Well hello! Today has been a very busy day to say the least! After having a fairly poor night's sleep, I was collected by hospital transport at about 10.30. Luke did such a good job of packing all of my home comforts and necessary medications and equipment for my stay... I felt really rubbish during the drive up, my right side really ached and my head was splitting with pain.
Upon reaching the ward the staff were keen to set me up and get my first lot of clinical observations done. I stupidly failed to remove my nail varnish, so the pulse oximeter was unable to read my oxygen level through it, so I had to get a toe out instead! My observations were pretty crud, as I thought they would be. My oxygen level was about 88% ish on 2 litres of oxygen a minute, so the nurses turned me up to 3 litres a minute and it stabilised at around 91/2%ish... Which isn't great in an ideal world... But hey, cut me some slack, I need new lungs! The docs are usually happier if it the reading is above 92% but as long as its above 90% that's alright for now. The main cause for concern was my heart rate... It was a shocking 170 bpm at rest! After an echo cardiogram (ECG) they determined that my heart was fine, it was just beating very fast. We thought it may be down to dehydration, so I have been having a saline drip all day and my heart rate has reduced to 117bpm, which is about my usual (my heart rate is usually quite high at the best of times).
I had a chest x ray to see what was going on in my lungs. Fortunately there does not seem to be any new scarring, which is good news, but the area which I've been feeling a lot of pain in is really full of sputum (which apparently looks fluffy on an x ray, just so you know!) so a lot of intensive chest physio is going to be needed to get rid of it.
Finally, my blood gases. This is where the doctor takes a sample of blood from an artery on the inside of my wrist... It gives them a more accurate reading of oxygen saturation levels as well as other gases and chemicals which are in the blood. My oxygen levels were ok, but my carbon dioxide levels were a bit high. This causes problems as carbon dioxide is an acid, if the acid builds up in the blood it causes the blood vessels to dilate and therefore cause a headache. So not only does the thick and sticky mucus stop oxygen being taken into the blood, it also prevents the waste gases from being removed, as they cannot cross over back into the lungs to be blown off! So this just means that I need to use the non invasive ventilator a bit more- definitely over night for now, a a few hours during the day. Hopefully, when my sputum production and deposits have been sorted out, my blood gases will improve... I haven't yet done a lung function test, but I expect I will have to do one tomorrow.
All in all, I feel positive that I should be able to be sorted out with a higher dose of steroids to open up my airways, more use of the NIV and intensive physio. Oh, and intravenous antibiotics to sort out the infection of course! I am so grateful that nothing more sinister has been discovered, so I really thank the lord for that. I just am now praying for more strength to get through all the rigorous treatment! Thanks to all for your kind posts... It certainly helps to lift the spirits!