Another medical issue… will it ever end?
Sorry I haven’t posted anything these past few weeks, but I’ve not been too well. Two weeks ago [Thursday 7th June] I found myself struggling to breathe. Thought it might have been due to indigestion – eating one prawn too many; but by 4am it was obvious it was something more serious, so phoned the emergency services and explained my condition. An ambulance was at my door 15 minutes later.
I was taken to the hospital in Antibes and straight into the emergency room. Explaining once again what I was experiencing they immediately went to work with a chest X-ray, bloods and urine samples taken away for testing. Saline, and painkilling drips inserted I was wheeled into a side ward to await the results.
When they were available I was transferred back into an examination room and the doctor told me I had a lung infection. He prescribed some antibiotics to cover me for 7 days, but to do a follow-up blood test on the Monday [11th June] . That done, I went to see my GP. He immediately stopped the antibiotics for stronger ones, and sent me off to do yet another chest X-ray and blood tests.
Personally I think the antibiotics my GP prescribed were possibly too strong because over the course of the next few days I was getting worse. I was losing my appetite, feeling more tired than usual, and I had this annoying dry cough.
On Sunday 17th June, mum said to go over for lunch. All I wanted to do was sleep, but to keep her happy I agreed. My sister, Lesley came to pick me up and afterwards drove me back. Normally I enjoy the 10 minute walk, but this time I was grateful for the lift.
Monday morning I slowly walked up to the blood testing laboratory, stopping on the way to buy a thermometer as mum, Lesley and my GP had nagged me to do. Half way to my destination I needed to sit down – I was worn out [definitely not normal]. On the return I stopped at my favorite café for a coffee and croissant. I only managed half the pastry… most definitely not normal. Once home, I decided to sit and do nothing else all day, except test out my new acquisition – possibly my best investment in a long time.
Slowly throughout the day my temperature increased. By 5pmish I was so tired I went to bed but unable to relax got up and stuck the thermometer under my tongue: 39.6*!!! Even I know that’s way too high. I quickly phoned my GP on his mobile and he came straight around [and I mean just that – he must have been in the vicinity because he was at mine 5 minutes after I hung up]. I phoned my sister to let her and mum know, unlike the previous time when I waited until a respectable hour to let them know I was in hospital. Lesley arrived a few minutes after the doctor who, having taken one look at me phoned for an ambulance and wrote out a lengthy report for me to hand to the emergency room doctor.
As my GP left, fifty euros richer, we waited. Meanwhile I grabbed a bag and threw in some toiletries, crossword puzzles, pen, glasses case, phone charger. Had I realized what was to happen next I would have packed more.
With the emergency vehicle’s arrival I told Lesley to go back home – mum can’t be left alone at night. She’s 93 with seeing difficulties.
Once again I found myself back in the emergency room undergoing the same tests. As much as I won’t knock the French medical system, but had they admitted me into hospital ten days previously then perhaps the infection wouldn’t have become so bad. This time they didn’t even quibble. By 10pm I was wheeled into a single room in the Pneumology department.
The night staff came in to insert some intravenous antibiotics and left me to sleep. Not long after they had gone my arm started to itch like mad. I switched the light on to find my veins were becoming red instead of the usual blue. I buzzed and they were there. They phoned the doctor who told them to remove the antibiotics – back to the drawing board then? The nurse kindly applied some lanolin milk and within thirty minutes it was itch-free.
I slept okay and woke to a breath-taking view. . . an uninterrupted sea view. The bubble would soon burst though. By lunchtime Tuesday I was told they needed the room for a patient who needed isolating so I was moved into a shared room. I don’t mind so much because it is always nice to have someone to chat to.
The room itself was okay and large enough so as not to feel crowded. The view of the café had its plus point… you could see who was coming and going – got to keep entertained somehow!
Again I couldn’t fault the hospital staff and with their care they were at least able to bring down my temperature and restore my breathing. The annoying dry cough still lingers.
I was discharged yesterday [Friday 22nd June]. An ambulance ferried me to my apartment just after 2.30pm – it was nice to be home.
It never ceases to amaze how, when you think you manage to get over one medical issue, another pops its ugly head.
During the last ten months I have spent more time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers than I have in my own flat.
Hopefully this is the last illness for a while. . . a long while.