At the start of December I came down with what I thought was a nasty case of the Flu.
I went into work on the Monday morning feeling a little bit down in the dumps and had to be sent home by lunchtime. It got steadily worse and I ended up shaking uncontrollably for most of the time. By the Tuesday night - after lots of appeals from my Wife - I decided to let her take me to A&E (ER to non-British).
I arrived at A&E and did the usual thing, "I've got congenital heart disease", waiting for the look on the receptionist's face that said 'Oh god, get him in quick' but it didn't appear. At this point I must say that I am not usually one of those people that use my heart problems to get things that I want but when I'm ill it is a different matter; there is no way I am waiting to be seen after the guy who fell out of a tree and the girl who put her shoe on the wrong foot and now can't get it off. I have flu and that makes me more important than any other case that comes through those doors.
After about 15 minutes waiting Sharon went and had a word with a nurse and we were straight in. At this point I decided that I would be all macho and claim that it was only a cold and that my Wife had dragged me there but I don't think the nurses believed me. They put me on a bed and rushed me off for an X-ray.
I lay there for about an hour, I told myself that I must be coming out of the worst as I had had the flu for 2 days and I made plans for the following day off work. I would really enjoy myself as the previous weeks had been extremely stressful; I had started a new job after leaving University and was house hunting in most of my spare time.
A doctor approached the bed with my chest X-ray in her hand and explained to me that I had pneumonia and that my lungs were filled with fluid. Suddenly, I felt more ill.
They stuck an antibiotic IV in my arm and left me for a few hours. Later that day they transferred me to a private ward in the hospital which I was very impressed about until I got there. The private ward was the most basic ward I have ever seen with a gap where a TV should have been and no facilities at all, but it was still better than being in a normal ward.
I remember that I didn't eat very much, I couldn't. On the second evening Sharon took me out into the corridor so that I could get breath of freedom and she could get a bite to eat. She bought a McDonalds and I was soon wolfing it down followed by an apple crumble. Strange how a McDonalds got my appetite back, can you see a theme with these blogs.
I recovered in about three days which the nurses thought was incredible and was released, I then had three weeks of bed rest followed by a holiday in Africa and the Christmas holidays so all in all a good recuperation period.
It was a horrible experience but I have learnt a lot more about the NHS and my heart condition because of it and got a well-deserved rest.