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Thank you NHS

Possible TW - Cancer, Gynaecological issues, Death

Bit of a weird few days but now that I’m home and have been really thinking about things I feel a need to post.

Early hours on Thursday I woke in real discomfort. I shuffled to the loo then climbed back into bed. I wasn’t able to get comfortable, but I wasn’t too worried. I snuggled into B and drifted in and out. But the discomfort started to turn into pain.

By half 7 I was really sore. I could only lie with my legs pulled up towards my body. We waited for the GP to open so I could call and make an appointment. I got one for 10.10am. By that point standing was a struggle.

Every time I stood up my body started to shake. My legs were going nuts and walking was proving problematic as it was pulling on my stomach. I sat as far away from everyone in the GP’s waiting room. Very aware that every movement I made was making me involuntarily whimper. Plus, with Covid still a huge issue, I like to be far from everyone anyway. The Doctor called my name and I slowly waddled my way over. I explained the issue and she did her preliminary checks of blood pressure, heart rate and temp. BP a little high but then I was in pain so was to be expected. Everything else was normal. Time for the examination.

I climbed up on the table and lay down but couldn’t straighten my legs. Every time I tried my torso would rise like I was on an elastic cord. At this point everything was starting to seize up from being to tense. Then she started poking about my abdomen and I just lost it. My body shaking without me meaning to, the pain making me feel sick, I just burst into tears. I don’t cry in front of people and I tried so hard to hold it in, but it was like she touched the destruction button and everything went mental. My body was going ape and I could not stop the shaking. She was starting to worry which started to make me worry and even though I had been drinking, I couldn’t pee for her to rule out what she thought might be an ectopic pregnancy. She gave me an injection of some kind of muscle relaxant to try and help me. She warned it would hurt as she needed to go in via my butt cheek, but I didn’t even feel it. I felt so dizzy suddenly though and she said my eyes were starting to roll so she wanted me to go straight to the Hospital. She called in another nurse to help and I had to try and pull myself together long enough to make arrangements for M. I called my bestie but she was at work so I tried to think who might be able to help me. Thankfully, my aunt was able to, so I knew no matter what, he would be safe.

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics came in.

By this point even my arms were shaking, and they thought I was going into shock. I had to get help off the table and onto the chair. They took my mask off as I was feeling like I was gonna vomit and they gave me a paper bowl. I went out into the ambulance and they hooked me up to all these machines. Everything started beeping really loud and they were trying to calm me down.

Now, a little bit about me. I have mental health issues as you may know. I am very vocal about that as I want to try and do my bit to end the stigma. Part of that is I have bad anxiety and I take panic attacks. I have different grounding techniques I use when I’m feeling overwhelmed or if I’m starting to spiral. I’m usually good at getting my breathing under control but nothing could make me calm down in that ambulance.

I started to feel really lightheaded and at some point I must have been looking like I was gonna black out as the wee guy came to sit beside me and held me up. He asked if I was ok and I said I felt warm. Temp taken – higher than when the Doctor took it. The lady paramedic – who had the coolest tattoos - asked if she could put a line in my arm. I held out both of them for her to pick from and she chose my hand as my vein there was easier to get, I assume. I was shaking as the pain was making me feel dizzy and sick. They assumed it was a reaction to the meds the Doctor put in my butt cheek, so they gave me some anti-sickness meds along with morphine. This was my first experience of morphine and I gotta say I’m really not a fan. I managed to get my breathing under control, but I was really feeling it by that point and my eyes were going blurry. The paramedics started asking questions about had a taken anything or had allergies to anything that I know of as I was apparently showing signs of shock, but I just felt seriously dizzy like I was gonna faint. They wanted to move me to the bed rather than the chair which was a struggle as every time I stood up the alarms went off again and my heart rate or blood pressure was spiking. To be honest I’m not 100% which as I was attached to so many wires and things. I just knew the machines shouldn’t have made that noise and they were in a rush now to get me to the hospital as I was tachycardic.

I don’t remember much of the drive there. I was talking to the guy as he sat in the back with me and we were talking about morphine and how I really didn’t want it. I have this thing about stuff like that now since my gran passed. And only since this experience at hospital, do I realise just how deeply her death has impacted me. I remember seeing her the last days of her life, on morphine as part of her palliative care and I always remember someone commenting on how it’s the morphine that will kill her rather than the cancer. That has stuck with me and I must have brought it up as he was telling me how that wasn’t true, and it just helped her. I can’t shake it though.

