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Tag: A&E

My week of hell and the lovely NHS : Part Three

<-Part One
<- Part Two

Darkness…

 At this point dear reader, I’d love to insert some flashy graphics to clarify what just happened, (Something like the book from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.) But alas I’m reduced to posting something from Wikipedia :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_response

Vasovagal syncope occurs in response to a trigger, with a corresponding malfunction in the parts of the nervous system that regulate heart rate and blood pressure. When heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and the resulting lack of blood to the brain causes fainting and confusion.[5]

in my case the trigger was :

Pressing upon certain places on the throat, sinuses, and eyes (also known as vagal reflex stimulation when performed clinically)

The packing they pushed into my nose to stop the bleeding cause this response…

Insert nice dream sequence here… Continue reading

My week of hell and the lovely NHS : Part Two

<- Part One

We left the courageous hero in bed staring at the ceiling of the Hospital ward… (Well, we left me in the ward staring at the celling).

2 hours from when my nose started to bleed to laying in a Hospital ward went by a bit fast. Now at 5:30 odd in the morning, the next 2 and a half hours would drift by slowly, very slowly! It would have went by a bit faster by my phone was not turned off and just our of reach all night.

The IV drip was checked every other hour or so, as well as my blood pressure / blood oxygen levels and temperature. By 8am the IV bag was empty and they didn’t think I needed another just yet.

That’s around the time they came round with painkillers (Codeine phosphate and Ibuprofen tablets) The pain of having the balloon in my nose was not actually that great, it was more annoying than anything else. Also have you ever tried to swallow anything while holding you nose? It’s not easy! I took the tablets anyway thinking that they might have given me something in one of the drips to dull the pain and that might ware off soon (they never and it didn’t). the first half of the day in the ward was quiet and boring! Had nothing to read or watch (they do have TV’s by the bed but costs a fortune to subscribe for a few hours!) I was still laying slightly head down when breakfast came around. They tilted my up so I was in a semi-laying seated position so I could eat my breakfast, that didn;t last long. I did manage to eat the small tub of cornflakes and milk with a cup of milk chaser. But after 30 mins of being semi upright I started to get dizzy again. So Back down I went.

The ENT docs came by doing their rounds, that had a quick look at my stats and went over/recapped what happened to me last night, they said I’d better take things easy for the next day or so as my blood pressure was still a bit on the low side, They would leave in the plug in my nose for the next day or so to let things calm down before removing it.

The general dull pain of my nose was constant and the painkillers were not that good, but they did take the edge off of it though. The problem of swallowing was ever present, I counted that the average number of times I swallowed something ( be it saliva, water, drinks or food) and it was roughly 158 times an hour. Every time I tried to swallow it was a blunt sore reminder that things were not right.

My Mother and Auntie came to visit, dropped off a few necessitates, biscuits, some cash and my kindle as well as my phone charger and pyjamas, I was still wearing those hospital gowns that never quite cover your behind! (The nurses undressed me in A&E instead of cutting things away like you see in the Movies!) As everything I was wearing that night including me was soaked in blood it was not a pretty sight. Can’t remember if my mum took my clothes away the night or in the afternoon when they visited. Either way I bet it took a lot of washing powder to shift those stains!

After visiting time was over the nurses tried to tidy me up a bit, dried blood covering a face is not the best thing to look at in a hospital ward! But with lukewarm water there is only so much dried blood that can be shifted. I was on Doctors orders to avoid anything hot for the next few days (as the heat might cause bleeding again!)

Now by this time I had a cannula in the back of both my hands, one was hooked up to an IV that they gave me in the evening. The other was only used the night I was in the A&E department. Now they hardly ever tell you is that once a cannula has used to put fluids to you it’s not that useful to get blood out of you. So begins the ever painful game of “find a vain” Luckily it was easy the first few times. The nurse came by later that evening and took some blood and took a look at the cannula in the back of my hands, she tried to get another unit of IV into my arm but the cannula in my right hand decided it was not playing today!  (another thing they hardly tell you is that if a cannula has not been used in 24 hours or so the blood in the small tube starts to thicken up and it becomes useless.). So the nurse had to use my Left hand cannula which was also starting to thicken up but it was letting fluids in. The nurse decided to take out the old one on my right hand. Not THAT was uncomfortable and slightly painful. The hairs being ripped off the back of my hand bit I’m talking about!. Pulling the cannula out of my hand was a bit gory it left a little tail of semi congealed blood behind it. But that was quickly wiped away.

So day one in the Hospital was over. I hoped things would be better, how wrong was I!

Day two (Wednesday) came slowly! I got only a few minutes sleep the entire night but I felt a lot better, I could sit up without felling dizzy and could move around the ward. My blood pressure and blood oxygen levels were fine, I had a slight temp (but that’s just me!) but they gave me the all clear to get out of bed and move around. During morning rounds the Docs came by and said they would take out the Balloon later that morning to see how things were. They hoped that it had given the bleed time to fully stop and start to heal. All going well I’d be in for another day or so then I could go home! Woohoo!!

