A body shutting down …. ( part 1)

Health-wise I’ve encountered a rather challenging year.

I started to feel exhausted and drained just before our wedding last November, but wrote it off to wedding planning.

By January I felt I was losing my mind.

I seemed to be constantly sick and out of breath. This was obviously due to my body still carrying all the baby weight and me needing more exercise I determined.

So I began eating better, drinking more water and walking bear to and from school as well as trying to start running again.

And I did.

I even managed the Spar ladies race in February. But the exhaustion and breathlessness were overwhelming. I was working up to 16 hours a day on my blog and marketing and decided maybe I was just overworked.

Just after papas birthday in March I contracted the worst case of food poisoning which my Dr confirmed was a gastro virus. I felt like I was dying. I couldn’t breathe.

I want to tell you the antibiotics worked but I just got worse. Each week a new ailment attacked.

April came and I found myself taking Bear to school getting home from this 15-minute walk and sleeping until 1 pm when I needed to fetch him… Then I’d fetch him and have to rest until my feet stopped swelling and I could breathe again. I was always tired. My body ached and my feet were swelling each time I walked.

Dr after Dr could find nothing wrong with me. I was healthy!

I eventually begged my Dr for a full physical. They extracted more blood from me and took 10 separate tests, testing me for everything.

I had an ecg and stress test …


The only thing they could see was that I was suffering from a vitamin D deficiency and suggested a vitamin B booster shot.

But I was still aching everywhere and unable to make it through a full day without sleep. I begin to worry as I was still experiencing chest pains, breathlessness and kept yawning.

I’m no Dr but I knew I was sick and started to feel like a hypochondriac.

Just after Monkeys birthday, we made our way to the Department of Home affairs. I was fine, aside from a pain in my inner leg, where Bear had jumped on me weeks before.

That night I felt an awful pull on my shoulder and in my lower back. I attributed it to carrying my bag on that shoulder and standing so long as I still tend to put more weight on that side even though I’ve been able to walk again for months.

It wasn’t too bad, just uncomfortable and I visited with Byron and saw papa off to soccer.

At about 7.30 I started to feel very uncomfortable and insisted bear sleep so I could. I’d obviously pulled a muscle.

By 8pm I couldn’t move . I was having muscle and body spasms. Everywhere from my neck to the base of my spine was in pain . A pain so excruciating that I can only compare it to birthing.

I couldn’t breathe. I also couldn’t call anyone for help. Panicking I woke the kids and tried to phone papa. Through breathless heaves, I managed to tell him I couldn’t breathe and needed to go to the emergency room.

In those 10 minutes I waited for him to get here, I felt I was dying. I was having a panic attack at not being able to breathe. I was losing my vision, I was dizzy, nauseous and couldn’t stand or sit. Lying down was out of the question as my body spasmed it’s way into contorted shapes to try get comfortable.

I left bear with the kids and barely said a word to papa as I climbed into the car.

We rushed to the closest hospital .

I was using every effort left in my body to breathe. Instinctively I breathed as if in labour. Shivering as my body began to feel extremely cold.

We arrived at Blaauwberg Netcare and to save time papa dropped me at the emergency door so he could park.

I walked in and through laboured breathe managed to tell the receptionist I couldn’t breathe.

She asked my name, looking up just long enough from her computer screen to notice my face.

Then politely told me to *take a seat as someone would see me shortly* as she started printing stickers

I was astonished. All of my first aid training indicates that if a patient is in distress, having a panic attack or can’t breathe for any reason you attend them first before printing stickers!

I stood wrapping bears little blanket that I’d brought from home around my shivering, aching body. Waiting for someone to attend to me.

At one point I tried to sit but the agony was overwhelming and so I paced the waiting room.

Papa had parked by now and joined me. I arrived at 8.30pm.

It was closer to 9 pm when someone finally came to see me. She took me to a small cubical and did my vitals. 5 times she tried to take my blood pressure and 5 times it wouldn’t stabilise.

5 times!

At what point is it not an emergency that you can’t get a reading for blood pressure, the patient is shivering but dripping in sweat, can’t breathe and wants to pass out.

I asked for water as I was about to lose consciousness.

At this point I believed I was going to die right there on the spot.

No, she said. I might puke.

I remember thinking I also might die but that doesn’t seem to much of an issue, so get me water.

She fetched a wheelchair and my battered, exhausted body succumbed to the chair and I sat there falling in and out of sleep until 11 pm when a Dr finally saw me.

All of this at a private hospital that my medical aid is paying a fortune for.

She looked at me and asked me what my symptoms were. I explained mentioning a pain in my leg, and my visit to the Department of Home affairs thinking I may have sprained of pulled a muscle.

She did a urine test. I explained it would be inconclusive as I was coming off a period.

She listened to my chest. That was it …

A nurse came back to tell me I had a kidney infection and someone would phone me.

The Dr came back mentioned some meds and offered me a voltaren injection.

Bear in mind I’d been in pain since 8pm , it was now 11.30 pm. I was hardly able to breathe and exhausted. By now I was over trying to get treated as I just wanted to go home and sleep.

I remember thinking I would have been treated faster at a government hospital.

A quick script and painkillers and I was sent on my way.

A week later I phoned the same hospital as I was no better and in 40 years I’ve not once had a kidney infection like this. Even if I’ve only ever had one I knew it didn’t feel like this.

I was still exhausted. The breathlessness was worse. I couldn’t take ten steps without yawning and needing to sit down.

My knowledge said heart attack but my heart was strong and medical tests said I was healthy.

I spoke to a sister in the emergency room who told me they don’t phone people back as * do I know how much time it would take for them to phone everyone.*

I was overly peeved by this hospital by now. I phoned the hospital manager and just let her know how I felt and if I had the same mindset as her dedicated nursing staff , I’d have a good mind to tell my medical aid not to pay every Dr or hospital I see.

I have never in my life had such an awful experience in what would turn out to be a life threatening situation ….

( part 2 to follow)

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