Thursday, 27 October 2011

Another month, another hospital stay... (October 2011)

It seems that hardly a month passes without some medical drama (human, animal, major, minor or otherwise) impacting the life of the Loris. 2011 has not been a kind year thus far.

So, the latest sojourn in one's Chelsea pad was a tad annoying. There I was, minding my own business, well, I was minding Sir Merrick and Sir Shteebious's business (cat-sitting) actually, when the old ticker decided to fly off at a great rate of erratic knots. Joy. Atrial Flutter. After a couple of hours it clearly wasn't going to settle, so I called the hospital, packed up my bags and was joined by the Depressed Weirdo who carried said baggage  to the hospital on account of my needing to stay in.

Things began really rather well, I was given an ECG and AF was noted, but slightly questionable, so the Team decided it was Atrial Tachycardia instead, because one couldn't quite establish the usual sawtooth pattern on the ECG tracing. I had already owned up to having run out of toxins two days before, but that seemed not to phase the medics.

M'consultant arrived about an hour after me, and I was started on a drip of my usual anti-arrhythmic drug. It's a particularly revolting drug and requires administering in liquid glucose (the greater insult of this drug's horrid actions is the foul grey-top cannula that needs to be used - OUCH!!). Still, I was told that I'd have a high boost dose over one hour, then the rest over 23 hours. The plan then was that I would be cardioverted (akin to jump-starting your car) should the fast heart rate persist, and that they might try to get me a slot in theatre for the ablation procedure the following week (of course, this was on a Friday).

Late that night one of the Electricians (as we like to call the Pacing and Electrophysiology docs) came to see me and said I couldn't eat anything after midnight, and I'd need to go on a fluid drip at 6am, in case they had to take me to theatre. Oh great stuff - I hadn't long had some leftover scraps of food from the trolley - because they had forgotten me!) and now they were telling me not to eat after midnight (DrGoth says this is because they have twigged that I am a Gremlin. Sigh.). Oh well, I was awake long into the wee hours after I drank a vat of hot chocolate and ate all the sweets that the Depressed Weirdo left me with - just to keep the wolf from the door you understand.

Anyway, halfway through my third hot chocolate drink, a nurse zipped in with an ECG machine and a triumphant grin on her face, "how are you feeling? it looks like you are back in sinus!". The ECG confirmed the telemetry ('ASBO') was indeed telling the truth. The caustic sludge was disonnected fro my vein and I was free to wander. We were thus cautiously optimistic at 2am.

6am came and all was still behaving, so the cardioversion was canned and I was lined up for release. Sadly, the consultant decided to assume that it was all my own doing, since I had missed meds for two days. Two days, eh? Hmmm, I had already said this when I arrived (I'd run out of meds and was 4 days away from picking prescription up). Also, the drug they have me on sticks around for 50 days, and is still effective, so two days without really is not likely to have caused any issue. Added to the fact that I have been in AF many times when I HAVEN'T missed doses... Sigh.  Blimey, I might be CrAzY, but I am certainly not in the habit of wantonly disregarding my medication. And hey, there were some times earlier this year when actually, I went for a week without taking any of my meds (and nothing went awry), because I was just hiding under my duvet whilst the DMoDs did their especially evil, spiky, clattering dance of destruction on and in my head. Why, oh why, do the doctors still fail to understand, nay, fail to even consider that life is not all neat and tidy, even if clinical signs are good?

It really is not too much to ask. Honestly, dearest medical folk, what do they really teach you about people? Woefully, I rather think that the answer must be, "nothing at all".



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