I spent they day reading my kindle (The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter ← great story it’s the 3rd book in the long earth series!) I was happy and had fingers crossed I’d be getting out of here soon. My mother and Auntie popped in for Early visiting and dropped of my Asthma inhaler, the nurses noticed previously that my Blood oxygen levers were a bit off (low 90%)for some reason, I told them I had slight asthma and needed my inhaler. So they knew that the readings were going to be a bit off for the next few hours till my inhaler kicked in.

In the late morning the Docs came round and took me to a small treatment room so they could take a look at my nose when they took the balloon out. After a few minuets of getting things ready they took a syringe and connected it to one of the valves and pulled back in the plunger, I felt a slight dropping of pressure inside my nose and it was a relief! They connected it to the other valve which fed the balloon and released the pressure there too. And a second later I had one of the most weird painfully ticklish feeling ever as they pulled the pack from my nose! The rat tail was still fluffy and engorged in red. They took a look in my nose and could not see anything amiss so they sprayed some fowl tasting anaesthetic into my nostrils (the same stuff the dentist injects into your gums before dental work!) and cauterised a few visibly damaged blood vessels around the inside of my nose and sinuses hoping to stop the blood for good. At this point their was one of those darkly comic moments where the Doctor does something and then asks if I’m allergic to anything, in my case rub some cream into the insides of my nostrils to help with the healing after cauterising the vessels. A few seconds after rubbing the cream in he casually asks

“Ermm. Just wondering if you are allergic to peanuts?”

The reason he explains is that the cream is made from peanut extract!. Luckily I’m not allergic. I told him so and he responded

“Whew that was lucky then!” So we had a  small chuckle to each other.

I was taken back to be and told to rest up, they would check on my later to see how things are going. At this point I felt ready enough to get out of the Hospital gown and into my pyjamas so I could relax without holding my but every time I went to the toilet!

Talking about the toilet, it happened to be the next location for things to go wrong, Very wrong…

Later that day I was bursting for the toilet, So I slowly walked into the large wet room / Toilet and stood over the bowl. I started to feel a bit dizzy, but that was normal, and began to relive myself. After my bladder was finished, my nose decided to get in on the act and start to bleed again. It was a torrent of blood! I grabbed my nose and the tether to the alarm on the wall and pulled it hard! I made my way to the door just as the nurses came into the ward to see what was going on. A few seconds later blood was coming out of my mouth and I was in a chair being wheeled back in to the treatment room with the doctors rushing to see what they could do. They went for an emergency option. A very long yellow tube with a balloon at the end. They pushed it into my right nostril and down the back of my sinuses all the way to the top of my throat (to that flappy bit where the top of the mouth ends) and they inflated it. It expanded and blocked the top of my throat so much I could feel the back of the roof of my mouth on the back of my tongue! But I was still bleeding, that balloon was only to stop the blood running into my airway. Next bit was painful and slimy! They had to pack my nose with roughly 2 meters of gauze strip dunked in a very large tub of Vaseline. They weren’t gentle about it! Using a rather large curved pair of forceps they pushed the slimy gauze into my nose as far as possible making sure it was packed as tightly as possible, then the inflated the other end of the yellow balloon to block things off. They then pushed as much gauze as possible into my left nostril, they also tried to use a balloon in the left nostril but the force of the balloon in my right nostril made it impossible for the balloon to stay in position, it kept popping out! So they packed my nose as much as possible and stuck a hammock bandage under my nose to keep things in place. At this point they told me they had 3 options:

  1. One was Surgery (it might be the next best step).
  2. Second if the surgery didn’t help was transfer to Glasgow where they had the big guns of ENT surgery! (If anyone could fix my nose it would be them).
  3. Third option was the “everything turns out fine” option, where they empty my nose and no more bleeding.

So I was on starvation mode from then on till the next morning at least. They would check on my later that night before deciding the next step.

My mother was waiting for me as they wheeled me back to my bed. My nose was sore and I felt things going south! Again my vision started to get all pointillist on me and things started to sound weird and I got light headed. I told them I was feeling all light headed again and they said it’s Ok you’re nearly at the bed you’ll be fine…

I was nearly at the bed. They stopped next to it and told me to slowly stand up and move on to the bed.

So I started to stand up and put my hand on the bed to steady myself. Then things went black…

End of Part Two.

Part Three ->

My week of hell and the lovely NHS : Part One

Ok      Things have been a bit hectic the past 2 weeks.

It started last 2 weeks ago on Monday @ 3:30 am. At first I thought I just has a small nose bleed, but 10 minutes later and one bathroom covered in red goop ( >_<) I realised that this was no ordinary nose bleed. So I called 999 ( UK version of 911) and I was rushed to Accident and Emergency (A&E / ER) Department of my local Hospital…

Continue reading

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