Sunday, 21 October 2012

Can I call someone for you?

I doubt it will come as a surprise to read that I've been in hospital. I did manage almost 7 months without an admission, which is good going for me! It was the usual story of struggling for hours before going in, I promised myself that I wouldn't let it get too bad before seeking help, unfortunately I don't seem to get that 'in between stage'. I go from being at a level where I can manage and don't feel the need to be in hospital, straight to being in a life threatening attack. I used my Epi Pens for the first time, I used both in the time it took for the ambulance to arrive, I'm not sure whether they helped but they certainly didn't make things any worse!

I was in hospital for 8 days, this time my lungs just wouldn't settle down and they're still very twitchy now which isn't great! During one severe attack, the ICU registrar and consultant reviewed me, they decided I had a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), arranged for an emergency CTPA at 2am..... and it was negative. I could have told them that! It's not the first time a PE has been queried as my asthma doesn't always follow the typical pattern. I narrowly managed to avoid being admitted to ICU twice on this admission :(

Anyway, at numerous times during this admission when I was poorly and really struggling to breathe, the nurses looking after me at those points kept offering to call someone for me. Was there anyone I wanted to be called to come in and sit with me? For them to be aware that I was poorly again? Someone just to be there for me? I kept saying no. I think the nurses thought I didn't want to be a nuisance to anyone, the truth is, there wasn't anyone. I don't have anyone to call. It's not as if this is a new situation, but I guess it hit home a little harder this time. 
My family, well the nurses could call my family but they wouldn't do anything, they wouldn't appreciate the late night/early morning phone call though! 
Friends, (and I'm talking about friends who live in this area so are able to come to the hospital), they don't even come and see me during regular visiting hours, so I don't think I can rely on them to come when I'm poorly, just to be there and support me.
Usually, the respiratory specialist nurses come and see me daily when I'm admitted. I'm pretty sure the senior respiratory nurse specialist was away last week as I didn't see her around on the ward. I saw other specialist nurses visiting other patients on the ward, but they either didn't realise I was in or were too busy to say hello.
As much as I used to complain about the people I used to work with, they'd always come and visit me. The people I work with now only contact me outside of work if they want to get a lift from me.

I know I'm whining. Usually when I've been in hospital I feel sorry for myself because I've been very poorly. This time, it's because I feel so alone. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Long time, no update.....

Hello! I've been thinking about writing something for a while but things haven't been going so well lately, I don't want to moan and whine and moan and whine - even I get fed up of myself!

I'm settled into my new home. It's great, I love living here! :) I've got a few more pieces of furniture to buy, but they're just little non essential storage pieces so I'm waiting until I find things that I really like rather than making do. It has been ever such hard work all this furniture shopping ;) ha!

So, a common theme for me to ramble on about; lungs and work.

First the good, I've finished my Return to Practice course. I'm now waiting for the results of my work, I know my assignment is fine but I have no idea whether my clinical practice portfolio is the same standard - I absolutely hate writing reflective accounts! Hopefully I should get my PIN number back soon and I can be a 'real' nurse again.

My stupid lungs are creating havoc. If I didn't have my own nebuliser, I'd have had to give in and go to hospital by now. Initially I thought I had a chest infection brewing as I had my usual warning signs; headache that doesn't respond to any medication and a temperature. But my lungs have continued to get worse and the more typical signs of infection haven't appeared, so I don't think I do have an infection after all. I have no idea what is going on, and upping my medication and getting lots of rest isn't helping. Not good :(

Work isn't going too well. I've had to phone in sick a few times, which I absolutely hate doing. But, on the days I haven't phoned in sick and forced myself in despite not feeling great, I end up having to use my nebuliser multiple times during the day, and come the end of the day I have an awful headache bordering on a migraine, and my lungs are so unhappy that they then play up all night and into the next day :(
The comments from my colleagues and matron have started; how impractical it is for a nurse to leave the ward to use a nebuliser (even though 9 times out of 10 I do it during my breaks!!) and such like. Sympathy seems to be waning - not that I want their sympathy, but people seemed to understand that I was trying to continue working but struggling, whereas now I feel they look at me like I'm a nuisance. I appreciate that I might be making this into a bigger deal than it actually is as I'm feeling so down right now.
There was a management meeting about me last week, I only became aware when I was told it had been rearranged, the sister thought I had known about. I asked if I could attend to be told no. Outcome of it (as I was told) is that I'm being referred to Occupational Health (who I have to see every 3 months anyway) as there are 'concerns' about my fitness to work. Here we go again. This is what happened before. Seriously, who would have thought it would be so difficult to continue working?!?!