Another setback

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Tuesday 17th to Sunday 22nd March

I couldn’t actually breathe. I was very scared. Pneumonia.

So after what seemed like an absolute age, and various tests being done, off I went back to intensive care. I had to have this mask on as soon as I got there, which was so tight on my face and it felt like I was hanging my head out of a car window going 100mph. It was so horrible and uncomfortable. I was pumped full of more antibiotics, steroids and whatever else, which again didn’t make me feel too good. The mask made my mouth so dry, I just wanted something cold to drink. Everyone just wanted to feed me up to try and get me stronger but I just didn’t want to eat. How can you when your mouth is extremely dry and your led in bed – the food just can’t go down! Plus the fact that the hospital food was not exactly appetising. Anyway eventually the big mask came off and I had a little plastic mask, until the pneumonia went.

I think I was a bit more with it this time, just the fact that I couldn’t breathe, as I don’t remember any more adventures. The drugs obviously did what they were supposed to and I eventually recovered. I should have gone back to the ward but then my potassium level went high for some reason so I was given some more drugs for that, but I had to stay where I was for a bit longer.

As I recovered I was allowed to get out of bed, stand and sit in a chair for a short time and I learnt to walk again. The physios came to help me start doing all this. You would never think it would be such hard work and so tiring. It took all my energy and concentration to just stand at first, my legs were so weak. Even sitting in the chair got uncomfortable after a while. Then there was the walking. To me it was like running a marathon but it also felt so good to be out of that bed and able to do it, even with the physios’ help, as I think I thought at this stage that I wouldn’t ever be able to walk again :/

Some of the nurses in intensive care I didn’t look forward to seeing when one shift ended and the new one started. But most of them were great. Very professional in the way they went about things. And a few were so caring and kind and didn’t mind doing ANYTHING for me. And these were the ones that I got to know a bit, talked to them about my family, their families and anything else. 

It was here that Kate visited me. Kate has had 3 liver transplants (so she’s one up on me!!) Robyn first read about Kate on the NHS Organ Donor Facebook page when I was waiting for my transplant. I had just started to write my blog and so was interested to find and read hers. Robyn kept in contact with her and as she had to come to Birmingham for a follow up clinic appointment, they arranged that she would come and visit me. It was great to see and talk to someone that had been through what I was going through. (There is absolutely NO WAY you can even begin to realise until it’s happening to you. So bloody tough ๐Ÿ˜•) To see her looking so well, telling me things that had happened to her, giving me some tips, made me a bit more determined to keep going, as trying to do even the simplest things took a massive effort from me, and sometimes my body just didn’t seem to want to do anything I asked it to. Very frustrating.

I know you helped Robyn and Leah too with some of your advice. So thanks Kate. Looking forward to your next visit ๐Ÿ‘

I moved beds a few times while in intensive care but the last move was where I had the most ‘fun’ one night. The male nurse was so friendly and made me so comfortable in the bed (which some of the nurses just didn’t seem able to do). Just simple things like that made a massive difference. He told me about his son and that he and his wife wanted more children but it just didn’t happen and how expensive IVF was. He also said funny things to the nurse that was looking after the patient in the bed next to me and it was just a nice relaxed atmosphere. I was also feeling a tiny bit better in myself by this time so that also helped. I knew that they were looking to move me back to the ward quite soon and I wasn’t sure I actually wanted to leave. I wanted to stay with those two. I felt really safe with them. But I also realised that when their shift ended and different nurses came it just wouldn’t be the same. So – 

Bye ๐Ÿ‘‹ intensive care

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