Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Going for a ride in an ambulance.

Oh boy it’s been a yucky few days. The other night I went to bed feeling just as I usually do but during the middle of the night I was awoken suddenly because my body was crashing big time! I came too gasping for air and jumped up realizing that I was extremely dizzy and clammy and my heart was pounding. I felt like I was seconds away from passing out. My first thought was I had to open my front door so that if I died someone would find me. I staggered in a terrible panic to the door and opened it, then lost my balance and ended up on the floor. I crawled across to the phone and called for an ambulance. If you have ever called an ambulance you’d know that they ask you a heap of questions that at that moment seem stupid and irrelevant, I just wanted help!!

When the ambo’s arrived I was still on the floor and they proceeded to ask more dumb questions like ‘what kind of work do you do’ … HELLO I CANNOT BREATHE!!!!!

After getting the niceties out of the way they final did their job and realized that I needed to get to hospital straight away. I was tachycardia and drifting in and out of consciousness. SCARY!

By the time I got to hospital I was shivering uncontrollably, I felt truly awful and really thought I was going to die. After what I thought was about an hour (was actually 4 hours) I was feeling more normal. They did a bunch of tests and concluded that I had a pancreatitis attack. I have had an ongoing pancreas issue. My lipase levels are always elevated. I didn’t have any pain this time but the Dr’s reckon that because of the CFS my body just went into shock and my systems all freaked out. My blood pressure when sky high, my oxygen levels dipped … etc etc …

Today I am at home an feeling exhausted, sorry for myself and my sinuses are screaming!! Which may or may not be a coincidence?? Sometime I think that it’s good I live alone because having people around zaps what little energy I have but when stuff like that happens I realize that living alone could well and truly be the reason people like us sometime die or suffer unnecessarily. It’s a real catch 22.

Oh and to top it all off …. My TV blew up the other day!!! Hahaha.


  1. Oh dear! What a scary experience. I'm so glad you were able to call an ambulance and receive appropriate medical care. Hope you feel better soon...

  2. Oh my goodness that is scary, really scary! How stressful that you had to expend more energy while in a crisis to get people to understand that it was a crisis!

    Our town has a service run by volunteers that gives a phone call every day to those living alone and housebound... maybe your city has something similar?

    I really hope you can get back to a safer level of health soon! (I can't think of a better way to say that in a web comment, sorry)


  3. This sounds truly scary and to be alone whilst it's happening is worse. At least they took you seriously and didn't blame verything on you having CFS or being neurotic (believe its haooened !!!)

    I think the living alone thing is real Catch 22: you do need solitude and peace when you're feeling so weak but you also need someone about to do the practical stuff when you feel as poorly as you do now.

    Do you think there might be te sort of scheme that D mentions in your area ? Could you phone your surgery and find out ? Hate to think of you being so isolated. I'd come round myself if you were nearer ;O(

    Hope you're feeling a little better now.

    Try to stay in touch

  4. Oh petal! What a ghastly experience. I'm really glad your survival instinct kicked in and you had the good sense to call for help.

    Time to take care of yourself and rest up. Just when you need your TV the most it blows up! Hope you get fixed up with a new one soon. Love and hugs from the other side of the world ((((()))))

  5. Lee Lee -

    I finally "found" you and then to see this post was a true eye opener. How horribly scary for you. I am so sorry that you had to experience that. Why do EMT's ask so many darn questions? Can't they see you don't want to have a "visit" you are in distress?

    PLEASE try to get some extra rest and take extra good care of yourself right now.

    Thanks again for all of your valuable advice.

  6. I'm glad you are okay now. Rest well and hope you will recover physically and emotionally.

    I hope something will work out for you and you can get help quick enough if it happens again. Having said that, I know there is no easy solution...

    If you contact Home Assist (http://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/crimePrevention/h_assist/), they may be able to install a secure key box outside of your entrance. You can keep your spare keys in the box and can open it using PIN. When someone needs to come inside to help you, you give the PIN to the person/ambulance officer/police.
    I should organise it for myself...

  7. What a horrible experience for you! I'm glad everything turned out OK. I'm sorry you had to go through that alone. I agree with Jo, rest up and take care of yourself, let yourself heal a bit. And the TV -- nice icing on the cake, eh?

  8. Hi Lee ~

    Sad to make your acquaintance on such a sad experience for you. Wondering what healthful ways to treat pancreatitis?? Can it be helped nutritionally??

    I want to tell you what a cute picture that is (it's you, yes?), and how much my 15 1/2 year old daughter would appreciate it. Her first love, of 9 months now, is a girl. They make such an adorable couple. Bethany is identifying as "VERY bi-curious!" And is already a gay rights activist. I love that.

    I don't think I could live without a TV! Yikes!


  9. So glad you rang for help - sometimes it is hard to know when it is a real emergency and easy to doubt ourselves when we are used to feeling so crap. hope you feel better soon and it doesn't happen again any time soon.

  10. Oh, Lee, what a horrible experience for you to go through. How scary! Thank goodness you're OK now. Sorry about the Tv too - that's bad timing. Take good care of yourself and rest up - I'm thinking of you.


  11. Geez-that sounds just frightening! I'm so glad you called for help. It can be hard to know when to call for help like that with this disease.

    I hope you are getting some real good rest. Bummer about the TV blowing up too!

    Sending hugs from across the sea...

  12. Hi Lee. I hope this comment finds you doing better and maybe, just maybe, with a working TV. That was so scary but I'm glad you were able to call for an ambulance. Whew. Take care.

  13. Lee--What a trip the ambulance thing--and SCARY what you woke up with. I had my first ambulance ride a few months ago, and it sounds almost identical to yours. I have Gastroparesis and it mimics pancreatic attacks. Just like you, I went into shock--awful feeling, hard to express, but when you're their no matter how much you hate hospitals, you know that's where you belong.

    In case it happens again, Gastroparesis can go with Autonomic Dysfunction... It can also be other things so CTScan is first, than a stomach motility test, which is pretty easy. Hopefully, it never happens again...but thought I'd share just in case.

    Read the post above this one, that you got a new tv. Thank goodness for tv's when we feel crappy. Sounds like we'll be seeing you in about three weeks. Hope you stay out of ambulances, shock, pancreatic attacks and that you feel as good as can through the chronic stuff, Kerry