A brief moment in time. A setback.

It was later that first night that my problems first manifest themselves. I tried desperately to make it to the toilet, honest I did, but…..and things were to get decidedly worse. Some of my Grape juice I had drunk promptly came back up, and I ended up spending about three hours or so glued to the toilet. Now our toilet is not meant or designed to be sat on for prolonged hours at a time. My legs ended up white, swelled and completely numb. K bless her heart helped to clean me up, fetched the sicky bowl, changed my pajamas and was to take on the role for the next few days of my 24/7 personal nurse.

I have always said that if she hadn’t been born Down’s Syndrome she would definitely have gone into the caring profession, either as a nurse or even a doctor. It all comes so naturally to her to be caring, though she has always said that she wouldn’t be able to cope with the sickness and toileting, she ended up coping far better than even I thought she would. There was no hesitation, she was an absolute star, and had she not been there I would have had to dial 999 and readmit myself into hospital. As it was, we coped together. I rang the ward sister for advice.

“You’ll have to ring your GP” she told me, “sounds like you have some ‘overflow’ so ring your GP tomorrow.”  Hmm. If there was anything left of me tomorrow! I did just that. Spoke to a doctor who said that the District nurse would call. She called in the afternoon with one of the practice doctors. She gave me an enema promising that it would solve all the problems as I had some ‘stoma’ stuck which was causing the ‘overflow’ and once I had’ been’ all would be well.

Later that evening, the enema worked and I went. However, rather than solving everything, all that happened was it was like opening up the floodgates! I was still also being sick as well. Where was it all coming from? After all, I hadn’t been eating since my operation! If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought that whilst on the operating table, someone had filled my entire digestive system with water. Tons of it. I was slowly getting weaker and weaker. I felt drained. I looked terrible.

On the Wednesday we had an appointment to see Mr N at the McMillian unit at Halifax Royal. We had transport booked but I honestly was dreading it. Would I get there without having some kind of accident? When Mr N and the other staff saw me, you could see the shock on their faces. I was a mess! Mr N examined me and I told him everything that had taken place since arriving home. He concluded that somehow I had picked up an infection and I was placed straight away on two antibiotics to be taken over the next eight days. A sample was also taken to be sent for testing. I felt terrible and the whole hospital visit was a trial to endure.

I began taking the antibiotics as soon as I arrived home. It took a few days for them to begin to work, but slowly but surely I began to pick up. The ‘runs’ slowed down and then stopped. The sickness stopped. I began to feel better. My appetite returned. I began to feel better as each day passed. At last it was over and my digestive system began to return to normal. I did come out in an Eczema ‘flare-up’ everywhere, my body reacting as it usually does to anything it doesn’t like but that was no problem to cope with.

Trouble was, this set back ended up setting me back in my recovery, some two weeks or so as my planned ‘walks around the block’ etc had to be postponed whilst I was in that state. I’m thankfully on the mend now but the whole incident was like being in some form of endless nightmare. I asked Mr N had he had patients go though the same thing or was it just me and my ‘oversensitive’ digestive system? He assured me that yes, it did sometimes happen to others, I had been unlucky unfortunately. I think my digestive system just simply shut down. It stopped working. It went on strike. I’m just glad its all over!

TG

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