Monday, 30 January 2012

Not quite the weekend expected!

After I had returned home from my drug trial treatment at Maidstone last Thursday I felt a little unwell so had an early night. I woke at 10.30 with uncontrollable shaking/shivering and gasping for breath. After about 15 mins Alan called the ambulance. By the time I reached hospital my temperature was up to 38.4, my blood pressure very low and my vision blurred and I was vomiting. I thought the Grim Reaper was coming to get me! I was pumped full of various drugs – paracetamol, antibiotics, saline drip, blood thinners etc, chest xray, chest and abdomen scan to show blood vessels plus lots of blood samples.  Because of the severity and speed of my reactions they thought I may have had a pulmonary embolism or another clot somewhere in the lungs. Subsequent scans showed no clots (phew!). Anyway because of my cancer and my current chemo regime and the drug trial they wanted to keep an eye on me so I was not released until this evening. The diagnosis was an allergic reaction to the trial drug (this has been confirmed by Maidstone as a likely reaction) and a respiratory infection.
My stay in the ward was very traumatic. It was in the same ward (2 beds down) that I was given my cancer diagnosis in September 2010 – the day our world changed forever. Lots of bad memories of that time and too much thinking time.  On the Friday afternoon the lady in the bed opposite died. Saturday night an  elderly lady fell out of bed and this morning the lady in the next bed was told (loud enough for the whole ward to hear) that it was likely she would not recover so would she like a priest! How disgusting is that! Her family arrived soon after they were with her behind the drawn curtains when I left – wouldn’t you this they would use a side room for her.
It was quite an eye opener to see how much paperwork is getting in the way of nursing, how short staffed the hospital is – waiting for 15 mins for the emergency buzzer to answered is not on – two of us fitter patients went out to the nursing station a couple of times to get assistance for other patients. Despite these problems I must say my treatment was brilliant and I would not have received and better emergency care elsewhere.
I end with something to make you smile – the lady opposite had a Steradent tablet in her hearing aids instead of batteries – apparently they are the same size but don’t work so well. !!!!
Its back to hospital tomorrow for blood tests for my chemo on Thursday. I will speak with Dr Shah tomorrow as to whether they drug trial will go ahead this week – I suspect not as I will still be on antibiotics.