I’ve had a rollercoaster of a week. In the early hours of Tuesday morning I woke up with excruciating pain all through my lower abdomen. It was bad enough that t’other half took no nonsense and dragged me straight to St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.
The receptionist there took one look as we staggered in and had the phone in her hand to call for an emergency triage pretty much halfway through the first sentence. This has to be a first in my experience of NHS A&E walk-INS, setting a new record for me of being in a cubicle being examined by a series of doctors.
With a series of increasingly powerful set of painkillers being administered, I started to get some relief, and taking note of what was going on around me. Urgent XRays, arterial blood tests, prostate exams and an increased number of ‘we’re not sure’ responses led to CT scans and a rapid fear that we were heading into cancer territory. Rival theories included pancreatitis, renal failure or gall stones. I’m not embarrassed to say I was terrified, and T’other half did an amazing job of reassuring me and giving me that quiet, silent support in her presence that we sometimes all need.
This was not particularly eased by being rushed to the Surgical Dependence Ward, and it was only fairly late in the day that the diagnosis of diverticulosis was given instead. This was described to me as being like appendicitis but all through my intestines instead.
More tests followed, along with more head scratching, and heavy doses of tramadol, and morphine on top of diclafenic and alpha blockers. There seemed to be an awful lot of renal consultants stealing my notes and peering at the CT scan results. Intravenous drips came and went, along with more blood tests.
In the end, though whispered at late yesterday, I had a revised diagnosis of kidney stones instead this morning. I have never been so relieved.
The pain had settled hugely, though was still noticeable, so I’ve been sent home for bed rest, with a follow up blood test to follow on Friday, more xrays and a clinic in the weeks to come. Of course, Sod’s Law immediately leapt into the fray with the car journey seeming to set the stones on the move again.
So here I am, dosed up to the gills, but thankful that I’m not tethered to an IV stand and that I’m back in my own bed.
Given today’s news about Iain Banks, one of my favourite author’s who has today revealed that he has terminal cancer, I’m also counting my lucky stars, and sending my best thoughts to him, his loved ones and friends.