Visit to Hospital, recollections.
Sunday November 9th 2008.
The First 25 Hours.
I took my self (got a lift with Garry and Leigh, about 5.30pm) to the emergency room with an itchy chest (Bronchial) and"coughing blood". I was scared that I would drown or bleed to death in my sleep, some what irrationally in retrospect.
I had only just begun to prepare the evening meal (my only daily meal) when I hacked and spat out a mouthful of blood into the sink. Before this I thought it was a re-occurrence of bronchitis, which I am familiar with and have some methods of combating. But the sheer amount of blood and the frequency of the coughing fits, I became really, really concerned (read, scared but not outwardly panicked).
I showered and arranged a lift to the hospital, because it was Sunday and my doctor's office was closed (afaik).
I was met with disbelief by reception staff, I asked for something to spit into while I was waiting and was give a tubular white plastic bag with a solid plastic opening (flange) and was asked to take a seat. A nurse had tried to test my blood-oxygen level with an electronic device (not unlike a Fluke digital-volt-meter) with a finger clip, when she was looking at me and trying to force the clip on backwards, until I said how is this thing supposed to work? She realised the error and turned the thing around, and said I was fine, I asked how did she know and told her I was freaking out because of the amount of blood, she said to take a seat and that it would be a quite a while because of others ahead of me in the line, like I may as well give-up now. Seems to me they were more concerned about being taken advantage of rather than public health. I wonder if that was an administration thing or the "acclimatisation" of the emergency ward staff.
I waited about 2 hours, reading the newspaper (1st time in many years) and suppressing the coughing fits by by breathing shallowly, in which time I had still accumulated quite a bit of blood in the plastic bag. When my name was called I noticed from the corner of my eye the shock on one reception staffers face when she saw the blood in the bag I was holding as I walked past. I did not acknowledge her, as this was not a game of attention attraction. I also remember hearing someone in reception say "watch him he's up to something". This was questioned, and the reply was "I don't know what". Apparently I was far too relaxed to be in the kind of trouble I had described.
I got a visit from one reception nurse while I was in hospital as an in-patient, the same one with the finger clip, she spent about an hour chatting with me, I didn't recognise her until I left hospital days after, when organising my thoughts. At the time of her visit I was unsure why she was in my room sitting relaxed in a lounge-type chair, I even contemplated she might have been coming on to me (lol). But in retrospect I figure she was following-up, checking the basis of her first impressions, which allowed me to realise her real concerns may have been of a professional nature, as with all the staff I came into contact with, including the x ray technician, and the decisions she had made at the time we first met based on those first impressions.
I was looking, and asking, for a way to stop the bleeding which I felt had been caused by drawing to hard (obstinately) on a blocked cigarette. I roll my own cigarettes, and sometimes you can get circular slices just the right size to act as a plug across the filter (imo and afair that is what happened).
I got a thorough going over by an Emergency Doctor on duty (Kylie), and I tried to answer all the questions as best I could, I made some mistakes, like my normal and maximum weight which I said were 71kg and 78kg respectively, but I have never weighed 78kg, it should have been 68kg(when married) and 71kg (when 21yo), but my current weight generally, in the past eight years has been 64kg (survival mode), unknown to me at the time my weight had dropped below 60kg. Last I measured it was 63.5, which I was not concerned about.
Dr “Kylie” was very good, she examined me, took blood samples and asked lots of questions. I was sent for an chest/lung x ray and it was here that the complexity occurred. Funny side note, when I removed my shirts for Dr “Kylie” she commented on how it would be easy to get between my ribs, I had been reading the newspaper about some story of a stabbing in Townsville, and said, showing my hands and fore-arms, that she would have to get past these first. She was a bit put off, but I explained I had been reading about a stabbing in the paper, and then I realised she meant to be able to drain my lung, if necessary.
