Sunday, June 23, 2013

The value of feeling useful

She would have given her all to jump in with me, but no such luck. A quick smart ambulance ride to the nearest hospital is what you will get if you stumble into a GPs surgery with a chest cough, a sallow complexion, temperature at 38.x and blood pressure at 74/41.

Pneumonia was offiicial when the xrays came back a couple of hours later, rampant in right lung, white spots in the left.

I am now into the 5th day of a 6 hourly IV slurrie, which takes 40 minutes to go in, and sets me asleep for the next 2 hours. At some stage during this blessed cycle, my temperature starts to push up to the high 38s, they take bloods to try to identify the bug that is eluding the dragnet, adjust the slurrie, and off we go again. The xrays get taken again tomorrow to determine any progress.

But, all that was by way of introduction, what I really wanted to share with you was an activity I was asked to be involved with at the hospital. A physician is a doctor who is on his/her way (let's settle on 'her' in the current climate) to being a specialist. Very few are much below 30 years of age, many with young families. To be recognised as a 'physician' (not the American Physician which is equivalent to the Australian 'General Practitioner'), they have to undergo rigorous assessment by their peers, and both written and practical exams set by their governing professional body.

Yesterday, I got to play 'patient' for 4 pairs of candidates. I was one of four such patients. They had 7 minutes to examine me clinically, and then 8 minutes to expain their findings to the 'examiner'. This was NOT the real deal, this was a rehearsal.

When they entered the clinic, they were told my name, and that I was a patient who encountered difficulty walking. I was allowed to do what they asked , but I was not allowed to speak (how hard was that!!) One candidate was spot on with his diagnosis, another was just a little way off, but the other two need to look to their technique a bit more. Except for the first candidate, they were each incredibly nervous, which astounded me. Needless to say, being involved in something as 'useful' as that was immensely exciting and fulfilling.

Except that when I got wheel chaired back to the Ward my blood pressure was at 159, and I slept for the next 4 hours.


Ann said...

Good god, I wondered why you were quiet but thought you were busy. You were but not the way I thought. I don't know what to say. Hang in there and I really hope they find out what's causing the trouble very soon. All the best. If there's anything I can do let me know. Which hospital?

Julie said...

North Shore in the infectious diseases ward. Good place to be over the last few days. They redo the lung xrays tomorrow (or Tues), plus I have a liver ultrasound scheduled as there is damage there too, they reckon. Mentally though, I am top of it more now ...

head in the sun said...

74/41 !!!
Isn't that dead?!

Lil, my niece had pneumonia 2 years ago caused by.....????
Hospital - pumped full of antibiotics.
Mystery infection/virus/alien body.
Never identified it.
Maybe you have that mystery one too.

Sorry you are feeling poop.
Hope you get better soon.

Julie said...

Letty, a BP of 74/41 makes it a smidge hard to remain upright. But in all these things, I take my fortitude from youknowwho and her never say die spirit.

brattcat said...

oh, dear girl, you astound us with a magnificent post from your hospital bed. is your granddaughter permitted to come and see you?

Julie said...

Yes, she is BC, She has been here a number of times, just no close touching.

Margaret said...

Do hope you are feeling better soon and get some answers which will allow treatment and a cure.
Being the subject of helpful investigation must have been a tad stressful for you, at least you now know how to get that B P back up.
Try to get some vitamin C daily it does work,Ive just been a week in a house with daughter and 2 kids coughing and sneezing, but I escaped uninfected.

Julie said...

Margaret, Kirsten is very strongly in favour of fresh squeezed lemon an dhoney

diane b said...

So sorry to hear you are so 'crook'. I hope they can get on top of that bug whatever it is. Well done for blogging while in hospital. Just think of your little darling and get better soon.

Julie said...

Iam only doing personal blogging Diane. That is what I will restrict myself to for the immediate fitire, Allthe rest is just too onerous. Thanks for the good wishes,

FigMince said...

Some grapes for you, Julie.
Hope you’re better soon.

Julie said...

Thanks, FM

BunnyFactor10 said...

Ugh. That is nasty. Am sending healthy healing vibes across the world.

bitingmidge said...

Found you! Should have thought of here sooner. Just get well soon!


Joan Elizabeth said...

Been travelling so hadn't caught up with your illness. I hope you are recovering well.

Julie said...

Thank you, Marieke, Peter, and Joan. I am improving gradually.