I’m back in hospital so this will be put on later. It’s Sunday morning and I’ve been in since the early hours of Friday, although it feels like a week already. Thursday night I couldn’t sleep because of a heavy feeling in my chest making me breathless, as though I had something pressing in my chest all the time. Sitting up, lying down, propping myself up on pillows made no difference. I didn’t sleep at all and by 4 am decided to call out the ambulance. They did their checks, couldn’t find any significant problem – again – and wanted me to see my GP next day. I related my previous experience of being told the same thing and then the situation deteriorated quickly, so one of them grudgingly said, ‘We’ll take you to hospital, then.’ I said no, it was four-thirty and only four hours to wait for the GP surgery to open. He insisted. We were in a strange situation in which they did a complete U-turn but the atmosphere was somewhat chilly on the way to the hospital.
A&E was crowded as usual, people on trolleys lining the corridors. I was taken to Resus (Resuscitation) ward as there were no cubicles in A&E. Next to me an elderly lady kept the nurses occupied every minute by trying to get off her trolley and go home, drip line and all. She had a urinary infection, which can cause delirium and confusion. There were a couple of young men on the ward, too.
After a long time a nurse took a blood sample and I was sent for a chest X-ray. Four hours after being admitted I was told there was no significant change to the heart since the last X-ray in January (yay!), or fluid on my lungs, but I had fluid in the abdomen and would be kept in to stabilise it and sort out the tablets, since I’d been having trouble for a fortnight.
So here I am back on the ward, having been given an intravenous drip of Furosemide diuretic yesterday. That relieved the feeling of pressure. It’s now Sunday morning 4th June, people are waking up at 6.30 am, the sun is shining at an unnatural hour for us heavy sleepers, and my son and his wife will be returning soon from a business trip in the Lake District. He wanted to come back on Friday but I said no because they’ve done a lot of running around for me over the last few months and their work has suffered as a result.
Before I came in I was on a waiting list for an echocardiogram test, a simple ultrasound test of the heart that takes about fifteen minutes. Telford hospital said they would send an appointment out at the end of June or in July. I saw the consultant yesterday and he did the test on the ward, cutting out another three months’ waiting time. ‘Your heart is struggling,’ he said, and proposed a pacemaker either this week if I stay in or in the next three weeks if they send me home. Considering the fact I fell off the system back in February and might have a further waiting time of possibly four months, I elected to stay in. The night shift has just handed over to the day shift and I’m on a ward full of old boys. Just been told I’m to start a new drug, one which helps the heart but doesn’t lower the blood pressure as much as the drugs I’ve been taking.