Sunday, 24 April 2016

Another Recent Hospital Admission

Evening lovelies!

So, I've spent the last few days back in Hospital (since 22nd April) with another suspected internal bleed in my stomach, which has been hellish but I'm surviving. After another lengthy admission to the Children's Ward for a few days I'm finally home and attempting at least to recover before school next week!

So on Friday (22nd April) I was feeling quite poorly and decided to stay home from school while Mum went to work for a few hours over lunchtime which I thought would be fine, until I started to feel a funny sensation every time I coughed. So I decided to go to the bathroom and within two minutes I was covered in dark blood and discovered I had passed a large, liver looking tissue covered in blood, so I shouted down to Mum (praying she hadn't quite left) which she hadn't thank god! So after a few minutes of deliberating and examining, we decided to ring 111 who transferred me over to a clinician who advised us to go to my local Accident and Emergency Department as soon as possible and advised my mum to park in the ambulance bay and grab a wheelchair and bring me straight in and that the department will be expecting me. So we got there in about 25 minutes at which point I was was promptly booked in, taken straight to majors in a chair and seen by an Emergency Room doctor.

So the nurses came straight around and got me to change into a gown, did my observations and vital signs, managed to get me more comfortable with some pain relief before we sat waiting for a doctor for some time.

So I was reviewed almost immediately after by one of the Emergency Department Doctors who examined me before stupidly ringing my local CAMHS team to speak to my Psychiatrist for more information (about a suspected internal bleed - stupid or what?) rather than ringing my Paediatrician, Gastroenterologist, GP or Cardiologist who without doubt would have been more helpful, and she then decided to send me home saying that 'being admitted wouldn't help me and that I would be better off at home'. So knowing I have a history of Melena I argued straight out that I wasn't comfortable going home given my complex history and didn't feel well enough to be discharged, so not long after she went to speak to the Paediatricians who decided they were going to admit me after all. So within about 20 minutes I was taken up to the Children's Ward on a trolley and I was taken straight to the Paediatric Assessment Unit to see a doctor whilst they got a bed ready on the ward.

We had quite a long wait for the doctor which was spent wretching, crying, trying to get more pain relief organised, trying to make me more comfortable by eventually I was seen by Stuart, a doctor I've had before and the senior consultant Rebecca, new doctor who I haven't met before.

So not long after being examined by the senior consultant who decided to run bloods, I started majorly vomiting and brought up pretty much all the little fluids I had all day, so once I had my bloods done she put a cannula in and I was taken straight down to the ward with our senior nurse Emma where I was given IV anti-sickness (Ondansetron) and IV fluids with glucose immediately, along with another IV medication to try and help repair the lining of my stomach. So I managed to sleep not long after as mum went home, thankfully without noticing a number of IV drugs and bag changes overnight luckily as I was so so tired! But I woke up the next morning in time for breakfast and still on IV fluids until late morning when the doctors finally came round and managed to examine my large, liver looking tissue I passed the day before which turned out to be endometrial tissue although I wasn't told this until Sunday afternoon! But it was unfortunately decided I still couldn't go! home just yet!

So after a lengthy conversation they decided to keep me in for another night and try and get some more bloods done to recheck my hemoglobin (which was a challenge due to my cannula-used, dehydrated, sunken & collapsed veins!), but the blood seemed to think it would be a good idea to clot and make me endure the whole thing again in the middle of the night instead!

So I wanted to go home in the evening (23rd April) as I had a family wedding to go to on the Sunday, which encouraged me to try and lie about feeling better in order to get out which wasn't so good as I had a massive crash in the evening prompting the senior consultant to have to come out again with my nurse to discuss how much blood and fluids I'd lost since I stopped telling the nurses. After another long lecture about trying to cover up the affects of my condition, I came clean about the amount of blood I'd lost but they decided I was going to have to use a bed pan from now on so they could monitor exactly how much blood and fluids I was losing to figure out my fluid amounts etc. So I managed to get to sleep not long after before waking up in the morning whilst having my observations done to realize I'd been put back on fluids in the night with Ian, my trusty old Infusion Pump (yes, you do name things when you've been ill in hospital for so long! - I know it's sad haha!).

So I managed to come off fluids later on in the day (24th April) which was a relief as it meant I'd have more chance of being able to go home! But unfortunately the doctors took ages to come on ward rounds, but when they finally arrived in the afternoon we eventually made the decision to send me home with a follow up appointment for a Nasogastric Tube to be inserted and that we could arrange an appointment, hopefully for the next day (25th April) with my Paediatrician who knows more about my condition than the doctor that does rounds.

So that's about all for now, but I'll keep you all updated - hopefully I'll be having an outpatients appointment tomorrow so if I do I may have an update sooner than expected!

