We’d all been staying home as the government had asked us to, except for Ant who still has to go and check on his dad.
I didn’t mind staying home as there’s plenty to do to keep me occupied and I was quite looking forward to reading more and getting more book folding done.
Instead of having a relaxing Mother’s Day though, I ended up in the hospital.
On the 21st of March, just after lunch, I got up to make a coffee. Everything was normal until I sat down and found myself struggling to breathe.
It was as if I’d been on a fast run and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t run!
My chest was tight and it hurt to breathe in.
It carried on throughout the day, gradually getting worse.
It took me ages to get upstairs at bedtime because I had to stop on each step and get my breath back.
I didn’t sleep very well because I couldn’t breathe and when I got up on Mother’s day, I was shattered so I lay on the sofa.
After half an hour or so I got a pain on the left side of my chest and it was spreading into my armpit.
We decided to phone 111 but it was really busy so we went to the 111 website instead.
I put in our postcode and clicked start. The following page opened:
Ant phoned 999 after seeing the warning about tightening in the chest and within 10 minutes the ambulance arrived.
After doing all their checks, they said I needed to go to the hospital to have a blood test to check for heart problems.
I had to go on my own because they weren’t allowing family members to go to help minimise the spread of the virus.
Different A&E Procedures
Due to the coronavirus and my breathing difficulties, we weren’t allowed to go to the regular A&E. While in the ambulance I had to put a face mask on. We were sent to another entrance and a man took my temperature before we were allowed on the ward.
They did all the tests and got me to go through what happened again when the doctor came.
The nurse had trouble getting blood so another nurse tried and he didn’t have any luck either. They had to get the doctor to come and take the blood then put a cannula in.
I had to keep the mask on the whole time I was there and whenever a nurse came into the room, they had to put a mask, gloves and apron on.
Also, all visitors had been banned but Ant was allowed to drop me a bag off with everything I needed for a few days stay.
Medical Emergency Assessment Unit – MAEU
I was sent to the MAEU ward after a few hours. There were only 2 other ladies there and I got chatting to a lovely lady called Mandy.
We were allowed to take our masks off on this ward but the staff had to put masks, gloves and apron on whenever they came on the ward.
If they had to leave the ward for any reason they had to bin the mask, gloves and apron and put fresh ones on when they came back on the ward.
When I left the ward to go for a CT scan I had to put the mask on again. It was horrible trying to breathe with a mask on when you’re short of breath but obviously it had to be done.
A new lady in the bed across from us had dementia and she was shouting all night. Coupled with the beeps from all the machines and being woken for observations, I hardly got any sleep Sunday night.
The CT scan showed I’d got a Pulmonary Embolism again. I was in the hospital for 10 days in 2009 when I had the first PE and I wasn’t looking forward to spending another 10 days in the hospital.
The ward was empty most of Monday then it started filling up in the evening.
It was noisy again and I was shattered. Around midnight they woke me again to transfer me to another ward.
I was wheeled, on my bed, to an isolation ward. I had my own room with a bathroom attached and to say the silence was golden would be an understatement!
I stayed in the isolation room all day Tuesday and Wednesday and had a heart scan on Wednesday.
My results came back from the test they did for coronavirus when I was at A&E and thankfully it was negative.
In the middle of the night again, I was moved to another ward where no one had to wear masks.
The doctor came to see me on Thursday morning and told me I’d be on blood thinner tablets for the rest of my life because this was my second pulmonary embolism.
He also said that I could go home 🙂
After not seeing Ant or the kids since Sunday morning, I was so happy to be going home.
I’ve slept much better since I’ve been home but I’m still feeling tired all day. I had to have a nap yesterday and I’m thinking I might have to have another soon because I’m struggling to stay awake!
It’s been a bit stressful but I’m glad I won’t have to go through it again because the blood thinners will stop me getting another clot.
I’m so grateful for our wonderful NHS.