Monday, 2 March 2020

But for the joy of being an antelope


Hours of waiting and waiting
In 5 weeks of events that was somewhat out of my control dictated by my apparent susceptibility to a water-borne infection, it started with my boyfriend noticing in a conversation that I was not particularly myself.
Against my protestations, he contacted my best friend and then a close friend in Manchester, between them, they decided I needed emergency hospital attention that led to an ambulance being called. We were assured the ambulance would arrive in 2 hours whilst the numbing discomfort like a tyre around my waist left me almost slipping into a kind of delirium without passing out.
Over 5 hours after the call for ambulance services, the medics arrived and after checking my vitals decided I was best attended to in a hospital. A GP had called me to assess my condition and her view was I probably needed to be in a hospital. At the hospital, I was immediately seen to and a cannula inserted to my arm. There was another almost 6-hour wait from a doctor could attend to me. I was up all night, arriving at 11:25PM until just before 6:00AM.
Not ill enough to be promptly seen
Sat in the waiting area, we watched the walking wounded arrive and because I seemed to be comfortable sitting down, my situation was not considered an emergency. A patient walked in spilling blood all over the floor and it took over 2 hours before the contract cleaner nonchalantly considered it important to clean up. He ignored the issue concentrating on other mundane things as if he was only going to clean the floor at a scheduled time, regardless of whether the blood on the floor constituted a health hazard.
On seeing the doctor, I was admitted and placed in an assessment room where I was given broad spectrum antibiotics and electrolytes, the prognosis at the time was for a few days of treatment as an in-patient.
Discharged with pills
During my 8-hour admission, I found myself recounting my condition to a doctor, a medical student, and a consultant. Eventually, it was decided I could be discharged with additional antibiotics to be taken 4 times a day, to return on Saturday for a check-up where again, I was put on electrolytes because I had basically lost my strength.
For what seemed a benign condition, the recovery was much longer than I could have anticipated, it took weeks to begin to regain my strength during which I lost about 6 kilograms. My GP ordered new blood tests and an ultrasound scan of my kidneys.
Persistent irritation reviewed again
Meanwhile, what was diagnosed as both an inflammation of my kidneys and a urinary tract infection did not seem to deal with the urinary tract issue. This prompted my visit to a sexual health clinic and another regime of antibiotics for non-specific urethritis, this cleared up the problem whilst no further diagnosis was made.
My recuperation has made considerable progress that for my scheduled ultrasound scan today, I decided to walk up to the hospital, something that would not have been eventful. I walked past a man too engrossed in viewing his mobile phone to concerned about others as he slightly obstructed access to the traffic lights on the pavement. I crossed the road not giving to much thought to it.
A few minutes later, he was in a chase of a thief who had snatched his mobile phone and made away on a bicycle. There was nothing he could do but rue the moment and carry on with the rest of the day, I guess he was a university student.
Steak and kidney not on the menu
I arrived at the hospital early and unusually I was immediately called into the examination room and prepared for the sonographer. The cold gel applied to my stomach gave a slight shock to my system and then I adjusted to the coolness. The sonographer was not giving up anything as I asked whether my kidneys were good enough for a steak and kidney pie. The results of the scan are to come from a consultant rather than the sonographer.
We were done in about 15 minutes before I made for the reception to have the spelling of my surname corrected. In Yoruba, what would normally have translated to ‘being a hero is joy enough’ what the switching of the vowels in the 3rd and 4th syllable, became ‘this hero is just an antelope’. That won’t do.
After my hospital appointment, I walked back home on the main road, stopping off at a Starbucks café for about 45 minutes. I guess the results would be back in a couple of weeks, but as the three blood tests, after my admission indicated nothing unusual, I should expect things would be fine in the end. Much of this was made easier to withstand by my friends and I am grateful to them.

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