Wednesday, 15 January 2014

'You have an inner strength that might surprise you; once you've discovered it you will always know that you can turn it to achieve anything.'

I'd been very ill following a routine non invasive surgical procedure on my kidney last week. At the time I'd experienced more pain than was normal, and once home I was weak, dizzy, nauseous and my temperature was all over the place. I'd had fever before (the last time I blogged about being in hospital) after my body had a bad reaction to a stent that was fitted in my kidney. It turns out, the problems this caused were longer lasting than the doctors had anticipated.

I took myself off to A&E in a cab at about 6am the morning of the 10th. They told me I had a severe infection and that I needed to be monitored to avoid septisemia. I was admitted, dosed up on pain relief and the antibiotics started. Mossy came to visit me in the morning, and again in the afternoon with Jemma, and he said he could see an improvement from how I'd looked earlier. I felt much better in myself, was sitting up, chatting, all fine for the rest of the day.

I woke up at about 4am the following morning, absolutely boiling hot. I went to the toilet, and could feel myself going dizzy. I collapsed on the floor of the bathroom, and once I was able to pull the emergency chord for help the nurses came running and the worst morning of my life began.

For starters I couldn't see, my vision was so blurred and distorted and my eyes kept closing. I was still boiling hot, but shaking violently. I couldn't breathe properly, I couldn't move. Worst of all was the pain, agonising pain across my abdomen, in my lower back, up the right hand side of my body and up into my neck. I had six nurses and 3 doctors with me in my room at this point, needles going in everywhere to set up new cannulas in my hands for drips, injections for pain relief going into my thighs, an oxygen mask on my face. Nothing was easing the pain. The nurses kept telling me I was freezing but I was burning hot.

The next thing, I was being rushed to intensive care. I looked up at my doctor on the way and asked if I would be ok and he said 'inshallah' (if it is Gods will) with a look on his face that suggested he had no idea which way this was going to go. At this point I felt like I was close to dying, and it's the most surreal feeling. I remembering whispering please don't let me die, and all I could think about was wanting to be with my family.

Once I was in ICU I was attached to the monitoring machines, and the nurses and doctors continued to work on stabilising me. My doctor asked me who he should call, and I told him my mum. So she got the call at 4:00 UK time that I'd been moved to intensive care - can't even imagine how scary that must have been for her. She called Mossy, who came straight over when he could. By the time he arrived I was stable, and the worst was over. I had septisemia, but I also had pneumonia, so the combination had sent my body into melt down.

Slow progress day by day followed. My parents landed in Doha on Sunday night (they were coming anyway on holiday but thank god they came when they did). My mum arrived first while my dad paid the driver, and seeing her was probably the most emotional moment of my life. It was just such a relief to suddenly be able to hug my mum after everything that had just happened. I saw her and I just cried, happy tears. For the rest of my time in hospital, even knowing her and my dad were in the country when they weren't with me in the ward was the biggest reassurance.

I spent 4 days in ICU, and was transferred back to my normal ward on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning I was given the all clear to go home, with a hefty dose of antibiotics. My parents picked me up with a wheelchair - at first I was thinking I can walk, I feel like a fraud using this! But I'm a lot weaker than I thought I'd be, so with this we can still enjoy our holiday together and go to the places we we planned to without me not being able to go very far. I still get tired easily and my breathing isn't 100%. Everyone smokes too which makes it hard to be around people because it sets my chest off.

Everything that happened still feels like a bit of a dream, can't quite believe it all happened. It's given me a hefty dose of perspective and an even stronger desire to carry on 2014 with as much positivity and enjoyment as possible. Life is fragile and unpredictable and is to be made the most of.

Some pics of the week - machines, flowers, war wounds, and pure bliss!

The best bit about getting out of hospital? A long, deep, hot bath at my parents hotel room in the luxurious St Regis. With my channel on the television of course!


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