I haven’t written a post in a while but my 22nd birthday was so ridiculous I can’t not mention it. TYPICAL ME kind of birthday.

Let me start from the beginning *WIGGLY NOISES FOR FLASHBACKS*I have a hiatus hernia (between my stomach and oesophagus) and it’s a pain in the ass (well torso). It means my throat makes weird dinosaur frog noises in every quiet moment of life when you don’t wanna draw attention to the creature living inside you.. It makes me feel quite sick almost all the time. It flares up when I eat…when I don’t eat… when I drink or don’t drink…when I wear tight clothes.. when I breathe…EVERY WHEN. I take tablets to calm the rising lava of stomach acid but nothing really helps. Anyhoo, this little bitch is why I spent the first five hours of my birthday lying in a hospital bed.

I was about to have a lovely meal with my lovely boyfriend when I got the worst stomach cramps. As a girl, you’re used to dealing with that kinda pain so I just tried to deal with it. It got worse, I couldn’t get comfortable. I started to sweat and feel faint. I tried to get up to see if I needed to throw up but couldn’t move. I rang my mother to see what I should do. I rang 111 for the NHS advice thing. After a stupidly long time of the woman asking if you spell my name “Oliver”  she said she’d ring me back (even though I was on the brink of passing out and just wanted her to help). We tried to move outside of the restaurant to go home but I stopped by the door because I couldn’t see anymore. I sat down with my head on a table, sweat dripping from everywhere and passed in and out of consciousness for the next 30-40 minutes while my heroic boyf gave an assessment of my situation to the NHS woman and while we waited for the ambulance to come. He kept checking I was conscious, to which I could only grunt because I couldn’t make my mouth speak, even though I wanted to say so much. I genuinely couldn’t cope, I thought that was the end of me (in the least dramatic way you can take that). I’m usually good with dealing with pain, I’d call myself hardcore even but I have never felt so much agony in my life. When I was conscious I was praying and trying to make myself pass out just to avoid dealing with the pain. It was the worst experience of my life.

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics lifted me up on a bed. They ran some simple tests and tried to work out what was wrong. After paracetamol and gas and air (and lying down I think) the pain finally eased into a bearable amount. I think it was also the relief of having trained paramedics there to deal with the situation which meant I didn’t panic as much. Now I’m usually pale but had turned grey by this point and was shivering so severely after being outside for a second that they couldn’t do my ecg or blood pressure properly…. but I was conscious and safe. We got to the hospital and I was moved to a lil bay place where Syd and I sat for almost 8 hours. My mam meanwhile had been frantically driving up from Winchester and got to us after midnight. Before her arrival we celebrated my birthday by clock watching and Syd very quietly singing happy birthday….

After my mam arrived all that happened was I got my blood taken (and a stupid gross needle stuck in my arm and taped there ew ew ew) and blood pressure taken a lot. By now I could walk about and didn’t really feel any pain apart from feeling my insides had been beaten up a bit. Ma, Syd and I spent hours trying to stay awake by playing 20 questions, giggling uncontrollably at something someone had said because we were sleep deprived and giddy, and trying to find a hot chocolate somewhere. When finally 4.30 came around, the doctor told me they didn’t know what had happened, my blood tests were all fine, I wasn’t pregnant with the spawn of satan or wasn’t having a John-Hurt alien moment…. then we went home. Hours of sitting around waiting (sometimes feeling guilty I was taking up a bed from someone in more need) to find out this could happen again any time and we don’t really know what it is other than something hernia related or potentially gall stones (which is unlikely).

SO my birthday? Spent sleeping and napping (with a lovely lunch in between that with my hero) and googling what the hell I should do.

It’s scary and really disheartening when you’ve got a problem that no one seems to be able to help with. My previous doctors always just plied me with advice on what not to eat (everything ever) but I need something more than that so I am determined to fix this once and for all.

I also learned that being in hospital makes you really put stuff into perspective (clichĂ© I know but humour me). You realise what you care about and what doesn’t really matter despite the fact you were worrying about it for weeks. You know who you need around you in situations like that, the people you love and can rely on to support you no matter what. You realise how much you don’t understand about your own body. You realise how we couldn’t live without doctors or health care expert peoples. You realise how incredibly tough the nurses/doctors/paramedics’ jobs are and you appreciate everything they do because they’re literally keeping you alive. Yeah you may have to wait hours to get seen but I’d rather do that any day than just guess myself and have something serious that could kill me.

So that’s a little story of my 22nd birthday. What happened to end my evening? I managed to lock myself out of my room TWICE and had to roam the streets of Cambridge in a black velvet dressing gown on the quest of getting a new card from the porters…..


Peace out


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