If you follow me on twitter, you’ll be very much aware of what happened to me last week. And if you don’t, well firstly you’re missing out because I’m hella witty (I’m not), but secondly, you won’t know that I spend 4 days in hospital. Ah yes, the joys of an emergency hospital admittance.
I literally wanted to do a quick update post since I wasn’t able to collect my mail until yesterday, which is what I needed for today’s post. And yes, those are disgusting cankles that came about from hospital socks (I promise I don’t have cankles irl).
All through the week I’d had a tightening in my abs. It was painful to move from sitting to laying down and vice versa, but I thought I’d just worked myself too hard at a gym class. It didn’t even occur to me that this could’ve been the early warning signs of something being wrong until after I’d been admitted. I didn’t think it was anything too out of the ordinary until Sunday night when I suddenly got an awful pain in the right side of my abdomen. I barely slept and took loads of painkillers through the night.
I spent 45 minutes on the phone to the doctors on Monday, knowing something wasn’t right, and they had no appointments left by the time I got through (I rang at 8:15 which is when they open). NHS 111 told me that I either had to get an emergency appointment or go to A&E within 2 hours because they couldn’t risk it being my appendix, but I managed to get an emergency GP appointment. I was seen by a really lovely GP and she referred me to the surgical admissions unit (SAU) at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
By the time I got to SAU it was about midday and I was assessed – by assessed I mean I had my bloods taken (and my veins battered because the doctor was rubbish at cannulation), and all my observations recorded. I was then sat in the waiting room for three hours whilst I waited for everything to come back, on nil by mouth the entire time. I met some lovely people in the waiting room – a man having his hernia taken out, a man with suspected appendicitis, a woman whose feeding tube had come out, and a lady who had some post-surgical complications.
When my bloods came back, I was admitted straight away. They didn’t think it was appendicitis, but a ruptured ovarian cyst. The pain had come on too suddenly for most appendicitis cases and the pain wasn’t worse on rebound. Either way, they wanted me to stay in overnight for observations and I was to be sent for a ultrasound first thing the next day.
I was still nil by mouth at this point as I had to wait for the evening consultant to assess me, just in case he wanted me to go into surgery that evening. Fortunately he didn’t and I was given a sandwich and some orange juice. I wasn’t all that hungry so nil by mouth on Monday didn’t bother me.
Apart from being woken through the night for observations, I slept fine. I wasn’t allowed to eat but I had to drink a litre of water before my ultrasound so I wasn’t suffering too much. They took more bloods and then I was wheeled down to ultrasound. I had to wait down there for 45 minutes which was a little tedious but that didn’t flag anything up and I was back on the ward at around 12:30. They allowed me to keep drinking at this point, but my consultant arrived back at 3 to tell me that I was strictly nil by mouth and that I would be operated on that evening.
After over 24 hours of being told it wasn’t appendicitis, they’d decided it was, as my white cell count had got higher suggesting a worsening infection, and upon the rebound test I was in more pain. I had to wait a while to go into theatre as I’d drank a lot of water through the day. Up to this point I was mostly on paracetamol and a occasional doses of codeine, but then IV antibiotics were thrown into the mix.
It took 5 hours for the anaesthetist to come, but when she finally came I assumed that I was going into theatre soon. The pain was getting severe and I couldn’t sit still. They gave me tramadol at around 10:45 but it didn’t do a lot for the pain. I was getting severely dehydrated and was put on IV fluids, as well as being given another quick release painkiller which sorted me out. At 11:50, the ward got a call saying that I wasn’t going into surgery that night and I had ten minutes to eat and drink, then go back to fasting. The nurse in charge said not to restrict myself to ten minutes, so I ended up taking nearly an hour just to eat one sandwich (I had no appetite but my stomach was noisily protesting).
I awoke at about 6am and it was just a waiting game until I went into theatre. I was taken down at about 10:30 and had to wait a little bit, but the anaesthetist was really nice and kept my mind at ease. I was cannulated on the Tuesday afternoon but it had burst on the Wednesday morning so I was recannulated. The last thing I remember was looking at the clock at 11:10am and seeing waves in my vision like going into a dream sequence in a film. The next thing I knew was that it was 12:20pm and I was waking up in recovery. I was in a lot of pain and was hyperventilating, but after I was given morphine I was a lot more comfortable. I was back up on the ward by 1:15pm and just slept for a few hours.
It was a relief when I could eat and drink again, and the dehydrated feeling subsided the day after the operation. The meals in hospitals were ridiculously tiny and not the most appetising, but that was the worst part of the stay (I just love my food).
My boyfriend was my rock through the whole thing. He came to see me for a couple of hours on the Monday, he stayed with me from 4pm until midnight on the Tuesday, and he was with me 10am-8pm on the Wednesday. My parents visited me on the Thursday and took me home for the weekend, and my boyfriend joined me Friday-Monday.
I’m back in Huddersfield now and slowly rxecovering. I have one more week of uni (although I probably won’t attend very much) until Easter, and a couple of blog events next week that I’m hoping I’ll be able attend so I’m very much willing myself to recover quickly!
Thank you for all your kind messages whilst I was being a moany bugger on twitter, and if you want to hear anything else about my hospital experience then shoot me a comment because I am definitely not done complaining about it yet.