What else would I do when I’ve woken up after 2 hours of sleep but feel like I’ve slept days away? This is the craziest feeling ever and my mind is going in overdrive!
I have no clue what happened…my own memory of what happened from Friday afternoon to Saturday at 5pm is gone. And I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. One minute it’s Friday morning, I’m not feeling great so spending the day in bed and watching the originals, then decide to have a sleep. I wake up and the first thing I register is the nurse standing right infront of me saying she’s happy to finally see me awake.
Laugh if you will, it sounds funny when I re tell it, and I’ve had a good laugh with the nurse. This was such a “think fast” moment, either there was a nurse in my bedroom or I had something wrong! I realised I wasn’t in bed, I knew I had missed something, and I knew if I didn’t reply she would think I was confused! So I smiled and answered her questions, no there was nothing she could get me, yes I was comfortable, yes I was sure. But then I lay still for a few minutes, collecting it all in, I knew these surroundings, I knew I’d clearly missed something big…I had just woken up in ITU, it clearly wasn’t Friday afternoon anymore!
My first question: sorry, but can you tell me what day it is please?
“Saturday, 15th August, 5pm” okay so I was right, it wasn’t Friday. “Are you sure you’re ok Jo? How are you feeling?” Time for my next big question: I feel a bit strange, I don’t even know why I’m here.
“Why you’re here? Would you like me to tell you?” I’ll be honest, I was in two minds. (Clearly one of them was not my own!) But I said yes, I couldn’t stop wondering why she was glad I was “finally awake”.
I was told I had been admitted from a&e. But why? Last I remembered I was in my own bed managing ok. She told me I had been given aminophylline and had another serious reaction to it. I knew it must have been bad. Here’s how my time pieced together:
1- mum came and checked on me Friday tea time, my peak flow was 220 and so she suggested a&e. I didn’t argue and we came to the royal.
2- I was put in resus within 5/10 minutes of arriving. I was stabbed over 15 times in 5 different places for an ABG sample but my body just wasn’t cooperating.
3-I was reviewed by a number of different teams and after the usual treatment of nebs, magnesium and steroids I was no better so they wanted to try aminophylline. I’ve had it twice before and not had a good time with it either of those times.
4-I had been struggling a while and had gotten pretty desperate. I agreed to give anything a go that may actually help. We explained to the nurses and doctors how I usually react.
5- I had what I presume is the loading dose, and showed the side effects I normally show. High heart rate and resps, altered blood pressure, flushed skin, but my breathing still didn’t improve.
6- after some time the decision was made to start the next bag of aminophylline and continue with the infusion. Again, I must have felt pretty desperate and the bag was started.
7- half an hour later I told my sister that I couldn’t keep my eyes open, but not because I was tired, I felt spaced out and drowsy. She told me to shut my eyes anyway and apparently I did. That was the last time I had them open for 14 hours.
8- my GCS dropped. I became less responsive. People were pinching me, squeezing my shoulders (which are surprisingly sore!) checking my reflexes, opening my eyes, shining lights in them, shouting my name and asking me to do things. I would only react to pain. My GCS was marked at 6.
9- they stopped the aminophylline. I didn’t wake up. I was given so much time and depending on what happened in that time determined if I would be sent to ITU or HDU.
10- I went to ITU after first getting a head CT.
11- I was set up in ITU…seems like a simple step, but I’m presuming I got everything, monitoring, changed beds, changed into a gown, swabs, pressure area checks. I didn’t ask about this part…but I guess it would have happened. I came onto ITU at around half 6 Saturday morning.
12- my nurse talked to me all day as if I could hear her. I didn’t respond to any of her commands, still just reacted to pain, more blood gases, blood cultures after I spiked a temperature, usual bloods sent etc. I showed no reaction to a bed bath, a catheter, getting my hair brushed, having my pressure areas checked again.
13- around 12 o’clock I attempted to squeeze the nurses hand on command. My first sign of improvement.
14- I don’t know what time my family came to visit but I smiled at jokes my dad made, started nodding and shaking my head slightly to communicate what I wanted. My second sign of improvement.
15- at around 4pm I started mumbling one word answers when the nurses where trying to get me comfortable. My third improvement.
16- I finally opened my eyes.
I had an hour to figure out the main steps with my nurse explaining and then my family came to visit, filled in some large gaps.
I started this at around 2.30 Sunday morning. I have to keep telling myself what day it is. I was overwhelmed yesterday catching up on Facebook and messages etc. Thank you everyone.
But it all doesn’t feel right still. My head is crammed with things that happened, questions I keep asking myself, and fears that I may remember for myself what went on. What if I actually was in some way aware of what was happening around me? I know I was alert from Friday afternoon right through until around 3am Saturday and that’s gone…so what happens if I was in there between 3am and 5pm? If they caused enough pain squeezing my shoulder or my ear or rubbing my sternum I reacted…I had to be in there to react. It’s not like I was just gone for that whole time. What if I could hear the nurse explainl things to me? What if in my head I was thinking “oh no you’re not gonna do that to me” but then because I couldn’t show it I had to go through it. It’s a crazy thought, and I’m glad it didn’t happen that way to me! I guess that’s the only reason I’m glad I don’t remember what I went through.
It’s strange having people talk to me about the 24 hours I don’t remember, especially the ITU admission. “Oh you’re looking so much better than when I last saw you”…thanks but I have no clue, not one single recollection of the time you saw me looking worse than now. I have people coming to see me that went home after the night shift and last saw me pretty unresponsive and then they come back to work and I’m awake and trying to sort through it all. Crazy. That’s all I can think of it all.
Still just getting my head around all the facts…what a really weird thing to experience. Maybe it’s for the best I don’t remember anything?