Long night, much pain, no sleep, many repetitions

Unfortunately, this is H writing at 5am having just walked back from the hospital – they have kept May overnight to ‘manage the pain’, but they hadn’t made great progress when I left.

I thought the walk would clear my head and let me sleep, but it only seems to have woken me up. On the plus side at least I didn’t have to walk back in the dark, the dawn chorus was pretty, the honeysuckle smelt divine and the night bus only passed me a couple of minutes from home (so I didn’t feel quite so silly having forgotten to pick up travel card in the dash to get into the ambulance).

Sorry, you’re probably panicking now – I’m not sure what I can say to allay concerns, as we do not know the cause at this point – the doctors may, but they weren’t sharing any results with us in the small hours. Here follows a detailed account of our long night with no sleep and many repetitions – I will not be offended if you skim, but I need to get it off my chest if nothing else.

The pain started getting worse after lunch – sporadic uterine cramping like bad periods. By evening May could hardly get up and the maximum does of Co-codamol was not making any impression after an hour (10:30pm), so I phoned the GP out-of-hours line and relayed the situation to the call handler [1], she took our phone number and promised a Dr would call back.

About 20 minutes later a nurse called, I tried to explain the situation again, but she insisted on speaking to May personally – May managed to crawl to the phone and whimper some answers making it quite clear the strong pain-killers were not, the best suggestion from this nurse was to try a hot-water-bottle (May had abandoned that approach an hour previous) [2]. A home visit was promised by a doctor who could prescribe something stronger (not that a prescription would have been helpful just after midnight on a Saturday).

After a further 20 minutes we got a phone call from a doctor on a very bad line, probably some call centre in Outer Mongolia and I had to relay situation again [3]. He declared there was nothing that he could provide in person and therefore would arrange for an ambulance (ambulance and A&E staff not impressed that no proper visit had been done, the driver even quipping that the phone call would earn Dr £100 and he didn’t even need to venture out of his cosy office – probably air-conditioned, it was a very barmy, stuffy night.) His reasoning was that if May went back to said hospital – they will have all her notes. Hah!

Just before midnight the ambulance duly arrived and required the full recounting of situation for their paperwork with lots of colour-coded boxes [4]. They offered May gas and air, but she didn’t really feel like trying it with the risk of it inducing vomiting – was slightly disappointed that the offer was not extended to me.

At A&E the ambulance crew very sketchily relayed the situation to the reception desk – I had to bite my tongue to not interfere and give a better account [4.5] and we were put in a room to start the requisite waiting period. I lost track of time at this point there was far to much happening (not involving us) and hand-holding taking my attention.

After a while what looked like a porter came in and did the blood pressure and temperature checks again (having been given them from the ambulance, do they not trust them? to be ‘fair’ it had been a while, so things may have changed). Another while of increasing pain a nurse came and introduced herself and promptly asked “so, your 7 weeks pregnant?” – it was probably lucky May was in such pain that all she only snarled back “not any more” [5]. May also managed to emphasis pain and the nurse quickly scuttled away announcing a doctor would see her ‘soon’ and muttering something about a line being required before I managed to recoup my wits and say anything. Now this is partly to do with the sketchy hand-over, but they had access to the full written account from the ambulance crew too *sigh*.

A very chirpy and petite doctor attended in due course and we started the story again [6], she did a more thorough physical examination concluded that May did indeed have uterine pain *sob* (do people really make these symptoms up) and took about a dozen vials of blood for ‘testing’ meanwhile setting up the line. She left promising pain more pain relief would be forthcoming as it was now just into the window of not overdosing (indeed when she left I dug out my mobile and it was 1:30am). A few minutes later a new nurse appeared with pills: 2xcodiene (I think these were the minute ones), 2xparacetemol (standard size) and 1xlarge brown one with a name I didn’t quite catch, but sounded something like dixi-lickso. The gynae doctor was also summonsed.

Our nurse reappeared and cheerfully as if nothing was wrong set up a saline drip and said the gynae doctor would arrive hopefully within an hour and the blood test results would also have been stewed by then. The new set of pain-killers were just about starting to take the edge off when gynae doctor arrived. You guessed it, the story was required again from scratch [7]. A lot of prodding, internal scraping and faffing then ensued before she declared that May would be kept overnight, so pain could be ‘managed’, that she would be transferred to a ward and asked us if we had any questions. Our thought processes were not functioning by this point, so I didn’t think until half-way home “what were the results of all the blood tests?”

May was eventually collected for transfer and another drip attached with Hartmann’s solution, we arrived at the ward just before 4am by torchlight so as not to disturb the other occupants, although the amount of noise would have anyway. Once May had settled I had to, at last, wander off into the night morning, which is where we came in about an hour ago creating an infinite loop of repeating, repeating, repeating, zzzz.

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10 responses to “Long night, much pain, no sleep, many repetitions

  • H

    I forgot to say two things:
    1 I volunteered to put this entry up and May consented – hopefully it won’t be necessary very often
    2 Thank you so much for you kind comments and thoughts – they’re really helping us both.

  • MsPrufrock

    You have no idea who I am, but you, my dear, are a wonderful husband. Thanks for letting us know about May, as we have all (naturally) been concerned about the the two of you lately.

    I hope they are managing her pain better for her now, inept idiots. Random aside, I always think it’s hilarious when they confirm a symptom (in this case, the doctor saying that May definitely had uterine pain – no shit), as if you needed that added affirmative just in case you doubted that pain yourself. Ugh.

    Please send May my very best wishes. I’ll be thinking of her. As for you, try and get some sleep!

  • korechronicles

    Also thanking you for the update and wishing both of you the all the very best. Hope this hideous saga comes to an end soonest.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Hello H!
    OMG! Poor May.
    Everything that Ms Prufrock & KoreC said. WIth an added helping of Fucking NHS. Just because it’s free, does it have to be so goddamn Shit?
    Please please keep us updated. They don’t seem to give much of a crap about mobiles in hospitals these days, incidentally, if May doesn’t have one with her.
    Thinking about you both. When the crap is over,
    you must come to tea and be utterly spoilt.

  • af

    I am so very sorry to hear what is happening to you.
    I really hope May gets better and that it isn’t anything too serious.
    It’s very tedious having to repeat things time and again, I know, especially when one is in such obvious pain, and the chirpy “seven weeks pregnant nurse” deserves a slap for not paying attention to what she’d been told.

  • geohde

    Cripes, May. (Thanks H for the update, what an awful night the two of you have had)

    Get better soon. And make sure they don’t hold back on the painkillers,

    xx

    J

  • Rachel

    Argh. What a disastrous medical system. I really hope that both you and May are feeling much better by the time I read this. Please keep updating and let May know how much she is cared about and missed while she’s being re-tortured by NHS.

  • Amy

    Oh, H, thank you for the update. I hope they figure things out soon. Poor May…what an awful night for both of you. I hope today is better and holds answers for you both!

  • Rebecca

    Oh my. I’ve also just read your follow-up. I’m sorry to hear she has an infection, and I hope the antibiotics will clear things up soon.

    Give our love to May.

    Rebecca

  • Very quick update (unlike hospital waiting times endured today) | Nuts in May

    […] seems an unfortunate tradition I get to do the WTF o’clock updates having left May in […]

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