I Must Be A Masochist.


So, those of you who read my blog will know I was in hospital four days ago, and that I had a crap load of tests done to try and figure out what’s wrong with me. I didn’t really get into specifics, but basically I was taken by ambulance to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after pain in my chest and shortness of breath drove me to call them (or rather, my sister). The ambulance crew fitted me with a nasal cannula and trickled oxygen, which they had to up because it wasn’t working. This was after they figured out that while I was limiting my speech and allowing for shallow breath, my O2 sats were fine – but the minute I started relaxing and talking, they were dropping to about 90 or lower. I noted that, while they didn’t say it, the machine they were looking at said ‘Tachycardic’ and ‘Probable Left Atrial Valve Enlargement’, after they’d checked round the back and side of my chest (I did notice that the ECG wires were attached to the left side of my body in Resus).

I was taken in, as I said a moment ago, to Resus, where they took three vials of blood and fitted a drip in my inner right elbow.  They also placed a heart-rate monitor on my  finger and attached an ECG (with new sticky things, being sure to rip the old ones off… sadists! kidding, I know it’s better to do it quickly). They checked my blood pressure like 6 times here with the blood pressure cuff (those things hurt so bloody bad). I spoke to a nurse who agreed that asthmatics can get brushed off easily if they’re overweight, and I told her that my GP had said that my weight caused my asthma despite the fact I had only been overweight for around 2 years, due to the meds i’m on for my Fibromyalgia. That was nice.

A little later, they took more blood, this time from a vein in my left hand. They did more pressure cuff readings (I get why but man I hated them for it). I coughed a lot, sending the monitor haywire. My coughing is more than just an irritation thing. I cough, then it feels like I’m suffocating and that mucus is stuck on my larynx. It doesn’t shift, so I cough and I cough until I feel like I’m going to pass out.

Next they rolled in a portable X-Ray and put a board behind my back, taking two shots. This was an experience – it’s the first time I haven’t had to walk to a separate x-ray machine. They explained this was because I was on Oxygen. I also didn’t have to take my necklace off, just pull it up and put it in my mouth to hold it away from my chest. I ask a lot of questions because I like being informed, and i’m a pain in the ass. They said I didn’t need to take it off because the X-Ray was focused and  as long as it wasn’t in the way, it was fine.

At this point, someone had finally located my housemate and brought her in. This was a relief as I get anxious when I’m not with someone I know at the best of times. I was getting pissed off at the fact that my chart was showing them writing ’96’, ’96’, ’99’ because I’d been watching the monitor nonstop since I came in and not once did they write ’89’, which it dropped to (when I wasn’t even coughing) or ’93’, which is the number it was at for the majority of the time I was in there, EVEN after they wrote the 99.

They did some more pressure cuff readings, then someone came to get me and ask if I could follow them.

My heart sank when I saw that I was being taken into MAJORS, which is where i’ve been the last few times they’ve discharged me, and no one told me what was happening – I literally had no idea what to expect. My housemate pointed out that i’d come out of Resus, so maybe all it meant was that my O2 sats were consistent enough that they wanted to move me out of there. She was right. I was only in MAJORS for 5 minutes while they debated whether they were supposed to take me to Assessment 1 or Admittance 1. It was the former.

I spent a while waiting in Admittance 1’s waiting room and then was taken through to a ward, where I sat on a bed for 5 minutes and listened to a respiratory specialist try to talk down to me and insist it was just asthma. I told him categorically that I’d been in several times for asthma in the last year alone, and that this was different, then told him about the mould in the house. At that, he became far less fidgety than he had been prior to that and looked a lot more thoughtful. He also agreed that there was something serious going on and that he was treating it as such. He told me I’d need a CT scan. There was no more talk of it just being an asthma attack. I was taken back through to the waiting room.  A nurse appeared to take yet more blood from the left hand in a different place.

I knew where this was going by now, however, so I wasn’t surprised when they told me I was going home with antibiotics. The nurse explained to me that the CT scan would be as an outpatient. I was freaking out by now, however, as the respiratory specialist had told me that if we didn’t get out of there soon, i’d relapse, with or without the doxycycline he’d prescribed at double dose. Surely it was better to stay in hospital at least while they took effect? But no, they said there was a risk I’d get infections in hospital and I had to go, but to contact them in 3 days if the meds hadn’t made a difference.

It’s now 4 days later, and I still feel like crap. I’m still coughing up crap, my chest still hurts, I can’t breathe very well and I rattle when I breathe. I don’t want to go back, but that’s what he said to do. Looking at the bruises I’m still suffering from being there last time, I have to either be seriously ill or a masochist to be considering it.

I guess I’m one of them, because I don’t think I have a choice.


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