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the big blue plastic bed … and endless waiting and uncertainty

December 28, 2011

Golly I feel swamped in a hot airless sticky neon lit gloom of blue plastic furniture.

Since The Spaniard’s movements decreased again quite as dramatically as they had restarted, I’ve been going back into the MFAU for twice daily baby heart traces … and yesterday as well an ultra sound … the baby heart trace has been pretty much ‘textbook’ although it has got slower and had a few ‘decelerations’ which isn’t great but hence the monitoring … and nothing serious enough to think about taking out a possibly poorly baby at this stage which is good. However, this morning when they did my pulse it was suddenly high … stress you might think from all the other tests, or obvious at this point in pregnancy (both contributing factors) however when it is normally between 60 and 78 and after a very calm morning and a good night’s sleep (during which I felt my first 7 Branston / Braxton (whatever they’re called) Hicks Contractions) and a nice bath I had set out to the Rosie feeling all relaxed … and it was measured at average 114 beats per minute over a prolonged period it was apparently cause for concern.

So … having got to the MFAU at about 8.30, and been wired up and tested and covered in KY jelly I then had to wait on the blue plastic chair to see what the doctor thought about my elevated pulse. I was sent along to clinic 2 which was the cardiology unit … quite literally almost a mile walk away.

I set off clutching papers and coat (so so so hot in the hospital) feeling a bit deflated and eventually found the unit and was sent to a side room with a large blue plastic double bed. The perky heart monitoring person wired me up for a grand total of 9 seconds “I’m fast” she said and the gave me a print out and sent me back to the MFAU with it saying my heart beat was indeed faster than it should be. So … trundled back along the hot hot corridor to the MFAU, saw doctor who said “hmmmm” you need to discuss this in clinic later. So I headed back to Mum’s for a full 15 minutes to get some air and have a piece of cheese on toast (she is amazing). Then turned round and went all the way back to the clinic (through the long grass … swish swish swish, along the hot hot hot corridor … plod plod plod, up the shiny orange slope … pant pant pant, through the heavy double doors … heave heave heave, down the stairs … waddle waddle waddle you get the picture!) and sat there all eager and ready for my 1.30 appointment. Had blood pressure measured again (low to normal but absolutely fine), did sample (fine) and got hotter and hotter (no windows) sitting on a small blue plastic chair with no arms getting increasingly uncomfortable. 2 hours later still hadn’t been seen so got big stroppy … was seen by lovely consultant eventually but by then was v fed up and hurting and generally feeling exhausted and alone.

He sat down on a single blue plastic bed and hummed and ha’d about the heart beat thing … did a test of his own (still high) and then did it again 4 times and announced that not only was my heart beat high it also appeared to be dropping a beat every now and again (he listened for 45 seconds) and pronounced my heartbeat ‘erratic’. He asked how I felt about being admitted, I told him (and also said Mum next to hospital etc) and he said better health wise (MRSA etc) not to be in hospital but I might have to be if it would get the tests done quicker … so he disappeared muttering something about 24 hour tapes only to reappear with my rheumatology consultant 20 mins later (I have dodgy immune system prone to over activity so have had to have that monitored too). She felt pulse, listened to lungs and generally prodded and poked and then said she agreed and they both disappeared again – when they came back they said I need to have 3 heart tests before Friday:

1 – another ECG

2 – an Echo gram

3 – a 24 hour tape test (they attach little box to you which records heart beat during that time … that done best out of hospital in normal walking around environment

oh and apparently my lungs sounded “crackly” so 4 – I also have to have lung function tests … oh and again on Friday morning have 5 – baby heart monitor again.

If I don’t hear tonight I will not be admitted and I’ll hear in the morning when the tests are and if I’m to be admitted tomorrow night … BIG SIGH … this limbo life is just so hard … unable to plan things to get baby stuff sorted out and to see people as I never seem to know from minute to minute where I’m going to be. That having been said a lovely friend came to the heart test with me yesterday which made the whole thing fly by in a much more pleasant manner.

