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NHS

I Ended Up In The Hospital – Again

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.

Mother’s Day

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.

Ambulance

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.

Pulmonary Embolism

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!

Isolation

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.

Moved Again

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.

Still Tired

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.

Thank you NHS

Giving Blood For The First Time – Not As Scary As I thought!

Giving Blood

 

After making numerous appointments to give blood over the past year, I finally managed to make it to my first appointment today!

I’ve wanted to give blood for years but always been a bit nervous. I don’t know why because I’ve had to give blood loads of times for blood tests so I knew it wouldn’t hurt. It was probably just a fear of the unknown. I set up an account on the NHS Give Blood website and made my first appointment.

When You Can’t Give Blood

I’ve had to cancel a few appointments because each time something happened like illness or childcare problems etc.
You can’t give blood if you’re starting with a cold (you can give blood at the end of a cold) or if your doctor has ordered blood tests.
I started with a cold twice when my appointment was due and the third time my doctor had ordered blood tests to check my thyroid.

I arrived on time today and got the super wonderful husband to go with me because I was too nervous to go in alone!

giving blood

Friendly Atmosphere

I needn’t have worried. It was a very friendly atmosphere and it was all very easy.

I had to read through some information while drinking a large glass of juice then I was called into a little cubicle.
A lovely lady went through the form I’d received in the post. It was all about my medical history. Prior to going, I wrote down my medications, previous serious illnesses and investigations performed by the hospital; if I had to remember while I was there knew I’d get a brain block!

I had to have a nurse come to see me due to my medical history. I told him about the pulmonary embolism I’d had in 2009 and the colposcopy a few years ago.
That was all fine and after a quick blood test from a prick to my finger, I was told I was able to donate.

I had to wait a few more minutes before being called.

Faster Than I Thought

It took a lot less time than I thought to give blood. I sat there opening and closing my hand and tensing my leg and bum muscles. It helps with your blood pressure apparently. It took about 10 minutes and I was done.

I was given some squash and I picked a packet of biscuits. There were crisps and raisins to choose from as well.

It took around an hour from arriving at the sports centre to leaving. I’ll be giving blood again in September.

I’m really glad I managed to make it today and next time I won’t be nervous at all 🙂