I've been off the blog for a few days due to illness.
Monday night I had a really bad night sleeping, to the point where I was up for about 2-3 hours in the night watching videos on YouTube because I just couldn't sleep. A sore throat had turned up out of nowhere (Monday daytime I was absolutely fine) and on balance Tuesday morning, although I wasn't too ill I was tired from lack of sleep and my throat was aching a good bit, I decided the best way to see off this cold was to take a day off work, rest up, and get back on Wednesday.
I was wrong.
Tuesday night I had as bad a nights sleep as the night before, but my throat decided that it wasn't going to do any of that throaty stuff like swallow fluids or anything, it was far too painful for any of that. Simply making a swallowing motion was enough to make me wince in pain.
Wednesday morning I began throwing up, but I noticed that there was blood on it, and after the third time, each time the amount of blood was increasing, I thought I ought to make sure I was okay.
I went through my symptoms on the NHS Direct website and was advised to see my GP today. Now the issue is that currently my GP's practice is down on staff (one doctor has left, another is leaving shortly) so although you can get in there, I'm reluctant to take up their time if it's not really needed. So, I decided to use the NHS Direct telephone service to get an opinion from a medical professional. For those that haven't used it, it's excellent. We've used it five or six times in the past, and it's great - you get through to a healthcare worker who goes through an assessment with you, and agrees action from there.
Anyway, I got about six questions into the assessment with the healthcare worker, and she said:
"You need to go to A&E and get checked out. Can you get there okay?"
"Yes, sure." Oh - might be serious.
"Can I double check your contact number just in case?" she added. This was definitely beginning to worry me.
As it happens we live about five minutes drive away from Hull Royal Infirmary, so I got in there and saw the A&E reception staff. And waited.
This isn't a rant about the NHS. In my view, the NHS are excellent. They get a lot of negative press, when the bottom line of the NHS is, if you are ill we will look after you. I'm not saying that they are perfect, but when in many other countries people who need life saving treatment must have medical insurance or face a huge medical bill, I like having the NHS in the UK. I remember when my other half was in hospital getting ready to give birth to our son, and it took a while. But in particular, I remember one point in the birthing suite where they were having a problem finding his heartbeat.
And the room filled up with staff. Suddenly, they were needed. And they were there, doing all the stuff you want them to.
He's been busy this week pooing on the lawn but that's another story, and shows that they did their job okay then.
So anyway, I waited ages. I did get to see a triage nurse, and someone took my blood to check, but I waited about two hours, then my other half turned up - I was so glad to see her, it surprised me. Then we waited almost another two hours before we saw the doctor (which took about 10 minutes as you expect).
Bottom line, I have a viral infection in my throat. Because it's viral antibiotics have no effect. Basically it's rest up and drink lots of water (which has been really hard because it was hurting so much to swallow - you don't realise how much saliva your mouth produces until you have to force yourself to swallow it).
I slept on and off for about 17 hours after going to hospital, and I've spent the last two days resting and basically doing as little as possible.
One fun point was the use of technology for communication. I had to get a message to my mum after hospital to tell her that I wouldn't be going round on Thursday, and that she needed to go and tell my gran this. This sounds straightforward, but...
- I can't speak due to throat, so the phone is out
- I'm too tired to go and drive anywhere
- My mum checks her emails and Facebook page once a day (at most). She doesn't use Facebook chat.
- My mum plays World of Warcraft (I don't have a live subscription)
So, I went on Facebook, and found an old friend (hey Abyss) on there. I asked Abyss to contact my mum on World of Warcraft to tell her to check her Facebook, and I sent her a Facebook message. She then rang up to see what was going on, so my other half explained what was going on.
With having some downtime, I have actually started playing World of Warcraft again. It's a nice and fun game and lets you be social with people (hey Guild Ravenswing!) and the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, looks like it is going to be really good. I just need to learn how to play my hunter - I've never really been happy since they took away my mana bar and changed it to focus - but that's just me whinging!
Anyway - catch you later!