Day 1 – 1 car, 2 ambulances and 3 hospitals
After realising the only way to go was hospital, my husband helped me into some clothes (I was insistent I couldn’t go out in my pyjamas…even in pain there are limits) and drove me to the Robert Peel. *Note to self – I need to invest in some clothes that are easy to pull on and off! The local hospital has only a minor injuries unit. When faced with my symptoms that morning (blood loss and pain in my left side) they questioned ectopic pregnancy and settled on anxiety…I’m not making this up. Thankfully they deemed this worthy of an ambulance call to take me to the nearest Emergency Dept. En route to Good Hope hospital in Sutton Coldfield the ambulance had to pull over and canulate me in order to give me morphine, the pain was unbearable by now. It was then that the paramedic questioned the diagnosis of ‘anxiety’ after asking me for my symptoms as he said it was the worst and most painful case of anxiety he’d seen. It was also at this time I discovered laughing was excrutiatingly painful when I misheard him ask me if I was a biker (on account of my trousers – which were incidentally L.A.M.B. combats by Gwen Stefani). I thought he asked if I was a ‘Pikey’! On arrival at Good Hope I was put in the already queuing line of stretchers along a wall of cupboards. Unfortunately my stretcher was in front of the ‘Towel & Linen’ cupboard which was continually opened which meant I was constantly shifted backwards and forwards causing more pain every time I was moved. Thankfully though this meant I was shifted forward to a cubicle sooner as I was obviously not looking good. After having my morphine topped up and observations taken I was left to wait for a doctor to assess me. The bleeding had appeared to stop, what I didn’t know was that it was actually clotting – this was established when I couldn’t supply a water sample. Before too long a doctor came and told me I’d be sent for a CT scan, it was still uncertain as to what was wrong but signs were pointing to a kidney problem due to the pain in that area. I was taken by stretcher down for the scan and moved onto the machine – by this time I couldn’t move myself at all for the pain. The scan seemed to take ages as I was moved in and out of the tunnel and the dye fed through me, it was later I found out why. From the scan I was taken to a bed in the clinical assessment unit to await results. While I lay there I quite clearly heard nurses discussing me and the words ‘she hasn’t been told yet’, this was more than a little disconcerting. When a doctor arrived to see me he explained they had found a ‘mass’ in my kidney and I was about to be transferred to Heartlands in East Birmingham. At this point I still didn’t think the worst, I was more concerned that I had told my husband to pick me up from Good Hope later as not for one minute did I think things could be that serious, despite the pain. While staff contacted my husband I was stretchered to another ambulance and set on my way to Heartlands. The journey was so painful, even the morphine couldn’t mask the pain as every bump in the road jolted me and I had to have gas and air as well. I arrived at Heartlands and was taken straight to a ward to await further assessment, at this point I had no idea where this would lead and never thought the worst. That was yet to come.