Bed Rest: By Order

The last thirty six hours have been, shall we see... Interesting.  Different.

And while this story involves a hospital, once again, it's not me.  Thank f$ck.

3pm Thursday afternoon, my mobile rings, and Miss Kellie is on the other end of the phone.  Usually, I get a phone call before work, then at lunch time, then when she's done.  Three in the afternoon is almost unheard of, so straight away, I've got that little alarm bell ringing.

She sounds strange, so there's definitely something wrong.  Turns out she's had "a funny turn".  Now, every now and then, she would get a strange "fluttering" in her chest.  It'd flutter, she'd notice it, it'd go, end of story.  Yesterday, however, was different.  While pricing up some stuff, her fluttery-thingie fluttered.  And fluttered.  And fluttered some more.  Then her hands and feet went all "tingly" like pins and needles, then her lips went all tingly too.  Her heart was banging hard in her chest.  She felt tired and knackered and it scared her.

Me being me, I go into "Worry But Try Not Show It" mode, and tell her we should get her to the doctor.  "No no no, I'm fine, don't want a fuss."  Etcetera etcetera.  So after several long minutes of trying to convince her, she's managed to calm down and feeling better.

She finishes work, trundles back to The Island and when she gets in, she looks shattered and pale.  Nice look.  I make sure she's ok - she claims she is - and sort dinner.  She sounds a bit breathless.  Not struggling for breath, but every now and then would take a deep breath like she's sighing.  She's also talking quietly (I know!) and using short sentences.  "I'm fine, I'm fine" she claims.

We eat, and we sit chilling on the sofa.  She's still definitely not right.  At about 9pm, her fluttery thing goes off again, and she's pale and even MORE worrying for me, her lips go what I think is a paler colour.  Her heart is banging away on her chest and I can feel it across her whole body.  Very not happy with this.  My plan of seeing a doctor during the day had been vetoed but now it was dark, the options were limited.  Especially with two sleeping kids upstairs.  I check her pulse and it's in the 90s.  Not bad, considering we're sat watching TV.

No, not a horror, thriller or anything before you ask.

So, I use my good old fallback of NHS Direct - you phone them, tell them what's what, and they usually tell you to drink more, or see your doctor in the morning, or please stop licking the batteries if it's making you ill.

I get through, give the lady Kellies details, and give her the symptoms.  "Please hold!" she says, and the jingley sounds come down the phone.  Two minutes later, "OK, reassure Miss Kellie that there's nothing to worry about, but we have dispatched a paramedic to her address"  Great.  Four minutes later, Miss Paramedic turns up, bag and kit and all.

So, we go through everything with her, and she writes it down and asks Kellie if she's ever had a panic attack.  "Erm, yes, about 10-15 years ago" comes the reply.  It's like the paramedic took the solution of "Panic Attack" and ran with it.  Because THAT'S what she put on the patient form.  Granted, she DID do a blood pressure, and she DID do a EEG or ECG or EKG - whichever the trace-type is - and she said both BP and Heart seemed fine.  I tell her about the pulse of 90+, and she says yes, it's a bit high, and while 60-70 is about normal, 90 isn't worrying.  She takes it a few times.  94, 86, 79...  Hellooooo, still high!

Now, as stated, Yes, Kellie has had panic attacks in the past.  The distant past.  Which started with hyperventilating, tight face, and ended with her face in a paper bag.  So, about as similar to her current predicament as, say, parachuting is the same as potholing.

Being that she now feels like she's wasted everyones time and is being a burden, she declines a trip to the hospital.

So, we go to bed.  I'm not convinced, Kellie is exhausted, I'm worried...  She curls up and flakes out, I sit up for several hours alternating between reading and watching Kellie.  A few times, her heart hammers hard while she's sleeping.  She's fidgeting on and off and fairly restless.

7am, and her work alarm goes off.  I know exactly what's happening today, and work is not on that list.  Her boss is also not expecting her in.  I've already stolen her phone number and let her know.  Kellie looks pretty rough; she's tired and pale and her lips are NOT right.

