I was discharged from hospital in Edinburgh on 9th April - earlier than I would have been had I been going home, but I went from RIE to my mum's and stayed with her and J for ten days. I'd have liked to stay longer, but I had to get home for various medical appointments - blood tests for immunology, blood tests for anaemia, an appointment with the GI surgeons, an appointment with my GP, an appointment with my psychologist...the list goes on.
I've had five or six weeks out of hospital, but then a week ago I woke up one morning and I was wheezing again. No warning, no apparent reason, no protracted relief from nebulisers. I persisted. I took things easy and didn't push myself. I kept a close eye on things. My lungs didn't ease up, and on Thursday I decided that I ought to get checked over by my GP. When I rang the surgery it turned out they were closing at midday for staff and doctor training, and it was already 11.40am (I'd had the gas man in changing my meter), so they had no appointments, but I mentioned to the new receptionist taking my call that my breathing wasn't very good and she said the doctor would call me. Five minutes later the lovely Dr T rang, said she could hear me wheezing, and that she would visit me at home. I tried to insist that I'd be okay to trundle to the surgery in my wheelchair, but the doctor said she'd much prefer to do a home visit. She knows me well. Dr T arrived within an hour, did a quick examination and assessment and said that she thought I needed to go to hospital, especially given that I was poorly enough to need a home visit. I applaud her stealth and sneakiness with that.
There were no beds on my usual ward at Freeman Hospital so I had no option but to go to A&E at RVI, and from there to the Emergency Admissions Unit (EAU). I was put in the monitoring bay - the part of EAU where the sickest patients go. It has a high turnover of patients with folk being moved in and out at all times of day and night. Lights are always being turned on and off as patients are attended to and tests are done. Monitors alarm constantly. Staff talk. Patients are ill. The patient who was next to me for twenty four hours shouted aggressive demands incessantly. I couldn't breathe and I was exhausted.
I came here on Thursday and it is now Sunday. I am still not breathing easily and I am utterly, utterly exhausted. At the insistence of one of the night shift nurses last night, who could see that the Monitoring Bay environment was doing me no good, I have been moved to a slightly quieter bay in the unit, thank goodness. But I am still exhausted. I am beyond exhausted.
It is only May and so far this year has been dreadful. This is my third hospital admission of the year, each one a battle for breath. No time to recover properly between admissions, and I'm done in. I can't keep doing this. I don't want to die, but I can't keep on like this either. I don't know what the answer is, and this isn't about feeling sorry for myself. I just don't have the strength, stamina, and energy any more to 'live' like this. I've run out of me.