Wednesday, 20 March 2013

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!

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