“I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing
Just praying to a God that I don’t believe in” – The Script
So, no sooner has January been put to bed, then a freaky start to Febraury begins…
Saturday night was hell, and one I won’t forget in a hurry… I’d been munching my way through carrots during the afternoon, and didn’t feel so good. But after our meal/dinner, things went downhill. At 7ish, I started getting a tight, crampy pain in my stomach. For an hour or so I just put this down to normal(ish) indigestion or a reaction to my diet. Then, the throwing up started and the pain got much worse… I had taken codeine before throwing up and started worrying why this was having zero affect.
So, off to the hospital we go (approx 9ish). I hate the idea of going to hospital, if I think it may be unecessary, and have to be dragged there as an unwilling patient. However, I’m glad we went and got it all checked out. I could barely speak so Steffen had to do most of the talking. To be honest the receptionists and the initial ‘on-call’ doctor were not so pleasant with me – not sure if that’s because I was unable to speak Danish , unable to speak much at all, or just not a pretty enough site to look at. But Steffen handled it in Danish anyway, and translated. To be honest, if I hadn’t been in so much pain, then I would have managed it a lot better, but I allowed myself to not feel guilty about the language for once, given the circumstances. The initial wait for the ‘on-call’ doctor was a long, painful hour or so for me, but I was just glad I was in a safe place. After a brief examination, he referred me to their Gastroenteritis department for ‘observation’, thinking it was something that would just go away and probably just either trapped wind or something disagreeable that I’d eaten.
Well, I got a lot more than ‘observation’ by the time we’d made our own way to the Gastroenteritis section (approx 11ish). I was bombarded with tests and examinations. It was here that the level of care and medical attention vastly improved. ‘Observation’ here included:- urine sample, testing my own temperature (never stuck something up my arse before, so that was new), more hands on examination by both Doctor and nurse, blood sugar test, 4 blood samples, painkiller (again, up the arse, in case of need to operate), an invasive internal examination (both front and rear) and finally, morphine! I do remember briefly ‘panic thinking’:- “shit! I haven’t shaved my legs!” and being slightly annoyed with myself for being so slack! But the 2 (thankfully) females carrying out all this work were professional, amazing and (to my relief) had no problems speaking to me in English. I managed to recite my CPR number to them in Danish but that’s as much as I could muster at the time. It was a good test for them to see if I’d pass out, right after taking the blood. But the pain! It was just a nightmare, softened a little by the initial rectal painkiller. The 2 of them worked very quickly and I had a huge en-suite room to myself!
As for the morphine – I’ve never had it before – and it was absolute bliss, totally took the edge off! Also, I didn’t think it could work so quickly. I can see why you can’t get it over the counter, it must be the best drug in the world and probably highly addictive. It was around this time (approx 1:30am) I was left to sleep and rest for a while, and things started to improve a little.
Throughout the whole experience, the nurse was literally the world’s best nurse! She was kind, thoughtful, gentle and really supportive. They concluded that my white blood cell count was high, but not too much to worry about at this stage and that the pain was probably being caused by gallstone(s). I now have to get an ultrasound before they decide what to do next, but it may involve removing my gallbladder, which apparently you can live without. They talked a little about gallstones and told me that many people have them and don’t even realise. Medical attention only seems to be required if/when they start to cause problems…
I’m back at home now and taking it easy. I had waves of nausea yesterday and my stomach is still very sensitive, so am not eating a whole lot. I just hope it doesn’t happen again and I get the ultrasound thing done soon. At least I know what to expect now and can act on it quicker if it does happen, and I have a spare rectal painkiller with me, just in case!
I managed to get the nurse’s name and will be sending her a card to say thanks, it’s the least I can do after all the work she did and subjecting her to my unshaven legs, smelly sick breath and state of poor health. And, as for poor Steffen – he was a huge help here and handled it all very well! It’s a little worrying to be ill in a foreign country but they both helped make it seem a lot less scary than it could have been 🙂