After my first visit, with imminent kidney failure, I said I wasn’t coming back. Hospitals and I don’t get along.
Three days later I was being taken by ambulance back to the hospital.
I went to see my local GP about a cough that wouldn’t let me speak, and I was having a little trouble breathing.
OK, I was having a lot of trouble breathing, so it was straight on oxygen.
As you can imagine I hate hospitals. It’s where a lot of people go to die, and, for a short time, lying in my bed in Emergency, listening to all the possibilities of what was wrong with me, I started to believe it was my time.
Don’t ever consent to a nasal swab, it’s having very long cotton buds shoved up your nose and into your brain. It hurts like hell and makes your eyes run like taps. This after the nurse said I would only have momentary discomfort.
It was still hurting three days later.
When the X-rays came back it was confirmed I had pneumonia. A comparison with an X-ray from my first visit showed clouds where my lungs were, whereas the previous one had none.
It was thought I may have acquired it in the hospital on that first visit several days before.
So trying to find the bug was going to be far more intensive and painful than it being an ‘ordinary’ case of pneumonia. These bugs were more resistant to treatment and harder to track down.
The bad news, I wasn’t going anywhere for at least a week, possibly longer.
It took 9 days to get over it and be well enough to be discharged. For the first few days I could not breathe without oxygen, and for the first five, I could do little other than lie down or sit up in bed. A walk to the shower or toilet, about 10 yards at best, exhausted me.
So there was little to do other than observe the medical staff and other patients.
Enough research to fill several pads.
And when I was well enough, I spent some time writing.
Never let it be said there isn’t a silver lining in at least one of those clouds!