So – welcome to 2015. Despite a really shitty start to the year, I’m determined that this one is going to be good!! Once I get back on track that is.
So, why was Christmas crappy? Oh, maybe it was the fact that I could have died and was stuck in the hospital!!
Back to the beginning…my daughter picked up a cough (possibly from daycare) and was quite unwell for a couple of weeks. I took her to the doctor and they gave her an inhaler to try and help as she wasn’t breathing so well. She improved though – once she had given the bug to both myself and my hubby. DH only had a cough. Me – well, it started as a random sore throat and bit of a funny nose, which cleared up within a day. I got home from work on the friday feeling like crap, watched a movie on the couch, then it hit me. I ached allllll over, I literally fell to the floor and had to drag myself down the hall to bed as I was in a lot of pain. The next day I felt better. But then the cough started. And never stopped. It was so bad that it kept me up all night coughing. I didn’t get sleep for about 4 days. I was trying to sleep propped up on a pillow but still couldn’t. Then I started not being able to breathe properly. I was getting puffed just walking down the hallway. I ended up using my daughter’s inhaler just so I could breathe for awhile and get some sleep. I figured it would just clear up in a couple of days. Boy was I wrong.
By sunday night I knew something wasn’t right and thought it must be a chest infection as I was coughing up big green blobs of crap…so made a doctors appointment for the next day. The doctor listened to my chest…over and over for about 5 mins, all over and up and down my back. usually they just listen once or twice and go yep all sounds good. This time she said i sounded really crackly and wanted to send me for a chest x-ray and blood test. Then she realised it was only a few days until christmas so rang the hospital and asked if I could see a medical registrar for a second opinion and get them to do it all at once so I didn’t have to stuff around. I was supposed to be going to work straight after the doctors so I had to ring in sick and tell them I had to go to the hospital for tests.
So got down to the hospital and parked the car…then had to walk up the bloody stupid hill to get to the front entrance. Almost killed me. Got to the reception desk and was totally out of breath and couldn’t talk. Finally I managed to eke out between gasps “sorry… hill. Dr referred me to see someone” and was pointed to the emergency department. And waited and waited. Finally I was called through to be seen…had blood pressure etc taken and was told I wasn’t looking very well. They put an ID tag on me and sent me back to the waiting room where I almost suffocated myself trying to stop coughing as I didn’t want all the other people waiting there to think I was going to get them all sick. FINALLY they called me back in when a room was ready. A nurse put an IV lure in my arm and I had to put on a hospital gown…and then sat down to wait AGAIN. I was so starving by this time as I hadn’t had any lunch before heading to the hospital so I asked for a drink and something to eat. Had blood tests, had to do a sputum and urine test, waited so long, finally got seen by a doctor. Took me to a different room where I had to wait forever again. Got put on a nebuliser and had a chest xray. Finally the doctor came to see me again (this was about 5pm) and she said they were going to admit me. I was pretty gutted. but had no idea how sick I actually was.
So finally once a bed became free up on the ward, they sent me up. I was on the top floor and I got a lucky room – had a nice view outside, had my own toilet, TV and phone 🙂 So room 13, ward 16 became my home. And so began the routines of blood pressure monitoring, pill popping, nebulisers, oxygen, IV fluids and antibiotics, nurses in my room every 10 mins. For the first two days I was on constant oxygen, and nebulisers every hour. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that first night. The next day, the 23rd they told me I was very sick and had bilateral pneumonia – basically pneumonia in both lungs. They said I probably wouldn’t be out before Christmas. I was GUTTED but tried to stay positive, as there was still one day – room for improvement!
I had been on IV fluid, but they had to stop them as my hand swelled up randomly and they thought I was on too much fluid. and then my potassium was low so had to have potassium pills – blergh!
Needless to say my hopes were dashed by the doctors on christmas eve. No I would NOT be out for Christmas. I cried in front of all 4 of them. and when they went out of the room to confer with my latest blood results, I just lay there and looked out at the sky with tears running down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe my rotten luck. I was so looking forward to that last week with Holly getting ready for santa and looking forward to a nice roast turkey out at mum and dad’s on christmas day. We had even been planning to go to the christmas parade on christmas eve. Instead I was stuck in hospital. Doctors said I might be allowed out for a couple of hours on christmas day depending on my condition. So hubby & I decided we would delay christmas and not open any of Holly’s presents until after I got out (thinking it might be the day after or so).
