a crazy 24 hours

Posted on May 14, 2011

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Note – I wrote this yesterday but blogger.com was off the air.

What a crazy 24 hours I have just been through.

I have been suffering a persistent cold for the last two weeks. I knew that sinusitis was making its presence felt. But I was doing the right things, plenty of fluids, bed rest, keeping warm and keeping the vitamins and other good stuff going.

Yesterday afternoon I made an appointment to see my GP today, thinking he would probably put me on penicillin for this sinusitis.

Last night, not long after heading to bed, I suddenly found myself unable to breathe properly. It got worse. I called the ambulance. Trying to calm myself, I tossed a few things into a bag, expecting to be carted off to the hospital.

I staggered out to the living room, knocking on the bedroom door of one of my housemates. Pete kept an eye on me for a while as we waited for the ambos. He finally went looking for them, thinking perhaps they were at the wrong place in our complex. I received a call from the ambo dispatch, claiming a crew was at my place, so where was I? “They’re not here,” I managed to gasp out. After a bit of going back and forth like that, we agreed that they would radio the crew to go back to the entrance to the complex and I would have someone go meet them.

After some more of the ambo crew wandering around, lost, and one of my housemates waiting by the empty ambulance, becoming increasingly frustrated, eventually they reached my place. I was put on oxygen and the ambo crew announced that they were taking me to The Canberra Hospital.

Shortly after actually leaving our place, the ambo crew changed their mind and took me to Calvary Hospital instead – approximately the distance away as TCH but in the opposite direction.

Dizzy spells saw me put in a wheelchair at the hospital Emergency Room and told to stay in it. Eventually I was examined more closely and put in a bed. Oxygen had me breathing better but my coughing was now so bad that my body was being tossed around on the bed like I had shoved wet fingers into a wall socket. That eventually saw me vomiting. Then a flood of really disgusting stuff erupted from the facial orifices, filling up a sick bag. And that is the nice version of events. I was eventually shot up with some stuff to settle me down along with having to swallow penicillin pills the size of horse tablets.

Off to radiology for an MRI to see just what was causing a now blinding headache. Scan done, it was back to my bed in the ER, being wheeled around like King Dick in the mobile throne that was the wheelchair. Back came the results from radiology.

“Well, Ross, that pain is definitely from your sinuses. But we can see… “

Some whispered conversation between the doctor and and someone else.

“Ross, we think we might have just discovered an aneurysm. We will probably have to do a lumbar puncture to extract some spinal fluid to examine it further.”

Oh boy, I was looking forward to that – NOT.

Fortunately I was spared the joys of spikes hammered into my spine, with another MRI being taken after I was pumped full of iodine in order to make prettier pictures.

Yep, I definitely have an aneurism, somewhere around my left frontal lobe – two millimetres wide and six millimetres long. So I have to be a very good boy, behaving myself for the next week or two until I get to see a neurosurgeon, who shall then decide whether or not to pull out the Black and Decker to start drilling holes in my head and fish the thing out.

By this point, having had to relate my medical history a casual thirty-seven times or so (how come medical people do not know how to spell the name of my drug for Crohn’s Diesease?), because of my history with depression and the possibility that I had been experiencing elevated anxiety helping to bring on the breathing difficulties, a headshrinker was summoned. A bedside psychiatric consultation results. From that it has been decided that yes, I am suffering from anxiety issues which are somewhat consistent with potential side-effects from a particular anti-depressant I have been on for some years. The wheels have commenced turning to get me in for a formal psychiatric assessment of my medication etc.

Just about then, my housemate who had been helping find a mislaid ambo crew last night, telephoned. He had been calling The Canberra Hospital, arguing with them that I had definitely been taken there during the night so where was I? Had they lost me? Was I in the morgue? He had finally tracked me down at the actual hospital I had been taken to – Calvary.

With my breathing back under control, having coughed a large part of the blockage loose, now being organised for further treatment by neurosurgeons and more headshrinkers, and actually feeling rather better, the hospital sent me on my way early Friday afternoon.

Remember that doctor’s appointment I had made? Well I just had time to get there and give him all the good news. I handed him the pages of information the hospital had given me. His eyes opened wide and we briefly discussed the aneurysm thing a bit further. He also had a good tap and listen to my chest, confirming what a doctor at the hospital had said – my left lung still has a mess of stuff in it. And my sinuses are badly inflamed. So it is a course of penicillin to clean the mess up. I was supposed to be going to a writing retreat next week with some fellow staff and grad-students from uni. I have been told that definitely ain’ gonna happen now.

It was about now that my GP had another look at the info from the hospital. I receive a drug infusion every eight weeks in hospital, to keep my Crohn’s Disease under control. Each of those treatments is preceded by taking some blood for testing. This pile of info from the hospital included some cumulative results of these blood tests going back some time. It was now that another incidental discovery was made. “I don’t like those glucose results,” he said. It seems that I may be in danger of developing adult diabetes and need to go back for some further tests, once I have finished my new course of penicillin and gotten entirely over these chest and head infections.

So, in about eighteen hours, I have turned into an insane walking respiratory infection whose head is about to explode, splattering all and sundry with my diabetic blood and cranial entrails.

Well, you have to laugh, don’t you?

One thing is for sure – with this run of luck, I am definitely buying some lottery tickets in the morning.

Oh by the way – is it just co-incidence that today is Friday the 13th?

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