The other parts can be read by clicking the links below...
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
the ex-hypochondriac on route to the OC - Part 4
Horses aren’t exactly my favourite animal. Due to a notable experience aged eleven on a rather over excited horse in France I have avoided them ever since. So why I announced in the airport shop I was simply just had to buy a little stuffed toy horse is completely beyond me. I’m not sure whether it was the fact that it had cute little magnetic feet or that it was just the first thing I saw but I was most insistent about buying it, and even when my Mum gently insisted that I could spend my money on something else I wouldn’t budge. Bizarre how medication can make your brain work. Needless to say the toy horse is currently sitting on my bedside table and I have become quite fond of it over the years.
After a few over excited shouting incidents on the plane, involving leaning over the seats to the poor slightly overweight Americans seated in front of us and telling them rather matter of factly that McDonalds is very bad for them, we touched down in Heathrow where we were met by my Uncle who quickly drove us straight to A & E at Charing Cross Hospital in London.
The nurses at Charing Cross got quite a shock when my whole very jetlagged family rocked up with a huge file of notes from California and zombied-me in tow. They admitted me immediately, and for the next five days I was prodded and poked, weighed and measured, assessed and medicated and given my first exciting taste of dialysis in London.
In America although my first session of dialysis had made me feel a great deal better by the end of it, the side effects I experienced during were pretty horrible. I would go from feeling boiling hot and wanting to rip all my clothes off there and then to feeling absolutely freezing, so much so that I had to have one of those silver blanket thingies you see people sporting coming out of car crashes in ER and Casualty. But my first session in London was fine, and although left me feeling very ill afterwards I didn’t need to put in an order of silver blankets.
Over the next few days I was introduced to many different doctors and nurses and a certain hospital counselor who had the most depressive attitude of anyone who I have ever met - the less said about her the better. And once I was well enough I was allowed to go home, only returning thrice weekly for dialysis. After a couple of months I was offered the chance to switch to a different type of treatment called peritoneal dialysis which I was able to do at home. The new found freedom sounded great at first but the ten hours a night I had to spend attached to a machine which liked to screech alarms at me at random intervals really started to grate after a while...More on that rather 'special' treatment another time...
Very posh hospital in California. They even billed me for tissues and juice! thank god for insurance.