Wednesday, 20 March 2013

#50books2013 - 10 word reviews

So, I've been ill this month (in case you missed it, lol!) and that means I've read lots of books that I just haven't had the time or energy to review - I thought I'd give myself a challenge to review all the books I've read so far this year in 10 words or less...

1. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday
Too much fishing - not all it's cracked up to be.

2. Bright Young Things - Scarlett Thomas
Interesting take on a 'horror' scenario - would read again.

3. Extras - Scott Westerfeld
Bit boring - not as great as I remember the trilogy.

4. The Secret Supper Club - Dana Bate
OK for chic lit - liked the foody theme.

5. The Tent, The Bucket and Me - Emma Kennedy
Funny remembering camping trips - got a bit samey.

6. Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult
Disappointing - took me ages to plough through it.

7. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Great start, loved it - lost momentum later but good book.

8. Starters - Lissa Price
YA -  easy to read and gripping in parts.

9. The Forbidden Queen - Anne O'Brien
OK but not Philippa Gregory.

10. Thursdays in the Park - Hilary Boyd
Went on too long - chic lit overload.

11. Matched - Ally Condle
Gripping - good concept - the new Hunger Games?

12. Crossed - Ally Condle
Good second book - characters interesting and likeable.

13. Reached - Ally Condle
Satisfying end to the trilogy.

What Happened Next...

So I was sent home from hospital on the 1st March (not the 29th Feb as I wrote in my last post, as that didn't exist this year, lol)

Saturday - I woke feeling much worse, my face was swollen again. We watched and waited for a bit, but in the end decided to go into A&E. I was checked out by a very nice man, but my observations (temp, bp, heart rate) were fine, and he said I just didn't seem that ill to him, it was probably just because I was off the IV. We had asked to see ENT when we got in, but were only seen by someone in A&E and sent home.

Sunday - I woke even worse. Overnight my throat had closed up more, my chest was more swollen. Now when I tried to swallow water, it was coming ack up out of my nose. I was somehow still able to swallow tablets so was trying to keep taking my meds, but they weren't doing anything and I was terrified my airway would start to close up. Needless to say we headed into A&E that morning. I was put straight back onto IV fluids, antibiotics, steroids and painkillers. I was also put straight on the list for a CT scan, an operation was likely. We made it up to the ward about 12 ish I think, although I was pretty out of it. I was scanned maybe around 3, and put on the urgent theatre list for 7pm that night. Sometime inbetween the scan and the operation an anaesthetist came to see me, because my throat was so swollen and I couldn't open my mouth it was going to be hard to get an airway down. They would have to put a tube through my nose whilst I was still awake. That was probably the most horrible part of anything that happened in hospital. Of course, I knew it was necessary, but it was truly, truly horrible. As I was wheeled up to theatre we travelled through a part of the hospital that was dark, and felt somewhat like a multistorey carpark ramp - people were silhouetted in doorways with bright lights behind them - it was incredibly surreal and I'm glad Ian was with me or I might have found it a bit scary. When we arrived at theatre we had to wait for the surgeon who was coming over from Bristol to operate on me. Theatre was also surreal - just like on TV, and the anaesthetists were so jolly, joking with me - I guess that's what you do when you work with terrified people all day! Before long it was done and I awoke in a nearly-deserted room. My neck wasn't really painful - I guess it had been so swollen and sore before it probably felt like a relief - my nose, however was really sore, and I had a canula in my hand they must have put in during the operation that really hurt. The drains were in and I would continue to drain until it started to go  down.

The next few days are a bit of a blur. I had 4 nights in hospital, and I was moved 3 times (including the two times I was moved previously, that's 5 times in 6 nights). I felt vulnerable and lonely. I woke every morning hoping on the one hand they would send me home, but on the other hand terrified for a repeat of what had already happened - being sent home only to get sicker and sicker was a horrible experience. The day after the operation the doctors almost removed the drains - but decided to leave them in a little longer. This turned out to be a lucky decision as there was still a lot of infection in there. In fact it had travelled down to my chest and needed to be pushed towards the drains to help it to come out. In the end, the drains came out on Thursday, although they left the wound open and unstitched to allow it to drain further.

