Beep, beep, beep. A mix of voices all settled into the background as I found myself hooked up to a load of machines. I looked up at the nurse explaining what she was doing, and what she was injecting. That’s when I woke up with a jolt. I was awake, and I was at home. You see, on and off, I had been dreaming that I was back in hospital. I guess it roughed me up a lot more than I thought it would. I was quite naive in thinking that once I was out, things would go back to normal.
It had been at least three weeks since I had got out from hospital, and I was the ultimate weakling. I was in constant hibernation, and had next to no appetite. I would force myself to have a few spoons of soup, but my body would often throw it back up. If this wasn’t the worst thing, my stomach in general was very sensitive and often acidic. On the bright side after calling my GP, my blood test results had come back as good! Nothing to worry about in the kidney, liver or Neutrophils department! Whoop whoop! Things were looking up!
I went to see my GP later on in the week, in regards to my stomach and lack of appetite. It was really bugging me, the constant acidity and not to mention the excessive weight loss. She advised that I should now stay on a restricted diet which entailed no caffeine, fried food, spicy food or gluten. My GP explained that I should stick to smaller, frequent meals and to mainly eat plain foods like rice, gluten free bread, fruit and soups. I wasn’t thrilled about hearing this, but if it meant I could work on getting back to normal, I was more than happy to give it a go. With that advice and another sick note, I was sent home.
In the terms of my mood, I had felt a slight lift. My own existence wasn’t weighing so heavily on myself anymore, but I ultimately felt pretty crappy. Little did I know, my body was going to further add to my crapfest. I have always had long, thick curly hair. We are talking, it takes two hours to cut kind of thick, and I’m the hairdressers’ worst nightmare kind of thick. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of my own hair as it takes forever to do anything with, I was grateful for it.
You see, my hair had started falling out. We aren’t talking like a normal amount. I mean clumps. When washing my hair, so much would fall out I would have to unclog the shower twice whilst still in the process of washing. I would be leaving trails of clumps of hair around the house, it would fall out unprompted. After two weeks of this, I had pretty much lost a layer of hair. I’d look in the mirror and want to cry. A hair is a big part of identity, and it wasn’t bad enough that I was still trying to process everything that had happened, and the changes my body was dealing with, but now I could see a physical embodiment of what was going on within me. I had seen my GP during these two weeks, who just dismissed it as a side effect of Sepsis and told me not to worry. She wasn’t willing to understand how much this meant to me…the rate and thickness of the clumps falling out was alarming. I had to stop myself from having a go at my GP and how dismissive she was. All she did was write me another sick note, telling me I needed more time to rest- she offered no solution to any of my problems. No concern for my stomach issues, the fatigue or my hair. When I got home that day I spent it locked in my room, crying.
My mum could see how much hair I was losing, and fast. So, she took it upon herself to bag the clumps of hair caught in the bathroom drain, and around the house. She said to me “take this bag of your hair to your next appointment, and tell her she has to do something as this isn’t normal!”. My mum was right, she couldn’t dismiss this as something small if she could physically see how much I’d lost in the matter of two weeks.
To be continued….