Monday, 5 April 2010

An unscheduled hospital visit

For a while now I've been getting nervous every time my husband has gone away on a trip, because something bad always seems to happen while he's away. Past examples include a car accident, a nasty fever and falling over and ending up in A&E. I've even taken to joking that I'm going to ground him until the birth!

Now I'm almost serious. Just one hour after he left for a four day trip over the weekend, I started vomiting, and before I knew it, I had full blown gasto-enteritis. It lasted all night and well into the next day, and eventually I realised I just wasn't getting any better - in fact I was feeling worse. I also realised I just wasn't able to keep even water down, and aware that this couldn't be good for the baby at all, I finally decided to call the hospital.

The ambulance came immediately, and they put me on a drip and took me to hospital. At A&E they diagnosed severe dehydration (there were signs my muscle was starting to be used for energy, as my body wasn't getting anywhere near enough nutrients) and admitted me overnight.

This was my first ever overnight stay in hospital, and with my husband away, it was a very scary experience. Luckily a couple of wonderful friends took shifts staying with me unti bedtime, one of them even bringing me a "care package" of something to sleep in, some warm socks and even her ipod, pre-loaded with lots of British radio podcasts. I was so touched by their amazing generosity.

I shared a room with just one other woman (a real improvement on the NHS in the UK, where I'd probably have been in a ward with a minimum of four beds!) and bump and I were well looked after, but there's no getting away from the fact that hospital is NOT home. The bed was slightly uncomfortable, the room too light, I missed my duvet, my pyjamas, my own shower (in fact ANY shower - I couldn't use one as I was continuously strapped to my IV - I even had to take it with me to the toilet!) Most of all, though, I missed my husband. He called me as often as he could (luckily, there's no problem with the use of a mobile in hospital here) and I was so glad just to hear his voice.

The medical staff actually wanted me to stay a second night, but I took the decision that I would feel much better at home, and after some persuasion they discharged me yesterday afternoon. The relief of getting back to our apartment was incredible.

My friends here have rallied round, too - I got back to notes under my door offering help, and friends have brought me books, DVDs, things to drink and just wonderful company. Another made me an Easter meal last night (as much as I could eat of it!) and I was immensely touched. When you're this far away from home and your husband is thousands of miles away, things like that are so important.

Thank God my husband is back tomorrow morning. I've missed him so much. It's at times like these when you just wish your husband did a 9-5 job in an office just 30 minutes away, rather than an international, 24-hours a day job with an office mile high in the sky...

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