I hope you're all doing well! Have an amazing week!

Love, Cat xxx

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Throwback Thursday | Serious Illness and Post-Operative Infections!

Evening lovelies!

So, for my Throwback Thursday this week I've decided to write about quite a big time in my life which took place last year at which point I became really seriously ill following a period of pain and an operation to take my appendix out!

So on the 16th August 2015, after staying at a friend's house for the night I went to my local Community Hospital Urgent Care Centre as I had been experiencing pain for a few days in my abdomen just underneath my belly button, which I thought was probably a UTI so I went hoping they could give me some Anti-biotics just to settle the pain and infection. When I arrived I was triage before seeing a nurse who examined my abdomen and decided nothing was wrong with me and so made the decision to send me home untreated and undiagnosed, and told me to see my GP the next day if things were to get worse - which they did.

The following day on the 17th August I phoned for an emergency appointment with my GP at my registered Doctor's surgery and when I arrived, I was sent straight to the Paediatric Assessment Unit of my local hospital, which is a small section of the ward where the GP can send you for urgent problems which may require admission or treatment avoiding the Accident and Emergency Department.

So later that evening I saw the Surgical doctors who decided it was best that I was admitted to the main adolescent girls area of the Children's Ward for Observation that evening, as they thought it could possibly be appendicitis. After taking blood and inserting a cannula I was taken down and given a bed on the ward for the night, nil by mouth overnight until they could decide if I was going to need an operation for appendicitis in the morning. In the night my blood test results came back with a raised infection level, so I was kept in until the following day waiting for the surgical doctors to review me in the morning. I was monitored over the night for now.

The next morning after I woke up feeling no better, the surgical team reviewed me and decided it would probably be best to do a Laparascopic Appendectomy. I had to change into a gown and was given a number of medications whilst I waited to see the surgeon, the anesthetist and various other people.

So after hours and hours of waiting from around 14:00pm I was finally taken down to theatre at approximately 19:30pm, where I was put to sleep on the table and operated on for the next two hours. At around 21:30 I was taken into recovery where I eventually came around. Due to my ME which we didn't know about at the time I came round still very woozy with an incredibly low blood pressure, sickness and still needing oxygen until I was back onto the ward. As soon as I got back to the ward after an unpleasant attempted bed pan experience I fell asleep again until 04:30am when I woke up to ask for pain relief, so I wasn't told anything about the operation until the next morning.

When I woke up at around 08:00am the next morning on the 19th August the surgical team came around to explain what they had found. They had taken my appendix out in the operation despite the fact it looked pretty normal but they had noticed I had a ruptured ovarian cyst at the time which had burst leaving fluid to freely flow around the abdomen which they drained, but they explained this could mean that I could get more ovarian cysts in the future.

Early that afternoon I was discharged with paracetamol, codeine and lactulose despite still feeling quite poorly, so I managed to get out to the car with mum but I was horrifically sick about six times before we even drove out of the hospital gates, which we thought was the anaestetic as I hadn't had one before so we continued on home so I could be comfortable and go to sleep. By the time we got home it was still the afternoon but I went straight to sleep on the sofa and slept through pretty much until the next morning, other than the occasional wake up call to be sick again, but I was still in incredible amounts of abdominal pain which didn't feel right.

The next morning, on the 20th April I woke up still feeling pretty awful after non-stop vomiting the minute I woke up, so I begged my mum desperately to ring the doctors surgery and ask if they could prescribe some anti-sickness medication while I was recovering. The doctor from the surgery decided I would need to come in so they could see me before prescribing anything else, but after a long debate we decided that I wouldn't physically be able to get to the surgery so without much warning, there was a knock on the door around half an hour later which was my doctor and a trainee doctor with him.

After examining me and seeing me in the state I was, they decided it would be best to call an ambulance before leaving us alone to wait for emergency services. In the time we were waiting I started to vomit green liquids and I felt I was only deteriorating even further, so I asked mum to phone 999 again which resulted in them sending out a Rapid Response unit to try and at least make me more comfortable until an Emergency Ambulance could get there. The paramedic soon came and managed to get a cannula in and give me some anti-sickness and pain relief in the mean time whilst we waited for the other unit to arrive.

When they arrived, Pamela and Kayleigh the two Paramedics were lovely and I was taken out to the Ambulance in a chair and placed on a Cardiac monitor and given IV fluids for the journey following my mammoth vomiting experience.

When I arrived back to the Paediatric Assessment Unit I was admitted straight back onto the ward (in my usual bed!!) and kept on IV fluids for a few days and soon diagnosed with a serious Post-Operative infection by the surgical team. I was taken for more ultrasound scans and a Chest and Abdomen X-Ray that night and I was kept in for approximately four days (still being horrifically sick) and I was treated with three different IV anti-biotics to try and treat the infection as it was unable to be sourced, as well as regular pain relief and anti-sickness medications. They considered having to take me back to theatre to look for the infection if things didn't clear up.

