Thursday, May 01, 2014

16 Days: Wedding Nightmare - My spell in LRI (Leicester Royal Infirmary)

25 days before our wedding I imagined I'd be knee deep in spa treatments, finalising floral arrangements and practising my vows in front of the mirror.

The reality, unfortunately, was far from this.

I've been feeling unwell for the last 3 or 4 weeks and had had a course of antibiotics from my GP.  For one reason or another, after a week the antibiotics didn't cure me completely, but the GP assured me that a few days later I should be feeling 100%.  While I was in Northern Ireland over Easter I experience a couple of nights of horrific headaches, high temperatures and lower back pain.  My heightened hypochondriasis screamed kidney stones, kidney failure, or worse, but it wasn't until I returned to work last Tuesday that I realised I needed to see doctor, ASAP.

I managed to get an emergency appointment after work.  Jim half carried me to the health centre and propped me while we waited to see the doctor.  I believe the doctor told me I had a temperature of 39.5 and that he thought my temperature was affecting my kidneys, but it felt like an out of body experience.  He said that he was going to have to admit me to hospital that night. I burst into tears.  He asked 'Are you feeling a bit emotional?' (... no duh!) Through tears I said 'I can't go to hospital, I'm getting married'.  My health is of course important, always, but particularly in the lead up to our big day, so dutifully I packed an overnight bag and went to A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary, but not before a distraught call to my mum - the best person I know in a medical emergency.

I was seen by a couple of doctor and lots of nurses, who re-confirmed that my body was indeed, almost on fire, they took some blood, administered some intravenous antibiotics and paracetamol and hooked me up to a drip.  Unfortunately, like in many hospitals at the moment due to attempts to privatise the NHS, there wasn't a bed on a ward for me that night but the nurses made me comfortable while I waited. This was the eve of Jim's birthday, he sat/slept beside me 'til 4 am.  I did apparently sing Happy Birthday (the NoFX version, which is sweary) just after midnight while in a temperature induced high. At 4am-ish they moved me from a curtained area out to the main floor of the ward so I convinced Jim to go home as there was no longer a chair for him to sit on, and although he looked tired enough to sleep standing up, I didn't want to ruin his birthday any more.

At 6am I got a bed on a ward.  Exhausted, feverish and emotional, I was so pleased to be off the trolley and to finally try to get some sleep.

I was in hospital for 4 days, and as much as I didn't enjoy it I knew it was the best place to be.  They took very good care of me and finally my fever broke and my temperature returned to almost normal on Thursday/Friday.  I started to feel almost human again. I had a scan of my kidney on Friday afternoon/evening which thankfully showed my kidneys were fine and there was no scarring as a result of the infection.  I'm was happy to hear this as pyelonephritis can cause lasting damage to the kidney. I felt very lucky to be discharged to Jim on Friday evening and come home to my own bed.

My mum has been amazing for the last few days, taking on some of the wedding organising which felt like a literal weight off my shoulders and has meant I can just focus on getting better.  I'm not sure why I hadn't asked for help before now but I guess I've been trying so hard to cope, to do this ourselves and not to bother anyone.

I'm really testing this 'in sickness and in health' promise, but thankfully, it looks like Jim's gonna stand by me no matter what life throws at me. He was at the hospital almost instantly when I needed him and came to see me during every visiting hour even if I was asleep and only needed my hair stroked.

I don't think I've ever felt so lucky to have him, or so loved. He really is my rock.

Now, with 16 days to go 'til our wedding I'm getting lots of rest, fluids and trying to make sure I'm fully recovered so I don't relapse. I'm petrified of ending up back in hospital and missing the wedding.  Trying to re-arrange the day we've spent the last 2 years organising would be heart breaking. 


1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness all is well! Your day is around the corner and I look forward to your wedding day post!!