We all have a story, or several stories. Stories that define us and make us who we are, big things and little things that change us and how we see the world. Today I'm going to start telling you one of my stories.
At the start of 2007 I was healthy, fit and happy. I'd
just got engaged to the man of my dreams, we were moving in together, buying a house and life was going really well.
I was fit, healthy and never got sick. I couldn't remember the last time I'd had
a cold. Around February I got sick. First it was
just a viral throat infection. I didn't
go to the Dr for a while cause I assumed it'd go away, but after a
week I went to the Dr. He told me it was viral, gave me a med cert and
told me to come back if I wasn't better in a few days. Four days
later when I was still sick, I went back and he gave me antibiotics. I
got better, was better for a few weeks, then I got the flu. Between
February and May I had the flu twice, a chest infection twice and three
viral illnesses. In this time I lost 5kgs, which was okay as I was
carrying a bit of extra weight. I'd gone from 65kg's down to 60kg's.
By June the Dr and I knew something was wrong but we didn't know what.
I was exhausted all the time and could barely drag myself out of bed.
I'd get up, drag myself to work, struggle along for half a day and then
go home because I was too tired to function. In the middle of June I gave up and stopped going to work cause getting out of bed was too much
effort. I was seeing the Dr two to three times a week, he was
running all sorts of tests, but everything was showing up as normal. At this stage I didn't have any specific symptoms, I was just tired. I remember my boss calling me one day. It was 10am and he woke me up. I had to call in every day that I wasn't going to work and I hadn't called in so he was ringing to see where I was. He asked me what was wrong and I started to cry and told him I didn't know but I couldn't get out of bed. He asked if it was a cold or the flu and what my symptoms were but I couldn't tell him, all I could say what that I couldn't get out of bed.
Around the same time that I stopped going to work, I got a pain at the
top of my stomach, in between my ribs and it just didn't go away. It
was there all the time, it wasn't agony, it was more a sore, sick
feeling. When I told the Dr this he gave me tablets for reflux. I took
them for a few weeks and they calmed things down a bit but the feeling
was still there. I saw him on a Friday and told him this, so he sent me
off to have more blood tests and booked me an appointment for Monday.
On the Sunday I started to feel really sick and my stomach was feeling
extremely sore. I hardly slept that night because I was in so much pain
and Tiger said that I was groaning all night, so he didn't
sleep either. I also had a high fever. I went to my Dr's appointment on
Monday (I don't know how I got there and back without having a car crash
and killing myself). I was so sick that I didn't even think of telling
the Dr how sick I was or that I had a fever, I just told him my stomach
was sore and I didn't feel very well. He booked me in for an ultrasound
on Thursday and told me to come back at the end of the week.
The next few days I got sicker and sicker. I couldn't eat anything because every time I
did I was in agony from my stomach. The only thing that didn't make me
sick was yoghurt, so that's all I was eating. Plus, I wasn't at all
hungry. I was sleeping all day and was in so much pain I couldn't stand
up straight. It took all my energy to get out of bed and have a shower.
It'd take me an hour cause I'd have to keep on sitting down
to rest. Then I'd drag myself to the lounge room and sleep all day.
I wasn't drinking cause I didn't have enough energy to go to the
kitchen and fill up my water bottle, so once it was empty I'd have to
wait until Tiger got home and filled it up. Nights were the worst, I was in
so much pain that I couldn't sleep and I'd just lay there. Amazingly,
Tiger didn't seem to notice that I was gravely ill, he was too absorbed in
whatever was going on in his head (by his own admission, he was an asshole back then).
By the Wednesday I was a mess and knew I couldn't get through another
night. I don't know what I thought would happen, but I just
knew I couldn't do it. I was so sick that I didn't know what I
needed to do. Thankfully, Mum rang up in the afternoon. She knew I'd been sick so when
she heard my voice and I told her I was sick she told me that
I needed to go to the Dr and tell them it was an emergency. I got off
the phone to her and asked Tiger what he thought I should do, he said to do
whatever I thought, so helpful of him. I rang the Dr's surgery at around 4.30pm and they said
that they couldn't fit me in. I told them that I was really sick and
didn't know what to do, if I should see a Dr or go to hospital, so
thankfully they squeezed me in.