I unfortunately missed out on a family reunion on the 22nd August, and my little cousin's sixth birthday on the 23rd August, although they managed to let me out in a wheelchair for two hours to see her on her birthday.

Finally on what must have been the 24th August, I was discharged from the hospital in the late evening after the surgical doctor decided I was eventually ready to switch to oral anti-biotics and come off of IV fluids, which was exiting as I hadn't seen my bed in a good few days! So after hours and hours of waiting for inpatient pharmacy prescriptions and having tried out every hospital cafe, I was finally allowed to move back home!!!! And this time I managed to avoid vomiting since leaving the hospital which felt amazing and I was starting to feel much better, despite still being in some pain from the infection and operation itself.

So that's the story of one of the worst weeks of illness and infection of my life which I will definately, never, ever forget, but I am so happy to be past this!

Hope you're all doing well! Have an amazing week!

Love, Cat xxx

Blogging Challenge! Get to Know Me Tag!

So, as I haven't been on this blog for long I've decided to do a get to know me tag so hopefully I'll seem less of a stranger haha!

  • What is your middle name? Seana (pronounced Shaw-na), unfortunately!! I hate it, but it's an Irish name chosen by my dad.
  • What was your favourite subject at school? Drama, definitely Drama! Always the only subject I truly enjoyed.
  • What is your favourite drink? Hot Chocolate!
  • What is your favourite song at the moment? For some reason me and my neighbour have been obsessed with 'Light it Up' for weeks and we can't stop listening to it! 100% my favourite song at the moment!
  • What is your favourite food? Either chip-shop chips or apple crumble!
  • What is the last thing you bought? A replacement spring collection Pandora bracelet! I lost my sentimental one, I had a charm to represent everybody I lost in my life (deceased family members and friends) but hopefully I'll still find it!
  • Favourite book of all time? A book called 'The Longest Whale Song' by Jacqueline Wilson. I read this when I was eleven but I don't read much so I don't think I've sat still enough to read anything properly since, but I loved this so much I can't imagine any book topping it!
  • Favourite colour? Pink! I love pink!
  • Do you have any pets? No! I used to have a cat called Reggie and I've had four syrian hamsters - Pumpkin, Scratch, Terry and Zoe, but I don't have any anymore!
  • Favourite perfume? Definitely Ghost. I don't know who it's by, but I love it as it was a birthday present and I love the scent! My second favourite is Lady Million.
  • Favourite holiday? Christmas!
  • Are you married? Nope, as I'm only sixteen haha! Hopefully I will one day though.
  • Have you ever been out of the country? If so, how many times? I've been to wales a few times, but I've never gone any further yet! I'm so scared of flying!
  • Do you speak any other language? Not fluently, just English! I learnt French until Year 9 and German until the beginning of Year 11, but I was never very good. I can do the odd sentence though!
  • How many siblings do you have? None!
  • What is your favourite shop? Ikea, who doesn't love Swedish furniture? Although I think any stores that sell Nike, Adidas or Jack Wills closely follow!!
  • Favourite restaurant? Nando's, obviously! Why is this even a question??
  • When was the last time you cried? Saturday! When I arrived to the Accident and Emergency Department I had a little cry as I had to wait a while for my mum who followed behind the Ambulance! The nurse was bloody lovely though! 
  • Favourite blog? I haven't had a blog in so long I don't have a clue at the moment!
  • Favourite movie? Garfield! The original! Mmm, lasagna!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Favourite TV shows? Probably any show on ITV Encore or BBC One!!!!! Mainly Broadchurch, Scott and Bailey, Marcella, River, Happy Valley, Impractical Jokers, Would I Lie to You?, Not Going Out and Miranda!
  • PC or Mac? PC all the way!
  • What phone do you have? iPhone Six Plus 16GB!
  • How tall are you? 5' 4" and a half.
  • Can you cook? Nope. Enough said.
Well that was long, but still fun to do! If you want to do this tag post, let me know in the comments as I'd love to read your responses!

Have a fabulous day!

Love, Cat xxx

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

My Recent Hospital Admission

Evening lovelies!

This is my first post tonight, so it may be useful for those of you who don't know me to read my about page first! So unfortunately last weekend (Saturday 16th April) resulted in another hospital admission for me. I woke up around 12ish feeling a little sick, which I thought was nothing more as I'd been sat with a sick bowl by me all week, but around two hours later I started to experience a severe pain in my right upper quadrant with an intense episode of vertigo (thought to be due to my BPPV) and I started being incredibly sick (vomiting) and I was struggling to see and walk massively.

