June 30th, 2002

Photo - leaves

before i subject you to my holiday...

i forgot to mention something else.

last week, before going to the con, i was meant to unpack and sort out everything that came back from uni. now, on the monday, i moved some of the stuff upstairs and started sorting it. on tuesday, i did a little more. however, i had to stop because of a pain in my side. the pain had materialised on friday while i was packing, and i just assumed it was normal as it was 'that time', and took a painkiller to make it go away. on the sunday, it came back, and i did the same and it went away. monday, it was hurting a little but had gone by the evening. so, by tuesday, i was getting a little curious as to what the hell it was, especially when it came back that evening and the painkillers were no longer working to get rid of it.

so. wednesday i was going to unpack all of my clothes - my mum had moved the cases upstairs for me to do so, because the pain had now spread from my side (in the usual place you'd expect) to my stomach and my back, but only on my left hand side, and i suspected i might have just sprained something and didn't want to aggravate it. anyway, wednesday, i woke up at 7.30 in a lot of pain; now, i couldn't move my left leg up at the hip because it hurt under my stomach.

i went downstairs to take some painkillers, then went to sit on the landing in a position i had previously assumed - on the floor with my back to the wall and my knees up - because it seemed to be the most comfortable. after ten minutes, i started to feel sick. instantly, i just thought "oh god, i've overdosed on paracetemol" since that's one of the symptoms. unfortunately, it wasn't helped by the fact that i was starving, but the thought of food made me feel worse. at about 8.15 i gave up trying to get to sleep because the pain was so bad, and forced myself to get dressed. bear in mind i could actually hardly walk by this point because of the pain in my stomach whenever i moved my leg. i went downstairs, then upstairs, then down again, then into the living room, just in an atttempt to keep moving, and put the television on to distract myself. about 10.00, the throwing up started... and considering that i hadn't actually eaten anything, it felt like i was chucking up the lining of my stomach... (sorry... i'm just getting you to feel my pain here.)

i couldn't take any more painkillers for another 4 hours and i doubted they would help anyway, and didn't want to get any more sick. i managed to eat one bite of a piece of dry bread and promptly threw that back up. then, of course, at about 12.30, we had a power cut, so i had no television to distract me, not that it'd been doing a very good job in the first place.

about 1.00 the phone rang. i hoped it was my mum. it was the bloody HSBC bank people trying to get in touch. because of the power cut, the three cordless phones didn't ring, only the old one in the back bedroom above my mum's room, where i was curled into a little ball in her bed trying to ignore the pain, so after struggling up the stairs, i was not best pleased to discover it wasn't her calling.

i managed to sleep for about half an hour, then needed to throw up again... so at about 2.00 or thereabouts, i gave in and called her at work, having forgotten her extension number and having to go through the entire phone procedure. she called the doctor, and got me an appointment for that afternoon. i went back to the living room (by now the power was back on) and watched sally jessie raphael and wallowed in self-pity til she got home.

so. at the doctor's, i had to register as a temporary patient because i'm still registered generally under the university doctor. you'd think by now they'd invent a better bloody system. after arguing with the completely useless staff on the desk (my surgery is terrible), i managed to get in to see the doctor. luckily, it was a good doctor who i've seen before, and who knows what she's talking about.

she poked and prodded me and concluded it was a possibly kidney infection and that i'd have to go into hospital for an undetermined period of time. i was meant to be going to blackpool on the friday. i then concluded that my body hated me and was determined to punish me by keeping me in hospital for the entire of the next week so i couldn't do the con or my holiday...

so, on the way to the hospital, i'm frantically attempting to get hold of shilpa to explain that i might not be able to make it. by this point i'm in a lot of pain, so much so that i keep twitching, and i'm feeling sick, and there's bloody traffic on the road, and shilpa's not in. i'm amazed i actually remembered her phone number in my state, to be honest.

we got to the hospital, and drove around it pointlessly trying to find the outpatients department and casualty/a&e, which took about 10 minutes and 3 different people telling us directions... then i had to wait to be seen for another 15 minutes.

in a&e (which, i noticed, was definitely not as crowded as the one at russel's hall where i was on placement last year; there's obviously less RTAs in sandwell than there are in dudley...) the doctor asked me questions and the nurse asked me questions, and they decided it was a possible UTI (medics, nurses, you'll all know what that stands for. everyone else, take a wild guess considering it was originally thought to be a kidney infection. anyone who's desperately curious, i'll tell you...) and that i'd need an x-ray. i haven't had an x-ray since i was 9 and in hospital with asthma :D so that was kind of exciting. aside from the pain thing...

i was incredibly dehydrated by this point as well seeing as i hadn't eaten or drunk anything all day, so the doctor practically ordered me to drink some water. i just about managed it, and managed to take some painkillers which took about an hour to actually work. although considering the amount of pain i was in, it's hardly surprising.

they kept me in overnight with a saline drip (and i was in a&e for about 4 hours, if not more...) and prescribed antibiotics, and said that i could probably go home on thursday. i think by sheer will power alone i managed to force myself to get better, and did, in fact, get discharged on the thursday morning. i didn't get out until about 1.00, though...

some facts i'd like to share:
~ it is not easy to sleep with a drip in your arm. and after a while, they really, really start to hurt.
~ it is also not easy to sleep when they bring a very confused old lady onto the ward who won't stop shouting, and does so all night, and who doesn't nod off until 6am, by which time, everyone had woken up anyway...
~ i managed to read about 5/6 of the original "les misérables" by victor hugo. it's really good, by the way.
~ hospital food doesn't get any nicer...
~ hospital discharge takes absolutely ages...

so, that was my brief and whistle-stop stay in hospital on wednesday night. the annoying outcome was that because of the 5-day course of antibiotics, i couldn't drink any alcohol at the con or for the first couple of days of my holiday... never mind... at least it's gone now. sorta. it twinged a little this morning, but not to any severe degree. i have to go back in for an ultrasound on july 27th... that'll be, um, fun...

right. now to type up my adventures in gaye paris...