This week hasn’t turned out to be the greatest so far. It began with the washing machine creaking its way through the final stages of its life. It is still going… just… but we couldn’t risk waiting for it to give up the ghost completely and being without so we had to order a replacement for it which is due to be delivered today.
Of course, Tuesday’s appointment with the consultant didn’t go to plan and ended up with me being admitted into hospital for tests on possible clots on my lungs. This was something I didn’t even consider happening. Blood clots on my lungs were nowhere on the radar and I didn’t even think they may be the reason for my symptoms. My consultant wanted to rule out otherwise though, and rather than skipping home announcing a date for the c-section I was heavy heartedly packing my overnight bag to head back to the hospital for monitoring and tests.
I went back in on Tuesday evening and a fetal monitoring machine was brought in, on which I was to be hooked up to in a little while. “In a little while” turned out to be almost eighteen hours later the following lunch time. But never mind.
The room was hot, hot, hot and I am finding it very difficult to keep cool at the best of times. Sitting facing the fan at full blast wasn’t helping so I decided to have a shower to cool myself down. There is no cubicle, but the bathroom was more like a wetroom with a shower in the corner draining away directly into the plughole in the floor.
Except it didn’t.
I finished my shower and looked for a dry part of floor to move to so I could get my pyjamas on. There was no dry part. There wasn’t even a shallow part of the room. There was water, water everywhere! Wherever I stepped I created ripples. The ensuite was one, huge puddle!
I started pulling out the paper hand towels and tried mopping up the water from the floor, still half naked as I wasn’t able to get my pj’s on without dragging them through the sopping wetness. It took a good deal of time before I managed to get even a small amount of space dry enough for me to try and contort myself into my pyjamas. It would have been difficult at the best of times but throw a 33+ week twin pregnancy into the mix and I was gasping for breath desperately.
Thinking I’d open up the door and step out onto the dry floor of my room for a moment wasn’t such a good idea after all. It turned out I’d not only flooded the ensuite but also my room. There was a good inch of water on the other side of the door too. Once again I grabbed handfuls of paper towels worrying that in a moment someone would a) walk in and slip or b) come and tell me off.
Two carers then walked in. They didn’t slip. They didn’t tell me off. They did go out and grab a few big bath-towels and started mopping my flood of biblical proportions up, reassuring me that no, it wasn’t my fault because that shower did tend to flood and they should have told me and no, they didn’t want me to clear up the mess myself.
I felt awful.
Anyway, I had a restless night full of interruptions and monitoring. Sleeping in hospital is a challenge and you never seem to come out of those places rested, do you?
I was taken down to the Nuclear Medicine department for my scan at 9am yesterday. They injected me with radioactive fluid which would run through my lungs, showing up any clots. As I was pregnant they said they would only be carrying out the second part of the test. If the results were unclear or showed a problem I would need to stay in another night and go back the following day to carry out part one of the test. I lay down on a table and I was then moved down into a tube with my head barely sticking out of the top. The tube moved around me, quite quietly and with not really very much vibration or movement at all, clicking every ten seconds or so when it took a picture of my lungs. I got to the last minute of the 20 minute procedure when I suddenly needed to be out of there. Now!
“How much longer to go?!” I called out.
“I need to get out! I need to get out now!”
The panic set in fast. I suddenly without warning had to get out of there. I was hot, sweating and clammy. I was ready to fight my way out of the machine.
I was told there were only about forty seconds left. If I moved now I’d have to go through the whole process again. I clenched my fists and squeezed my eyes shut and tried desperately to breathe.
“NO! I NEED TO GET OUT NOW! I REALLY NEED TO GET OUT NOW!!”
“Just thirty more seconds”
“I CAN’T!!! I NEED TO GET OUT!!”
Ugh, it was awful. I did make it. But I thought, no way will I be getting back in there again no matter what the pictures show. If I needed to get in they’d have to knock me out first. I take it I had a panic attack. I have never experienced anything like that before. It was horrible!
I waited and it took a few more hours before the results came back. After lunch time my consultant walked through to say the results were clear and there were no clots. My breathlessness, tiredness, dizziness and headaches were more than likely just down to no more than the end few weeks of a demanding twin pregnancy but they had to rule out something that could have been a lot more dangerous.
I could go home!
Despite being ready to grab my belongings and run we still had paperwork to sort out. I still needed to be formally discharged and we still had to agree on a date for the caesarean section. My consultant originally offered 31st October, more than five weeks away and way, way too far for my liking or acceptance. We finally agreed on 20th October. A day before my dad’s birthday, and four days before mine… that’s if they stay in until then! The 20th October is three weeks today. The countdown now begins to the latest day we’ll meet our babies!
I was discharged from the hospital after a couple more hours of hanging around. I came home to a house well run by Mike in my absence. He’d picked up and taken over the reins well, even though he’d been up several times in the night with a vomiting Paddy. By the time I’d been home an hour Mike too was feeling unwell. By the evening, he was clearly down with a stomach bug himself.
It’s not turning out to be such an easy week, this one. It’s 6.15am and I’m the only one up at the moment. I hope Paddy and Mike are better today. I hope nobody else comes down with anything. I hope the babies won’t decide to make their own entrance into the world into the midst of sickness and broken down washing machines.
But still, I have the all clear. No clots, no concern and a great relief from what could have been. Let the countdown begin!