Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bladder-Hell! - 9 Days in hospital

I have just got home after nine days in hospital . I am utterly exhausted and my joints are in a state of collapse - a far cry away from the lovely picture there was of me in yesterday's Telegraph. I have gone back to collapsing into all my hinges and have no strength. I am sure I will get it back, but it is going to be slow. So why was there such a problem?

I was admitted for a cystoscopy, which involves a camera being inserted into the bladder so that it can be examined for size, capacity, abnormal cells. As per my entry in 16-4-2012, there had been a problem inserting a catheter because I was in terrible pain, so one other reason was to look into this as well as endometriosis.

Given my present state of anxiety in general and because of my HMS, I asked if I could be admitted the day before the procedure. I then requested that they kept me in to repeat the VCMG test and that I did not want to leave until I could properly empty my bladder. The hospital were marvellous in all aspects of this and agreed. However, the chain of events that followed was not expected. I should have been home after the VCMG - but here is what happened!

I had a choice of a suprapubic catheter or a urethral one, and upon discussion with the doctor opted for the former (remember, my previous experience was bad). The surgery went fine and although the pre-med had no effect on me at all - I lay as still as a corpse and tried very hard to keep calm when I was given the sedating injection. Afterwards I woke up fine and my throat was sore, and later that night I passed about two cups of blood, which was quite horrific (but I had been pre-warned). On Tuesday morning I felt quite good, and then after lunch went downhill rapidly and then was in severe pain. I was crying and in huge distress. My BP rocketed and the on-call doctor finally came. He took some bloods, ordered oramorph and flew off. I remained in this state for 24 hours. My abdomen was like a board. When I got down to radiology, he started to look at my bladder and said, "uh oh, we have a problem." I said, "what sort of problem..?" He said that there was fluid where there shouldn't have been and he wanted to abort this test for now and ultrasound me. This he did, and it confirmed that the suprapubic catheter had punctured my bladder and that fluid was seeping into the peritoneal fluid. He said that if I would allow him to urethrally catheter me he would be able to prove this. I agreed he could try but just as he almost got it in I couldn't cope with the pain again and he sent me back to the ward and said he would inform my team straight away.

I got back to the ward and they said to me I am 'nil by mouth' immediately. It looked like I was going to need another operation to repair the hole. The urologist came down and said to me that he would only be taking me to theatre to insert a catheter so, if they gave me lots of oramorph, would I let him try now because I would probably feel better more quickly. I agreed. He was very clever. Told me he was inserting some pain numbing drugs and popped it in. He said that the "hole" would repair itself, that we weren't sure how or when or why it happened, removed my suprapubic cannula and left.

The next day my abdomen was still sore and very tender. I hadn't opened my bowels for several days and then when I did I managed to contract diarrhoea and had to be put into an isolation room. I was kept in there for 36 hours and was not allowed out until they had proved I was not infectious. I was not. By this time, my wrist was also really hurting and it turned out I had an infection in my cannula site. My wrist was swollen and very sore and I was put on oral antibiotics. By the weekend, I required oramorph again and then had to have 3 huge doses of 2 different antiobiotics by IV line, over 2 days. My bladder was settling down and I requested a catheter bag you can wear on your leg because I was increasingly immobile and in more joint pain. This I was given, and then I was allowed to wonder around on the ward.

By Monday, they removed the catheter. It was a scary moment, but my bladder did then behave. I do still require further testing, but they are delaying it for a while so I can recover. My wrist still hurts, and I have two lots of different antibiotics to take until the end of this week. The hosptial did do everything possible, but I am aware of slower wound healing etc. I also despair about the temperature of the room - no wonder infections are rife.

I cannot cope with much more. This year has been the most stressful ever. Physically, I was fortunately well before I went to hospital, but I am very weakened again now. I will have to pace myself up carefully, and will probably need some physio. Feeling anxious, stressed and upset is not great. Needless to say, the Telegraph article did cheer me up yesterday, and all the other reader response (appreciated) - but today it is back to coping with my body and a miriad of other worries, a bladder with a hole in it and a wrist to match. Welcome home, Isobel.

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