It's now the 20th of March - almost a month after I first felt ill. I'm still exhausted, although my parents were able to leave me to it and I am flying solo with the boys. It's great to be home of course, but terrifying how a month of your life can just be taken out of your hands with no warning. When I came home, Archie was a different boy! A boy, not a baby! Luckily, he is back nursing again and my milk is starting to come back in. I've found it scary being a mum again, I'm second guessing myself all the time, particularly where Archie is concerned. Is it right to start nursing him so much when he has taken to food so well? Is his sleeping worse when I'm around? I also feel terribly guilty that Ian has had to take on so much - the night wakes, washing, housework - I'm just still not quite up to doing everything I usually do. He has been fantastic - a support to me through everything and fulfilling the role of both parents to the boys. My parents, of course, were also amazing - dropping their lives to come to my side and to take over everything that Ian couldn't manage whilst he was trying to split himself between the hospital, work and home.

There's just one thing left to say - thank god it's all over. Or nearly all over - can't wait for my neck to heal up so I can wash my hair properly again!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bobchat - beaster

H - look what I've got daddy, look! (Shows daddy a picture he found at toddlers) look- beaster eggs!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

My week - 23rd Feb - 29th Feb

I started writing this when in hospital, and I'm just getting around to finishing it - it might take a couple of posts...

Saturday - decided not to do my 5k run as I was feeling slightly coldly. Had Ian's parents and felt reasonably normal.

Sunday - went out to the park even though I was feeling rough and it was so so so freezing. I soon felt even worse. My throat became unbearably painful and I never thought I would make it home to be honest. We went to the coffee shop and I managed to swallow down the most painful hot chocolate ever and tried to eat some muffin but it was too hard. We to home and I basically went to bed for the rest of the day. My childminder Nicola kindly agreed to have Harry for the morning.

Monday - it was immediately clear that I was much worse. I seriously regretted not going to out of hours - it's much easier when you have little ones and one parent can watch the kids. Not only was there no way I was carrying Archie anywhere (I wasn't even safe going up and down stairs - I had to go on my bottom like a toddler, and once down Daddy brought is Harry's toddler bed mattress down so I could lie and watch the poor baby play. I couldn't talk, sing, smile or play poor treasure. I called the doctor and she prescribed co-codamol and an anaesthetis throat spray. Sadly, looking back I think these only served to mask the symptoms in this case and really made the matter worse. in hindsight I should have got my husband to take me to out of hours but the doctor's advice was not to
worry and I was so ill I didn't want to move. Ian came home early and I went to bed.

Tuesday - I woke feeling dreadful. My face was horrendously swollen and 'mumpy'. I got on the phone to NHS direct as soon as possible - they called me back at half 8 by which time I was on hold to my Doctor's Surgery. I managed to hear her say 'You must see the GP this morning and if they can't see you go straight to A &E - I suspect a quinsy' 'a what?' I think and quickly pass the information onto the receptionist who booked me in for 9.40, a perfect 10 minutes after dropping the big boy off to the childminder. He suspected mumps but still prescribed antibiotics as he wasn't sure. At least Ian was working from home but work means work and I had to give him a chance to do that. I tried to hard but had to give up. I went up to bed. My paretns agreed to come up.

Wednesday -  My dad took me to the doctor again. My chest had become red, puffy, painful and swollen. My throat was worse. The earliest I could get an appointment was 3pm. He called ENT and sent me to A&E. My husband met me there. I was admitted although the first doctor was a bit confused, saying 'We don't usually admit people who can swallow!' I had cameras stuck down my throat through my nose, a needle in my mouth to try to extract any infection and a canula inserted to have IV antibiotics, steroids and fluids. I had to huddle on a hard A&E trolley with no pillow (not nice with a horrendously swollen face) until they found me a bed. I finally got to a bed around 3am ish I think.

Thursday - I was in hospital getting pumped full of drugs. I was in the Medical Assessment Unit -   and to be honest, it's not the most pleasant place to spend time, but I was just relieved to be getting a little better. I was moved to a side room off another ward at 3am. I got a little bit of sleep before being woken at 6am for my antibiotics!

Friday - The doctors came around and I was much better - the swelling on my face and chest had receded. They decided to let me go home with oral antibiotics and painkillers and approved my discharge. I was asked to vacate the room asap and wait in the waiting room as they needed my bed so I had a wash and moved over waiting for my husband to arrive. We left at about lunch time and headed home where I went to bed. It was a massive relief to see my babies, and Archie nursed briefly. I was still too poorly to care for them much though. We were hopeful that we may still make one night of our holiday that was booked Saturday night-Monday night.