Crash landing

Phew, it’s hot: 39deg today, forecast 41deg tomorrow, and similar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That’s very definitely a heat wave.

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I’ve just got home from three days (well, 2½ days) in Joondalup Hospital. On Sunday I was feeling my usual recent weakness and low energy. I got up from this chair and felt the light headedness and wooziness I’ve been feeling lately.

It passed after a few seconds so I walked out to the kitchen, through the gap between the kitchen bench and the glass cabinet.

Suddenly, within the space of a second or two, my knees buckled and my legs were gone from under me. I crashed to the floor (hence the title), my hard tiled floor. Luckily I went front first and wasn’t carrying anything, nor did I knock any glass down with me.

I lay there dazed for five minutes or so, thinking what to do. I’ve long known that due to my size, I can’t lift myself with my legs. I reached up to the sink and gave it a try, but no go.

So I just had to slide myself along the (tiled) floor to reach the lock on the front door, so I could let someone in, whoever I decided to call. It took me 45 minutes of sliding. I got the door unlocked and decided to call the ambulance, because I know they have a blowup chair that they slide under people like me to lift us up. Last time this happened, they told me that about a third of their calls are for this reason. (Another third of the calls are from drunks or deros hoping to get a free ride home or somewhere. If they manage to persuade the ambos, they get a bill for $450. Ha Ha.) I was able to pull my mobile phone down from the desk by its charging cable and I called 000 while lying on the floor.

Anyway, the ambulance turned up about 15 mins later with two guys, both named Ian, both Poms. They were very thorough, of course, making sure they knew what had happened and that nothing more serious was wrong (e.g. it might have been a stroke). They had to call another ambulance which carries the Whoopie cushion, the “Bouncy Castle”. That took another 15 mins. That worked a treat and got me up onto my feet again.

They decided, since I seemed a bit forgetful and confused at the time (I was a bit dazed and shocked), that they needed to take me to Joondalup ED. No worries. I had to grab the essentials, no spare clothes because I thought I’d be home the next day. Just CPAP bag, phone, meds, prescriptions and wallet. That was it.

I was taken into the ED on a stretcher and bed and after quite a wait, I was gently questioned about what had happened and a host of other things. That took until about 8.30pm, with lots of gaps and waits.

They decided to admit me overnight in view of my history and ailments. No problem for me. Oh, forgot to mention, I had caught and scraped the underside of my left upper arm and elbow on the kitchen bench. There was a bit of skin off and a huge bruise, and a scrape of one of my toes. Everyone looked at these and tsk tsked, but no-one did anything about it. It took until late yesterday for them to clean and dress these small wounds.

So I spent the evening with just one round of sandwiches to sustain me in the MAU, the Medication Assessment Unit on the first floor. I spent the night (Sunday) there, bored stiff and completely unable to sleep, partly because I found I’d forgotten to bring the tube with the CPAP machine, and also due to the endless noise just outside in the corridor. (Note to self: order spare CPAP tube(s). Luckily they’re quite cheap on Wish.com.)

Then yesterday, a succession of doctors and allied staff came and asked me about my diabetes meds and were discussing my blood pressure. It looks as if my blood pressure has been too low, hence the dizzy spells lately. But yesterday and today the diabetes educator talked to me about the insulin and tablets I’m on, and it has become clear that I was left completely in the dark and confused about what the two injections I use are for, and the tablets and what they do. I’m a bit annoyed that no-one explained these last year.

I’ve also been told I can stop taking my blood pressure medication, because I don’t need it – my BP stays OK without it. No more dizzy spells, I hope.

I also had a visit from a physio lady this morning (in the hospital) to talk about where I am regarding balance, steadiness, walking ability and so on. She was quite happy that I’m not a dodderer and offered to get me to come in to the hospital’s “gym” in about a month’s time for some personal treatment. Yum.

Forgot to mention, they asked me on Sunday if I wanted a public (Medicare) room, or a private room. I said private (I’ve never used the public system before). The lady said “Remember, that will be $250 due to your HBF Excess.” Uh oh! I’d forgotten that. “Can I avoid that?” “Yes, just choose a Medicare public ward.” OK, I’ll have that, I said.

But later on Monday they moved me upstairs and I was put into a single occupant, private room anyway. It was immaculate, like a 4 star hotel room. Ah, the blissful quietness. I mentioned this to the nurses and they said, “No, don’t say that, PLEASE! It’s like saying Macbeth in the theatre, it’s a curse. We don’t say the ‘Quiet’ word around here.” Oh, OK. What about if I said “COVID?” “Oh, that’s OK, we’re not scared of that (yet).”

So, after lunch and more talks with doctors and nurses, I was able to check myself out about 3pm and got a taxi home, in the 40deg heat. Ooooww. But the aircon’s on and the house has cooled down, so all’s right with the world. For now.

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