I have been longing to write down what I have recently been through but at the same time I have had no idea about where to start and have no energy to really sit down and process everything.
Over the years I have been in and out of hospital, in and out of resus, intensive care, high dependancy and wards without much thought. I have always tried to take it in my stride and move on. It has happened and there is not much I can do about it except move forward and get better.
Since Christmas I have been feeling a little under the weather but nothing major. An increase in prednisilone sorted me out and I thought nothing more of it. I was working Hogmanay and then due to travel down to the borders. I got home from work and all was fine until suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t catch my breathe and it felt like my chest was in a vice and nothing I could do would get me free.
Following protocol I called an ambulance after 4 nebulisers. By the time they came which was really quick on Hogmanay I was really struggling although my observations etc were ok. The paramedics looked at me and asked about my asthma and said they could see I was struggling but they thought they got there quick enough to keep anything to bad happening. Famous last words. At the time I didnt think it was too bad an attack. I walked with oxygen out to the ambulance but just that short walk was too much and I felt so much worse in the ambulance. I declined so much that they decided to crash me in to resus. It took 8 minutes on Hogmanay night from my flat in the north of the city to the south of the city- which is pretty quick! The crew were great and the guys were waiting for me at the hospital. In terms of an asthma attack this for me was not one I thought that was that bad. I was moved from Resus after improving and then waited for a bed in medical assessment.
Moving to medical assessment was where it all went downhill and I have no idea what happened other than I dropped my oxygen and became pretty poorly which ended up me being transferred up to intensive care. I did take this photo which I guess shows how unwell I was!
I really don’t remember much about it and what happened. All I seem to recall is that the porter pushed my bed at quite a speed up to intensive care. I was facing forward and just keep getting this picture of the nurse with the massive resus backpack on like this one pictured:
I don’t recall much of being in intensive care. I was put on high flow oxygen given numerous drips. They tried an art line but because of the scarring in my arteries I am really difficult to get a line in so they decided to just run venous gases and save my arms and legs!
The main thing I remember in ITU is one of the nurses saying they had to remember to write 16 now rather than 15. I asked when New Year happened. I had no idea what the time was or that New Year had in fact been. I had no concept of how long I had been in hospital. I had not been intubated or anything but I still had no memory or concept of time. It turned out it was the 2nd January and the afternoon. I have never really lost my memory like this before. I have seen people who get confused and don’t know the time or date and thought how weird it must be and it is. Afterwards I thought the nurse must think I was crazy because I had no idea of time etc. This was my best friend: my elephant tubing high flow warmed oxygen!!!
I have to thank all the nurses for the work they did to help me and look after me.
I take photos of my time in hospital for when I don’t remember and it lets e see how far I have come on days when I feel so rubbish. I am not sure why I took this photo but I think it is a bit like ET phone home….I reckon I desperately wanted home or just my family as I was terrified- not only terrified because I couldn’t breathe but terrified because I was in intensive care and I was so tired of breathing it was such an effort. It took all my might to move my chest to get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.
I have a great relationship with the respiratory team here and they were able to help me so much. One thing I regret is that I pushed to be allowed out of intensive care and onto the ward. The staff in 204 made this possible. They moved things around so I could get a bed. I was so grateful, that was until i got to the ward and entered the room. I was immediately stared at and the other old women in the room kept passing comment about me and talking about me in such a volume I could here it all. They then complained that I had the curtains around me and did I think I was special. I have never been so upset. I was trying to come to terms with one of my worst asthma attacks in a long time, coming to terms with intensive care and complications that happened there too. The last thing I wanted was to deal with narrow minded old women who all caused themselves to be in hospital by smoking to much and continue to smoke despite having problems with their breathing. There were certain members of staff who also did not understand and said I was being unfair on the other people in the bay having my curtain shut and other such things. It felt like I was being punished. It didnt surprise me from some of the staff as they have always been like it. However thanks to the ward sister and other nurses who I know well they were able to move me to a different room which was like night and day. As soon as I got into the room the other women were welcome and friendly. The chatted and it was a more positive atmosphere and one much better suited to recover.
I had some lovely visitors and some really generous presents. My friends who came to visit and those who messaged me I am so thankful for. It meant a lot. The food baskets and snacks meant I didnt starve. Also my family who just looked after me they were there when I needed them. My mum and dad, step mum and stepdad who came to visit, my brother and sister in law who brought my nephew in to see me made it so much more bearable.
Its going to be a long road to recover from this one. I keep getting a lot of flash backs from this admission and I don’t know if it is real things or my brain playing tricks but I wake up hallucinating about things. I will save my thoughts and where I am now for another post because once more my asthma has shot me down and taken away something I love once again as I am not allowed to go away skiing for my 30th birthday.
Here’s hoping for a better 2016 from here on!