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

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