I work in a hospital, I usually work two shifts mine and an overtime shift, with a ninety minute break in between. Last Sunday I picked up my bag that I use to amuse myself with in between my shifts, contains my kindle on which I have an audiobook as well as some cross stitching and lately some colouring as well. So walking along the corridor I felt what I can only describe as a sharp pain, like a sting, had I been out for a walk I might have thought I had been bitten or stung. Anyway time I had got along the corridor to the canteen to meet up with the others on the same break the top end of my thumb had gone black and was very swollen, from normal to discoloured, sore and swollen in less than two minutes. My colleagues did not like the look of it and by now my thumb was cold. They sent me down to see the supervisor and to let her know I was going to A&E to get it looked at - just meant I might not be available for the overtime shift depending on how long I was down there.
Sadly just because you are dressed in an NHS uniform you do not get any sort of priority! So I reported to A&E, got triaged within about fifteen minutes and then sat and waited. Two hours after getting there, and I was informed by the receptionist it was a quiet afternoon, I got taken through to minors. The Dr looked at my thumb and thought it was a blood clot. She really did not think there was much she could do and planned on drawing round it telling me to come back if it expanded anymore. Ten minutes later she came back with another Dr who agreed on the blood clot answer but decided they needed it seeing by a Vascular Expert but he was currently in surgery and they were hoping he would be pout for 8pm. They decided the best bet was to admit me until I could be seen.
By now it was nearly 6 o'clock and I had had nothing to eat since 11.30. I knew that time I got further into the hospital system all that would be available to eat would be a sandwich or a salad, neither of which are any use to me due to my food allergies. It is at times like this knowing the system and the staff comes in handy, so somebody went and got me a hot meal as I knew what was on the menu.
So after I had something to eat the Dr came back for blood samples. Before I got moved into the Clinical Assessment Unit ( CAU) I had my blood pressure and temperature taken, blood pressure was ridiculously high at this point. This is a fairly new part of the hospital and apart from being a maze that is hard to find your way round it is also painted in some vivid colours. So I got settled into my single room. This real appealed to me as I hate the heat and had my window open. At this point I was still not sure what their plan was for me, whether they were keeping me in or not. I had been keeping hubby up to date and there was no point in him bringing in a bag until I knew I was staying.
There is free wifi available in the CAU so I made the most of it and downloaded a new audiobook and four episodes of Criminal Minds. I did not think this would be available up the stairs so I was making sure I had something. I was happy to amuse myself with colouring.
By 9pm the surgeon was still in surgery and they decided they were going to keep me in overnight. So DD1 and hubby brought my stuff up via McDonalds.......hubby did not want one he had eaten half a packet of cream biscuits for his tea!!!! Various members of staff popped in to say hello.
A member of staff came in and did an ECG, which was normal, and took my blood pressure again which by now was back to normal. Just after 10.30 pm they decided that they were moving me upstairs to a ward. I had been hoping to stay downstairs but no luck. Hubby and daughter went home at this point taing with them bits and pieces I had I did not need. Up the stairs I was put into a six bedded room with elderly ladies. I had not expected to get much sleep and I was not too bothered as I knew that the ward would be busy overnight. I was not wrong, Some the the people in the large room were amputees and so needed to buzz for commodes over night. I spent the night listening to my audio books, watchung various downloads on my kindle and colouring.
The next morning I managed to get a roll and jam for my breakfast. It was a waiting game to get into the bathroom, but then I was going nowhere quickly so it did not really matter. I have to say having had no sleep overnight, and not much on Saturday night either thanks to the granddaughter crying, I was not in the best frame of mind. I was sitting cross stitching with my headphones on while I listened to my audiobook. But the oldies wanted to talk and I was not really interested so I was pretending I did not hear them, so they would come over in their wheelchair and tap me on the arm and talk to me.....really irritating, and I have to confess to wanting to tell them to bu**er off and leave me alone. I am not one for small talk at the best of times but I suppose these ladies had been in for four to six weeks and I was a new face.
Anyway just before lunch the Vascular Specialist came round and looked at my thumb. By now it had spread to my whole thumb but was more gray than black. The specialist was trying to convince me I had bruised my thumb with some sort of trauma, I think I would have noticed. All my blood results were normal. He decided at this point to send me for a duplex scan to check for a blood clot but I could not get this until the following day. When given the option to stay until then or go home and come back I decided going home was the best option.
Unfortunately the scan did not show anything. I have no furring of the arteries, no plaque anywhere and nothing to cause a clot. Twice on thursday my thumb flared up and went cold and black again. Something is going on, this is not normal and today my whole thumb is grey. The plan had been if it showed anything I was to be readmitted straight back to the ward.
The next stage is to go for a heart scan and to have a 24 hr blood pressure monitor on. Hopefully should not be too long.
Another case of the NHS being great at the point of the emergency.