Well things took a decidedly painful turn on Friday morning when I woke up to what started out as minor abdominal pain........ which got gradually worse and had me phoning DH at work and asking him to come home a.s.a.p. Thankfully he did.
A quick phone call to my Herbalist to tell her about the symptoms had her recommending that we get in touch with my GP immediately. I'd had fish and chips Thursday night, a quick meal before going to the theatre to see The Shellseekers (our DS was Stage Manager for it), which Jan suspected may have caused a gall bladder flare up.
Phone call to GP: it might be an emergency but a GP wouldn't be able to come out until the afternoon - could he take me into the surgery...... I couldn't wait so, clutching a bucket because I felt really nauseous by this time too, off we went to the surgery. Of course it was full....... of course everyone was curious about the woman who was bent double over a bucket whilst gasping with pain. Thankfully it wasn't too long a wait.......... though it seemed like ages at the time.
One painful abdomen examination later and the GP had phoned the hospital to tell them to expect me and written a letter for us to take with us. One drive to the hospital later and what seemed like the longest walk ever from the car park and up to the ward and I was quickly put into a side room and had people coming in and out to take all my details and check my abdomen again. By this time it was agony and I couldn't get any ease no matter what I did. Thankfully my bucket had been exchanged for the proper receptacle by then....... it duly got used. And so did another one. I'd been given some painkiller by now but it didn't seem to be working.
Next was a trip in a wheelchair to have an ultrasound scan done. I filled another receptacle for them whilst there but I was aware enough to know they'd found more than they'd expected to on the scan. Back to the ward, another receptacle used and a chat with a doctor and some real painkiller was given - a morphine jab. Finally, some relief!
So I spent several more days in various stages of pain that were occasionally relieved by a blessed blissed out session after a morphine jab. A BIG thank you and much Kudos to the genius who discovered this was a really good pain relieving drug. The scan had revealed that I had some gallstones - the surprise being that I also had a 5cm ovarian cyst. The surgical people were confused because my symptoms didn't quite fit a typical gall bladder/stones attack - the pain wasn't in the right place - so it took them a bit to catch on that, actually, whilst the gall bladder had had some part to play, it was probably more down to the cyst...... so they'd better get the Gynae people involved. Don't you just love how quick they catch on? LOL
By Monday the pain was finally easing right back and I actually managed to eat something at tea time - once everyone had caught on that being dairy intolerant and having other foodstuffs I had to avoid meant phoning the kitchen and getting the Special Diet Chef to send up some plain cooked food. NHS menus cover: Gluten free, diabetic, kosher, halal, another ethnic diet I can't remember, high fibre, low sodium and reducing diets - it seems they don't cover other food intolerances yet. They were very obliging though, I have to say that, but it involved some hassle - not just for me but for the already busy ward staff - so added stress that I could have done without. On the bright side: I have a feeling the scales will be very kind this month! LOL
Monday afternoon a very feisty female Consultant led the rounds and told her staff that my problems were obviously more to do with the ovarian cyst, therefore she wanted one of her team to contact the Gynae people and tell them (note: tell, not ask) that she expected someone to come to see me that evening and if not, she wanted to know why not. Much Kudos to her too: a chap came that evening to chat to me and take a few details.
Then Tuesday morning the hospital vampire came to take yet more blood for the Gynae lot to test (the third lot I'd had taken) and the Gynae Consultant, Mr Roberts, arrived a little later. The upshot of that: an explanation of what a cyst is/how it develops; that everything seems to have settled down now, so it may well be that the cyst will resolve itself and I may not have any further trouble; then again I may, so he wants me to go back as an outpatient in four weeks time to have another scan, so he can see what's going on; by then he'll also have the blood results, which will also give him a better idea of what's happening; that without the blood results he couldn't say 100% that it was benign but, from all the details he had, including the scan, and his experience he was fairly certain it was.
After hearing that I burst into tears: I hadn't realised until that moment just how worried I was. I apologised and explained that I'd lost my SIL and Dad to cancer in 2007 and that I hadn't been able to avoid having that on my mind.... and that it seemed that I'd just got my life back on track again after all that grief when Wham! this hits. He did the typical Consultant/man-thing - avoided meeting my eyes, looked uncomfortable and muttered a few unintelligible things. The two nurses who were there, on the other hand, nodded and knew exactly where I was coming from...... we are all sisters under the skin. :0) So Mr Roberts said that, as the pain was well and truly under control and I was eating OK, I could go home and the scan appointment would be sent to me shortly. Thank you, lovely man. :0)
Yay! off to pack my bag. Except no, I couldn't go yet....... the staff, as well as myself, had all assumed that the Surgical mob had signed me over to Gynae but they hadn't. I had to wait for them to come back and sign me off before I would be able to go. So I got another free meal and a long wait. DH arrived for afternoon visiting but we still didn't know when I'd be seeing the Surgical folk so we'd decided he'd go back to work then go home and have his tea then come back for evening visiting and hopefully be able to take me home then. Just in case I walked with him to the front desk, to check with the staff if there was any reason for him to stay. No, don't go was the reply - the doctors were on the ward and were currently in the Treatment Room with someone and they'd be with me soon. Not long then thought we. Wrong! They saved me right until last, really making me sweat for it! LOL They said they were happy with how the pain had decreased but that there was one gallstone that had potential to give me further problems and they'd be happy to take it out for me. Nope, that's OK says I - if I get any further problems we'd get the GP to refer me back and take it from there. (Be buggered to that was what I told DH later: I'd heard the story of one of my fellow ward companions, who'd come in for gall bladder removal keyhole day surgery and ended up in Intensive Care and almost died because they'd ruptured something they shouldn't). With that they said I could go home. Yay!
It took a bit longer to get all the paperwork and medications together but by that time I was dressed and fully packed and ready to go and DH had already ferried a couple of bags out to the car and moved the car a bit closer, so there wouldn't be such a long walk. Paperwork, meds and instructions handed over we were off and it was so good to be outside, even for that short time, and breathe some fresh air again...... well, as fresh as it gets round here. LOL
So now it's a case of gradually weaning myself off the last of the meds, getting them out of my system and settling down into a routine whilst I recuperate and regain my strength. It's amazing just how weak I feel at the moment. There are a couple of things I've discovered though: my ass does not enjoy feeling like a pincushion; my belly goes a pretty colour when it has blood thinning jabs zapped into it, and so does my right arm, where the bloods were taken from; the human body can cope with way more than you think it can and has an amazing capacity for healing; you meet some really nice people at unexpected times........... Oh, and eating fish and chips when you've been on a very healthy long-term diet is a really bloody stupid idea! LOL
So you've probably gathered by now that there's no stitching to show. I didn't get chance to add the buttons to the Halloween ornie, as that was planned as Friday's job. Hopefully there'll be something to show you once I feel a bit livelier and up to doing a bit more..... and I'll also start to have a gradual catch up with all your blogs. :0)
Hope you all had a waaaaay better weekend than mine and are all feeling fit and well. :0)