We called 111 who sent out an Emergency Ambulance to me, which I'm not exactly a stranger to anymore, which arrived within around 15 minutes. Carrie, a paramedic I haven't met before arrived with a student paramedic Shawn, and they straight away got a cannula in and gave me Ondansetron (a Seretonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonist) which blocks the action of Serotonin to help stop the nausea and vomiting. They got me into the ambulance and at 14:57 we headed to the hospital, after being loaded with blankets, sick bowls and placed on a Cardiac Monitor due to my Cardiac history. Because I'd already had Paracetamol they decided to give me Gas and Air on route to the hospital in the ambulance which made things bearable for a little while. I was comfortable then until we arrived at the hospital.

We arrived at the Accident and Emergency Department shortly after at around 15:25pm, where I was booked in to majors and my mum who followed in behind the ambulance came in to see me. I was changed into a gown straight away and had Obs done by the nurse. It didn't take long before we saw a doctor who took bloods and examined me, but after a long few hours of decision making I was admitted to the Children's Ward for observation at around 19:15pm when I was taken up with my A&E nurse Caroline and my all time favourite Emergency Department Assistant Wayne!

When we arrived on the Children's Ward I met my nurse for the night (a new Student nurse Bethany who I hadn't met before) as they tried to make me as comfortable as possible. I had to wait for a few hours to see the Paediatrician as he got delayed in NICU but I eventually saw him at around 23:30pm. He wrote me up for Paracetamol, Ondansetron and Tramadol and my usual medications as well as IV fluids and he decided to get me reviewed by the Surgical team. My mum went home for the night at this point and he ordered me an Emergency Chest X-Ray and about 20 minutes later I was taken down to A&E X-Ray in my hospital bed with Beth and John the porter. I had the X-Ray at about midnight and when we got back to the ward I was put straight on to IV fluids through my cannula and  I finally got some sleep until a doctor from the surgical team arrived.

The surgical doctor examined me thoroughly and was quite reassuring that I wouldn't need another operation but wanted me to continue with everything the Paediatrician ordered and confirmed again that I definitely wouldn't be able to go home in the night.

I woke up on Sunday at 9:00am still feeling rough despite having being on IV fluids all night and I was still unable to drink anything at all without feeling that I couldn't keep it down. I was reviewed by the Paediatric doctors in the morning who decided I was going to need another Ultrasound on my Gallbladder and Liver meaning I couldn't have any breakfast until after my scan to avoid my Gallbladder tensing up in the images, so I didn't end up eating until after my scan at 11:00am. I went down to the scan with Craig (our favourite HCA on the ward haha) and my mum just before and waited a relatively long time compared to usual to be scanned. When I went in, after the scan the Radiologist initially said everything looked fine so we headed back to the ward (with a cheeky detour to the cafe as I hadn't eaten all morning!).

So I was kept on fluids all morning until late afternoon as we still didn't know what was going on so I managed to squeeze in my friend visiting, a good chat with mum followed with some more Tramadol and Ondansetron in the mean time. 

A few hours later I had a visit from my nurse Vicky who came to tell me that they were going to do another X-Ray (this time on my abdomen) but they needed to run some more tests so they were going to need specimens etc. which was nothing but an absolute nightmare given my state of dehydration despite continuous IV fluids!!!! So an hour or two later I finally managed, along with my trusty old IV stand who once again accompanied me everywhere!

I was taken down to X-Ray for the second time not long after by my Mum (with yet another cafe detour!!) before returning to the ward, but this time we were visited a lot sooner again by the doctor who came back to re-examine me and tell us that the X-Ray showed a blockage in the bowel, a problem which runs a lot in my Dad's side of the family due to our mystery gastroenterology and bowel issues!! So an hour or so later my nurse came back and moved me into an isolation room to perform yet another unpleasant procedure which only made my pain worse before moving me back to the girls section of the ward. I sat in pain for a while before managing to get to sleep before the doctor came around (again!!) to say they were going to consider a discharge as I had to be out the next morning for 13:00pm for an exam!! 

So after a long, long, long, long, long, long, LONG debate with my duty night nurse and the Paediatric doctors team, I was finally discharged in the early hours of Monday morning (after already deciding it would be best to stay!). They gave me another dose of Tramadol and IV Ondansetron before my nurse came to remove mycannula and finally allow me to go home! So I was eventually sent home with more Tramadol and Ondansetron to take at home due to my normal Anti-Sickness (Prochlorperazine) not working, although yet again we're still not unsure whether the blockage is the entire cause of the pain or not or whether it's been sorted by the treatments but hopefully we'll find out soon enough!

I hope you're all doing well! Have an amazing week!

Love, Cat xxx