Saturday, 8 October 2011

My Hospital Visit

My last update of my blog was nearly two weeks ago. In the first of those weeks there was not much new to report - I was still getting bad fevers and still getting weaker. When the oncology nurse made her regular visit on Thursday I think she was a little concerned about things and wanted things progressed a bit quicker. After talking to my specialist they had someone come to my house to collect some blood with the specific intention of seeing how anemic I was and whether I would need a blood transfusion or not. There was not much else for me to do but wait, and I had planned to update my blog when I knew about the blood transfusion.
Saturday was the usual day for me, but on Sunday I was woken around 3am with a sharp pain in my right hand side. After several hours of taking my extra pain meds I managed to take the edge off the pain and by the time I went bed I was comfortable enough to sleep.
Monday was another level of pain all together and it was the worst most intense continuous pain I had ever experienced. It started around 330am and it felt like I had knives stabbing within me and every time I breathed the knife went in deeper. I could not find a comfortable position at all and could not find any letup. I got hold of my specialist who told me that the best thing I could do was come to the hospital and let them sort out what was going on. I told the specialist that I didn't think I could do that as I was so weak and could not even see myself walking out of the house let alone making it to a car to be driven there. Time for an ambulance I was then told, so that is what we did. The ambulance crew managed to get some IV morphine into me which took the pain edge away for a little while. Because of where I needed to be in the hospital, which was a non-standard place for an ambulance to take someone, there was a bit of paperwork to deal with. However that seemed to go smoothly and I ended up in the correct holding pen for much of the rest of that day. More blood work was taken and then I was left on my own (to be clear Patti was always by my side).
We finally saw a doctor going on to 6 and was admitted into ward 64, my home until yesterday evening. Whilst in my holding pen I was regularly having my vital signs checked and getting significant morphine doses when required. Once in ward 64 I was placed in a room with 3 other people (it was later admitted to me by several nurses that it was the noisiest room in the ward). I was advised I needed a blood transfusion and my first unit of blood was given almost immediately. At 10pm that night I was given a CT scan. During the first night my vitals were checked every two hours and more pain meds were administered if I required them. Very little sleep was had between vital sign readings and the noisy other patients. The next morning I was given another unit of blood and later that day at 5pm I was transferred to a quiet new single room at the end of the corridor. Compared to the first room I had, this new room was like a five star hotel.
In the afternoon on Wednesday I was given another unit of blood. In the first two days I had also been given three large bags of saline intravenously. The rest of the week passed slowly. I did not get to see the dr much and when I did they advised they were waiting on results and information. On Friday I was advised that I could be going home if the doctors got the answers they needed. Around 5pm the registrar came with the paper work and new medication scripts. Not much has changed on my routine medication except my overnight dose of slow release pain meds has been doubled. So I have come home recharged in some ways but worn out through sleep deprivation. Today ( Saturday) I have done very little except sleep.


At 9 October 2011 at 15:20 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you had to spend last week in hospital, Andrew. Best place at times, of course, but not exactly restful!
You will have seen Richard’s update on the Project Talks etc. The Part II Engsci students have also done some outstanding Design Projects this semester and it was good to see so many of them attend the Part IV project dinner.
Hope this coming week is a better one for you. Regards, Jim and Jane.

At 9 October 2011 at 15:29 , Anonymous Rosalind Archer said...

Hearing you were out of hospital was better than hearing about an All Blacks try ;)

Noisy four person rooms are a lousy idea for anyone that needs their sleep!

Best wishes,


At 10 October 2011 at 12:32 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relieved that you are back home and updating the blog again. As Jim said above, we had the project talks last week. (You'll be glad to hear that no-one burped whilst answering their questions this year.)

Best wishes, Richard

At 11 October 2011 at 10:03 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloody hell, Andrew. You hang in there. I'm thinking of you and sending all the best mathematical vibes your way.


At 12 October 2011 at 09:33 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tough stuff Andrew, but I'm sure that you have it in yourself to see this through.

At 12 October 2011 at 14:30 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew & Patti, We're all thinking of you. We are glad to hear that Andrew is out of the hospital. I am sure this is just another pothole (something we know well in Boston!) on your road to recovery.

Karen, Pieter & Jaco

At 13 October 2011 at 17:23 , Blogger Anita said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Another bump in the road but I'm sure you'll bounce back from this and get your energy back soon. You're doing well.


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