Research and preparation for the next series of Vivacity in 2011 has been temporarily halted due to family illness. My mum was taken ill with what we all thought was a tummy bug two weeks ago. However, it didn’t pass and she was eventually admitted to Yeovil hospital A&E department. After blood tests, chest x-rays and examinations she was diagnosed with severe pancreatitus. Now, I’ve heard of the pancreas before but given it no more thought than that. I wasn’t even sure where it was or what it did.
The doctor explained that the pancreas is responsible for insulin production and also for producing digestive enzymes. In the case of an infection the pancreas dumps a load of these enzymes into the body whereby they proceed to digest the body from the inside out. Nasty! This would explain the pins and needles Mum had been complaining about as the enzymes were attacking her blood vessels. It would also explain her problems breathing as they were also under attack. Her renal system, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature were very unstable. He said she was very poorly and could be in hospital for a month.
After five hours we were moved up to a ward. I got the shock of my life when they took us to intensive care. I didn’t realise mum had got so sick so quickly. She’s usually fit strong and healthy and I can’t even remember her having the doctor out before. It was very scary to see her with so many tubes and wires everywhere and connected to all those bleeping machines.
But I can’t fault the fabulous care she’s received in the hospital and the nurses in intensive care have been amazing, especially Tim and Sam. They’ve been so good to mum, very attentive and very patient with all my questions. She’s received fluids, anti-biotics, oxygen, painkillers, a nasal-gastric feed and blood transfusions. Her renal system, heart rate and blood pressure has stabilised but her breathing is still a big worry.
She may need a chest drain but they’re trying to avoid it as she’s had so many intrusive procedures already. She’s still in intensive care while they try and stabilise this and they haven’t even begun to address the gall stones that probably caused the pancreatitus in the first place. This is a horribly painful condition and I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I didn’t realise that gall stones could have such serious implications. Pancreatitus can also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption and the symptoms of the disease are indigestion, tummy ache and bloating. Innocuous signs that I’m sure most of us wouldn’t take seriously.
At the moment I feel like I’m living in an episode of E.R. – I’m quickly learning about arterial lines, blood gases and nebulisers. Although I have to say I’m disappointed that the doctors aren’t as cute. A little bit of eye candy would’ve been a big plus!
I’m still visiting every day and luckily can stay with relatives in Dorset who only live thirty minutes drive away from Yeovil so not as long as the journey from Bristol and back. And I’ve been basking in the waves of love, reiki and prayers that friends, family and colleagues have been sending us. It has truly made a huge difference and helped me keep strong to know so many are thinking of us. Thank you.