So … finally home after 8.30 am start about 11 1/2 hours later feeling as if I’ve lost another day of life to blue plastic and over heated corridors. Roy’s been down with his mother for a couple of days, The Spaniard is lurching around (rather than making deliberate arm  /  leg movements), I feel drained and utterly exhausted and a little shell shocked and yet again in need of some TLC and a bit of sunshine and a margarita … you know what I also feel like swearing alot … bugger bollocks fuck … but still at least they are keeping a close eye on me … two but 4 consultants today.

Would I be better admitted? Who knows … it seems not if the 24 hour tape is better done pottering around ‘normally’ and I’m close enough to be in A&E in 4 minutes if anything happens. The benefit would be a bed to lie in rather than endless waiting rooms but I never saw as many people as promptly as I did today when I was in so I guess it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other … and this way I can sleep better at night – which is good, and I can at least fold baby clothes and try to get my head around the fact that The Spaniard could be here soonest any day now, latest 12th January which is 2 weeks tomorrow … so all in all it seems better to be ‘out’ and able to go in at a moment’s notice as required. Pregnant people with dodgy immune systems are far more likely to get sick in hospital than out of it.

The whole blue furnishings thing is starting to intrigue me! So far:

– curtains (paper)

– heart scan chair

– bed side sitting in arm chair thing

– guest stackable chair

– single couch bed thing in consultation room

– double bed in adult heart monitor room

– blankets on beds in the ward

and even floor linoleum colour … maybe it’s meant to be calming or cooling in such a hot hospital?!

Anyway – enough of that and time to eat something and sort through the lovely baby things my brother and his family bought me for Christmas from the far East. Tomorrow is a whole other day of faff which hopefully I can forget til then … this whole pregnancy thing has been the most bizarre experience ever … but at least it seems The Spaniard is doing ok in a “we still don’t know what’s wrong with it but there’s now something wrong with you which is more important” kind of a way… Not good to give me a Cesarean until they know what’s up with my heart and if better to leave baby in or take it out and which will have least bad effect on both of us.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2011 9:56 pm

    We’re finally on to the pomegranate candles.
    Am wondering how many of these appointments actually need you to be physically there and how much could be portable and at home with you reporting into the consultants… Am wondering how much the internet could save the trundling about and weary waiting. In the same way the 24 hr heart test is portable, how much of the other stuff will be one day?
    Anyway, hang on in there, you’re on the home stretch for sure now.
    keep rockin little spaniard.

    • December 29, 2011 12:24 am

      Yay for the pomegranate ones … sniff sniff … thank you xx

      you know I’d wondered the same about use of internet and texting for testing … I’m sure so many hours of time could have been saved today (and most days I’m there) with better structure around appointments and also then remote tests. Obviously there also needs to be free wifi in hospitals but we already know that!

      Am hanging on helped so much by all the warmth and love here and from the candles … and mother’s cauliflower cheese this evening which banished the hospital blues away… just need to get some more sleep, some more fresh air and some more sense into the phrase, “I’m having a baby sometime in the next fortnight” …

  2. Frank permalink
    December 29, 2011 7:49 am

    just caught up with the “status”…. sounds like you are (almost) back on track even if it is scary, frustrating, boring, super sensitised, hyper all at the same time. We keep you, the Spaniard (or should that be the lil’ Turk given the worry caused?) Roy and your Mum in our thoughts and say prayers for you. We look forward to the best news very soon.
    Fingers and toes crossed Love Frank, Sally & the boys “downunder”

  3. Joan Lawton and Neill Murray permalink
    December 29, 2011 10:13 am

    You are having an eventful time, I would not have been surprised by the increased heart rate ealier in the week, but it does sound like you had a calmer day, perhaps it was a bit of delayed shock, finger, toes etc crossed as ever.

    As to the blue theme, may be it is meant to calm you [ failed] , may be it is to make you feel at home [failed] or they think it is a hospital/anti infection colour i.e. think of the plasters chefs wear when they cut their fingers!!! [so they can find them if they fall off I think] , not sure if that works either as you are not going to loose a chair in the soup. Guess I think it was the favourite colour of the procurement officer, just think what his/her home looks like

    We are thinking of you all, sending you all our prayers and calm thoughts and lots of hugs

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