January 20, 2017 will go down as big time memorable. Not because it was Mariana’s birthday (happy birthday M) but it was my first time ever doing an over-nighter in hospital. The freak show that is known as a public hospital ward is my new temporary home.
You’d think it was because of the squatter and my low blood count but no, it’s because of an unknown fever that reduced my blood pressure and increased my temp. I seriously thought that if this feeling of deathly fatigue, listlessness, and freezingness continues, death could be the preferred option. Not once, have I thought that about the squatter!
It all started in the wee hours of the morning when I felt all of the above symptoms and put it down to the anaemia but also wondered how in the hell am I going to last a full week before a transfusion. Once M woke from his pill induced slumber and absorbed my sleepless report, he promptly got on the phone to Jodie at the cancer care unit who advised an ambulance and Byron emergency where they could do a blood cross match and transfusion if required. Whilst the only health cover we choose is ambulance, we decided I could remain vertical enough to walk and sit upright in the car.
After 5 hours at Byron emergency of constant questions, poking, prodding and monitoring of BP, temp and some thing that provides info from a gadget on your finger, we were advised to go to Lismore emergency where they had all the tools to deal with the mystifying fever. Great. Hi ho hi ho, here we go – again.
Lying in Lismore triage I underwent the exact same tests and questions as they did at Byron yet interestingly produced different results! BP and temp were consistent but blood count wasn’t. How does that happen? After four hours in triage, I’m wheeled to the main emergency ward to continue being monitored. The fever strikes again and get this, I’m physically shivering from freezingness yet ‘they’ remove a blanket. I’m thinking this is a weird form of care. Apparently it’s to keep my temperature down, the body shakes to encourage the immune system to kick in and deal with the bug that’s causing the temp increase. What. Ever. I was freezing and shaking so much I had to focus on not spilling my tea.
It’s 8pm, we’ve spent all day in hospitals and I’m about to spend all night. I’m moved to somewhere deep in the bowels of the old part of the hospital but miraculously into my own room. Who needs private cover? Well perhaps private cover would provide a less antiquated cell-like room but hey it’s my own room. Unfortunately it doesn’t last. The single room is for infectious patients who need to be isolated and at 10 pm bang smack in the middle of the Federer/Berdych match, an infectious fucker takes priority and I’m moved to a 4 bedder with snoring Joy, late night TV viewing Bev and very poorly Pauline who is apparently part of the hospitals furniture. And worse… I’m on the corridor side and in the morning light I can see an intellectually disabled dude which explains the very uncomfortable full belly groans and shout-outs during the night. I selfishly think ‘that’d be my luck’ but also feel for him and his fellow ward mates.
Aside from the above disturbing vocals and being woken every hour until 2am for ‘obs’ I sleep well-ish. I’m surprised by how comfy the bed is and once I discovered where the up and down controls were, well, I naturally went to town. Lucky, I’m comfy cos I’m told I’m here for another night. Think I’ll give disabled dude a run for his money with one of my full bellied groans.