Tuesday, May 18th 2010
Waiting, waiting…… – Given I started waking up around 5:30am, I was really going out of my mind this morning, waiting to be taken to the “normal” ward. There was so much activity around me, but none of it seemed to involve me much. And I did seem to feel a lot better, although I kept drifting into strange half-sleep / half-conscious states. I still thought it must’ve been the morphine and just let it go.
The “Normal” Ward – Finally, around midday, they took me up to the “normal” ward. There I was with 3 other men. I was definitely the youngest there. Second was daylight!!! And then came the other three. I felt a little out of place, but I was glad to finally return to the closest thing I had seen in the past week that resembled the real world. Boy was I mistaken!!!
I still wasn’t allowed to eat (or drink) anything. I could put flavoured ice into my mouth to kinda ease the dryness, but I wasn’t allowed to swallow, because my whole digestive system wasn’t really working yet.
I still had a catheter, so I couldn’t go to the bathroom.
I still was in quite a bit of pain, so I pumped my self-administered morphine every 5 minutes.
And I still seemed to be asleep when I was awake, and awake when I was asleep.
And then added to this, I had the weirdest dreams, that didn’t seem like dreams at all – more like reality.
And to top it all off, Mia, our lovely nurse, would come in the middle of the night and speak at ten million decibels. (My theory was that she was a very dedicated nurse, and that in her commitment to keep people alive and well, she was literally trying to wake the dead!!). I shooshed her a few times which unfortunately, seemed to inspire her to even greater volume. I soon gave up any thoughts of ever having a good night’s sleep again.
Wednesday, May 19th 2010
Houston, We Have a Problem …… – It was some time on Wednesday afternoon that Leon, my endocrinologist, discovered that my creatinine level had shot through the roof. Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. It is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys (or in my case – the kidney) which filter(s) out most of it and dispose(s) of it in the urine. So the level of creatinine that’s still in the blood stream gives an indication of whether your kidney(s) is/are working properly. For a man of my age, this level should be between 60 micro-thingies per litre and 110 micro-thingies per litre. MINE WAS 450 µmol/L!!!!!
Leon told us there was a problem, told us not to panic, and then ……. hit the panic button! When I say “us”, I actually mean “not me”. I was fairly oblivious to all of this. All I knew was that we were waiting for Marco – the top renal physician in Melbourne (possibly the universe!!!) to come and see me. Leon had called him and told him to drop everything and come as soon as possible.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was as close to dead as one can be, while still being able to hear Mia yell “Good morning, how are you?” The next few days were going to be quite interesting……