If I had a creative space this week it would involve 14 stitches of double knit yarn on size 2.75mm needles which will hopefully be a sole for a second teddy bear. (I can now confirm that they are indeed a whole sole, there has been a brief interlude of several hundred hours I think between starting this this morning and finishing it now.) I started the knitting on Tuesday at the Royal. I had woken up in the early hours feeling quite warm, with a raging thirst, slight nosebleed and the belief that the lap top was on the bed behind me and was the size of our new BIG plasma TV! When I awoke at 7:00 I was able to confirm from the few drops of blood on my jim jam top that I’d only imagined the laptop part of things. I staggered downstairs to take my temperature and it was 39.7! I got a cold drink, left B a note and staggered back upstairs to bed relieved I didn’t have a giant laptop to move.
Of all the days to spike a temp Tuesday was the most inconvenient day ever – B had gone to the m-i-l’s on the way home with her shopping, our earlier riser neighbours are on holiday, Chris had a cold and Uncle Ray takes his elderly Auntie shopping. Auntie Ann said later I should have rung her and she would have come for me even if it made her late for work and even though it was payroll day for hundreds of people and she’s the only one who does it! They do keep saying they should train someone else.
So B came home, I got dressed, well dressed in a yesterday’s crumpled linen pants, an un-ironed slightly holey T-shirt, stripy socks and sandals kinda way, and off we went with B depositing me at the Royal at 9:15.
My temp was 38 something, I had bloods taken and blood cultures and then saw a doctor, found out I needed two units of blood as HB had dropped from 9.0 on Friday to 7.6, had to give in and ask if I could I get back on the examination bed for a sleep, went for a chest x-ray at 15:40 (just as B rang to find out what was going on) and getting back at 17:00 after my form had been lost and then, despite the best efforts of the guy on the reception desk, getting overlooked several times by porters looking for return fares. There was also the perilous risk that my nodding head could have come into contact with my very sharp needles which were in my bag on my lap and I could have trepanned myself.
Fortunately the lady who was in the neighbouring bed in June was in the day unit and had to stay late for her two units of blood and as she’s also a fellow knitter that helped pass the time I was awake. Plus her niece makes a good cup of tea.
B turned up at 19:30 and went at 20:20, after Auntie Ann, and just after we got to the Pancreatic-something else ward where I had a chair and a space. A bed was located shortly after!
Tuesday night, there were 39.1 temps, oxygen due to low SATS (85), antibiotics, fluids due to low blood pressure, a stinging cannula, six attempts to get a new one in at 2:30 in the morning while I wittered on about Bud and his allergies because I needed a distraction from the stabbing being done by someone who was based on that ward but covered the whole hospital if anyone needed assistance getting access (who rashly said she’d get two in, one for the fluids and one for the blood – she settled for one – and no I don’t mean getting in the front door).
Wednesday no knitting was even considered. The laptop that B had begrudgingly brought in remained in the bag, I read a bit and slept a lot and ate a little, with more blood, fluids, temps and antibiotics. I was allowed a shower (look, its relevant later). I felt somewhat better but tired and a long way from usual. The elderly lady (94) in the next but one bed was very, shall we say, lively, during the day. The elderly lady in the next but one bed was very, shall we say, no, extremely, no, EXTREMELY bloomin’ annoying during the night.
Second stay put cannula became ‘knackered’ – technical term used by nurse. Blood for cultures needed and blood doctor said I should ask for these to be taken when new cannula fitted. Young male nurse turned up just to take blood, I mentioned access, he looked at holes in right arm and went to get someone else. She said she’d give it a go if I was okay with it. I was, she did and off she went to call in a favour. What I now understand was a Nurse Practitioner turned up and despite me pointing out that blue cannuals are normally used, she gave it a go with a pink one and, begrudging as the flow was, managed to get enough blood for the cultures through the cannula. I admit it was toe curling for a few seconds going in but it’s still there and receiving a flush as I type.
The early hours of Thursday there were fluids, low blood pressure, antibiotics and me at 06:00 thinking that maybe the people Logan on Logan’s Run was escaping from had the right idea! WHAT! You try being dog tired, and despite being able to get back to sleep after being poked and prodded and pressured being woken up by ‘Nora’ asking what time it was, could she have a cup of tea, she’d settle for some cornflakes, she usually had bacon and egg but cornflakes would be okay as she hadn’t had anything to eat all day as she’d had a job done, what time it was, was there a toilet in the nearby cupboard, when was the doctor going to see her, the young girl in the opposite bed should be out at work or in her own bed, shouting help when she couldn’t find the buzzer to ask the same thing, telling the nurse that stroking her hair wasn’t going to do any good, how old was the health care assistant, why didn’t she want to be a proper nurse, why had they been so long, when was she getting her dinner at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 6:00 specifically (I think she may have been nocturnal – because most of the time although she repeated herself 650 times most of the questions weren’t a million miles from coherent) except for my favourite, which if I hadn’t been extremely sleep deprived I would have thought hysterical – ‘Where’s my plunger?’
Although I over-heard she had trapped wind and her son told her they were going to use a plunger to get it out – so even that wasn’t completely off the wall. She slept coma-like until 16:30 today, sleeping through her son’s two minute visit, because apparently when she was like that there was no chance of waking her up, then went from 0-60 in about 0.30 seconds ie, asleep to ‘What time is it?’ Getting answers from four of us at one point and then demanding more cornflakes.
I have felt better this afternoon and this evening and hopefully with a good night’s sleep will feel better again tomorrow. Still on the antibiotics, temp low 37s though, blood pressure raising, having liver scan as readings whacky – but they did do that in June following sepsis and then returned to normal range and kidney readings slightly out of normal range – but I have no pain in that region so unlikely to be kidney infection.
Fortunately I made it up to 7Y this evening which feels like staying with a nice Auntie you know well and that knows you well, as opposed to 5B where, although the young Auntie and cousins are nice, some crazy old maiden aunt turns up and refuses to disconnect you from your fluids while you have a shower (as it’s been HOT and you’ve had a window seat and have basically been doing the whole pig on the way to the abattoir thing) and when you push it by saying it’s just a bag of saline, she says it’s ward policy even though ward policy allowed it the previous day and then you get all teary and homesick. And what makes it worse is that when that maiden aunt takes you back to nice Auntie she tells her you’ve been no trouble! Well of course you haven’t because you only asked for two things, the other being a jug of cold water with ice if possible, and you didn’t get either!