So, hospital it is.  Not an option, not a democracy, you ARE going to hospital.  I call Gemma, and beg her services as a taxi and as a babysitter, and half hour later, she turns up.  Meantime, Jaysen confirms that Kellies lips are in fact a purpley-blue colour, and I can see her fingernails are certainly the wrong colour.

We get to A&E/Casualty/ER, and book her into triage.  Kellie is struggling to stay awake at this point, is finding it hard to talk, so I'm doing it.  Nurse doesn't like that fact I am booking her in, and makes a comment of "Lost your voice?" to Kellie.  I explain what's going on, but she says nothing, just writing her notes.  I mention that yes, we had seen a paramedic 12 hours previously, and that she had put down "Panic Attack" but that we weren't happy with that and wanted it checked.

So, booked in, we sit and I look at the form.  Reason for admittance: Palpitations and Panic Attack.

Kellie has another EEG/ECG/EKG thing and they take some bloods.  Heart is fine.  She looks like crap, but heart is fine.  So now we sit and wait.  And wait.  She's really restless and drowsy and feeling like pants on a stick.  Eventually, a doctor calls her through and takes us into the Majors Department.  Great.  Here's the place the properly sick people come, the Gran-Downs, the Heart Attacks, the Car Accidents...  And now Kellie.

The doctor asks what's happening, and Kellie explains - quietly, short of breath - and looks to me to fill in the blanks here and there.  Doctor asks if she's ever had a panic attack...

Whoa there Nelly.  We knock that right on the head.  Yes, she's had them LONG ago, no she's not anxious, no she's not worrying, nor stressed nor anything else...  He nods, and carries on checking her over.

He disappears for an hour, Kellie falls asleep.  I pace, ignoring the sounds of different hospital monitors pinging and plinking and bonging around me.

He comes back.  Heart thing is fine.  Bloods are fine.  Nothing obvious to see.  Go home, and rest for a few days.

Erm, what?

He DOES decide to refer Kellie to Cardiology Unit, and thinks they will probably do a 24-hour event monitor on her.  I'm not holding my breath.

Here's my problem.  She is clearly ill.  She is clearly not right medically.  She's pale, and her heart is doing strange things, and it's affecting her extremities and her breathing.  She wasn't jumped by a knife-wielding maniac, she was putting price tags on boxes of Chess Drinking Games.  She's not worrying about when her pay cheque will arrive.  She's not stressing over anything, not panicking over things, and as she told the paramedic and the nurse and the doctor, everything is quite nice and chilled at the moment, thank you very much.

So now, we have to wait for her to get her cardiac referral and see if THEY can shed some light.  I am going to continue to fuss over her like an old woman, and despite a brief conversation this afternoon of "I might go back to work tomorrow" which I ended with THAT look, she WILL be taking it easy this weekend.

Or she WILL end up in A&E again ;)

NB: I've taken great pleasure it tearing off the sticky pads they put on her for her heart trace.  The REEEEALLY sticky ones on arms, legs and chest.  And the best thing is, I've gotten to tear of TWO lots!  Evil? Maybe ;)

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3 Responses to “Bed Rest: By Order”

Posh Totty said...

Grrrr at the paramedic and A&E docs they are too quick to blame everything in panic attacks.

I hope the cardiac referal comes through quickly. hopefully once Kellie is under the care of the cardiac team they will take it a little more seriously, even if it turns out to be nothing more than a virus. When Mr Posh was refered to cardiac they were fantastic and very thorough before ruling out a possible heart problem and put both his and my mind at rest no end.

Sending loads a love to you both and keeping everything crossed its nothing serious Xxxxx

debbie said...

Has kellie had her iron levels done assuming so but really bad iron deficincy can do all that I don't have it that bad but I have very bad periods where I can't stay awake, sweat and my heart does flutter but not all times but I do get breathless just an idea if the lack of iron has never been noticed before it can suddenly show up or it can appear slowly

DriedPapercutsAndChickens said...

When Nathan has um...attacks...
they have him trying bearing down (almost like a BM)
or drink an ice cold glass of water
Most recent doc told us to hang him upside down but I bet that would be a bit hard to do with Kellie