It is now exactly a week since I was admitted to hospital for my second capture of the winter and my first of this calendar year.
To be honest this latest capture did not come as a surprise as I have struggled ever since my last stay with the NHS in November. I only returned to work in the lead up to Christmas, I then struggled through a Christmas spent with the outlaws in the Lake District and ever since the new year every day has had its struggles, I managed to get to work most days but the majority of these were on reduced hours or ‘light / restricted duties’. I did however have to take a few days off and along the way I didn’t get to see much football or do anything socially. It would be fair to say that I wasn’t having any real kind of life and basically I was only (just about) functioning. The weather during January has not helped, we have had everything from mild weather, to sub zero temperatures, we have had ice, snow, strong winds, rain and fog. These wildly varying conditions on top of repeated chest infections and sleepless nights have not aided my recovery from my last flare up and admission. It came as no surprised then that just over a week ago that my health deteriorated to level that prevented me going to work and despite my best efforts of avoiding capture I accepted defeat last Saturday evening when my wife called for an ambulance. I then spent 9 hours in resus, initially stabilising and then waiting for a bed. I was eventually found a bed on AMU at 4.30am last Sunday morning. My condition remained reasonably stable for the few days that I remained on AMU while a bed was found for me on the respiratory ward. There were a few problems, one of which was an asthma attack which was brought on by somebody in the bay using anti deodorant spray. One day I did have a disagreement with an ill informed nurse who managed to get just about every phrase that asthmatics find offensive into one sentence. So much so that I needed to vent my spleen on one of the asthma support groups on Facebook.
I also had another slightly more serious episode which almost resulted in my transfer to the critical care unit but fortunately I did eventually respond to treatment and a bed was found for me on the respiratory ward.
My problems during this latest flare are identical to that of my last admission in November, I have little or no air movement on my right hand side, there is very little that can be done, I have shortness of breath, a bad (non productive) cough and the biggest problem which is severe chest tightness. The current (and usual) course of action is increased steroids, 2 hourly nebs and pain control. I feel that despite suffering badly from the pain caused by the chest tightness and my breathing problems I am coping reasonably well. I am suffering from other issues such as high blood pressure, increase heart rate, a rapid pulse, bad nose bleeds and wide swings in my blood sugar levels. All of which are effecting my overall condition and mood. I’m addition to this I am continuing to have sleepless nights. The picture below was taken in the middle of the night where I had needed back to back nebs and ora-morph for my chest, I had suffered a hypo (reading of 1.90) and a nosebleed.
As I write this (Saturday night) I have had a pretty rough day, I have suffered 2 more hypos, I have had real problems with my breathing since about 2pm this afternoon which has eased slightly now but has left me wheezing pretty badly which is something pretty rare for me and included the a visit from the emergency on call doctor. My whole afternoon was not helped by finding out that my beloved Scunthorpe United were throwing away a 2 goal lead against 10 man Fleetwood Town (fortunately my mood and stress levels improved following a late winner which kept us in 4th place in the league). My mood was further improved when my wife visited this evening and brought a takeaway in with her. It was only a burger and chips and I’m not sure whether they were the greatest ever but after what I have been through both health and food consumption wise over the last few days I don’t think that I have ever enjoyed a burger so much!
My consultant has basically told me that she feels that my asthma is continuing to deteriorate and harder to control, she feels that there is little else that she can do regards treatment but suggests that it would be worthwhile for her to refer me to a professor at Sheffield who has helped me before, so fingers crossed he can help, otherwise the long term outlook is looking a little bit bleak.
This weekend is another on me that has seen my asthma ruin our plans as we were supposed to be up in the Lake District to celebrate my nephews 18th birthday, the rest of my wife’s family are there and I am sure they are having a great time but as I say once again my asthma has stopped me (and my wife) from doing something that we had wanted to do and had looked forward to. Happy Birthday Connor, don’t get too drunk! I have seen some of the photographs on Facebook of the restaurant / meal / party and the food looks at lot better than what I have eaten in here (not including tonight’s takeaway!) As most people who know me will tell you, I always post lots of photographs on social media of my hospital food, usually because it is so bad, in fairness this time the food has on the odd occasion tasted and looked ok, however I had to ensure some ‘interesting’ meals.
So overall things aren’t going great, I am not particularly feeling great, my stats are still well below where they should be, my blood sugar levels are becoming a real pain, I am knackered and I am in pain. I am told that the future is not looking great and no immediate chances of my health improving. We don’t know when I will escape and I am sure that there will be a few more ups and downs before I escape and as I know only too well, escaping here is only the first step of any recovery. Despite all this I am feeling quite happy and positive, it is amazing what a takeaway meal and a late winner for Scunthorpe United can do!
Tomorrow maybe a better a day, it maybe a worse day but despite everything I am still here fighting and not feeling too bad about things, even though one more attempt and taking my blood and one one more bruise may result in me losing it completely!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for all those who have contacted me over the last few days and enquirer about my health / sent their best wishes etc. It means a lot. Also thanks to my visitors during this capture and apologies to my wife and her family for spoiling another weekend. Thanks also to all the nursing staff who have had to put up with me of the past 7 days.