This is the second part of my guest serial, in 904 words.
Within a few days, I received an appointment, for the 31st March, to see a Consultant, I was relieved as I thought I would finally get answers. The night before my appointment, I was extremely irritable and restless, I managed to get an hours sleep. Nervous because of the appointment and anxious due to who would be taking me to the appointment.
I slept on the journey to my appointment, which was about 25 minutes. I was struggling to walk without holding on to something and yet the person I was with kept telling me to hurry up and walk at their pace. I was relieved to finally sit down in the waiting room despite this person demanding my phone so they could play a game while we waited.
After some time, it was my turn to be seen. The consultant I saw was lovely, she carried out basic tests to do with my hearing and asked me questions about my health. Most of the time, I tried to answer the questions myself, but the person who I was with kept belittling me and putting it across to the consultant that I do not care about my health.
I never thought a relative would be that unsupportive.
The Consultant wanted me to go to the audiology department to have a hearing test but the relative refused as they had somewhere else to be. I left the appointment knowing that an appointment for a hearing test had been requested and I also knew I was more drained after I left the hospital – but this wasn’t because of the appointment.
I slept on the way home too, a mixture of feeling drained and not wanting to make conversation as I was livid as to how I was treated. I couldn’t wait to get home.
Throughout the rest of the day, I was in and out of sleep. In the early evening, I woke up really confused and mum had noticed the left side of my mouth had fallen. Mum started crying and rang 111, and asked my sister to come round so she could keep an eye on me whilst Mum was on the phone. The operator advised Mum to take me to hospital ASAP.
On the way to Kings Lynn Hospital, the confusion faded but the left side of my mouth still felt like it had fallen. When I was told what had happened, I was convinced I had a mini-stroke (TIA – Transient Ischemic Attack). My Nan had experienced these a few times within the last 2 years so I knew of them and the warning signs.
It made sense with how much stress I was under.
I didn’t wait long, more blood tests and observations were taken and I also did a balance test, which involves trying to walk in a straight line by placing one foot closely in front of the other. I couldn’t place my foot in front of the other without losing my balance. This made me break down in tears as a few months prior to this, I could walk perfectly fine and had no balance issues.
The nurse was perplexed as I was, apparently, too young to experience a TIA but all the symptoms added up. He asked Mum her opinion on what it might be and she replied “a mini-stroke” and the nurse nodded.
We sat waiting in one of the bays as he referred me for an emergency MRI. Half an hour later, he came back to tell us there was nobody available to do the MRI so sent us home with an appointment for the following Monday.
We went back to A&E on the Monday and ended up waiting 2 hours just to be told the earliest emergency MRI appointment would be in a fortnight and in the meantime, I had to be signed off work. The wait felt like forever.
I became really depressed very quickly, everything was just becoming too much.
The day of the MRI appointment arrived; I was so nervous as I’d never had an MRI before. When I went into the room with the MRI scanner, I was taken aback as it looked so much smaller than I had imagined. Not ideal for someone who doesn’t cope well in small spaces. Ear plugs were put in, a button to hold and press if I started to panic and needed to get out, I laid down on the board and the nurse placed this cage-like structure over my head – which did not help my anxiety at all! – and was moved into the scanner.
The loud tapping noises were very loud and daunting at first and I tried to create a beat, from the pattern of the noises, in my head. I imagined myself dancing to the beat – which was interesting considering I could not dance at all! By the time my anxiety had calmed down, it was time to come out. I disposed of the ear plugs and went to get changed back into my clothes. Before we left, we were told that the results would take up to 2 weeks.
The following day, I received a phone call. I had to ask someone else to answer on my behalf as my hearing difficulties now affected phone conversations. After the call ended, the person who had taken the call, wrote down on a piece of paper.
‘That was about your MRI results, they want to see you this Saturday”.