I told Tiger that he had to drive me to the Dr and as I was struggling my
way to the bedroom to put my shoes on, he looked at me and said "Gee
babe, you've lost a lot of weight." I got pretty annoyed by that, so
turned around and growled at him, "I told you I'm sick!"
Between the Sunday night and the Wednesday I lost 6kg's.
I saw the Dr and was in with her for 45 minutes whilst she examined me
and then tried to get me a hospital bed. I'd always thought that having
private health cover meant that when I needed to go to hospital I'd be
able to but apparently that's not the case. She called 4 hospitals
before she could get me a bed! As it turned out this was very fortunate,
as the hospital she got me into specialises in stomach problems, so
that worked out well.
Whilst I was sitting there listening to the Dr talking to the hospital, I was getting a little upset. She'd weighed me and I was
54kg's and she kept on saying that I was anorexic. For some reason,
despite how bad I felt and the agony I was in, I was really upset at
being called anorexic. I wasn't anorexic, I wanted to eat, but I
couldn't! Once I got to hospital they explained to me that I was
medically anorexic, which mean that I was extremely underweight, not
that I had an eating disorder.
When I walked out of the Dr's office and told Tiger that I was being
admitted to hospital he got all worried and said to me, "I didn't know
you were that sick babe." I thought to myself, 'well if you'd bothered
to take your head out of your ass and look at me you would have
realised!', but I didn't say that, I just said, "I told you I'm sick".
Once he realised that I was sick he got all worried and helpful.
went home, packed a bag for me and trotted off to hospital. Whilst they
were waiting for my room to be readied, they settled me in the heart
ward. That was fun. Because they didn't have me hooked up to the heart
machine, it kept on beeping, which was slightly disconcerting, so they
turned it off, which was much better. Not sure why it'd been turned on
in the first place but anyhow.
The Dr put a drip in (after the
nurse had 2 failed attempts, nice) and then proceeded to poke and prod
me and ask all sorts of strange questions. The first things both the Dr
I'd seen at the Dr's surgery and the hospital Dr thought of were
ectopic pregnancy and appendix, but they'd done the tests, I wasn't
pregnant and I don't have appendix, they came out when I was 21, so they
were stumped. Two of the strange questions I remember being asked were,
have you had sore eyes (which I had) and have you had mouth ulcers
(which I had). I now understand why they asked those questions, but at
the time I wondered what my mouth and eyes had to do with my stomach
They took blood and about half an hour later told me that
my blood tests indicated that I had some type of infection but they
didn't know what it was. I didn't know it was possible to get test results
back so quickly.
After a while my room was ready so I was wheeled
up there, settled in and pumped full of drugs which was great because
it meant that I got a good night's sleep which I hadn't for 3 nights.
The next day, the fun began. At first I had two Dr's, a surgeon and a
Registrar. They were both nice. The Registrar oversaw every test I
had and explained them to me which was very reassuring.
me on nil by mouth, which was fine because I wasn't hungry at all. My first test was an ultrasound. The Registrar
was there when I had the test. It showed enlarged lymph nodes on the
right side of my stomach but nothing else. Apparently there was 1 less
enlarged node than would indicate cancer so that was a relief. So we
still didn't know what was wrong, but we knew it wasn't cancer. One more
illness crossed off the list.
I was starting to feel a little
bit better as they were treating me with 3 types of antibiotics, pain
killers, steroids and fluids. At one stage I had 6 bags hanging from my
drip stand. I was still feeling pretty sick though, I couldn't read
because it took too much effort and I was spending most of my time
As soon as he heard I was in hospital Dad came up,
which was really sweet of him. He was there first thing the Thursday
morning. Mum came up to visit too, and my brother called me every day.
I'm lucky my family are there for me when
I need them.