Saturday, June 09, 2007

Lines from a hospital bed - 2

Being a patient is hard work, but by God it's harder when you have to be your own doctor as well. If you don't like medical details then look away now. (wish I could. Ed)

I've been flat out with a damaged left foot. Naturally my body has reacted to the lack of physical activity, and the drugs, by shutting down certain, shall we say, functions. This has been fixed with the help of some little green pills. But, perhaps as a side-effect, a couple of days ago I had been feeling nauseous and nobody had taken any interest. I lost appetite and ate very little, returning 3 meals almost untasted. Today I stopped drinking, a real no-no, because I couldn't face anything going down my throat. Eventually I felt like vomiting, though there was nothing to bring up.There was a nurse with me at the time. He gave me an injection, designed I think, to prevent feeling sick. This made me feel so unwell - literally sick and tired - that I was almost unable to talk to my visitors a little later.

The solution lay in my own hands. I stopped taking painkillers (not that heroic because there was very little pain, but they do love doling them out). The idea was to reduce any opiates in the system because I react badly to them. Remembering something similar during a hospital stay some years ago, I induced a little retching session. Nothing came up but I began to feel better. After a repeat I was ready to think about drinking other than plain water. The next day the difference was amazing. I actually wanted my breakfast. I ate normally that day and now, a day later, can confirm that my treatment was right and the knee-jerk reponse of the nurse was wrong.

So, Dr. Commuter's advice is to listen to what your body tells you.

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