Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Adventures in a New Hospital October 2011

I recall being lifted from the stretcher onto a bed in a corner of one of the A&E wards. Here the paramedics handed over the information Rob and I had given them about my medical condition and the ECGs they had taken. The 'cottage sheet' was taken and put with my bags. I was then wheeled to a single assessment room, where we went through all the information again. By this time I was absolutely desperate to go to the loo and a commode was brought and I was actually able to move myself on to it without being dizzy. At this point I began to hope that things may be better than I thought they were. Blood tests were taken and then not before too long  I was wheeled through to the Acute Assessment Unit. Here I was left in a bed at the back of the waiting room for a little while until an assessment room became free.  

Getting ready after the drama 
We went through our story again with a nurse and then waited for a doctor. While we waited I could hear another patient being brought into the next room, who sounded in a terrible state and in real pain and agony and I began to feel that maybe I wasn't in so bad a state after all. It seemed clear this patient needs were a major emergency and I settled down for a long wait while she was being dealt with. I remember still fretting about the 'cottage sheet' and Rob was amused, he hadn't even noticed how they had got me on the stretcher and he folded it and put it safe to go back. He left me for a short while to go to the loo and while he did this the dizziness started again when I moved my head and I had to shout for help. At this point the doctor came in to see me and took all my details again. Eventually I was settled onto a ward of four beds and linked up to a heart monitor. There were two elderly dementia patients in two of the beds - nothing new here then, although I'm in a different hospital. There was one empty bed still left.

My heart seemed to be calm now and ECG readings were showing good rhythm, so that was good news. I was still having the dizziness without the palpitations though, so they wanted to try and do some tests to get to the bottom of things and help me. They also wanted to phone Papworth for advice too, which I was pleased about. Rob had already phoned the PH Team for advice and informed the Transplant Team of my whereabouts.

It was almost twelve o'clock, so there was no way I would make the wedding. Rob had told the girls I had stabilised and they had got ready in their dresses and gone on ahead to the wedding. There would be nothing for them to do here at hospital with me and they would only be hanging around in the holiday cottage feeling useless, so after a traumatic start to the day, off they all went. Rob had been unable to get hold of my sister, but had managed to speak to her husband to be. He had also spoken to my brother, who took over doing the speech he had prepared, so all was in hand for the wedding. The staff at the hospital kept saying my sister would probably turn up afterwards, but I knew they had a busy day ahead of them and there would not be time that day for hospital visits.

I want my mum!
I was going to be kept in overnight and then the consultant would liaise with the consultants at Papworth on Monday morning. I got myself settled in my bed, Rob by my side and although it was devastating to have missed the wedding and all the celebrations and especially our girls being bridesmaids for the first time ever, I knew I was in the right place. I felt calm and settled and best of all I had survived to tell the tale. I was not out of the woods yet, this PH is a threat that hangs over us always and that threat has been heightened yet again today, but I am now full of hope that I will get out of here, which was contrary to my thoughts earlier this morning. We had well and truly missed the wedding now and I wasn't going anywhere tonight.    

All was calm, except for one of the dementia patients desperately trying to find her slippers, shouting at anybody and everybody, but at least the other one was too busy picking her nose to cause a riot. Oh well, I would be having a different kind of entertainment for the rest of the afternoon and tonight, instead of the wedding, a type of entertainment I was beginning to get used to.

A fourth patient was wheeled in to fill the last bed on the ward. Let the entertainment begin.                

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