still keeps wanting to dive back to work, which tells you everything you need to know about how unwell and uncomfortable she was that being immediately post major surgery she was feeling well enough in comparison to think all was okay.

A slow pace has been enforced, marked by cups of tea and sessions playing on the xbox. There has even been embroidering on a cosplay on one slow evening. The smile is back, the giggle is back, occasionally there is a wince.

So, so far so good

And still we wait…

Something continues to be going very wrong in the arranging of MRIs for Lady M, which now leaves us in the position of feeling like Shrodinger’s patients twice over in terms of when a scan will take place and what is being scanned. If it wasn’t so serious, you could write a great farce out of it all.

As things stand I’m going to work tomorrow as usual and Lady M may or may not get an Uber to one of two hospitals for either one, two, or no scans. If that doesn’t happen then there may be an as yet to be determined number of MRIs on Monday.

No wonder we’re exhausted.

I’ll be working with the public as a rest from all this tomorrow. At least it will be a good distraction, whatever the day brings.

Still in Limbo

Lady M is still in hospital while the doctors battle to get her condition under control. There are a number of opinions on the exact extent of the infection but surgery is being actively considered. We think the plan is to see if her condition has improved enough by the morning to decide how to proceed.

Not being able to visit is frustrating, but understandable, but we did get one bright moment in that the hospital was able to accommodate both myr s and myself as next of kin under the heading of partners. Its a small thing but it does make a difference.

People keep reminding me to take care of myself too, prompted in no small part in how I appear not to have slept in a couple of days. I’m keeping busy, but work have been very good as and when I’ve needed to slip away every now and then.

Onward!

And Then It Went Sideways

Lady M was working from home as usual yesterday when suddenly she doubled over in pain. Calls to 111 and various discussions with doctors had me taking her in to St Peter’s Hospital.

Its never easy to hear all the potential diagnoses before they settle on the “right” one, and I hope people will forgive the minor flailing on social media while they zeroed in on the root cause.

Lady M is being kept in and is being treated over the next few days and will be fine. Its just been a massive shock and we’re all exhausted by it all.

The Waiting

I’m currently waiting to hear from Lady M, who I last saw being helped into an ambulance after chest pains started in the early hours of this morning.

The good news is that the paramedics are reasonably sure from their tests that she hasn’t been having a heart attack but may have torn some of the muscles between her ribs.

That said, they want to be sure, obviously, and have taken her for a blood test and monitoring. Due to Covid restrictions I’m not allowed to accompany her, so I’ve put the thickest book I could find, and her phone charger in a bag to keep her from getting bored.

And so now its the waiting game. Its been a very rough night so I might catnap a bit.

On a Runaround

I shouldn’t have been working today, but life and the trials and tribulations of staffing issues demanded otherwise. This has led to a somewhat rushed day of bouncing from GP appointment to library opening to lunch cover to blood tests to prescription gathering… and now to my first coffee of the day. Phew.

I’m exhausted. I’m supposed to be going out tonight. I’m working tomorrow. Who has time to entertain depression and anxiety? I’m too busy for the black dog today!

Oh but it is nice to just sit in a comfy chair with a good coffee, that most importantly was made by someone else!