It is 5pm in the afternoon and I am blogging in bed. I should have been at work today. Instead, I have slept through. I would normally be leaving work at this time to catch my train home. Instead I am resting in bed after an eventful 24 hours during which I ended up in A&E at our local hospital.
It all started around 4pm yesterday afternoon when I developed waves of pain in my lower back and right side of my abdomen.Initially I blamed this on the 4 chocolates I had eaten during the day with the logic being that having eaten healthily for a number of weeks my body was in shock from the treat. The pains however became more frequent and more severe so that by the time I arrived at New Street station to catch my train home, I felt sick and very faint. The train hadn’t arrived so in the absence of any seats, I sat down on the platform and leant against the wall. At least if I passed out I didn’t have far to fall. I got a few weird looks but even though I was clearly in pain no one disturbed me.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long and I managed to walk onto the train, hunched over in agony and quickly sat down in the first seat I came across. The next hour passed in a blur. The pain was excrutiating and I just couldn’t get comfortable. No position alleviated what felt like being stabbed with a blunt knife and I was relieved when we reached Leicester to change trains.
I slowly hobbled between platforms, gingerly placing my feet on each step to minimise the jarring. I had 7 minutes to transfer across to Platform 3 and I made it with a couple to spare. Again, I felt myself start to black out so I sat down on the platform. The train duly arrived thankfully on time and I boarded the nearest carriage which happened to be First Class. By this time, I couldn’t walk any further down the train so I slumped down across the table and hoped no one would make me move.
In fact the train crew could not have been more concerned and helpful. They asked whether I had a pre-existing medical condition, would someone be meeting me at Market Harborough, did I want some water, they opened the door (old-fashioned-handle-on-the- outside model) carried my bags off the train and made sure that the staff at Harborough escorted me down to car park level where my husband was waiting for me. I was very grateful for their understanding and help without which I would probably have ended up in London as I wouldn’t have been able to open the door on my own. I couldn’t lift my arms high enough to open the window and the doors are twice as heavy when you don’t feel well.
My husband took one look at me and drove me straight to hospital I didn’t object and I just wanted the pain to stop. By this time I was getting quite worried about the symptoms and wanted to get attention as quickly as possible. We arrived at hospital at 8.45pm and I was finally discharged at 2.30am this morning. It was a long and uncomfortable night during which I was initially assessed by the nurse (1 1/2 hours wait) and given some interim pain relief whilst I waited to see a Doctor (2 hour wait). Once I was with the Doctor however, things started to move along much quicker. Firstly a urine sample was required. This was no problem for me but the Doctor looked a bit concerned until I told her that I’d eaten beetroot for my lunch.
Blood tests followed and that’s where the fun started. My veins are not prominent at the best of times and from previous experience of being a blood donor I know that in times of stress, they “collapse” . I think it’s a self preservation mechanism and a genuine reluctance to give up any of my red stuff without a fight. The Doctor was clearly not that experienced taking blood samples and when I objected to one of her stabbing attempts I teased her that she must have been a javelin thrower in a previous life. She was laughing-I wasn’t. She even put the syringe into my left-arm vein (in vain) and gave up when she couldn’t extract any blood. She had never seen an empty syringe like that before and so back she went to my right arm and re-entered through her original already-bruised entry-point! Ouch again!
Sadly, she had taken so long to get blood to send for analysis that when the results came back, the lab couldn’t use the sample as it had clotted. I couldn’t believe it when she said that we had to go through it all again but I was thankful to learn that my original Doctor sent a more experienced Doctor in to do the job properly. The new Doctor was so much more confident and took great pleasure in telling me that she “enjoys a challenge” . She certainly knew her stuff and filled a syringe with my lovely bright red blood straight away. What a relief.
I was then sent for an X-Ray whilst the blood was being analysed. By this time I was shaking with cold and fatigue from the constant waves of pain and I was ushered into the X-Ray room in tears. I struggled to lie flat for the picture as it hurt to stretch out but it didn’t take long and I was back in my consulting room quickly. Then came the search for suitable pain relief. I am unable to take codeine/morphine (sadly) and they struggled to find an alternative. When the good Dr eventually decided on a drug I was told that the hospital had run out of tablets and they would need to give me an injection instead. Fine-anything- Just hurry up please!
In the end, when the diagnosis of kidney stones, renal colic and a kidney infection came as a result of the tests, I was given a double-dose of Diclofenac to ease the pain which worked a treat. I will be taking this and another drug for a further 4 days before having a CT scan on my kidneys and abdomen next week to check up on progress.
Until then, I have to rest and keep taking the tablets hoping that the pain doesn’t return and the stone/s are passed without causing any lasting damage.
What a night. But at least Feri was having fun!