15 December 2013

The best laid plans...

...of mice and men (and in my case, women) often go awry.

Robert Burns had no idea how right he was. My well thought out strategy (in my mind, anyhow) for avoiding the danger zone of work social occasions and the prospect weight gain in the run up to Christmas wasn't actually needed after all. I didn't make it to any of the 'dos' as things changed around me pretty rapidly.

On Wednesday morning (Lordy, but that seems like eons ago!), I went to work as usual, leaving my darling lovely hubby apparently perfectly fine and dandy behind me. I hadn't done much more than take my coat off after I got to work when the phone rang. He called me, in obvious distress, and asked me to come home right away as he'd been taken ill.

I could hear he wasn't kidding so I hopped in a taxi, and the driver (when I explained why I'd needed him) very kindly put his foot down. When I got home my hubby was in a lot of pain, sweating but freezing cold, grey and near panic, with a very tender and somewhat distended abdomen. The problem was that he'd sat on the toilet as usual in the morning, started to do the necessary, and then all hell let loose - something was blocking any progress and causing him immense pain in the process. By the time I got home, this had been going on for nearly three hours (I work a distance from home) and he was by now exhausted as well as hurting badly.

After he'd nearly passed out with the pain I persuaded him (OK, more like insisted, bullied, call it what you like) that I needed to call the emergency services. Thankfully a paramedic came out quite quickly. She was a darling, and calmly but rapidly assessed the situation, gave him gas & air to try to help him and, when this didn't get him very far, requested an ambulance. Yep, he had an intestinal blockage - at that point we didn't know why.

Off he was whizzed in the ambulance with me doing my Speedy Gonzalez act in our car following them to A&E at our nearest hospital. Bloods, observation, a gazillion questions and so forth later, we then began to wait for a doctor to be free (and it was an extremely busy morning in A&E... even for them!).

Finally, upon examination (boy, that was fun... not!), he was diagnosed with an impacted stool, a.k.a. a severe case of constipation. To be honest, this was something of a surprise to us as (to put this delicately) he hadn't had any problems in that respect in the preceding days. Nevertheless, something must have become lodged and impacted further up in the system some time back and then, when it did decide to move, it caused the complete blockage.

It also shut down his urinary system and, although it didn't seem such a big deal to us, this was what concerned the hospital rather more. I won't go into the treatment details other than to say we were there for the best part of the (very unpleasant) day and at one point hubby wryly observed that he thought he understood how a heifer might feel after artificial insemination! Bless him, it takes a lot for him to completely lose his quirky sense of humour.

After much discussion, and a bit of intervention, I was allowed to take him home late on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, the drive home in the darkness was a nightmare with him still in intense pain (for the record, those prescribed paracetamol don't do jack!), bumpy roads and fog! Still, we made it home safely and thus began several overly long days and nights of him being in a lot of pain... and what follows on from an intestinal blockage as the unwanted 'stuff' is then cleared from the system is something I'll leave un-described. Let's just say it's one heck of a mess, and roses isn't exactly the aroma which comes to mind.

Five days later and he's a whole lot better, if not by any stretch of the imagination back to normal. Still, the pain has mellowed to mere aching, soreness and discomfort, the 'Holy God, what a mess' has toned down to something rather more manageable, and last night he actually got most of a night's sleep... which meant I did too. He's still walking like John Wayne on a bad day, so won't be back in work for a few more days yet, but is at least able to take care of himself now so I can go back tomorrow.

As to that weight business? Well, I haven't been able to eat much at all (what between the stress and... er, circumstances) and I've been running round like a crazy woman (just don't ask me about one of our GPs screwing up his prescription until I've calmed down!) so I've actually lost weight. Hmmm, it's quite dramatically too. Looks like, for the first time in my life, I may approach Christmas needing to put a few pounds on! Bizarre or what?

Hopefully this will be all's well that ends well. Onwards, and wearily, upwards...


Nikki said...

Glad your husband is on the mend and that his medical situation did not take a more serious turn. Hope everything settles down and don't forget to take care of yourself too!

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