I only have myself to blame. Turning up to respiratory for my mepolizumab injection feeling great. My asthma felt good, I had a bit of a head cold which I told the nurses about but otherwise I couldn’t complain. I was really pleased with how the new medication regime was going and the nurses were happy with me to.
This was all very short lived. The following day was the start of the slippery slope downhill. As the day went on, what was a head cold was now in my throat and moving to my chest. My plan was to call the next day and get some antibiotics from the GP.
5am the next morning I had a raging temperature, couldn’t breathe and was sick due to the amount of mucus I had in my chest. I for sure had a chest infection and no longer a head cold. It was now a wait till 8am to call the Dr and not to get antibiotics but to be seen and perhaps go to the hospital. Till then I sat tight, trying not to move and get some nebulisers in me to make y breathing easier.
(Many will read this and think I should have gone to hospital when I woke up and was struggling not wait to see the GP. I waited because going at that time would mean going to the hospital where my respiratory team are not based. Had I been really really struggling I would of course gone and not waited.)
My GP surgery is fantastic and know me fairly well so I can often do things over the phone without being seen. I saw the nurse practitioner who also used to be a nurse in the emergency department so used to dealing with asthma. I saw the nurse and he said I needed to go to hospital and I agreed with him. The part I didn’t agree with was the need for an ambulance. A call went in to my respiratory team and they were happy for me to go to hospital and be reviewed. I did this but got the ambulance cancelled as I could drive myself there.
The rest of it did not go to plan.
Once arriving at the hospital I was puffed so once checking in the receptionist wheeled me in. The nurse did my obs and then ran out to get the Dr as my heart rate was 170, blood pressure through the roof and oxygen saturations were fairly low. This all meant I was moved from an observation bay to the resuscitation room where they pumped me full of everything while we waited for resp to come and see me. They came down and the nurse who does my injection was also there and said she couldn’t get over the difference in just a few days. It is also really reassuring to see people you know when you are terrified because you can’t breathe.
Things did stabilise after a lot of nebulisers, magnesium, hydrocortisone etc and I could go back to the observation bay. I had such a great Dr who I wish there was a way to thank because she really did make sure I was ok. Every now and then she would put her head in and check I was ok or call me from the desk. It helps that she has looked after me before and knows what my asthma is like and how I can go off very quickly. Unfortunately this is what happened. I am not sure of the details but what sticks in my head is being so tired, the effort of speaking, keeping my eyes open even breathing was too much. I was reviewed again by respiratory who kept saying ‘what is wrong, why are you tired’. I had no answers to this I was just tired and couldn’t think straight.
Being tired, and not thinking straight with asthma is not a good combination. It was no surprise that the Drs from ICU came down to see me and stayed down with me until the bed was ready in ICU. At that point I really didnt care, I just wanted to find it easier to breathe- they could do whatever they want I would agree to.
The rest of the admission went by. Being moved from ICU to the respiratory ward and then home.
It was while on the respiratory ward that things changed a bit and I really started to struggle. I will write about it in a separate post as it is important and more awareness needs to be shared about it.
I am so frustrated that a head cold, went to my chest so quickly and despite the new medication I still ended up in ICU. I have to remember what one of my previous consultants said before he retired. He said I have the type of asthma that no matter what medication or discoveries they make I will always need the hospital now and then so need to accept it. It is so hard to accept that hospital will always be part of my life no matter what.
Right now it is focus on recovering and getting my strength back as it has really taken its toll on me. I always know when things have been tough because reading, watching TV even writing are too much. Even just writing this has taken me a heck of a long time and has been done in several sittings.
There are a few different areas to discuss as a result of this admission which I will write about in the next coming days.