tubes-006
BuiltWithNOF
4 Big One

Ever since my wake-up call in February I had been feeling extremely tired, and used to fall asleep when I got home in the evening. But I never had any problem getting up in the morning - even at weekends Iíd be up by about 6:00.

On this particular Saturday in June I went to bed at around 10:00 p.m. and slept well. I woke at about 6:00, feeling OK, no idea anything might be going wrong. I got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. Before I reached the door, I was hit between the shoulder blades by what felt like a sledgehammer. It was the most excruciating pain. Initially I thought it might be a heart-attack, but it didnít feel quite how I had imagined one. I struggled into the bathroom. I didnít want my childrenís last memory of me to be lying in a pool of urine. I felt sick, and seriously wrong. I flushed the lavatory, and stumbled back to the bedroom. As I went through the door, I was hit by another huge spasm, and dropped to my knees. I realised I wasnít going to get out of this without some professional help. This was serious. I woke my wife.

clock

The ambulance arrived, and I was secured in the back. The journey into hospital was horrendous, the pain was so crippling. I wondered if I was going to make it to hospital, and sometimes I didnít even care.
In A&E I spent an hour under the supervision of the emergency teams. They were fantastic. At some point my family appeared - I was surprised as I had expected them to remain at home. I didnít know that the hospital had phoned them as it was quite likely I wouldnít pull through.
I was x-rayed and scanned, but I was also given pain-killers, and I donít remember much about it. As it appeared that the aneurysm had not ruptured, it was decided to delay any operation
In A&E I spent an hour under the supervision of the emergency teams. They were fantastic. At some point my family appeared - I was surprised as I had expected them to remain at home. I didnít know that the hospital had phoned them as it was quite likely I wouldnít pull through.
I was x-rayed and scanned, but I was also given pain-killers, and I donít remember much about it. But I do remember the feeling of concern from the crash teams. As it appeared that the aneurysm had not ruptured, it was decided to delay any operation while my BP was stabilised. I was eventually taken to the Coronary Care Unit and placed in a side-room. There I was given a drip in each arm and another in my stomach, and hooked up to a monitoring console. Although I stayed in that room for the next ten days, every time I woke up I thought I was in a different room.

hospital bed

Now the target was to get my BP as low as possible, stable, and see what was going on inside. The doctors were in daily contact with their counterparts in hospitals that specialised in the condition. If my condition deteriorated, I was to be moved to the specialist hospital 50 miles away for immediate surgery. If it stabilised, I might be able to avoid the surgery. I wasnít too keen to go on the table, the survival rate isnít the most encouraging, so if I could avoid it so much the better. So I spent my time trying to optimise my stability - i.e. doing nothing. I must be honest, I found I had an unexpected talent for this! And falling in love with the nurses was a pleasant bonus as well.

Every day I was visited by a large group of medics on their rounds. Records were consulted, expert opinion was offered and dosages adjusted. All the time, I just lay there and tried my damdest to stabilise and get better.

The team spared no effort in their work, and every day there seemed to be a new member to add their help. By the eighth day, I had stabilised enough for them to think that they would not need to operate, but there was still no consensus on what to do with me. Luckily my latest scan had shown no change in the situation, and finally the decision was taken to discharge me if my BP was maintained at an acceptable level.

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