Monday, August 26, 2013

The night when there was almost no tomorrow....Part 2


After what seemed like hours (which in actual fact, I think it was only an hour), seemed that the heaviness had passed and when I opened my eyes, the world looked colourful once again. Phew!

However, when the nurse came to ask for my identity card, i realised that my fingers were all so swollen probably due to edema, that I had trouble unzipping my handbag. I passed the whole bag to her, and just told her that I trusted her to just take whatever she needs for registration(which she did) before passing back my bag. Aside the itchiness caused by a body full of red furious looking weals, and the swollen fingers, I felt better than earlier, and I thought to myself, this probably would be just a night's stay in the ward, for the swelling to subside. In the midst of this all, while lying on the stretcher bed in the ER, I called the first couple of numbers on my phone, on the redial screen (those I called earlier that day)...one was to a colleague to inform the company, another to my brother. Couldnt really text anyone or call anyone else as my big swollen fingers cannot be sensed by my touchscreen phone... the irony of having the latest touchscreen...but yet it was not sensitive enough to recognize the attempts from swollen unfeeling fingers!

Nonetheless when the physician came, she arranged for me to be sent to the ICU ward. Naively, I started to protest. I mean, do I really need to be there? thats for very serious cases! But she insisted and I ended up being wheeled up to this secluded area, which was cordoned off with high security (i.e. you need to ring a bell for someone inside to open the steel doors for you). I was put in a bed, and then they hooked me up on some machines - to monitor my heart rate, my blood oxygen (oh yeah, I was put on the oxygen tube as well), etc, and a saline drip as well. Too tired by then to argue with the doctor, and I couldnt understand still why the ICU? Anyhow, I only realised how serious my condition was, when -
1) during the doctor's examination, I couldnt take any deep breathe without choking away and coughing incessantly
2) I was given one small white pill to swallow (i.e. montelukast), but it was oh so painful to swallow that tiny little pill...
Then only it dawned to me that internally, my airways are probably badly swollen as well! and that started to get me worried...

That night, I was put on the nebuliser - and pumped with all the inhaled corticosteroids available - from ventolin to pulmicort and a couple more. Every couple of hours, the nurse would come and check my blood pressure. And the various machines in the ICU, plus the nurses's station just in front meant that there were always people around me all the time, really didnt help me to get any rest. In the middle of the night, I also needed to go pee, and called the nurse. A group came in! But they would not allow me to get down from the bed to get to the toilet...so they wheeled in a portable toilet. Then they all waited for me to pee....how does one pee when the `whole world" (in this case, 3 nurses) is watching you?? I started to complain, and so they left me for a while...thank god!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The night when there was almost no tomorrow....Part 1

I have often being asked of what really happened when I mentioned I have had a bad allergic attack previously. Thought I'd better start writing that before memories start to fade, since it had been such a significant event in my life. And no, till now, though it happened last year, my memories on this had surprisingly been very intact and I remember every detail vividly....so...flashback.... 13 months ago....

One night in mid July 2012.. I went for dinner with bella after having an extremely tough and emotional day at work. I ordered a very commonly available seafood noodle soup, which wasnt spectacular and didint taste nice but I finished it off nevertheless. In the midst of dinner, I started to get discomfort in the stomach, with a growing bloated feeling, and hence, ended dinner early to go home. Thats when things started going weird. I felt flushed when I reached home, and then started to feel itchy here and there. Thought to myself, its probably my usual reaction to food, nothing to worry myself about. then the "avalanche" started...
* Felt itch starting from the base of my feet and moving up quickly like a swarm of ants climbing up my legs..
* weals started appearing on my legs, and trunk...
* my face looked very red and flushed
* my eyes looked bloodshot..which was scary
Thats when I decided to drive to the nearby clinic, and then another scary symptom - I started to get blurred and distorted vision. I thanked my lucky stars that night that I was able to get my friend staying upstairs my apartment to fetch me to the hospital on time!

I could barely walked straight when I got to the ER dept, and the scariest part was that my vision had by then lost all elements of colours, and suddenly what I could see was just black and white (like those days of black and white TV). Everything felt so surreal..I remember being directed to the treatment room, and thats what i could feel the slow motion of me falling to the ground as my brain and my limb motions seemed to have become disconnected...and it was at this moment, that a question suddenly hit me...."Is this...it (i.e. the end)?? as I felt darkness was about to engulf me, and I was about to lose consciousness..

No! I hear an inner voice telling me firmly..."don't give in..this shouldn't be `it'...this isnt my time yet"... I willed myself not to give in and to continue to fight...the main thing at that time was that I didnt want to lose consciousness, and hence fought to stay conscious and awake... as a part of me was really afraid that should I become unconscious, what if i don't wake up anymore??... I then remembered being helped up from the floor and then put on the hospital bed...all this time I had my eyes closed as it was really difficult to see properly and it was really exhausting... a flurried of activities as the medics started giving me injections and setting up IV lines...the beeping of the machines in ER, always a sound in the background..