I have once again just been discharged from hospital, and a terrifying experience. Back in January I wrote about how I had one of my worst attacks ever, well that one has been trumped by the one I suffered a few weeks back. If I’m honest my chest has not been great for a while now but the week before I went into hospital the weather was really humid and muggy making the air feel thick to breathe. I couldn’t do anything with steroids as one day I’m ok and the next I’m not depending on the humidity.
So anyway i had a bad attack and I called 999 quite early to the point the paramedics turned up and were not too concerned. That was until they saw my care plan and then realised how quickly things can turn around. By the time they blue lighted me across Edinburgh to A&E I had gone downhill quite a bit and was taken straight through to resus. At this point for me I still didnt feel awful compared to previous attacks but I was aware I felt tired and i just wasn’t get much relief despite holding my own. I ended up with the A&E consultant sitting with me while we tried to get things stabilised, back to back nebulisers, high flow oxygen, IV hydrocortisone, IV magnesium, IV aminophylline and still we were not breaking the back of the attack. 6 hours later I was finally stable enough to be moved to the intensive care unit. I couldn’t believe it had been 6 hours in resus. Even though I was tired I was convinced that I would get better and go to the assessment unit and not intensive care but when the red intubation bag and emergency drug box came out to go with me it hit me that we were not getting better and I needed more help. Normally I sit in A&E working out how long I have been there because they need to get people in and out within the 4 hour target as I am longing to get a sleep but I had no concept of time, I think this in itself shows how ill I must have been. Off I went up to intensive care for more treatment and to be looked after.
I hate intensive care. I know that know one chooses to go there but I would prefer to go to high dependancy as although people are still ill they are not all tubed which tends to be the way in intensive care. I had to go there as they were worried that I would need to be intubated as I was getting very tired and my lactate was climbing never a good sign. I must say they were great when I was there though. They looked after me so well. Put me on optiflow which is much more comfortable that 15l via hudson mask. The staff were great at reassuring me and making me comfortable. I thankfully wasn’t there that long as respiratory came and saw me. Luckily it was a consultant I know and he knows me which meant that they took me to the ward. ITU were not happy with me going to the ward though. I think because I was still very unwell and not able to do much myself at all, but being around people I knew was what I felt like I needed.
I got to the ward but as soon as I arrived the reg and Dr’s were round saying if I didnt feel great they would take me straight back to ITU. I was determined that was not happening no matter how unwell I felt. This really shook me because the reg who I saw knows me and he normally says that I’m ok etc but this time he was concerned and worried which made me feel a bit worse as those who know me and know my chest were worried. I didnt realise but there was a bed on standby for me in ITU as they were not sure how I would cope.
But I did cope. I didnt have to go back to ITU. I did have to get reviewed by ITU a lot. I had to have a lot of extra medications, extra magnesium, my aminophylline kept being increased to take me just into a toxic range but it was needed to get my chest stable. We couldnt get things stable for about a week or so and was not able to reduce the drugs for over a week. I normally can reduce after 24 hours but not this time. It was a hard slog and emotionally very difficult to cope with on several fronts.
I am home now and that is the main thing, I need a lot of rest to build myself back up but I do have various things I need to do which is really exciting and I will blog about it in time. I have a few other posts from this hospital admission to write up as there were a few different things which came up that need addressed.