When Tiredness Strikes
The details aren't all that gritty - first off, I've been running around like a blue-arsed fly most days just doing "stuff" - housework, kids stuff, cooking, cleaning and so on. On top of all that, I had my second Pain Management appointment where I actually got to see someone trying to help me...
Their plan seems a little arse-about-face if I am honest, but I can see their reasoning. One of my meds, the Pregabalin, is - in my opinion - doing sweet F.A, but in case it IS working, I am not allowed to just stop and change meds.
So to get me in less pain, we're starting by... reducing my meds... Marvellous.
Yes, I get why they can't just stop them (pesky stroke and risk of death and all that) but it isn't any fun for me as I am still in pain 24/7, am still sleeping very very little, and still a moody bastard that everyone hates.
On top of that.
Kellie decided to have one of her Heart-Attacks-That-Isn't-A-Heart-Attack sessions... The day before the Main Event, she was at work and went very wonky. Chest Pains, Left Arm Pain, crushing feeling on the upper body, going a lovely shade of Corpse Grey... Everyone in the office had a flap, plus she got a telling off for not having her GTN spray handy. But, at her insistence, she was fine and that was that, and gradually the pain went away.
Following a bad night, and feeling much much worse the following morning, she did it again. I don't know, maybe as I missed the events at work, she thought she would give me an action reply. Chest pains. Crushing feeling. Left arm pains. Grey ashen colour.
BUT she didn't want a lot of fuss - we've been told many times that it's not a heart attack (despite telling THEM we know it's not a heart attack, on account of her not being dead and all) so instead of dialling 999 and getting an Ambulance out, we opted for the NHS Helpline on 111.
As soon as the woman answered, I explained that we know that despite how it sounds, her symptoms are not her having a heart attack. OK she says. So I go through all of the above, tell her it's happened before, that we know it's not a heart attack, and that we just want a little advice or help or something.
Five minutes later, Mr Solo Paramedic turned up at the door. Oops. You could see neighbours having a nosey through their windows, but I let him in, explaining to him that it's not a heart attack, but here are all the symptoms. He wired her up to the ECG machine and Blood Pressure thingie, clipped on the glowy red finger clip of doom, and sat talking to her.
Funny thing is, she couldn't talk properly as her chest was crushing so she couldn't get her words out and breath very well at the same time. So she sounded like a breathy old lady having a heart attack.
Work with me here love, I'm trying to tell people you're NOT having a heart attack, don't act like you actually ARE.
Her blood pressure was quite high, her ECG was a bit wonky, and her sats were 86-89%.
Mr Paramedic radioed for backup.
Three minutes later, MUCH to my amusement and Kellies annoyance, a biiiig yellow ambulance pulled up behind the flashy-light paramedic car. Out jumped two lady paramedics, AND a trainee fellow, all with lots of kit in tow, and they came into the house under the watchful eye of the neighbours.
The old girl next door popped out, quite worried something bad was happening, so I had to talk to her and calm her down before she needed their help too - she's got a dodgy ticker as well.
With Kellie, three paramedics, me and the two cats wandering around, the downstairs was a weeny bit crowded. Kerry turned up for good measure as well as she was worried too, and Kellie... Well, she wasn't impressed. She felt like shit, and was receiving LOTS of attention.
The four medical people had a conflab, and it was decided that Kellie really really should go to hospital. They had given her GTN and Aspirin (like they do with heart attack and stroke victims) and that eased her symptoms (like it does with heart attack and stroke victims) but told her she really should be checked out.
However, she wasn't allowed to walk out to the ambulance. No, she had to be strapped into one of the special chairs for patients.
And wheeled out on display for all the neighbours to see. Kerry watched too.
Once in the ambulance, we had to sit for a little while so they could be sure she was safe to transport, that her symptoms were a little better, that her ECG wasn't wonky, and her Blood Pressure and Sats were improved.
All were a little better - sats were back into the low 90s, ECG was clear and BP was more normal. And off to A&E they took us. Checking her the whole way, monitoring her so she didn't die and so on.
