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Gee, it was Fun in the Horse-pickle. part 1

Posted 21-01-2008 at 16:37 by West Ender

I think it had been coming on for a long time. I kept telling my GP that I was tired all the time and various blood tests were done but nothing showed up. Then last Summer I had what they said was a bout of bronchitis and I was poorly for a few weeks but I rallied.

Anyway, this time I did it in grand style. I started feeling ill the week before Christmas, sort of flu symptoms with rather disturbing delusions. Have you ever dreamed about Lembit Opik - of all people - and you have to help him because he's hurt his hand? Oh, yes, and he's calling himself Jack London for the time being. That's how delusional I was.

By Boxing Day, when all the family comes round, I was mostly in bed. I looked, apparently, like a corpse, could hardly get my breath and my feet and legs had swollen so they looked exactly like elephants' feet. Unknown to me the family had a conference and my doctor was summoned but he, musing that he really ought to send me into hospital, just gave me an antibiotic.

A week later, with all systems deteriorating, the GP was summoned again and, this time, it was off to A & E. My daughter got me there, saw me installed on a ward and left just in time for my granddaughter coming home from school.

My memories of the first 2 nights and days are sketchy but the first and most important thing they did was pump oxygen into me. The third night is very memorable as I went down with the sickness/diarrhoea bug that everyone who went in the place got. I had a drink of blackcurrant juice, about midnight, felt a sharp indigestion pain and threw up. Due to the juice, it looked like I had vomitted blood so that caused a happy little stir and a young doctor, about my grandson's age, came to see me and asked me if I was a drunk - or words to that effect.

The next few days were full of blood tests, scans, x-rays and more and more oxygen. The outcome being that I had had pneumonia which was affecting my heart (but not permanently as far as I know) and I had been short of oxygen for about 3 years - since I had a horrible virus.

My consultant was a Spanish lady, very tall, very slim and very earnest. I told her I wanted to go home by the 18th as it was my birthday. She looked doubtful. Robyn, her houseman(woman) said they would see what they could do. I got out on my birthday, at 7 p.m. Not quite what I'd hoped for but better than nothing.

To follow ..... Life on the ward and the contrast between NHS and BUPA.
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