We got to the hospital and a nurse came out to ask me questions about wither I could have Corona or if I had any symptoms. They took my temp again and it had got higher still. Everything else was ok though from her list and I was taken to A&E.

A&E were unsure why I was there as I was supposed to be in Gynaecology, but they put me in a room to wait for a porter. I remember calling my aunt and asking about M and I asked her to let my mum know as I was limited to what I could do. I was lucky she was the last call I made as it was literally a swipe and press to make the call. A porter came and we went over to the maternity bit as that’s where the gynae ward was. I was kinda drifting in and out at this point, but I remember we went down a hall way and I asked if we were going to the morgue. He just laughed and said I wasn’t quite at that stage yet but the going down toward what felt like a basement definitely had me fighting to stay focused.

I went into this room where they hooked me back up to machines and loads of questions were getting asked. I felt like a total phony at that point as I wasn’t in pain anymore. The morphine was doing its job and other that the machines going nuts, you would just have thought I was sleepy. 

I lay there on this table looking up at the wall thinking it was definitely not an ectopic pregnancy but maybe my appendix. I couldn’t remember what side that was, but my left side was the one causing the trouble. They did exams and filled me with more water to get a urine sample. Not a hernia. Not my kidneys. Not my appendix. If its not an ectopic pregnancy, then it could be cysts on my ovaries.

A little more history – My reproductive organs have been actual assholes for years. There is always something with them and when you take into account the issues the women have had in my family with them, telling me it might be cysts on my ovaries had my stoned mind thinking I was gonna end up in that basement sooner than I wanted. My mum had issues and ended up with a hysterectomy and one of the cancers that took my gran was ovarian. I’m so psycho about things like that, that I have apps on my phone where I track everything from details about my periods to my sexual interactions. If anything goes wrong – like this – I have all the info to hand. I even handed the Doctor the phone with the app open and she was impressed with how well I had tracked.

I knew I wasn’t pregnant so I was thinking about what would happen if there were cysts and I decided there and then if there was something nasty going on, I want it all ripped out. I felt like I had a bomb inside me and I didn’t want it to go off.

Finally, I managed to pee and they tested. Negative – So my scan was booked. By this point I had been in the hospital for a few hours and my temp hadn’t went down so a vampire pretending to be a nurse came at me for some blood. She took loads but I assume shared at least a tube or two for tests as they were looking for an infection. I was moved to this private room where another nurse came at me with more morphine. I politely declined as it was making me feel f**ked. I have no other way to put that. It was knocking me flat and making me so dizzy. So, I had to settle for codeine. 

Me and codeine have a history. I was once given it for a rotator cuff injury, and it would make me pass out. I lost hours on the stuff. Yeah it works for pain but when you’re a single parent you can’t be passing out randomly. I didn’t think I was a control freak but my inability to just relax and ride the high like most people would makes me think I am really a control freak. I don’t really drink and I’m iffy about most recreational drugs as I don’t like the feeling of losing control of my body. And everything they were giving me was doing exactly that. I quickly called my aunt to ask her if she could keep M overnight and I remember answering calls to concerned people but can’t remember much after that. My timeline is a bit fuzzy. 

My temp was monitored constantly as was my heart rate, BP and something else as there were wires I didn’t know the purpose of but I randomly would set them off only for a wee nurse to come in and check on me. At some point my BP had dropped as they would mark things on charts and my blood pressure had dropped too quick. I got given some horrible sugary thing to drink along with more water. My temp had dropped too even though I felt roasting they brought me another blanket.

I was getting more and more worked up as the night went on. I was replaying in my head the last time I was in the hospital, which was the day when they told gran it was cancer. I remember sitting on the chair prepared for them to say that she had pneumonia as she was brought in with a suspected chest infection and the doctor told her she had cancer. That hit me like a sledge hammer. I was holding her hand that day and I’ll never in my lifetime forget that moment. How she tightened her grip around my hand and how I just looked at her. One of the strongest, most lovely wee women I had ever known, and she was just handed a death sentence. I lay there literally watching the clock tick wondering if I was about to be condemned to the same fate.

I tried to have my logical head on.