Once in A&E it was the usual... Sit and wait for a doctor. Go get an Xray. Have a blood test. They also put a cannula in the back of her hand juuuust in case they needed to get quick access for drugs.
Yes, just like people having a heart attack/stroke.
We were in there for hours while she was checked, questioned, prodded, poked and bombarded with Xrays.
The only superpower she developed, however, was "pissed off with being checked, questioned, prodded, poked and bombarded with Xrays" And at no point when she was hooked up to everything and needing a wee, did I turn on the tap and leave the room.
After ALL that, she was given the verdict of "Well, we're happy to say it wasn't a heart attack..."
Er, yes, thank you for that Dr Obvious. "All we can suggest you do is just advise your consultant what's happened, keep your appointments for your Stress Test and Pulmonary Function Test, and go from there"
So once again, no answers, no help, nothing... No, I know, it's not their fault, they can only go by the symptoms - but it would be nice if they could be some help and try working out why this shit has been going on for five years now.
If any of you armchair doctors - no, NOT Dr Google - can explain to me why she gets all the symptoms of a Cardiac Arrest, without the actual Cardiac Arrest, the please let me know so I can go to the doctor, specialist, consultant or whatever and say "What about THIS" instead of feeling like they just throw random diagnosis out and then a few months later, they say "LOL, no, not that"
Anyway... Kellie ended up having the rest of the week off work (They didn't want her there!) and chilling over the weekend.
Which was lucky really as by the time Monday came back around, it was Dom's turn for stuff - even though this was pre-planned shenanigans.
Last year, Dom - being a spaz - hurt his leg playing football. I say hurt, it was a knee dislocation. Lots of pain and crutches and so on. He was checked, told to rest it. A few weeks after that, he did it again because, you know... Spaz.
This went on for a year or so with random dislocations of the left knee, an MRI was done, but nothing mentioned about it, doctors passed it on from GP to fracture to Xray to MRI to Orthopaedics... Eventually - almost a year to the day of its original dislocation - we got to see a knee specialist.
We were in there for a little while, and the only real option was knee surgery to reconstruct the broken ligament... Er.. Broken Ligament?
The MRI from eight months previous showed that Dom had managed to sever - not tear, but completely sever - the ligament that holds the knee cap in place, and also that prevents the joint dislocating at random intervals.
So surgery was booked in - but for AFTER all his exams.
Monday was the pre-op, and with that being all clear, the surgery was done on Tuesday morning. Now, I am not going to go into me vs. hospitals here. Dom, however, held up like a champ, only getting properly nervous when he was being wheeled into the theatre.
Kellie went in with him and was looking after him while he was knocked out, and after that, we had to go somewhere to do something to pass the time - so opted for the restaurant, drank coffee and ate cake, had a wander around, watched the world fall apart via the news on TV...
He was down in theatre for almost two hours - the surgery took just over an hour - and he was wheeled back in from recovery very whoozy and away with the fairies thanks to copious amounts of drugs. Apparently he was in a lot of pain when he came out of the anaesthetic, so they popped him with some morphine for good measure.
The rest of the day he was spent sitting at his bedside, chatting with him when he was awake, chatting to the nurses when he was asleep, reading, playing on the DS or Tablet... Just passing the time - which is a completely different time inside a hospital. Hospital Time is a strange phenomenon, and some of you will understand exactly what I mean!
Because Molly came up from school and sat with us for a while, we decided I'd take her home to get her fed, watered and into bed, while Kellie stayed at the hospital to spend time with Dom.
Within half an hour of me leaving, things took a bastardly but thankfully brief turn for the worst - all the drugs, the anaesthetic, the antibiotics, the three kinds of pain killers - decided to combine into a concoction that made Doms heart rate go through the roof, and to feel as though his lips, mouth and throat were swelling. Luckily, there was no swelling, but physiologically, he was affected, and his ECG, Blood Pressure, Sats and everything else went completely screwy for an hour. Luckily, Doms surgeon was on the ward, arrived and took control very quickly in a manner that kept Kellie somewhat calm...
