Friday, March 12, 2010
3am and all's NOT well
As a writer (well ok, as a wannabe writer) I make stuff up. But sometimes reality kicks in and proves that it can be stranger than fiction. Yesterday (Thursday) morning started a sequence of events that proved that.
I was sleeping soundly, only to be woken up at 3am with a pain in my left side (I suffer from diverticular disease and IBS) and I imagined that one or the other had decided to ruin my night's sleep, so I pulled back the sheets and started to get up and get my tablets and a hot water bottle, only to discover the pain was a hell of a lot worse than I was accustomed to. In fact it doubled me up and had me panting like the best Lamaze student ever. I couldn't straighten up, I couldn't take a deep breath. I checked if my wife had stabbed me during the night but no blood. My yelling woke her up. She phoned the ambulance. I panted, sweated, swore and waited. Five minutes later the paramedics arrived, excellent service. I was still in the feotal position with my knees pointing to the ceiling, wearing just a T shirt and boxers (I don't like sleeping in jammies) and looking for all the world as if on the verge of giving birth... to what felt like a calf. The paramedics were two women...
One of whom I knew, some mickey was taken... After determining that it probably wasn't a heart-attack they gave me a morphine injection so they could straighten me up and get me downstairs. Two minutes later the pain, which on a scale of 1 to 10, was off the scale but dropped to about five and I ended up in the ambulance. Where the pain returned. They gave me another morphine injection, then gas and air. However, by now my mouth and throat was so dry I could hardly inhale the gas and air, which had to be by mouth.
Got to Morriston Hospital by about 3.45am and got tested by the A&E doctor, given another injection, given a prostate examination, ouch... a suppository and put on an intravenous drip. The pain began to decrease. Next stop was an Xray. The drip was taken off the electric dispenser and laid on the bed, got the Xray done and was moved to the ward where they decide if an operation is needed. The drip wasn't re-attached, I asked if it could be. During the next six or seven hours I asked again, about four times. About 2pm they finally got it going again. By then I was as dried as a prune. No water, no food, no intravenous fluid. Results came in on blood test and Xrays. All pretty normal. I could eat and drink. I could go home later that evening if the food and water didn't cause any more problems. If I didn't explode. A doctor came and looked at me. He asked if I was always that colour. As I didn't have a mirror to hand I couldn't really say. Another doctor, a young Indian lady asked to see my stomach. Pressed it a few times and asked it my stomach was always that shape. I looked down at my small paunch and said yes, and that my six-pack had been a twentyfour-pack for sometime now. She apologized. I smiled, wanly.
5pm I was allowed home. Before leaving I asked what the pain had been. The doctors shrugged and said it could have been the diverticular disease flaring up, the IBS, renal colic or perhaps a kidney stone. They asked if there had been any blood in my urine. I said I couldn't really tell as doesn't blood sometimes not show up but could still be there? They asked what the urine test results had said. I asked what urine tests? They said, oh... can you do some wee for us? I had just wee'd, I was wee'd out. They said never mind. Drop some into your doctor tomorrow, ask for it to be checked for protein. It's an easy test, just a paper test.
Got home, phone my surgery and tried to setup a urine test for morning. Receptionist said sure, you got the paperwork? What paperwork?
Ahh.... Okay... drop some in anyway and I'll get the nurse to check it out.
Wee'd in a jam jar this morning as we had nothing else and took it to my surgery. The job's worth behind the desk informed me that I needed paperwork. I explained the situation. A couple of phone calls later she decided I could leave my jam jar, along with a letter of explanation and my hospital wristband and it would get tested. She gave me a sealed plastic bag to put my jam jar in. My jar was too big. However I inserted it and... I put it into the wrong part and it went straight through and fell onto the floor...
It didn't smash! First bit of luck in hours.
Got to wait now for results.
However, my side and left kidney still hurts. There is the spectre of another attack lurking at the back of my mind and I'm scared... really scared.
Now, how's that for a horror story?
And I didn't even have to make it up!