In hospital weekends usually mean everything slows down. This isn’t the case on Intensive care and the day starts as normal. At least I’ve gone from feeling sorry I woke up to another day of absolute misery, to feeling grateful for the breath in my body and my slowly reducing dependance on oxygen. I’ve never had any chest issues ever. I’ve never smoked, not even tried so my lungs were always healthy. Breathing was something I totally took for granted. My lovely dad had emphysema and I had no idea what the struggle for breath was like until now. I was still struggling to breathe and talk but I think it was improving. My Consultant came to see me, he looked stressed and tired. I pointed to the left drain and he looked crestfallen as he struggled to find the words to reassure me. There weren’t any really so after checking my notes and talking to the doctors, he told me he was going away for a few days and his colleague would pop in on me in his absence. I’ve met his colleague before and I like her. No nonsense, straight talking, factual – no sugar coating which ultimately just leads to disappointment.
I became aware of the enormity of what I had been through and realised I was the only patient conscious in this room. The man to my right was in an induced coma and they were lessening the sedation. His family would visit and make conversations with him to try and stimulate his brain into waking up. The even had a door bell to replicate the one at home and would press it and shout to him ‘Can you get that Dave’ to see if it triggered a response. I think they were having some small success but still brain stem tests were being considered which understandably distressed the family greatly. There were other patients there but I think they were all unconscious. I felt positively healthy compared to everyone else but I knew my battles were very much ongoing. Team Topsy arrived ( Stephen, Lyns and Chris) and the practicalities of life began to hit me. I became fixated on paying my marks and Spencer card as I always pay it off in full. I asked lyndsey to take my iPad and log into my account. I couldn’t remember passwords that I had known for years but we got there in the end. Stephen has never paid a bill and I deal with everything financial, maybe not such a good plan after all.
My lungs at least were getting better and I didn’t feel quite as awful as I had done. I was classed as a very poorly patient when I got here but I was now a poorly patient and talks of going to HDU ensued. The oxygen mask was far less intrusive but I still needed it for the moment.