Sunday 13th December 2015

4.20am – you can’t always get what you want

I slept for five hours straight today. Woohoo! So it’s not the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, but I’m positive that if my IV alarm hadn’t sounded to tell the world that it was empty, I may have slept right through to the 6am.

Perhaps the extra dose of sleeping tablets did the trick last night. After basically begging the nurse all day to see a doctor about it (she was unhopeful but not unhelpful), I had expected to have to plead with the on-call doctor. But no, instead, the nurse just appeared at bed time with two sleeping pills in the pot without ceremony or explanation. Fine with me.

Give me the damn pills!

I wasn’t going to probe into who signed it off, for how long and why… she made me aware of the doctor’s concern that I’m “so young” and the one pill “should work”. Hello: I am on enough steroids to keep a rhinoceros awake at all hours. “GIVE ME THE DAMN PILLS” (I did not say).

So I washed the innocuous looking blue pills down with a swig of water and switched on the Eminem film 8-Mile. Before too long, I found the plot (?) hard to follow and realised that I should make haste and brush my teeth before I lost any more of my critical faculties. Once I’d staggered to the bathroom, I tucked myself back into bed and my lack of memory thereafter suggests I dropped off pretty sharpish.

I was glad to put that day behind me because I had a really glum morning on Saturday. The pain in my left hand from that dodgy cannula was pretty much constant and every time they pushed fluid through I felt as though my vein was on fire. It was only until I had mentioned this while in floods of tears to a rather brusk nurse , that they conceded the line could come out and another one could be put in.

About four or five hours later, the new cannula was inserted by the lovely nurse who sorted me out with sleeping pills earlier. I heaped praise on her for getting the line in successfully first time and she reminded me that it’s always to do it before you are regaled with tales of other nurses failure. Less pressure… makes sense.

Now my lovely line flushes like a dream: no pain; just a soothing coolness as the liquids shoot through my vein. Heavenly.

I’d make such a bad junkie.

Being in here like this – the human pin-cushion – has given me a real aversion to ever having these voluntarily. I know that if T and I were ever in a position to try IVF, one (or both) of us would need to do daily hormone injections. With this in mind, I told the nurse that she could give me yesterday’s anti-coagulant injection into the little roll of fat around my belly button. Apparently this is one of the sites you can self-administer IVF drugs, so I thought it’s be good to see how painful it was. Honestly it wasn’t so bad, but the idea of doing it to myself still grosses me out. I’d make such a bad junkie.

After the jab into my tummy, I quickly gulped down my dinner before my mum and T arrived. The sweet and sour chicken with rice was a welcome change from the sausage and mash atrocity everyone on the ward was treated to yesterday. The steroids are making me hungry like hell, so no matter what the slop is they serve up; I always manage to finish my plate. And that’s saying something: I never finish a meal. I tried to get 10 minutes shut-eye before my visitors showed up.

Mum brought a mini Christmas tree with her, which T had a time wrestling with the battery pack to get it to work (with success, of course). The room now looks beautifully festive: I have tinsel on the TV; reindeer fairy lights adorning the windows; and a little Christmas tree perched on the counter in front of the gloves and aprons station. I was also treated to a new pair of PJs by mum, which was most welcome, since even before I was hospitalised I was mixing and matching some pretty old and straggly pairs.

All in all, I feel like I had a turn in fortunes yesterday afternoon. I got that ruddy awful cannula out (the vein is still red) and I saw my family. Dad and Marley also came to see me earlier and we distracted each other by having a silly debate about the nurse call button, which still has a 1950s icon of a nurse on (female in a short dress, obviously).

The only thing now is to keep an eye on my lovely stool chart. Yesterday was a day of mostly 6s (with blood). There was one without blood (progress) and this morning I actually caught sight of a poop before it disappeared beneath the blood-red water. Only an IBD sufferer would call this progress, but it is: in a small way.

I need to discuss with the doctor whether they are going to review the inflammation with their scope again. Looking at the poo chart it’s hard for me to see progress and I’m an expert in my own poo. God knows what someone looking at this naively would think. I suspect and I hope that they do an endoscopy again before I leave. But watch this space…




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