OK, so there's me booked to speak on Wednesday to 500 health professionals at the thrilling 'Infection Prevention and Control 2017' event. Lots of clever, senior medical people in the line-up And little old me, who wouldn't know his Metatarsal from his Metabolism. I was there because I'd been on the other side of the fence, twice hospitalised by bladder infections, or UTI's. Urinary Tract Infections. I do know that hokum phrase at least.
Here's proof I was on the line-up. I had 20 minutes to talk about my bladder. Rock 'n Roll...
So of course I had a blog lined up in my mind. How fun it was to say 'willy' at a medical conference. How when my first bladder control symptoms emerged I lived in France, so I could pee anywhere. That sort of thing.
And then guess what? Sunday night before my grand outing I felt weird, Monday too. And by the evening with a raging fever and painful cramps setting in down my left-hand side, I knew I had another UTI. The two nice paramedic chaps knew I had a bad case too and blue-lighted me to my unfortunate home-from-home, Luton & Dunstable Hospital. I was whizzed through from A&E into my own hideaway, disturbingly called the Resuscitation Room. They assured me this was just about speedy availability, but I did wonder just how serious this was going to be.
The team had a nightmare undressing me, as the fever had already paralyzed my left arm 90 degrees at the elbow, and was scrunching my hand into a painful, immobile claw. Removing my shirt around me was like a puzzle, though I did let them know they were welcome to cut it apart, so desperate was I start being pumped full of whatever.
Whopping catheter shoved in you-know-where, canular inserted (in my arm!), blood and urine samples carted off, UTI confirmed. But the pain in my cramping left elbow and hand were off the scale now. I was breathing fast and short, and my heart was pumping like a mouse's. I heard the word 'morphine' mentioned, and once that happened, I wouldn't stop nagging those around me to do the deed. It felt like hours, though was probably a matter of minutes. Morphine, marvellous morphine, intravenously. Almost instant, glorious pain relief and some freeing up of the tension. My fingers could move enough to take a crap selfie.
A whoozy two nights in an Acute Ward, with further odd morphine doses as the antibiotics grappled with my gremlins and my temperature - over 41 at one point... And early Wednesday morning a transfer to a normal, four person ward. That three night stay has a whole other blog in it.
Suffice to say, I'm out and alive. Grateful to the overstretched NHS for acting so speedily, and for filling me with so many needles. And this visit, on at least two occasions, the morning toast was warm. A butter-meltin' miracle...
And now the unpleasant waiting game to play with Multiple Sclerosis. How much damage is done, how much can I recover? Right now I'm awaiting a home follow-up visit, then I'm back off to bed... No morphine though, but that's because there's no pain, hurrah!