So here goes with “Part two”… My lungs

My lungs aren’t very good at being lungs!…

First things first… So I escaped hospital on the Thursday after having my kidney stone surgery (read previous blog post) obviously still in a lot of pain, but breathing / lung wise everything seemed good or so we thought… the start of the following week I was starting to feel very chesty, it felt extremely heavy / wheezy and tight so I started my usual “rescue pack and increased my nebulisers” I hoped and prayed I’d caught it early enough… Mmmmmm by Wednesday things were getting really bad to the point where I had to give in and call the on-call doctor who just happened to be my own GP 👍 she insisted on seeing me in person, but could tell from the phone conversation or lack of that I was struggling, so I headed to the surgery about 3 miles from where I live and she didn’t hesitate to start me on back to back nebulisers of salbutamol and ipratropium.

Unbeknown to me at this time while I was concentrating on breathing another GP was calling an ambulance… 🚑 the ambulance arrived and among other things they tried to get a cannula in my arm but failed multiple times in the end they gave up as they were wasting valuable time, as the time they were wasting trying to find a vein I could have been at the hospital receiving the treatment I so desperately needed. Bournemouth Hospital is literally about 4 miles away from my GP surgery so the paramedics decided I required “Blues and two’s” and we headed to the hospital where I was taken straight to AMU (Acute Medical Unit) although should have gone via A&E as I was deteriorating so quickly (but that’s for another post) I was finally cannulated multiple times… seriously I mean why have one when ya can have a matching pair… and as my veins are extremely rubbish they had to go into my feet 👣

I was then given the usual… nebulisers / multiple ABGs / Increased steroids from 40mg to 60mg / Oxygen / Chest X-Rays / the list goes on… – I also saw my respiratory consultant who just happened to be on emergency duty that day, he’s been my consultant for many years so knows me very well and also my reluctancy to stay in hospital but as he was hearing very little air entry, the smallest amount of wheeze despite the back to back nebulisers (no air) and literally nothing or very little getting to the base of my lungs so he gave me no choice but to stay… honestly by this point I was feeling so rough that I really didn’t care, or have the energy or breath to argue…

I was then moved to Ward 2 (Respiratory @ Bournemouth Hospital) I’m always very reluctant to go to this ward because I watched my mum die on this ward 8 years ago, but the nurses and doctors and everyone inbetween have always been absolutely lovely to me… and because I always end up on this ward I don’t need to explain my history which when you’re struggling with every breath it’s a god send… Anyway on arrival to the ward my breathing was getting worse by the minute and the critical care team plus my consultant were waiting for me, at this point my consultant took one look at me and prescribed IV aminophylline (which is a miracle drug for me) I take this orally on a daily basis anyway, but when struggling IV is definitely the way forward 👍 they also decided to catheterise me as the slightest movement caused extreme breathlessness and excruciating pain.

After a few days things were starting to turn around, the wheeze and air entry were improving slowly basically until a night a couple of days later where my lungs had turned into an internal alarm clock and again wanted their presence known and woke me with a horrendous wheeze and unable to catch the little breath I had at this point, the nurses paged the doctor on-call overnight and also ICU, I was reviewed by all these doctors and between them an ICU bed was reserved for me, they did multiple ABG’s (Blood Gases) a portable chest x-ray, increased my oxygen and started back to back nebulisers again – it was about 3am by this point, so the other patients on the ward must have literally hated me. The doctors also decided to stop the aminophylline infusion temporarily to start a magnesium infusion, but once the magnesium infusion had finished the aminophylline was restarted and after a bit of time things became settled again slowly, but I was absolutely exhausted (breathing is a tiring business) instead of being taken to ICU I was moved to the Acute Lung Unit for closer monitoring, I was attached to literally every monitor machine possible (Heart rate / Blood pressure / Oxy meter – you get the gist)

So I was allowed to stay in the Acute Lung Unit on the proviso that if things deteriorated in anyway that I would be heading to ICU but the Acute Lung Unit at that time was the next best thing for now, however I remained under critical care for a few days and as the days went on things were improving just very slowly… there were still a few bumpy days ahead where they tried to wean my aminophylline infusion down a tad to fast and to soon and my lung protested, but eventually after many days (nearly two weeks) they managed to wean me off the aminophylline infusion altogether… then the focus became the amount of pain I was experiencing in my right kidney area, which had been continuous throughout all of the above… but obviously my breathing took priority… (Explain more about that in part 3 – bet ya can’t wait huh?!?)

There were “some” positives about being in hospital, I experienced the very rare NHS pedicure 👍

Even managed to squeeze in a bit of 🎾 Wimbledon… into my tight schedule… 👍

🎾 Well that’s game / set and match for this post 🎾 Stay turned for part 3… if all this wasn’t enough – yes there is more to the story…

To be continued!… See ya in Part 3…

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