Phew! We made it… The final part…
So while my chest / lungs were still making their presence known, so was the pain in my right side, kidney area or so we thought, obviously I had only had kidney stones removed via keyhole surgery a week or two previous, so my respiratory consultant (Dr Shaw)
Was concerned there may have been another kidney stone lurking around that may have been missed the first time, so my consultant contacted the urologist that preformed the surgery, and between them they decided on an ultrasound of my right kidney but to our surprise and some relief the scan revealed nothing… 👍 however the pain seemed to be getting more and more intense to the point of being unable to stand up from the bed / chair and walking was just impossible as the pain was excruciating, even the slightest movement the pain was horrendous… anyway like all this wasn’t enough I was and still am experiencing spontaneous spasms too, in hospital they were able to remove the end of the bed so that I had nothing to kick, but at home our bed has a wooden frame so I’m unable to remove the foot board, so I use pillows and A LOT of them, so after another discussion with my respiratory consultant the next day and with no improvement with the pain they decided to organise a CT Scan with contrast, this scan was nearly unbearable and involved a lot of tears due to having to lay flat on my back, the pain was just horrendous to the point it quite literally took my breath away and I had to be given supplemented oxygen and something to try and relax me enough for them to complete the scan, once able to catch my breath they proceeded and although the scan lasted about 5 minutes it felt like hours, once complete I had to try and sit upright and manoeuvre back into a wheelchair for the porters to return me back to the ward. I didn’t see any doctors again that day, but during the next day I saw multiple doctors, some that I’d never met before apart from obviously my respiratory consultant, he said we have good and bad news… good news is = No kidney stones 👍 / Bad news is = CT Scan revealed multiple wedge fractures in the lower part of my back 👎 which were most definitely caused by long term oral steroid use (Prednisolone) which I’d been taking for years – I’m on what’s called a “maintenance dose” depending on symptoms etc is to what maintenance dose you’d be on obviously everyone is different, however despite this the dosage would always be increased for a short time if you were having an asthma attack for example. (Please note not all asthmatics require steroids – As I don’t want to scare anyone)
I’ve also reduced 2″ in height – but as my consultant kept reminding me I wouldn’t be alive today without these evil little tablets – to say we were all in shock was an understatement as I have regular DEXA scans which my last was back in January which revealed nothing to be concerned about. Anyway I was then seen by the pain management team to make sure I was on the correct pain relief and the correct doseage as up until this point I was unable to stand, was a bit trial and error but we managed to get it right in the end. I was also seen by a rheumatology consultant who I’ll now be under the care of – he started me on a 14 day infusion of Calcitonin to try and help the fractures but this drug alone had some nasty side effects (Fevers / Nausea / Stomach Cramps – to name but a few) but I wanted to carry on despite these, hey I’d suffered with the pain etc for months, what was a few more days? Don’t get me wrong I felt awful and actually scared a few people by how unwell I was looking (They didn’t mention that until afterwards) Calcitonin was administrated via a huge injection into muscle and OMG! That was painful.
Yes in the picture below is a frozen bottle of orange juice behind my head to try and help my fever!
I was then given the diagnosis of Osteoporosis – Everyone including the doctors were in complete shock as this is something that would normally effect someone double my age (Just proves that no illness has a time / age limit nowadays) I will be on treatment for the rest of my life to try and prevent more fractures as due to my chest stopping steroids isn’t an option – unfortunately my consultant is right in the fact that I NEED the steroids to remain alive, that is literally the harsh reality. While all this was happening I was also seeing a physiotherapist on the ward daily to try and help with movement, as the slightest movement was just horrendous but I wasn’t giving up (anyone that knows me well, knows I’m not a quitter) anyway due to my surprise my physio that I used to see previously as an outpatient turned up and although he was brutal, he managed with encouragement to first get me to stand and then also to walk a few steps aided (zimmer frame) which was absolutely excruciating but I felt he had time for me, he returned the next day and gradually I was able to walk further, I have every respect for him – as he took the time to explain things to me in English and not medical speak and also answered the multitude of questions that I had, and I will forever be grateful for that as I was and obviously still am absolutely terrified. Currently I’m unable to walk without a back brace that looks somewhat like a parachute and crutches, I will have these for the rest of my life however in the future I shouldn’t need them as often as I do at the moment.
In total I spent the best part of 6 weeks in hospital (kidney Stones / Asthma exbauation / Lower Back Fractures – Osteoporosis) Since being discharged its been somewhat of a rollercoaster mentally and physically.
Believe me I appreciate none of the above is far from funny… but – #Snapchat had to make an appearance every now and again…