This is the fifth part of my guest serial, in 796 words.
Since March, I had been keeping track of my weight, I was almost 18 stone. By September I was 12 stone.
I thought I had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) as weeing was really painful. With everything else going on, health-wise, I knew it was best to get checked. Mum took me to see a nurse and after doing a sample, she tested it and the result was that she “thought” I had a slight UTI, so she prescribed me some antibiotics, more specifically, Nitrofurantoin.
I took the first tablet at around teatime, my instinct, when I first saw the capsule, was telling me that something bad was going to happen if I take this – despite being reassured it was safe to take. I reluctantly took the tablet.
I woke up the next morning to tingling in my left arm, I had a habit of sleeping awkwardly so I put it down to that. I asked if someone could read the side effects in the leaflet. Nobody was willing to read them because they knew I would have been paranoid – I always read the leaflets; they are there for a reason!
My instinct still carried through and I refused to take another tablet. After a short nap in the late morning, I woke up to tingling in my right arm. Now both arms were tingling, and because I didn’t know the side effects, I put this down to not doing much since I first woke up. Still very tired, I had another nap.
I woke up late afternoon and my upper torso was tingling. I couldn’t ring anyone. I decided to try and push myself to walk into the kitchen, I found it very difficult to maintain upright whilst walking – I had already noticed that I had been ‘walking like a drunk’ for quite a few weeks now, so this new symptom really confused me. It took all my energy and a long time that by the time I had got into the kitchen, I had forgotten what I wanted. Frustrated, it took me the same amount of time to get back into the living room. I flopped into my recliner, exhausted and instantly fell back asleep.
I woke up in the early evening to discover my entire body was tingling, even my head which scared the hell out of me! I tried telling my family about how I felt and that this tingling sensation had spread throughout my body since this morning, but my speech was very slurred. I wasn’t sure what was worse, how I was feeling or the fact nobody believed me.
I remember being really angry and tried to get up from my recliner, but as I tried to stand my legs were wobbly, I couldn’t feel any strength in them and I felt very off-balance. After several attempts, I managed to stand up – how I don’t know. All it took was one attempt to take one step and I collapsed.
I landed in our dog’s basket – I know it sounds funny but at the time it really was painful. I was in a very awkward position, my head was against the staircase, the rim of the basket was digging into my back, my arms were flailing. I felt the entire left side of my face drop and I really thought I’d had a full stroke. I’d never been so scared in my life.
Still, nobody believed me.
After a while, I managed to roll onto the floor and remained laying on my front for the next hour. Crying. Wishing somebody would help me or even ring for an ambulance.
It took me over an hour to crawl to our downstairs toilet, which is a 3 second walk from our living room. From thereafter, my sleeping pattern became erratic.
Still tingling the next day, I felt a bit more ‘with it’ so I went onto my iPad and looked for Nitrofurantoin side effects, and what I discovered, sent alarm bells ringing.
Every person that had commented on this page, regarding the side effects, had experienced a bad reaction to the antibiotic and 90% of them ended up in A&E.
My instinct was right from the moment before I took that tablet. I try not to think of what could have happened if I’d taken the full course of tablets.
I showed Mum the comments and she rang 111 straight away. They sent out paramedics who carried out an ECG, tested my blood sugar, blood pressure and oxygen levels. After Mum had told them about all the symptoms, they said it was best to go to A&E to be monitored. Ewan supported me whilst walking to the ambulance.
This was my first ever ambulance ride and I sure as hell hoped it would only just be the once!