So, just in case any of you have been wondering where I’ve been for the last 5 weeks, wonder no more. I have been sick and hospitalised for 15 days and have been resting for the past three weeks.
Before you all have a panic attack and disinfect your screens Donald T style, please refrain, I didn’t have COVID-19 I had something a little less insidious and sneaky but no less dangerous apparently. A kidney infection that turned into pyelonephritis (one step away from sepsis, I’m told) and it was trying its damnedest to take me out of the picture.
It floored me. I was running temperatures of 40.6 when the doctor admitted me to hospital, and then those temps kept on coming for a good few days causing all sorts of secondary problems like breathlessness after a bad attack of the rigours (shakes). Put those two problems together and we have confusion because they are also two of the four main symptoms that every medical person is keenly watching for in case of CV.19 making an unwelcome appearance.
After a particularly bad attack of the rigours that rattled my teeth in my head to the point I thought I might lose a few, I uttered these fateful words. ‘Wow, that attack left me breathless…’
Oh man! LOCK DOWN!! I was whipped off the main ward and put into immediate isolation, I had a stick swab shoved down my throat so far I was gagging and then I was closed off from the rest of the ward for 3 days until the results came through to find out whether I had contracted CV-19! The nurses and domestic staff stripped every single item out of the main ward (including patients) and washed it down and sanitised it in case I may have touched it when passing to go to the bathroom! Then the deep cleaning team moved in and did it all again.
They shipped all of the other patients out and onto other wards and my ward then became a complete isolation unit for suspected CV-19 patients. Staff were PPE’d and when they came in to take my obs and stats and change my IV they literally sidled around the edge of the room and avoided coming anywhere near me until it was absolutely necessary, and in honesty, I completely understood it, I was in awe of their professionalism and speed of response to a suspected covid case! They were brilliant!
By that time I was on a boat load of antibiotics via IV to fight the infection and liquid paracetamol to control the raging temperatures and I was extremely trippy for the first 5 days of my hospitalisation. To start with I was on an antibiotic called Ciprofloxacin and man that made me trippy! I was having hallucinations and became utterly convinced the air mattress (for relieving skin pressure) was controlling my dreams and therefore my mind! Basically I thought I was being brainwashed by the bed! Go ME!!!
After patiently explaining my theory about the bed to the Consultant he decided they would need to put me on a different antibiotic, which actually was the best thing they could have done because then my stats began to stabilise and the pain in my kidney began to recede and all the horrid bloating caused by the infection and water retention began to disappear! I had ballooned up to a UK size 22 when I am usually a size 16! I was so tired just because of the sheer size of my stomach, I looked like a 9 months pregnant puffer fish minus the spikes!
When I started to feel a little better I struck up a conversation with two seagulls I named Charlie and Bill who sat on my isolation unit windowsill every day tapping the window with their beaks! Turned out Bill was actually a Belinda and Charlie was having a great time with her, although she looked less than impressed with his sexual prowess! I honestly began to think I would still be in hospital for the nest building stage and eventual delivery of baby seagulls!
One of the funniest things that happened (funny for me but not so funny for the poor nursing staff who had to deal with him) was when one of the other patients broke out of his isolation unit and ran around the main corridors of the ward, stark naked with his todger in his hand aiming his pee up the walls and all over the floor while shouting ‘I’M FREE! FREE TO PEEEEEE! WHEEEEEE!!!’ He then tried to open all the isolation unit doors, mine included and I slammed that door so hard he nearly became a Eunuch! Needless to say he was captured and re incarcerated in his ISO unit!
Apparently he was a psych patient who had started to show early signs of Covid and had been brought to ward 9 as a precautionary measure! It was shortly after this event that one of the domestics opened my door a scant 2 millimetres and stage whispered in a very strong eastern European accent, ‘you want lasagne or samich?’I was in creases laughing! I had to ask her three times to repeat her question because I wasn’t sure what I was hearing. In the end I settled for ‘samich’ because I thought it might be interesting to see what turned up! It transpired to be a plain old cheese and pickle sandwich but it’s journey to my room had been hilarious so I forgave it its humble stature and really enjoyed it!
About three hours after that my covid test results were confirmed as negative and they packed me up and shuffled me off to a safe, covid clear ward.
Once I was safely ensconced on Ward 8 the Consultant paid me a visit to discuss my progress. He freely admitted he was rather surprised that I had made it through the first 4 days and said by way of greeting, ‘you’re still alive then, well done you!’ I was a little surprised at his bedside manner at first until I realised he was actually shocked I had pulled through. Good thing no one told me how poorly I really was because I had no intention of getting off so I just kept on fighting it.
I remained on IV antibiotics for 15 days in total and I think I might have tripped out for quite a lot of that time. Something I do know, especially during these very strange and tense times for humans everywhere, it is an unequivocal truth to say that our NHS staff are truly astoundingly brave and strong in the face of such adversity and uncertainty. They kept me alive, they kept me covid safe, they kept me fed, watered, medicated and they also entertained me with conversations whenever they could, hand held while I worried about the Boy and talked out my worst fears, and laughter when I began to regale them with the events of my previous ward experiences! All in all I had a 5 star service from 10 star people who are truly awe inspiring! And I came home fixed and well.A very happy ending indeed!
I’m kinda knackered though. I sleep a lot through the day, I sleep a lot through the night. Basically I am still sleeping… an awful lot. The consultant assures me this is a slow process, it will take time for me to get back to my old self (minus the infection of course) and he has rammed home the point that I need to take better care of myself, as one of the reasons I became so poorly was because I was mentally and physically exhausted and had nothing left to fight the infection with. Thankfully, we have some serious medication out there that could do the job for me.