Occasionally it’s almost like I can pause myself during something traumatic and think logically. I haven’t mastered holding that state but its handy when I need to make split decisions. We joke that it’s my chimp coming out. I named her Gloria and she tends to cause havoc but at times she can make me focus. I sincerely wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me I had a split personality as she is the polar opposite to me so I can see how it might happen. But she was in charge and as I was running though my head the worst-case scenario, she was firing solutions.

If it was cancer what was I gonna do?

You are gonna fight. You will get everything out that is causing issues, and you’re gonna get blasted with anything they tell you to as you have a kid who needs you.

What if it was too late to fight?

Then M is gonna need to go to your sister is she is still willing and if not then I know your mum would happily take him.

What about the house?

They can take what they like, you won’t need it. You will be dead.

What about M? How will be cope?

He’ll have family to help him and you can try and get him ready for when the time comes.

That was it. That was as much of logical me I could handle before I had a massive anxiety attack. The alarms where going off again, I started to feel like I couldn’t breathe and my mask had pretty much stuck to me with tears. A nurse came in and held my hand. She took my mask off and tried to get me to calm down as I was seriously hyperventilating. She removed me from the machines as my anxiety was just setting everything off.

Time for more drugs.

It was after midnight by this point and I was just losing the plot, so it was morphine again. I couldn’t even argue as I was so distressed and by then the pain was back.

Somewhere in the night they came and checked my temp again as well as stab my finger. And I also made a chatty video for B as I couldn’t type on the phone. I cannot for love nor money remember filming that but when I found it in my phone in the morning it really puzzled me.

I got a few hours of sleep, though had horrible nightmares. There was a woman in my room who walked out from the bathroom and stood by my bed then walked to the window. It was a wee old lady in a nighty and I honestly don’t know if I was dreaming or if she might have wandered into my room, but it was creepy as fuck cause she just walked about. Never saying anything but looking at me.

In the morning I woke about 5am and needed to buzz to go pee. I had been caged in as I was shaking so violently, they were worried I would fall out the bed and the wee nurse took me for a wee. More pots to piddle in and more drugs to take. 

I must have passed out again though as I was woken by the nurse bringing breakfast in at 8.30am. I tried to protest but she said if I didn’t eat, I wouldn’t be allowed home today. At that point she could have brought me dog and I would have choked it down. I wanted home. I had reached my limit and the longer I was in there the more I felt I was gonna end up dying – completely illogical but remember I had been on scary narcotics for almost 24 hours.

I was told my scan was at lunch time and if it was all clear then I would get to go home and referred to my GP. I was clock watching again. I had bought myself a book for my kindle and tried to read but I couldn’t concentrate so I just watched the clock tick by. I drank so much water in prep from my scan that I didn’t know if I could hold it long enough when the porter came to get me.

Down for my scan and had a chat with her about my reproductive bits. She couldn’t see anything that had been causing the pain but more importantly couldn’t see anything that was causing random bleeding. Back up to the ward a little lighter for knowing my ovaries and uterus were ok, but still not having any clue what the hell happened.

Another chat with the Doctor when she looked over my results left her thinking the bleeding and the pain might be two separate issues and she gave her recommendation for the gynaecological side and has referred me back to my GP for the stomach pain that she suspects might be related to bowls or spleen.

I was given the sign off, my cannula was removed, and I could go home which was the best news ever as by that point I was mentally, emotionally and physically hung over. All I wanted was my own bed and a cuddle from my boy. 

So why do I feel the urge to post?

Well its 3-fold really. The point of this blog is to document my life in a way. It’s a potential cautionary tale to others not to ignore post coital bleeding and lastly (and more importantly) I wanna tell you all about how bloody fantastic the NHS is.

Every step of the way there were complete strangers who have dedicated their life to helping people. None of them knew me yet everyone of them tried to make me feel at ease and did their bit to try and make me better. People bitch and moan about the “state of the NHS” but you know what, they bloody try. And we are lucky to have them. As much as I hated being in the hospital, I am so blessed to have access to one. If I was in the United States, that bill I would have went home with may have bankrupted me, and the follow ups I am gonna need to have with my GP wouldn’t happen as I couldn’t afford it. Health is a difficult thing that few have control of and having a system there that will take care of you no matter what is actually amazing.

We as a country don’t appreciate that enough. Its not only the wealthy that should have access to Doctors, and the fact that there are people in sectors who do very little but get paid more than those who save lives daily is disgusting.


I am very grateful for the people who helped take care of me as is M as he got his mama back home to him.

There are actual saints in those hospitals.