Sunday, 31 May 2015

An Unexpected Trip to A&E

Since last weekend, (by last weekend I mean the 17th May) I've had abdominal pain. I thought I had eaten something bad so just got on with things and went into work as normal. By Wednesday I had violent chills, was sent home from work, then was alternating between chills and fevers. Alongside those, a pounding headache, backache and dizziness. When I got home from work I crashed out in the thickest onesie I own, wrapped in my duvet. I had a fitful sleep for a few hours, then got up to wait for Andrew to come home - I wanted him to take me to the doctors as I was not fit to drive with the dizziness. Once Andrew was back from his late shift at work, we called the NHS 111 number to get advice on where we should go. After answering questions about my symptoms, they advised we go to an Urgent Care Clinic. So we did. We waited to see the doctor there, he did some tests, prodded my belly and advised we go to A&E.

We drove over to A&E with a letter in hand from the Urgent Care Clinic doctor, saying he thinks it could be appendicitis. After I was seen by the A&E Nurse, I had a short wait before being taken through to the ward just off the A&E waiting room. I was to be put on an IV drip with fluids to re-hydrate me, and have intravenous paracetamol. Before that, I had to have some blood taken for testing. They couldn't find the vein in my left arm, so they moved to the right arm and were able to draw blood and insert a cannula for the IV bags. The A&E doctor examined me, and agreed that it looks like appendicitis, though there are other things it could be. He called a surgeon to examine me as well - as they would have a better idea of where the problem lies. Once the surgeon had prodded my belly, they decided to admit me and put me on the list for urgent surgery. I was wheeled through to another ward, to sleep before waiting for surgery the next day.

Thursday I wasn't allowed to eat as I was on the list for surgery. I was getting occasional strong waves of intense hunger - I hadn't eating anything since 11am Wednesday. Luckily, these would dissipate quite quickly - providing the breakfast/lunch/dinner trolley was taken away swiftly! I was also having some stomach issues - which were not pretty I can tell you that for free. It was a long day interspersed with a couple of visits from the surgical consult/anesthetist through the day. A loooong boring day. By the end of the day, I still hadn't had any surgery. Thankfully the night-time surgeon came to see me late in the evening (read: middle of the night) and gave me the okay to have some food (Hallelujah!). I had some toast, juice, and yogurt - Best. Meal. Ever. Then had very fitful sleep.

Friday was another long day. I was told I was at the top of the list for surgery, but still had to wait for most of the day before I heard anything. It was all too much, I was tired, felt crap and was bored out of my mind waiting to be called in for surgery. Also I was scared, I've never had surgery before. Around 5pm I was finally called down to theatre for my exploratory laparoscopy. It was nerve-wracking, but the surgical team made me feel at ease by cracking a couple of jokes. It all happened really quickly from when I was brought down to surgery, at one point there was two people talking to me at the same time and I had to work out who I needed to reply to! Quite disorientating. Especially as they had given me something which they forewarned would make me woozy (A prelude to being K.O.'d!).

I have some weird vague memories of waking up feeling panicked, hearing a voice saying my name, someone saying 'she's fighting us' and someone talking to me, telling me about my operation and saying I ripped out my cannula. That's all very fuzzy and I'm not sure what exactly actually happened. The next time I became aware again, I was on oxygen in the recovery room - waiting to be wheeled back to my ward. That felt surreal.

Anywho, it turned out to be appendicitis, so they removed my appendix and I'm feeling much better now. Yaaaaay