Where have I been???

If you been over to RBCJ-Hub lately, you will have seen a post where I touched briefly about how everything about the site etc has suffered due to ill health.

I thought I would update in more detail as to the situation.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up struggling to breath, and every time I tried to walk anywhere, I had severe pains in my chest and side causing me to quickly get out of breath.

Panicking, I asked my wife to ring 101. The paramedic arrived and did all the routine checks etc, after about 10 minutes the ambulance crew arrived and after a short conflab with the paramedic, they decided to give me gas and air to relieve the pain, alongside codeine & paracetamol.

The pain subsided enough for me to board the ambulance and be taken to Barnsley General Hospital.
On the way, I asked what the problem could be (as rather stupidly, I left it and left it thinking it was a chest infection, lesson learned!).
Of course, they could only speculate with the symptoms I had described.

Waiting in A&E for what seemed like an eternity with my brother (god bless him for coming and meeting me at hospital) I was told I needed several blood tests.
I can’t really say what I thought, but to put it politely, I thought “Oh dear”.
After 35 years, this was my first ever blood test, and I’m scared of needles…
Now I will just clarify something, I say I am scared of needles and certainly the first thing the doctor said,
“How can you be scared of needles when you have tattoos?”, and simply my reply was, “I was pissed!”

In short, throughout the course of the day, I had 8 needles! (not much to some, but enough for me).
Trying to get blood from my wrists to test blood gases (or something like that) and blood from my arms. The reason I had so many, was, well, in short they couldn’t find a suitable vein lol…

After spending 10 and a half hours in hospital (A&E (Accident and Emergency) and AMU (Acute medical unit)) I was sent home. Yey…or not.

The suspicion of blood clots was believed to be the cause of everything, but they could not confirm this at that moment.
As they suspected blood clots, they had to treat me as such and start treatment right away to get a “head start”. In addition, I had to go to DVT for a daily blood test to monitor my INR (international normalized ratio).
Click here for more information on INR.
My INR was very low, 1.1 in fact, my therapeutic range is between 2-3. My blood was too thick, so I was given a regular (daily) injection into my stomach of Clexane. Great, more needles…

After a week or so of this action being taken, I had to have a scan on my lungs which involved laying flat on a ‘table’ and have a very noisy ‘polo mint’ type machine scan my lungs after they had injected me with a special (radioactive) dye.
The medical staff’s suspicion was confirmed. I have indeed got blood clots on both my lungs and I had suffered a Pulmonary Embolism.

Anyway…Having overcome my fear of needles (and pretty bloody quickly! (no pun intended)), as mentioned, I now have to attend regular blood tests to continue monitoring my INR, and continue on a prescribed anti-coagulant ‘Warfarin’.
So far my INR has fluctuated from 1.1 to 4.0 over the last month, but at least I am only having to go to hospital about once or twice a week now.

So, there you have it. My month in a nutshell…
Despite the seriousness of the condition, I am quite well in myself. I have a few pains and twinges now and again, occasionally I have to walk with a stick to support myself if I get breathless when I’m out and about, but other than that I am fine.

Just as a side note, after 6 months I have to be screened for something called “Factor 5 Leiden“, which is a genetically inherited blood disorder. It basically means, my blood is trying constantly to clot.

Did you know…?

Did You Know?

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female.
Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.
(Like THAT makes sense)

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In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals,
But is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination.
He may only see their reflection in a mirror.

(Do they look different reversed?)

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Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse.
This also applies to undertakers.
The sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or piece of wood at all times.

(A brick??)

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The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.
(Much worse than “going blind!”)

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There are men in Guam whose full-time job is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the
privilege of having sex for the first time
Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.

(Let’s just think for a minute; is there any job anywhere else in the world that even comes close to this?)

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In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands.
The husband’s illicit lover, on the other hand, may be killed in any manner desired.

(Ah! Justice!)

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Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England – but only in tropical fish stores.

(But of course!)

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In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens,
Her mother must be in the room to witness the act.

(Makes one shudder at the thought)

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In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, it is illegal for a man to have sex with a woman and her daughter at the same time.
(I presume this was a big enough problem that they had to pass this law?)

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In Maryland, it is illegal to sell condoms from vending machines with one exception:
Prophylactics may be dispensed from a vending machine only “in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.”

(Is this a great country or what? Well…not as great as Guam!)

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Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

(Who volunteers for this stuff?)

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Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.

(Is that why Flipper was always smiling?)

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The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

(From drinking little bottles of????)

(Did the government pay for this research??)

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Butterflies taste with their feet.

(Ah, watch what you step in……)

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An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

(I know some people like that)

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Starfish don’t have brains.

(I know some people like that, too)

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And, the best for last:

Turtles can breathe through their butts.

(And I thought I had bad breath in the morning)