After dad made the emergency call, Rescue 786 responded immediately & speedily. No delay. They were at our home in no less than 10 minutes maximum, considering distance!
These finer details were related to me after recovery because the only part I recall is struggling to breathe, body trembling & numbness. Then everything became blur.
The medics were very pleasant, kind & knowledgeable. Wasted no time stabilising, then moving to hospital. Lol they made jokes & tried cheering me up when some kind of stability was regained.. Staring with a straight blank face ahead, afraid of what’s to happen next.
Before handing me over to the hands of doctors completely.. One stated:
“Ouwww!! Now why the straight, serious face? We like to see you smiling. Be happy! See? We fought to drive & keep you here. Now you’ll get well. Don’t worry. You will be okay, I know. Smile?”
Any reassurance makes one automatically feel comforted even if my body’s “automatic” nervous system is buggered.
Thanks very much to those 3 paramedics, you handled the situation well!
Johannesburg Academic also known as Charlotte Maxeke was chosen because the pulmonologist with whom I consulted 2 weeks prior to that night, told, if need be, i should be brought there. It’s the main hospital he works at.
Files signed. In the large emergency room there are beds with people of all types laying everywhere..
There are individual cubicles but there’s also a room attached, termed as “acute care” which has only 3 beds.
I was placed in this room.
Junior docs attached an ECG monitor.
A drip inserted & batch of bloods taken.
(These pictures were obviously not taken that time because I was too weak & my phone was left behind at home.. to provide more of an idea & extra effect they were added 😉)
After the drip, nurses were ordered to monitor while a call was made for an emergency Chest X-Ray. Arrangements done, wheeled to X-Ray department in a bed..
Brought back to acute care & told to wait until a pulmonologist comes in to view the results.
[ 4 AM ]
Dr walks in introducing himself then frowning:
“You are Miss Munchi? Who’s X-Ray I had a look at right now”
Made brief notes regarding my medical history then inquired:
“”Are you a smoker?”
*Taken aback* I reply:
“No!! I’ve never smoked & will never smoke. It’s something I cannot tolerate & for some reason cigarette smells always trigger migraines. In my immediate family there aren’t any smokers as well”
(No offence intended to others out there. Elaborating for explanation purposes)
He could not believe me!
Me: “Dr why the confusion & insistance of me being a smoker? What is the results??”
(Expecting the answer to be clear because I became accustomed to being told “tests are clear“)
Dr: “I believe you & do not think you’re lying after hearing everything regarding yourself. However I’m stumped as to why? A 21 year old is seen with hyper inflation (enlargement) & massive lung infiltration – air sacs filled with fluid.
This hyper inflation is commonly seen in people who smoke & some generally of an elder age. If you do not smoke, I’m trying to figure out why”
*** Two months later another elderly, senior Dr from whom we sought a trusted opinion regarding a few test results.. Was shocked to see the difference between a CXR conducted in February 2017 & the one conducted June 2017.
However, he provided an additional answer stating: The lungs struggled to keep up with normal oxygen demands, in an attempt of doing so, it enlarged.
Both logical 👆
Another Dr who had a notion stuck in his mind that my illnesses are in my mind 😂 refuted Dr number ones explanation of results.
Majority wins!! Four against one when it was shown to a few others who agreed & confirmed the findings.
From many experiences I state: Always ask or seek a few opinions regarding the results of a test. Sometimes it may be absolutely normal & nothing to worry, yet a Dr will become hyped up about it.
Other times it can be indicating towards particular diseases or problems but an ignorant / inexperienced Dr will term it as normal.
Always try to be aware of your condition. If certain aspects do not make sense, ask! Don’t shy away or hesitate from asking. Ignore the “odd” looks cast your way.
A patient has a right to ask. No one should become angry because we’re trying to understand what’s going wrong with our bodies.
Ignorance is dangerous.
Ignorance can cause unnecessary damage.
Ignorance also make a person lose their life with their own hands unaware of the reality involving their condition like happened to me (will elaborate at a later stage)
Equip & empower yourself with knowledge.
👆 This is what a normal CXR looks like. Lungs are clear – black. Mine was exactly the same in February 2017. Narrow lungs, being an Ectomorph – heart size was long & narrow.
Taking a look at the one done that morning, without needing explanations.. Any person who knows nothing in the medical field would be able to tell it is different & abnormal.
