Sunday, 21 August 2011

Spots. lumps and hospickle!

Having thought I was through with many things hospickle, my body decided otherwise. While quietly sitting on the sofa watching a Harry Potter film, my face suddenly felt as if it was flaming. My cheeks were red and hot and mysterious red lumps were coming up! I took my temperature a couple of time during the film and my temp was over 37.5oC. Usually 38oC is the number that precipitates calls to the Oncology ward, but continued temps over 37.5 also send alarm bells ringing. Coupling the temperature with my now alarming appearance it was time to call the ward.

A scary sight on a Saturday night.
Twenty questions or so later we were summoned into Northampton. I rapidly packed my nightie and toiletry bag plus meds, along with a number of pastimes (books, ipod, DS). Later I discovered I should also have remembered towel and toothbrush - doh!
Because the Oncology ward was very busy, we waited for the many stages of assessment to be performed. A heart trace was done and bloods taken to check my platelets and white blood cell count. The heart trace was interesting as the machine malfunctioned twice and the tracing looked as if my heart was having a volcanic event. After waiting over two hours and having no evidence of the blood test results, the Staff Nurse decided, at midnight, that I should stay the night at the hospital. However there were no beds on the Oncology ward. A porter was summoned and I, along with my belongings, was piled into a wheelchair and whizzed, with Mr G trotting along side to the other side of the hospital. I found myself in the female bay of the surgical ward. I must say the staff were fantastic and made me feel most welcome, a feat at half past midnight. As I had managed to completely miss an evening meal I was given some cheese and tomato sandwiches and a cup of milk. I was a bit beyond cheese and tomato sandwiches (as very tired) so ate about half and collapsed into bed. My night was a fairly typically hospital night of fitful, interrupted sleep. I was awoken by the haemotologist arriving at 6am to take blood from the other four women in my bay. I then had a LONG wait until midday when the house officer finally arrived from the Oncology ward. I told her I felt fine and wanted to go home. She checked with the Registrar. It was decided I could go home there and then. The paperwork was completed in about 20 minutes! It is utterly amazing how quickly some things can be done.
I'm lucky, I was in less than 24 hours. It was a stark reminder that the fat lady has yet to sing. I won't be over the last cycle of chemo until Thursday or Friday, and will be a bit more vulnerable to infection until my system completely recovers from the battering it has received.