It is exactly a week ago since I escaped from my second Hospital admission this year. I am trying to rest and recover at home but things aren’t quite going to plan (when ever do they?). The weather isn’t helping (I’ve hardly left the house since leaving hospital) and my lungs are struggling, don’t get me wrong I’m not on the verge of returning to hospital but things aren’t as good as I would like them to be.
At least all this time sat in the house has given me the chance to add the third and final part of the diary that I kept in hospital to the blog.
If you haven’t seen the first two parts you can find them at the links below:
Diary of an Asthmatic in Hospital – Part 1
Diary of an Asthmatic in Hospital – Part 2
The third instalment starts on Wednesday 23rd January which was day number 7.
Day 7 – Wednesday 23rd January 2019
Despite my ups and downs during this admission I feel that my breathing is just starting to become a little bit easier. I am still having a lot of chest tightness, my sats are a bit erratic and I am on and off oxygen. My peakflow is still around 230 and is struggling to improve but I am feeling a touch better. Whenever I am in hospital following a bad flare up I always seem to struggle for a few days and have a few more (minor) attacks, which we often refer to as after shocks (as in after shocks following an earthquake). I then suddenly seem to pick up pretty quickly and I must admit that I feel that maybe I am close reaching that stage again.
Tuesday night was though was tough, new room mates and a death in the next bed. As you can imagine it was a very strange atmosphere in the bay. Lights were out fairly early but I struggled to sleep. I did finally doze off though but woke at things then became quite eventful!
3am – I woke up to a bad nose bleed which is not nice when you are on a ventilator and full face mask, I felt as though I was drowning in my own blood! I managed to stop the bleeding a cleaned myself up as well as was possible and I decided to bin the ventilator for the night.
4am – After falling back a sleep for what can only have been a few minutes I woke up again to find myself covered in blood again, this time the cannula in my arm had come out and I was absolutely covered in blood (it doesn’t help when you are on anticoagulants). With the help of the nurse we stopped the bleeding and I got cleaned up once again.
5am – My chest became very tight and I was struggling to breathe for a period of time, fortunately a couple of nebs and some oramorph helped.
6.30am – There was a power cut and despite the back up system kicking in all of the alarms on all of the monitors, pumps etc went off. To make matters worse it was a couple of hours before full power was restored and so I even missed out on my morning cup of tea!
To be fair to the Staff they never stopped running about all night.
After the events overnight I am feeling shattered this morning but apart from the tiredness I feel that I am continuing to improve. Just before lunch the doctor came to see me. Even though the sats may disagree we both agree that I am turning the corner. I have now been off oxygen for about 18 hours and to be fair oxygen is the only treatment (along with the iv hydrocortisone) that is not available to me at home. I am self medicating, I have a ventilator at home and also a nebuliser, we both agree that once I am stable that it would be better for me to be at home. It was decided that I should stay in hospital for another 24 hours and if I had no further attacks or need for oxygen we would look to getting me home.
The thought of going home has given me a massive lift and after a chat with the nurse it was decided that I could go for a little walk and actually leave the ward. It was lunchtime and my food arrived and I took one look at it and thought no way! I grabbed my inhaler and walked down to the Restaurant (probably further than I should have walked but I needed a decent meal. When I got to the restaurant I couldn’t believe it, they had a carvery on! There was also the added bonus to see a friendly face in the restaurant in the form of Louise who is somebody I have known for years, she used to drink in the same pub as me and she now works in the restaurant.
Back to the food though and all I can say is that is bloody lovely and no potato wedges or congealed gravy in site!
The rest of the day was spent chilling (and another visit from the wife) and the intention was an early night and hopefully some sleep. I was hoping that my meal might be as good as what I had eaten earlier in the restaurant. Trust me when I say that it did not quite reach the same standard and the gravy was up to its usual standard!
Unfortunately sleep went out of the window as the guy in the next bed was not well, he was in a lot of pain and was struggling. He was a nice guy, only in his forties but seriously ill, in the end we both sat up all night talking (and thanks to the nurses) drinking lots of tea.
Day 8 – Thursday 24th January 2019
Thursday morning saw me in a positive mood, there was no way that they were going to keep me in. My mood improved even more when the day staff started their shift. Over the years and my many admissions I have made a number of friends among the staff. One of whom is Carmen, she always looks after me and makes sure that I have plenty of tea and coffee. We always have a good laugh and take take the mick out of each other. When you are in hospital for a lengthy period it is the relationship and banter with the staff which can just about make it bearable. Over the years Carmen has always told me that she is good at baking and has always promised to bring me a cake, this morning after years of broken promises she came up with the goods. I didn’t care less about my sugar levels, I had cake and I was eating it. Cheers Carmen, it was gorgeous.
By 9.30 the respiratory nurses came to give me my Xolair injections (which were due), then the doctor came and we agreed that there was no reason to be kept in any longer. Pharmacy were on the ball and my medication was sorted before lunch. I made some phone calls to arrange my lift home and then I packed my bags and waited. It can take hours to actually escape, if it isn’t pharmacy keeping you waiting you are having to wait for your discharge letter. To be fair though everything went smoothly and by 1pm everything was done, I was a free man!
This hospital stay wasn’t anywhere near my longest, my asthma was not as bad as during some admissions but either way it was a tough one. Missing a friends funeral, more time off sick, missing more football, the strain once again placed in my family, my problems with a couple of members of staff and the death of a fellow patient in the next bed definitely took its toll but it’s another admission that I have survived. Despite the problems the staff in Re-sus were brilliant, HDU as always are excellent and the staff on C5 were amazing. I thank them all as I do my wife and family for helping me through another tough week plus the support received on social media.
I thank you all.