So Christmas day came, and it felt just like any other crappy day. Had a lovely surprise visit from an old workmate whos sister works in the surgical ward. Talked to my parents on the phone but it just wasn’t the same. They didn’t want to brave the holiday traffic to come and visit me. My blood pressure had been a bit wack the night before but was better by morning. They said i could go out for up to 8 hours if I was feeling up to it. So we organised that Dh would pick me up after my lunch at 1.30. While I waited for him they came to do my BP and heart rate and stuff again. Apparently my heart rate was quite high so they weren’t going to even let me go out at all! Then they said it was on my own head, it was going to be risky and I was only allowed to go for a couple of hours but to come straight back or call for an ambulance if I went downhill fast. And I wasn’t allowed to go out to the inlaws where we were going to go for a nice afternoon with Holly, but to just go to our house which is a 5 min drive from the hospital. Still, we made it out in one piece and boy it was so good to be in the fresh air and sunshine!!! and seeing my girl and having such a big smile on her face when she saw me made it all worthwhile. She kept asking questions about my IV lure though and knew I was sick (even though we had told her I was away for work – DH had been away for actual work the previous 2 weeks so she was used to it). We figured it was better that way so she wasn’t asking all the time where I was and then if she came to see me in hospital it wouldn’t be a big drama. I did miss her heaps though! but it was good to have a break and not have to worry about her. I tried not to think of her too much while I was in there as I would get quite emotional. So in the end I had a nice 2 hours out of the hospital, got to have a shower, and repacked my bag with more useful stuff (DH had packed lots of uncomfy clothes etc lol). And I needed more movies to watch.
Left back for the hospital at 5 so would be there for my “christmas dinner” at 5.30 – which was crap! (God I missed my roast!) On the way in the car I noticed I was getting a slight cramp in my foot but it went away. Back to the hospital and DH left. Had dinner. Then I was just starting to watch a movie and WHAMMO – got cramp in both legs and feet sooooo bad. I was in agony. Called in a nurse after about 10 mins of it not going away and he came in and used hot towels to try and massage it. Nothing. Called in another nurse and she massaged and tried to flex my feet to get rid of it. Nothing. I paced around my room for about another half hour pressing the crap out of my foot to try and get rid of it, and then finally it eased. Never had cramp that bad in my life. Shortly after that, another nurse came in to do my blood pressure and stuff. She was very alarmed as my heart rate was up at 140 – she said it was almost double what it should be. Then WHAM – chest pain. Amazingly sore chest pain, centered somewhere around my left breast. I actually thought I was having a heart attack or something. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t more without searing pain. Called the nurse AGAIN and they were very concerned, and ordered an emergency chest xray as they said it could be a collapsed lung or a blood clot! yikes. way to scare a girl. I was in so much pain during the xray, I couldn’t stop coughing and gasping for breath and clutching my chest. Funny thing was Xray technician said I had an uneven sternum?? collarbone?? or something – apparently my right side was crooked or something – might explain why I’m always getting stiff shoulders on my right side!
Anyway, finally back to my room and they give me panadol and codeine to try and get rid of the pain. Which it didn’t, but did help somewhat. But all that night I was in agony every time I rolled over or tried to move. Turns out it wasn’t anything major, it was musculo-skeletal or something – basically muscular pain. And there was nothing much they could do for it except give me panadol.
Gah – what a way to spend Christmas night!!! I was so scared and in so much pain. Honestly thought I was going to die or something. It was awful.
Anyway…finally started reduced nebulisers etc, got my IV lure taken out….I was hoping to be out saturday but they weren’t so sure. But in the end yes, I finally got discharged saturday – almost a week after I was admitted. To be perfectly honest, I probably shouldn’t have said I was ok to go – I was still in quite a lot of pain and still having nebulisers which were helping me breathe better. But I really wanted to be out so we could have our christmas with Holly that we had planned for the sunday. We stayed out at the inlaws that night and I had a great sleep that night. Went home on sunday and opened presents – was great to see Holly have fun but I was pretty tired and over it all by then so didn’t really care about mine. Then I started not breathing very well again and got very panicky and upset – almost got Dh to drive me back to the hospital again. But I got through it.
Had 3 more days of antibiotics, then I went back to my doctor. She said I was still quite crackly sounding and my heart rate was still very high. So was going to send me for a chest CT scan. So far I’ve got an appointment next wednesday for lung function tests, but haven’t heard anything about a CT scan yet.
Things are slowly getting back to normal. I can breathe again. I’ve been for little walks around the block. I can cook dinner now and do dishes etc. I even baked a cake the other day. Yesterday I managed to get some sewing done! And I’ve been back at work since monday. Hopefully it doesn’t take me too long to recover from this, although I’ve heard it can take up to 6 months! and hopefully my heart rate calms down too and there’s nothing bad going on there.
So yeah, that was my Christmas! Let’s hope this year is going to take a far better turn from here on in!