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Bizarre ER

Posted Aug 24 2011 12:00am
I can only describe the past 24 hours as bizarre.  Kept awake in severe pain last night, I fought with my sleep and then after a number of hiccups with feeling tachycardic, sick and struggling with painful and notable swelling in my arms, I decided to go to my local A and E.  I usually would need to be dragged, kicking and screaming but this time I knew I needed to seek extra help.  Besides, earlier Monday eve I had rang my transplant centre for advice and they suggested that would be the place to go initially.

Armed with my medical letters and book, medication and a book I went over with mum.  Just an hours wait I was called in and then the madness occurred.

Within minutes I was hooked up on oxygen, chucked into a gown, wired up for ECG and wheeled straight to resus.  All this time I was explaining that I am always breathless and the reason why and that the SATS were usual for me.  My reported symptomology (pain from distended, lumpy and swollen arms) was completely ignored.  Eventually it became clear that I was not a candidate for resus and that i simply needed my arms assessed and possibly an xray if they saw fit?

I knew this would happen.  Colourful medical history=panic!  Having to fight my corner and plead was actually creating symptomology to thereby confirm their initial assessment.  Luckily I am not an overly anxious person  and my breathing soon restored and heart rate.  But easily, I could have ended up intubated the way they were going on like an opening scene in Casualty.

By the time I had convinced them that this is me. My life.  Yes on paper, it looks terrible,  I really have multiple organ failure to some degree, I am rejecting but I still plough on.  That, I can't explain how. I just do.  After a sonography assessment and some codeine I was ready to go home.  The upshot was I have inflamed tissue and swelling but unknown cause?

When I got home it was apparent that the events of the morning had taken its toll on me.  Somehow just those hours in hospital led to a rapid spread of more ulcers and sores and I was not in a good way at all.  It showed me just how immunosuppressed I am to pick up all the bugs.  Mum was alarmed too at how poorly I am, a reflection of how aggressive this augmentation and tapering of steroids is doing to my system.  After a little something soft to eat I got some much needed bed rest.  The mouth sores and ulcers are down my throat too so it really is painful and unpleasant and difficult to swallow.

The codeine has made zero difference to the swelling or the pain and so I feel like I'm getting no where fast.  I think I may have to face that my wrist and lower arms are going to hurt for longer than I would like.  I find it frustrating as, even when the chips are down, I can normally engage still in activities I love such as blogging, crafting, cooking.  But I am making my arms worse but overly using them.

I'm going to try and put my head down again.  It could be a DVD 'half week' which isn't a bad thing.  I also have audiobooks to listen to at night before bed.  Tomorrow, I will be seeing a friend. I have a mask to keep myself as protected as possible.  It will be nice to have that contact again with friends since being back home.  I've a pair of Doris Day slippers I made this week waiting for her!
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