After all that, Dom went to sleep and was fine for the rest of the night. Kellie got home and was a nervous wreck, and I feel shitty that I wasn't there when things went pear-shaped... BUT he was - and still is - fine. So no harm done.
The following day, Dom was hurting, tired but otherwise OK, and by lunchtime, the wheels were in motion for discharge. He met his physiotherapists, and started doing his various exercises - painful but necessary. His leg has some bolts of some kind in it, holding his new synthetic ligaments in place. The road is going to be a long one, apparently, with lots of physio and rehab for his leg - even now, it's taken him a week post-surgery just to lift his leg.
The wound itself is pretty... Disappointing... He has two, actually, both covered with a dressing the size of a large-ish plaster.
These two pictures show the site of the surgery. The arrow on his shin was done PRE surgery so they remember which leg to poke holes in, and what leg to NOT cut off. The blue lines are anatomical, showing the kneecap, femur, tibia/fibula (spell check update - the bones are Tibia and Fibula. There is no such thing as a Fibia. Apparently, it's an amalgamation of Fibular/Tibia, and MAY refer to the lower-half of the leg, but it not a recognised word. Thank you Spell Check & Google), and where there are and should be ligaments. Probably showing the team what needed to be done...
The next picture is when Diane - the 0dd Mother in Law - came to visit the other night. Dom, who is living on the sofa at the moment, is playing through the new Tomb Raider game. Nanny wanted a go... So Nanny sat trying to control Lara through bad-guy-infested areas involving cliff edges, gravity, rocks and dying. A lot.
I snapped this picture just after she fell to her death again, and Dom is giggling like a school girl... The look on the old girls face is one she shoots me a lot... Sort of.. Dragonish...
So, all in all, the last two weeks have been shitty. I've not really had anyone I can talk to, so been sitting and dwelling and worrying and thinking and OVER thinking and so on... Hence the blog post - I needed to get it all out and deflate. It's helped a bit, but... I don't know.
No, I am not going to go into me or my issues (pain clinic notwithstanding) and am just trying to get on with everything.
Kellie is better - still getting chest twinges - and she's trying to get hold of her consultants secretary to bring her next appointment forward... Dom is slowly on the mend - still on the sofa, still making funny groany noises when he moves, still getting lots and lots of care and sympathy from me... *ahem*...
Other than that, there have been Parent/Teacher meetings for Jaysen & Molly (both very bright, both very smart, both prone to chatter, both could push themselves harder, etc etc). Tam is doing very well too, reading at a higher-than-normal average, but still trying to play the whiny little girl card when she doesn't get her way...
Life is ticking over with what feels like extremely regular speed bumps, but I'm doing my best to push through it and just carry on... I think I need a break from everything to stop it getting on top of me.
I feel like I've been doing this post all day - thanks to Dom (aka, Spaz) needing guiding in Tomb Raider... Anyway, this morning while watering the house-plants, it became obvious to Dom and Myself that I am waaaay over-tired, and waaaay in need of getting out more.
The watering can - which was kept in the garden - had a snail on it. A fact I only realised while halfway through the watering. He was sliding around the outside of the can, drawing little trails as he meandered in circles.
And I was talking to him. Chatting away, apparently. Asking him questions... Dom thought I was definitely strange at this point. By the time I was done and put him back in the garden, "the snail" and become Mr Escargot. Yes, I named the snail. And made sure he was released somewhere cool, damp and shaded.
When I came back upstairs, I was talking with Dom... Considering how weird a snail looks - with his eyes on sodding great stalks, those two strange feeler-stalks, bloody great shell on his back, sliming everywhere - what must WE look like to them?
And then I went on to mime a snail, doing a human impression. Dom laughed till he nearly pissed his pants. Me, a human, pretending to be a snail, pretending to be a human.
I'm either very tired, something has snapped in my head, or I need medical attention.