Being back in hospital…

When I was at home over the last few days before coming in, with this ever swelling face, I was stressed about how I ‘should’ be, or the things I ‘should’ be doing. I’ve got an event to get to but I’m not feeling well enough. Am I going to be well enough to go to work tomorrow? Is this serious? Should I go to the GP? Should I go to A&E? Is it getting more swollen? Are the antibiotics working? All I feel like doing is moping around when I should be better. Why aren’t I getting better?

Being in hospital almost feels like permission to just be ill, that it’s ok to be so. Really, I feel ok apart from head pain and the uncomfortable-ness of the swelling. It’s not like other times I’ve been in hospital. Don’t get me wrong I still feel shitty, but I don’t feel like I’m dying. And I think I feel better for being in here because I can just sit and rest. I don’t have to run around and pretend I feel fine.

Being admitted also gave me justification that I am ‘actually ill’. I um-ed and ah-ed at going into A&E, feeling a bit silly to take up A&E time for a bit of swelling, but now they’re taking it seriously enough to actually admit me, that’s given me validation that I was right to go in. I don’t tend to think every little thing is serious, I suppose I tend to go the opposite way in which I assume everything is fine, which can be difficult in situations when you’re told to monitor yourself and make decisions of what’s best to do!

So I think it’s quite good to be here. I’ve got people keeping an eye on me, I’m forced to just sit and relax, I’ve got some time to write… It’s all worked out well, really.

Except for the cannula and the antibiotics. This is extra pain I would prefer to avoid, it’s an ongoing drama. There are so many nuances with using veins for cannulas. It is very rare they can cannulate me first time. If they try in the inside of the elbow and it fails, they can’t try that vein again further down. If they try in the hand first and it fails, they can then move up to wrist then inside the elbow. So starting low means more options and more chances. BUT veins in the hand are usually a LOT more painful to put drugs through. So I obviously want them to try for the inside-elbow, but that cuts out options if it fails. And it usually fails. It feels quite desperate at times.

Yesterday they tried in my left wrist which was so painful and they ‘almost’ got it but didn’t quite. That left a nice bump and bruise. Next they decided to try my right inside elbow (is there a better name for that part?). He spent a long time ‘examining’ my arm after applying the tourniquet, learning the lay of the land as it were, desperate to get it right. We all were. I willed my veins not to run away when he went in, as they are well known for doing. And………. SUCCESS! It didn’t even hurt when he put it in (other than the actual ’tiny scratch’ of the needle going through my skin). Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be like! Everyone was very relieved that it was successful. I don’t want to jinx it but so far it hasn’t caused me too much issue. It hurts having it in, but the antibiotics haven’t started burning yet so I’m going to count that as a success so far. He was so worried I would pull it out accidentally that he made them bandage it up.

The antibiotics though… they’re called clindamycin. I got sent home with them in tablet form from A&E and they weren’t working so now I’m having it by IV. I posted a pic of my tablets on my Instagram story and someone messaged me saying they put a horrible taste in your mouth. I was like ummm… ok… not knowing what she was talking about. Then they brought me in and hooked me up to the stuff and at about minute 40 of the hour infusion, it flooded my senses. It was in my mouth, in the back of my nose. I’m not sure what it tastes like… just gross. Maybe like washing your mouth out with that antibacterial gel that you use on your hands. Yeah, that. Gross, but cool science when something can go into your arm and you taste it in your mouth.

Anyway, I’ll be here at least for the weekend, hopefully will get out early next week but it all depends on the swelling, which we think is going down a little bit but not in any haste.

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