The fluid (infiltration) appears as a white shading / diffuse in the background. White also appears thicker in the bottom portion of the lungs because gravity makes its way to lower extremities.
Why the fluid? Why a normal long heart enlarged? To be discussed on day number 8.
*** The above information was recieved from experienced medical personnel. Not google. No names are mentioned as this is not a platform to bash or bang out anyone.
My sole aim is:
Awareness, educate, advocate, spread the correct information.
To highlight misconceptions.
*Dr pulmonologist* then made a note for me to be reviewed by a neurologist & rheumatologist. In the mean time I had to wait…
The ordeal of an ER:
Bright lights, aweful stenches emitted, noise, rough nurses, poking of needles searching for the perfect vein to insert a drip…
Someone vomiting , someone dying, someone bleeding…
A continuous 24/7 hustle bustle..
“The perfect combination for a lovely migraine. Enhancement to make it more of a magical experience” 😂🙈
I chuckle while typing this, but thinking back.. I disputed with myself:
This is a horrid night.
Don’t think I can do it again.
Yes! I can, just hang on.
No I can’t. I hate this place.
Don’t want to see it again!!
Why did I agree to come?
Rather this than something worse.
Hang on, it’ll be ok I chided myself.
It would have been fine if this beast of a migraine did not decide to visit.
I shut my eyes tightly trying to push out everything happening around & imagine being somewhere beautiful, when a Dr on call walked by with another…
“Such a young girl! What’s wrong with her? She looks fine! Doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong with her! Hahaha” (mocking laugh)
Tears threatened to escape on hearing that.
No one chooses to be in a place like this.. Aaah! If only you knew how much i’d give right now to be in the warm comfort of my own bed & home surrounded by a loving family.. I thought, while preventing the floodgates from gushing forth. Lest someone seriously thinks I’m psycho.
Tick tock 🕖 slowly slowly.. When will I be allowed to get out of here??
“You’re not allowed to leave the ER until another Dr in charge gives a command. If we send you into a ward, we’ll be in trouble. Commands come from those above when a case is complicated” said the pulmonologist.
In a hospital I learnt to be appreciative for unthought blessings.
Adding brightness to a gloomy situation.. Few steps away layed an elderly lady who seemed to have been suffering partial Alzheimer’s disease but was brought in for an acute condition, respiratory related.
“Take me home. What time can i go? I need to go home. I can’t stay here all night long. Dr you look like very a good man, please take me home.”
She told one who came to check in on me.
“I have work to do. My family is waiting for me”
“But your family brought you here to recover & get well”
Dr told her. However, she was not convinced.
“Sorry, what’s the time?” She continuously repeated. Talking to no one in particular
I was not in much of a position to talk but had a good few much needed silent giggles out of fascination 😂😂😂 to the similarities she shared with momma (my grandma) who’d repeat the exact same sentences in the same parrot fashion, day & night.
Cute little old lady she was!
Out of Acute Care layed a psych patient who rattled & rambled non stop like a broken tape record. At times I wished he’d allow us peace to sleep for a few minutes but other times my laughter was unstoppable & i waited for him to continue because it was those moments that made me temporarily forgot the pain, discomfort & horror of frightening incidents infront of my own eyes.
Negligence of a patients life by unskilled nurses on call. *Sigh* A sad account witnessed.
Restrained by the leg to a bed.. continuously screaming for someone to release the chain.
Here i am watching a free movie 😅😅
“Hey Dr!! The “tsotsis” will steal your phone. Put it away in your pocket 😂”
(Tsotsi is a Zulu word used for thieves)
“Give me 50 Rand please. Only to buy food. Then went down to R 40, R 30, R 20 & last R 10“
When my sister came at visiting hours:
“Fundis! Ayyy fundis. Help me please“
(Fundis is a Zulu word which means priest referring to a person dressed in a religious manner)
The patient next to him got fed up & shouted back *a few derogatory terms*.
To which he replied:
“Yaa, yaa, kom, kom, ek es nie bang vir jou”
(Afrikaans language meaning: come, come fight, I’m not afraid of you) 😂😂
That was really hilarious… Don’t think I was the only one being entertained!
• Kindly take note: Laughter, not considering him lowly, just his choice of words….
[ 4 PM ]
A nurse finally came to rescue saying the head of ER granted permission for a transfer to the casualty ward until a transfer to the respiratory ward would be decided….
Casualty Ward 260 – here comes a “zebra……” to BOO you 😂