We all know what I’m like about university work. The “#NOEXCUSES” sticker on my laptop perfectly sums up my attitude towards completing uni work. There is no reason in my mind not to do it. The fact that 24 hours ago my blood was at fatal levels of acidity and I was too unwell to be moved to intensive care from the resuscitation unit… wasn’t an excuse to my brain. It was a mere hiccup.
Forget the fact that I spent a few undignified minutes silently sat in my own urine because the doctor accidentally disconnected my catheter and I was too embarrassed to say anything in front of my friends (I persuaded them to go for coffee and they returned after the problem had been solved, with a slice of cinnamon and banana bread that was HEAVEN). Forget the fact that I was at significant risk of becoming acidotic again. I was stressing about the coursework I have that is due in on Friday. I was stressing about the lab session I’m supposed to attend tomorrow. I was trying to figure out if/who I should email about the whole thing, but after my admission around this time last year, the university talked about me leaving, and so I wanted to do anything other than trigger a similar situation. If I leave, I want it to be because I chose to, not because I was made to.
The benefits of almost dying while at uni as apposed to anywhere else is that I still have my laptop and all my coursework stuff in my bag. I also have spare underwear and a book (as someone who ends up in hospital a lot I’m always prepared)… But uni stuff is what saved my butt here. Unfortunately having it with me was as much a curse as it was a blessing. In the early hours of this evening I took out my laptop as Uni Pal sat studying away and making notes on hers, and attempted to complete the lectures I had sat in with a pH of below 7. This reminds me of around this time during my second year. Uni dad walked in to find me on my laptop frantically trying not to fall behind. It was reading week (we are currently in the week before reading week) and all I did all day for the next three weeks was work from my hospital bed as my heart stressed people out and my pH regularly dipped below 7.1. In a strange replication of that same situation, the urge to study now that I felt better hit me hard. I can’t stand unaided, I can’t sit up for more than a few seconds without my muscles shaking and refusing to hold me up… But I can prop my head up with a pillow so that I can see my laptop screen, and so I can study. In my mind, that was resting. I’d slept my entire day away, and writing up the rest of the incomplete lecture notes sat on the screen before me completely distracted my mind from where it was.
Ironically enough I ended up going through slides on acidosis and how it impairs enzyme activity and stops your body producing ATP (energy). People were googling acidosis and reading about it on Wikipedia and asking how on earth I had managed to get the bus here and why I hadn’t called an ambulance. Because I was this strange combination of stubborn and terrified, that’s why.
I also have the start of a novel on this laptop. I forgot that November is NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) when I started it the other day and feel that I now have a project, although I really would like to catch up on everything I’m so behind on and am starting to use uni as a way to distract myself again.
Last Friday when I was bored in my lecture I ordered an MP3 player, downloaded all the audio files of our lectures so far and the ones my friend had recorded also, and saved them onto the MP3 player. I decided I could use this to distract my mind from where it is and also catch up on the lectures I missed. Unfortunately, I don’t have it with me. It lives in the bag I’ve been using for uni, which for some reason isn’t the one I used on Tuesday. Awesomely enough this hospital has our university wifi, and all the lecture recordings are saved into my memory stick, so I can still re-watch/ listen to all my lectures in hope of zoning out into my happy place and keeping the flashbacks at bay. I know I am unwell enough to need to be here because a) I’m still in a higher dependency ward and b) I’m not losing my mind yet.
Uni Pal and WR Uni friend showed up while I was asleep and brought me chips. They sat with me into the late evening, studying by my bedside (which eventually made me attempt to study when I was with it enough). HK Uni Friend turned up briefly after they left, with Brick Lane bagels and pastries and drink and pineapple and other food she knows I love.
This time being in hospital has been different. When I came round in resus, there were SO MANY messages on my phone. I have four people visiting me tomorrow all on the same day! Usually I don’t get four in total over weeks and weeks. This time a year ago my only regular visitors were my Uni Parents. I told people all of everything this time.
A rather good looking make nurse in A&E told me (after asking why I was sorry and me just apologising for being so much bother) that some patients were a bother, but I wasn’t one of them and he liked looking after me because I was nice. He said that if my friends knew how serious the situation was they may be more understanding and that if I were one of his friends he would want me to tell him everything, not try to protect him. A couple of other staff members backed him up (apparently there were many highly attractive doctors in resus, and I was too out of it to see any of them!) so today I told people kind enough to message me or curious enough to ask, the entire truth.
I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this again. But it’s so much easier with constant visitors. I no longer have to watch everyone else sit with friends and family while I lay alone. I can’t do anything for myself at the moment, but I’m doing well with the help of my friends. I’m rarely alone with my thoughts that is brilliant to be honest. They’re trying to make sure that during visiting hours I am not ever alone.
The same HCA as last night is back and he’s so funny and blunt it’s hilarious. He likes me because I’m the only person he doesn’t have to shout at to get a response from and apparently I say please, thank you and sorry a lot and that goes a long way here because few people do. I have to go now, my friend is at the Bastille concert I wish I had been able to go to and she’s going to FaceTime me so I’m there too. I have THE BEST friends.
Sorry I keep posting so often, I’m just trying to feel less alone when I’m awake and acidotic and alone. I get a lot of support on this blog and comments from people I regard as friends but who I’ve never met. I value those people and their involvement in my life as much as anyone else, and I want to keep them updated to. This is the only way I have to do that and I hope they know I’m ok.
Anyway, I’m waiting for that call from my friend at the concert. There go Bastille, getting me through hard times again with their music.
No way but through.