I can finally write about what happened to me last week!
This is a very full and frank account of the events which lead to my neglect of the blog last week. Please feel free to skip over the details!
After uploading last Tuesday’s post, I sat in bed and read for a while, taking my scheduled medication at 10.00 p.m. Just as I had finished doing that, a massive coughing attack hit and I dashed to the loo with my bucket, inhaler and water bottle. The coughing bout lasted around fifteen to twenty minutes, much longer than usual, and it was so fierce that I totally lost control of my body functions. I could feel my chest straining to suck in air and my ribs began to hurt. My temperature rose until I could see that my skin was a deep red. I coughed up phlegm into the bucket and was continually sick. My heart was thumping in my chest. I really thought that I had reached the end of the line.
Elder Son, alerted by my frantic bangs on the bathroom wall (Lovely Husband was playing loud music downstairs and couldn’t hear what was going on), ran into the room and tried his best to help. He was my absolute hero that evening. Usually, after a cough of this magnitude, I recover fairly quickly. I go back to bed and rest until everything has calmed down, then sleep it off. This time, unfortunately, I didn’t really recover. My heart continued to beat very hard and I felt alternately hot, then cold. I was very confused, terrified and panicking.
I am not sure of the timescale now, as I was really “out of it”, LH called an ambulance and, eventually, two paramedics arrived in a car. They were brilliant and really helped to control the situation, doing loads of checks and taking my medical history, but they realised that my heart was showing rather odd readings. To cut a long story a bit shorter, they called for an ambulance, which took a very long time to arrive. They also rang and arranged a bed for me in the hospital where I am usually monitored for my respiratory issues. In other words, I wouldn’t have to go through the A&E system.
Between us, we decided that LH should stay at home to support Elder Son (who has ASD) and so I was taken into hospital, arriving around 04.00. I was lucky enough to be put into a single room with its own toilet. The staff did the usual checks and then hooked me up to a heart monitor for the next few hours. I was still very frightened and now alone, but various people popped their heads through the door from time to time. I didn’t sleep much!
Early in the morning, at around 07.30, I was thoroughly checked over by a junior doctor who filled in what looked like a very detailed document. It was difficult to describe everything properly as I was still quite confused, traumatised and really exhausted. Usually, in similar circumstances, LH does the talking as he has a really detailed knowledge of all my health conditions. Eventually a lovely lady brought me loads of cups of tea and a nice breakfast. I then waited for a few more hours.
After discussing my condition with a consultant, it was finally agreed that I was showing bigeminy, a kind of miss-beat in the normal heart rhythm. He didn’t seem overly concerned and said that it had probably been aggravated by my cough, anxiety and an infection. I was advised that they will investigate further and that I will be contacted with a view to wearing a 48 hour heart monitor. Quite a few years ago, when I was still working, I had something similar, so we will see what results.
After this, I was discharged and LH arrived to take me back home. It took me most of the week to recover, both physically and mentally, back to my “normal” as I was so shaken up. LH and ES were both very upset, as you can imagine, and have had to deal with it all.
So, I wasn’t really up to writing blog posts! I did manage to read quite a lot, once my concentration improved. I am now reasonably OK and hope that further investigations result in reassurance for us all. I have had a few more quite serious coughing attacks in the days since, but none as bad as Tuesday night’s.
Sorry if I worried anyone. I did shout out on Facebook and my friends were very kind and supportive, as they always are. I was very frightened at the time.
I am still very scared, but am trying to blot that out by keeping my mind occupied. There is a hairdresser’s appointment to go to tomorrow, so I will try my best to get there. I also need to return and pick up some library books. Hopefully, I will be able to write a “normal” blog post tomorrow afternoon – I will have to show you my new hairdo, after all!
Very best wishes to you all,