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Jenni's Story


Hi all,

Before I start on my story I just want to say thank you. I have been reading things on this site since Nov and picking up courage from others and picking up courage to write down what happened to me and where I am now. So here goes;

On the 11th October 2013 I was up early for work, I was going to a meeting at a secondary school. I was on the landing when my husband found me. I only remember bits from here on. I remember packing my son of to work and have a vague recollection of the ambulance but that's it.

All my other information has come from my husband and sister who were both there for me, with me throughout the following 4 weeks. I was taken to hospital and it was within the first hour that my husband came to understand how much I needed him to be alert and to protect me.

On the way on to the ward I stopped breathing, the nurses hadn't noticed Andrew did and alerted attention. My heart didn't stop so I was rushed to an oxygen thingy but it wasn't working and my husband had to help get me to another area where an oxygen thingy was available.

My hubby was really shocked to be asked by a 'doctor' who didn't think to introduce himself whether he would want me resuscitated the doctor added that it wasn't wise to resuscitate. My sister told me that she and Andrew stood with mouths open shocked that within the first three hrs they were being asked this question.

I was also shocked when I was told this later and would love to walk back into the hospital to say to this person, 'I am the person you advised that resuscitation was not best option' He would be shocked, I hope.

Anyway my hubby had words!

I was sent to Leeds General Infirmary intensive care unit where Andrew tells me the care was brilliant. I was there two weeks I was coiled and also had to have a drain put in because of the fluid building up on my brain. I dont know the exact order of things but do remember things like, pulling the tubes out of my nose! Dont know why I did that it was extremely painful and I remember my sister and nurse trying to stop me and of course the tubes had to go back in. I was obviously out of it and I think of my family wondering just how I would end up. What of me would be left to take home.

I am so proud of my family, I have four children, 3 boys and a girl, all adults, well my daughter started at the university of York in the September and is 18yrs old. My second son went to York to pick her up to bring her to hospital. He told me later that he didn't want her getting the train as the car journey would give her chance to talk. It was only when he told me this that I realised how close to death I had been, the family were coming together in an emergency that included the possibility of my death. (I have felt very guilty about that.)

After two weeks in intensive care I was moved to a more general ward and have to say was less than happy. I know nurses are rushed and have been cutback but what allows a person to forget about human being stuff? I was ok I had relatives coming daily staying as long as they could and looking after all my needs but not everyone has this.

The older lady opposite me would ring her buzzer because she was in pain or because some idiot had put her drink out of reach etc and nurses would just not come. I got to getting out of bed to try to help her or to go to the nurses station to ask them to come and help her, it was always, 'We will come in a minute' then nobody would. On one occasion she was falling nearly out of bed and I was not strong enough to help her and had to go stand by the nurses station till someone came. Not acceptable!

You are so vulnerable in hospital. I was on this ward about a week and a half and hated it. Eventually the day came for me to go home. My sister told me later that they had suggested another week but that Andrew knew he could provide better care at home. He was right! I have been so pampered! Breakfast in bed, cup of tea then eye drops and medicines etc.

I love Andrew and my family so much and Andrew and my sister Lesley have cared so well for me I can never thank them enough. My sister told me that when Iwas first admitted and everyone seemed to be presuming that I wouldn't survive or that if I did it wouldn't be good that this was the scariest point in her whole life. She also told me that Andrew stood firm throughout and was always convinced that I was still in there.

I have been so lucky. I have had to have an operation on my left eye as the blood didn't clear by itself leaving me blind in that eye. I am a right scaredy cat and had to have general anesthetic for the op when most people apparently have it done awake. I can see now! However apart from my eye, weight loss and extreme fatigue I have come through ok.

I am now at the stage of thinking about going back to work. I haven't decided when yet but it will have to be before April when my wage will drop to half pay and our family finances cant manage that. I have read everything on here about returning to work and its really helpful. I think I kinda have to go back to find out what its like in order to make a decision as to whether I carry on or take early retirement.

My boss has been fantastic and is arranging with occupational health for them to offer support to look at all my options and he has not put me under any pressure.

I work for the Safeguarding Children Board and work can be very hard and stressful but I think I will cope with that. I am more concerned about just being in a very busy place. I went to the Xmas meal, everyone just brings in food, we dont go out. It was lovely to see everyone, I was very much in demand for hugs, however it was the number of people and the business that got me and once home I was straight back to bed.

I have one other ongoing problem and I dont know if anyone else has experienced this or knows anyone that has. My sense of smell has gone skew wiff! All smells are wrong. The worst is when my husband is cooking me a wonderful meal and all I can smell is Poo. Yes you read it right, Poo! This is horrible and I am eating by memory in respect of taste but some foods well I just cant eat them. So if any of you have heard of this or had the same please let me know. Thank you for reading it felt good to get it on paper.


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