Well this is no doubt going to be a multi-parter because I really don’t know where this entry will lead me. But I can at least start at the beginning.
Some of you who read this blog and who know me well perhaps know already. On Friday the 7th January I was rushed into hospital in Corbeil-Essonnes. They finally let me come home yesterday.
Before that Friday I had been struggling to breathe for no apparent reason. OK over the festivities I had been ill with a cold bug which made me cough a lot. But this was something weird. For 2 or 3 days I was breathless, even when doing something simple like changing a nappy or making up a bottle for my daughter.
Eventually I was pushed (says he who doesn’t like going to see the Doctor) into seeing our généraliste (GP) who fitted me in between appointments at 8.30am on that Friday morning. He seemed to have an idea what was wrong, although he didn’t tell me at that stage but sent me for various examinations immediately. X ray of my lungs, a blood test and then finally a “doppler” on my leg. I guess we’d call it an ultrasound scan, but I’ll refer to it as a doppler as I’m more comfortable with the French equivalent.
The X ray didn’t show up anything. But by the afternoon I was sent for the doppler, ironically with the same Doctor who had diagnosed me with a Thrombosis (phlébite in French) in my right leg 10 years ago. He scanned my whole right leg as a matter of course, as my GP had asked. It was then I had a total shock when he gave me the line I’ve used as a title for this series of articles.
I just remember feeling a rising feeling of fear and panic at the same time then I thought of my kids (and told him so)… this was serious. My FIL had been running me around all day, so after a wait while all the paperwork was sorted out he drove me from Evry where I’d had the scan straight to the hospital in Corbeil. I have to confess that getting stuck in heavy evening rush-hour traffic didn’t help one little bit as lots of very dark things filled my mind. Once in hospital I was kept waiting for quite a while on a bed in the “Urgences” (A&E) while I waited for Thumpah to dash over from work. That was pure hell too.
She eventually arrived – the only thing I could say was a feeble “I’m scared”. I’ll be honest there, I was and just couldn’t hide it. Finally they wheeled me into a “box” where the on duty Doctor cursed the one who had done my scan because I wasn’t supposed to have “walked” into hospital. In fact if I can re-wind a little. The Thrombosis had come back with a vengence 10 years on, but this time was a lot more menacing than the first time – in that it had sent blood clots to my lungs via my heart. This was why I couldn’t breathe.
Walking on my “bad” leg according to the Doctor would just make things worse as I had a big clot in my leg that had broken away from the main one and was moving around in the vein. To cut a long story short, it was a sort of delayed time bomb which could move up to my heart and lungs and eventually kill me. If the clots I already had didn’t do the job first!
So you can imagine I didn’t feel very good lying in that side box in A&E at Corbeil. But it seems they had a smoothly run drill ready for me – blood tests -I was injected with blood thinning agents and then put straight onto oxygen. They moved me into a side ward at the back of A&E for the night still on oxygen. Thumpah stayed with me for as long as she could. I spent a very disturbed night where I had to get used to the “pistolet” (the plastic bottle you have to pee into) – I didn’t do a very good job the first time and found the whole thing embarrassing. I was confined to bed and not allowed to get out of it and had to wait patiently until they moved me and bed into the main part of the hospital…
To Part 2…