Trying to a describe a pain you never imagined having.

The last few weeks have been a bit rocky to say the least. I have had a head cold for about three weeks which I thought was finally clearing but the clearing of my head cold was actually it moving south and going into my chest. I guess it was Thursday last week I really felt bad and was aware of this rattle in my chest when I was breathing and my peak flow was quite a bit lower. I was not too worried as was able to clear my chest pretty well and kept going as I had been. Had not increased my prednisilone as I really didnt think I needed to. As the week came to an end and Saturday evening came I was aware I was constantly coughing and feeling puffed out at the smallest of things. I also felt very lethargic- could be all the coughing and disturbed sleep! By Sunday my peak flow was in its boots so I thought better take action now rather than wait till Monday so I called NHS Out of Hours and was seen very promptly. We increased my steroids just a wee bit and added more antibiotics. I was hoping that this quick action was going to help me avoid anything more serious happening. By Monday I didnt feel worse but didnt feel much better so I went to work thinking I would feel better as I moved about and forgot about how I felt and I did the day was so busy it flew in and before I knew it was time to go home. This was when it all unravelled and I started to feel pain like I have never felt before.

Once home after work I thought I would have a neb and do some saline with it to make it easier to cough up the junk coming off my chest.I was finding it pretty thick and difficult to clear. I regret doing this neb as it induced a massive fit of coughing and hacking trying desperately to bring up as much off my chest as I could. It was during this that I felt a pop in my chest on the left side. The pop was followed by the most excruciating searing pain and the best way I can describe it is being shot which is odd because I have no idea what it is like to be shot but this is what I think it might be like. I was in a total state with the pain. I couldn’t change in to my PJ’s because of the pain, I couldn’t do anything and that night I can’t say I slept very much at all. I was in agony. Which makes me wonder why on Earth I thought it was a good idea to go into work on Tuesday. I have no idea, what made me or how I thought I would even manage the day. I got in and got to my office at which point I just wanted to cry. It took me so long to walk into the hospital from the car park and everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. Eventually my colleague came in and when asking if she could see my patients today it was all I could do to not cry. When I told her what was wrong I was given my marching orders and dispatched back home. I don’t even remember what I was thinking and how I even thought work was possible. I really do wonder at some of the ideas I come up with.

Before leaving the car park I called my GP and got an appointment to be seen that morning. It was a medical student carrying out the appointment with the GP supervising. I felt sorry for the student as I was not the simplest of patient for him particularly given all my allergies and all my random drug doses which are not listened or being used for something other than their indicated role! But I was sorted and given some more painkillers and went home to sleep and rest thinking that this was it and I was on the mend. Looking back I think that was wishful thinking!

Tuesday into Wednesday I hardly slept and was tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position where there was not pressure on my chest and lungs. By the time morning came I was in agony. I thought I had felt the worst pain I could on Monday but I was wrong. Wednesday I felt I could hardly move. Every tiny breath would sear through my chest and any cough was met with a massive interjection as my body tried to stop itself from hurting even more. I had run out of all my options of what I could do to help myself so I called my GP and was put straight through. She advised I come straight up to see her and get checked over. I was so impressed with the treatment I got. I hung up the phone left to go to the GP and was taken in by the Dr waiting for me without hardly sitting down. She dispatched me off to the hospital for an X-ray and stronger painkillers which I was grabbing with both hands. I just wanted something to settle this pain. It was mortal agony. The nurse who I saw had seen me before with my asthma so knew me but said I looked awful and she had never known me to complain about pain so I must have been sore. My obs were all okish except for my heart rate at 163 and my blood pressure was sky high about 174/108 I think it was or similar. I saw the Dr and was given a variety of different painkillers at different times to build them up and see what works best.

The pain was so bad that I was given IV morphine which I really wondered if they gave me as I didnt feel any relief from it until I started seeing turtles coming out the walls and curtains trying to steal my blankets. At this point I knew the morphine was working. It was the strangest sensation and part from the eventual pain relief I would never want it again and really tried to hold off having a second dose. The pain relieving effect was good though and it meant I could cough properly without pain which was such a relief!!! I was discharged with oral morphine which I was hesitant about taking. I took a really small dose when first at home as wondered about what may come out my walls but was glad that this was not the same as the IV version and only made me a bit drowsy which is far better than seeing animals coming out the walls!!!

This was all a week ago. I thought the pain would all be easing up by now and I would not be holding my chest every time I coughed for fear of the pain that would shoot through me, but its not. It is still so sore to do anything. I ache all the time. Pain shoots through my chest with each movement. I am trying to take the least amount of pain killers possible but not taking them is proving to be the wrong decision as it is limiting what I can do everyday and also means I can’t cough.

I am so disappointed as I was feeling so good and doing so well, going for short cycles and managing some indoor wall ball and stick work at lacrosse. I hoped I could build on this but once againI just feel it is the same thing happening which happens over and over again- just as I feel well it all goes pete tong and back to square one.

I think if I am still so sore I will be seeing if I can get more painkillers on friday and see if there is something that is a bit more long lasting than the stuff I have.

Fingers crossed for yet more rest and it will all resolve and I will be back to wall ball and enjoying life again!!!!

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