The person who examined the x ray had determined, all on his own with no consultation with any of the medicos working with me, that the x ray showed signs of TB (tuberculosis). The worst part about this was that in my current (written later) state, I was afraid for those I love and severely depressed (read, sad and worried), I was put in isolation with only a nurse coming in to check my vital signs periodically and take yet more blood samples and a young male Doctor who tried his best to explain to me what and why this was going on and that worked, but we were still waiting for the results of the blood tests (it was the time alone that allowed me to crash and burn again (mini breakdown)). That Doctor was also very thorough, he checked everything twice and consoled me, agreeing that it was almost impossible for me to have attracted TB. But for me, a hospital is a place where kind patronising is common place to ease a patients worries.
At one time I had told the nurse, "no more blood until I get some food to make more blood!", but she had her orders and took it anyway.
I did get some food when the shifts changed, two bread rolls with packets of margarine and jam. Also an energy drink and some fruit.
I realise now the first tests were inconclusive for signs of TB, so a second test was undertaken, and because I don't have TB all subsequent tests were also inconclusive (imo).
By about 3am I had to be given about 0.25 to 0.5 litre saline via drip because my "blood pressure had fallen to a dangerously low level". I believe (read, I know) that my Kung Fu training had come into play, I was keeping my body calm and reserving energy for what may come, I had verbalised my thoughts and needs, but the system had taken a different direction. The young male doctor had explained to me that if the x ray technician had confered with the staff on the floor they may not have jumped to the conclusion that I was a suspected TB carrier.
After 6 days of rest, food and the social interaction a hospital demands I was released to go home. I received a letter from the hospital telling me that the results of the tests will be revealed to me on the 20th of January 2009.
1 attachment, day 4.
Creation date: 2008-11-25 02:06
Note of a conversation.....With Damian. (DJ)
me: Gaday mate, a Lancer aye? I like them too, 'specially the newer ones, very smart.
DarkSaiyan: I'd love an Evo X! Hah! How're you feeling?
Sent at 14:23 on Monday
me: Pretty good now, still very tired. Lost a lot of blood, still waiting for the rest of the results from the scans and blood tests.
Sent at 14:24 on Monday
DarkSaiyan: they still have no idea?
Sent at 14:25 on Monday
DarkSaiyan's new status message - I'm not here right now 14:30
me: Not TB, thank motherNature!
Sent at 14:31 on Monday
me: I was kept in isolation for 25.5 hours, gas masks, air-locks and all. They kept coming for more blood, in the end I said, no more blood till I get some food to make more blood. Then they took it anyway, within the hour there was a big rush on, because my blood-pressure had dropped to a really dangerous level. I think my kungfu helped me there as I stayed conscious (chi) None of them could believe it!
Sent at 14:35 on Monday
me: They thought I must be on some superDrug. I also told them when I first arrived that I was coughing up cups of blood, and I was freaking out. I overheard one nurse say to a doctor, watch him carefully, he's up to something. I told the truth and answered every question as best I could, 5 times over. They still have questions. The nurse I spoke to first (the non-believer) ended spending an hour in my room a couple of days later trying to find out how I did it, but I didn't realise it was her till I got home a few days later. 28 years of kungfu saved my life, the survival skills, of conserving energy.
Sent at 14:40 on Monday
me: I hadn't eaten at all on Sunday. I told them that too.
DarkSaiyan's new status message - Gonna buy a Lancer... 14:43
DarkSaiyan: kickass! you're a legend
Sent at 14:44 on Monday
me: When the doctors finally arrived 9am Monday (non-Emergency staff) I had been declared as having TB by an exray reader, who new nothing else about me except the exrays reminded him of TB (he was Indian, thick accent) Then the Legislation took over and I was freaking out about thos I live for hours and hours.
"Those I love"
Sent at 14:46 on Monday
me: They were a bit shocked when I walked out as they walked in. I got as far as across the road (bus stop) before I realised that even if I did not agree with them, I still had a problem I could not fix. I told them that If I knew I would be still alive mon am, I would have stayed home. They did nothing except take blood and keep me in isolation.
Legend? anyone can do that, it's just training. Seems I have nerves of steel and emotions of jelly!
Sent at 14:50 on Monday
DarkSaiyan's new status message - I'm not here right now 14:52