I come to you today from my bed in cubicle 5, Ward 29 at Freeman Hospital, courtesy of my friend's mobile broadband whatsit thingummy.
After struggling on with pneumonia for six weeks at home, and with that setting up considerable inflamation in my lungs in an asthmatic way, I finally gave in at the end of last week. I emailed the ward Charge Nurse on Thursday evening, basically with a very miserable email saying that I knew he couldn't do anything through the ether, but I was fed up with things as they are and I could do with some advice as the infection just won't go away and I'm struggling. On the Friday morning I phoned my consultant and left a message on his secretary's answer machine, saying how things were and asking if the consultant could call me back. By mid-afternoon there'd been no return call so I rang again, this time getting through the secretary who took a very detailed message and said that she'd ask Dr H to phone me when he was finished with the patient he was seeing at the time. He called back about half an hour later and after a relatively brief conversation suggested that I come into hospital to get sorted out with IV antibiotics and IV aminophylline. I'm now back on the oral antibiotics, and the pneumonia at last seems to be abating, although there's still considerable inflamation in my lungs and improvement in asthmatic symptoms is slow, so I'm still on the supplemental oxygen and I'm still on the aminophylline infusion. The docs have now started to reduce the infusion a little, and I have to say that I'm not convinced by the success of this as my peak flows have dropped again (averaging 130 pre-nebuliser, and 180 post-nebuliser, which is better than it was before I came in), but we'll see how it goes.
One of the women from lung function came up yesterday to do my spirometry. She was quite shocked by very low FEV1 of 0.36 L and asked if I was waiting for a transplant! 'No,' I said, 'It's asthma.' To say she looked surprised is definitely an understatement, and I have to say that it left me feeling a bit shaken up that she should think that I was in need of a lung transplant :o/
I'm still not sleeping well and I'm incredibly tired. I know it's going to take a while to recover from this, because although I didn't reach the critical point, I did have a very long and protracted struggle at home, and not a particularly easy ride once I got to hospital. At least I seem to be on the mend now, but I could certainly do with some good quality sleep ... and perhaps a few less tubes would be good too.
I have to say that having use of my friend's dongle thingummy (why is it that the word 'dongle' cracks me up in a very childish manner? ;oP ) has made the world of difference. The Patientline TV/radio/telephone/games/internet unit above the bed is okay for everything except internet, and it all costs a small fortune. Actually, it's internet is completely useless and crashes at the first sign of being used on most occasions, rendering it almost completely useless. At least with this mobile broadband whatsit I can access the internet and keep in touch with my friends, and my OU peers ... although it has to be said that I have no brain at the moment to do any OU studies, which is a bit of a bugger seeing as my final project for my current course is due in in about three weeks time :oO !!!
Well, on that slightly panicked note I'm going to sign off for now and try to get a bit of rest.