Janus Look 8
Janus Look 8
When asked how I am doing, I inevitably reply, “Fine, thank you. No real problems. Just tired and need to be patient.”
I now have a problem. Since I last write, I had a brain scan, which was straight forward, and they haven’t provided any results. Then on last Wednesday, I needed to have my blood levels improved - as they are very low and need to be got up to normal before surgery.
My daughter and I went into a new building at the hospital, and when she asked if she could stay with me, they were rather put off. But the nurse made enquiries and they put me in a side room, so that my daughter was also allowed in, except when anyone else came in the room for treatment, she had to step out - only two allowed in a room at one time.
Luckily she was there, however, because they made a mistake fairly early on. They asked my weight, and I couldn’t tell them what it was in kgs, so they weighed me. My daughter checked the conversion chart and said, “Ten stone two.”
“It can’t be,” I said. “I weigh more than that.” So my daughter chased up the nurse and asked her to do it again, and this time, the scale agreed with my knowledge. But if my daughter hadn’t been there, I would never have queried her answer in kgs - and I would have ended up being given less of the treatment, the amount for which is based on body weight.
After the cannula was put in, they connected a litre of iron solution, and it was to take 30 minutes to drip into my system. It was the prettiest colour - not dark red like blood but a sort of orangey red. There was no pain involved, and we both got down to reading our books. Before too long a buzzing noise came on. The nurse came in. “It’s all right - she said, the fluid is still going through.” and left again, the buzzer still making noise. So my daughter, who is much braver than me, went to see if somebody else would come in to check on it. And the head of department - double sister - in a bright red top - came and checked. It turned out the power was not working on the machine, so she switched it to battery power and the noise went away, and all seemed to be well again. When the original nurse came in to check, my daughter told her that the power hadn’t been working. “Oh, I noticed that readout on the machine,” she said, “but it usually works okay anyway.”
After the pretty stuff had gone in, they put up saline to wash out the rest of the iron in the tubes. It was by this time a very pleasant soft orange colour. I had to be observed for half an hour, and then we were free to go home.
I was given an appointment to go back in a week’s time to have it all over again, but as it was not too big a deal, I didn’t worry about that. We were told that if we had any side effects to ring my doctor or 111.
Friday I was putting my son’s clothes in to wash (he is moving into his own house soon) and my breathlessness took on a new meaning. I really struggled to breathe, and at the same time I had an urgent need to go to the toilet. So I chose that option, and as I sat there, I remembered hearing about people dying on the toilet. I could see how this could happen, as I still was as breathless as I had ever been. I made it to my bed, and collapsed on it for 20 minutes or so, when my breathing was back to normal, and I felt fine. No problem.
Yes problem. Today I had my 4th covid inoculation at the the doctor’s surgery. My daughter took me, and I only had to cross the road and walk up a small slope. And I felt OK.
Since I was feeling fine, we decided to do some shopping. First I went to get cash out of the post office, no problem. Then we bought some ant killer. A long time standing but still not too big a deal.
Then we decided to check out the range of beds at the local furniture store - just half a block away - down hill. I felt uncomfortable in the shop, but my daughter wanted to get pictures of all the possibilities for a bed for my son, who is moving into his own house soon. He isn’t a shopper - so we hoped we could find out the options, and then just call the shop and have it delivered to his new house. Lots of standing around. I felt light headed.
We crossed the busy road and were going to go to the bakery for something sweet and sticky but suddenly I couldn’t walk. I could hardly breathe. I felt very faint. I have fainted several times in the past and on those occasions I did get a small amount of warning. So my daughter had me stand holding on to a railing, while she moved the car over to pick me up.
I must have looked as bad as I felt because one lady stopped her car and asked me if I was OK. But I knew that I would be flat out in seconds, so my brain remembered that lowering your head between your legs was supposed to help. No way I could have done that, but I managed to bend over the railing, and the immediacy of the problem went down a degree.
My daughter led me into her car, and then again into the house. I wasn't up to the stairs, so sat in a chair in the living room which reclines - and 20 minutes later, I was OK again.
My daughter is a scientist, so she got busy with google and the various bits of information about my treatment, which was called Ferinject. It turns out that side effects include feeling faint, great shortness of breath, and are due to a very low level of potassium (or maybe a very high level, I am not a scientist). Blood pressure should be checked, and if very high or very low, call 111.
She’s gone out to buy a blood pressure monitor. But, right now, I feel just fine. But a glass of wine might make me feel any better. I wonder if it has potassium in it.
P.S. It is Phosphorus I am low in, not Potassium, and wine is OK.