Posted by: janedb | April 12, 2013

A Week in a Side Room

English: Modern high field clinical MRI scanne...

English: Modern high field clinical MRI scanner. (3T Achieva, the product of Philips at Best, the Netherlands.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5th of January was my 46th birthday, and I woke up in hospital still unable to open my left eye at all and my right eye blood shot. I knew it was not going to be an exiting birthday now I was a single parent, but I did not expect to feel so low. It was not turning another year older, but where I was, that got to me. I was cut off from my family and in case I was contagious, I was stuck in this room.

I became a voracious reader to occupy my mind and transport myself from the isolation I felt. A book of 400 pages was read in less than a day, some days I read more. I have always enjoyed books and I was able to read the books on my bookshelves from home. Mum kept bringing piles of books and taking others home. It enabled me to transport myself from my room and into the book.

Due to the state of my face I had many visitors from the staff, either to come in to say hello or look through the window in the door. I could not blame them, I knew from mum that I looked interesting, no hair and black eyes. Mum did not bring the boys in for my birthday as she did not have any idea how they would take seeing me in this state again. She was shocked at how bad I looked.

On Sunday she brought my sons in with her, and it was wonderful to see them. They had made me cards with their own verses written. They spend a great deal of time on what they write, and they are always kept. My left eye was slightly open, but it was still uncomfortable to wear glasses for a long time. I am short sighted so luckily I don’t have to wear them for reading.

The diarrhea was still happening and although on antibiotics I was not feeling better. An ulcer was starting to form near my back passage and it was difficult to get comfortable. Everything rubbed on it and I was permanently sore. I was sent for an MRI scan of the area so they could see what was happening as they felt their was a hole in my back passage that had allowed E. coli into my bloodstream.

Waiting for the scan was agony as I was sitting on a hard wheelchair and could not get comfortable, I just wanted to be back on my side in my bed. The MRI scan is not very pleasant. I had had one a few years before when I had a suspected TIA (transient ischemic attack) (mini stroke). It turned out to be just my symptoms for a migraine, I go numb down my left side and become very weak on that side. For the MRI you have to lie still in the position they want you in, on my back was the least comfortable position for me at this time. Then when it starts even though they give you headphones with your choice of music, it is incredibly loud. You are in there for over 30 minutes.

After it was over I had to wait for a porter to return me to my ward. Again siting on the wheelchair I just wanted to cry with the pain. When the porter turned up he was really kind. He was ex army and had boxed in his youth. As he pushed me back to the ward we were both laughing at the double takes done by people passing me. One man walked past the lift doors then stepped back to pass again as he could not believe what he had seen. Normally when I am off the ward or outside the hospital I cover my head with a scarf, but due to the look of my face I thought that I would go scarf less. The man must of wondered what had happened to me.

We laughed at peoples reaction to me as we passed by and he said he was envious of my black eyes. Even as a boxer he had not had a shiner like mine and that it would have been great as a youngster to go into school looking like me. We passed one of my consultants who did a double take. She was shocked to see me looking like this, she knew I was back in but had no idea how bad I looked. She said to me later that her thoughts were what have we done to her.

The MRI scan did not get the picture the consultants required and I had to go back down the following day. By this time my ulcer was formed and I had requested regular pain relief so I was more comfortable in the wheelchair. They wanted a certain shot in a particular angle so they could see what was happening.

Due to the pain I was using baby wipes when I went to the toilet as paper was to harsh and caused the ulcer to sting. I was also being given ointment to try to help the area. Nothing other than the pain killers were helping. The pain became so bad I was given oramorph (oral morphine) to help.

After a week I was considered no longer a risk to others so I was moved onto the space on the bay I had spent the New Year. I felt better for being on the main ward as I would have interaction with more people. Just being able to talk to some one helps lift your mood.



  1. WOW! you have really had a hard time of it. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you.

    • Thank you for thinking of me

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