This is the sixth part of a guest serial, in 883 words.
I laid down on the stretcher and the paramedic put a blanket over me then strapped me in. Ewan sat in one of the seats opposite to me. Due to a past experience from when he was younger, Ewan felt very anxious about the journey. I knew this would upset him and I felt guilty, I kept saying “I’m sorry”, even though I couldn’t help what had happened. I always think the worst in any situation, and I asked the paramedic if something really bad was going to happen or if I was dying, she tried to reassure me that it was a reaction to the antibiotic. We got to A&E about 10pm.
I was taken into a side room, the next hour was a blur of blood tests, ECG’s, observations, etc. They asked for my medical history and that in itself had taken about 20 minutes to sum up what has been happening throughout the last 9 months, and even when they left the room, I forgot to mention something!
The results came back normal but they wanted to continue to monitor me for the next few hours. I slept on and off until 4am, we were told that as the results didn’t show anything, they were certain it was a bad reaction and discharged me. Ewan and I sat in the hospital entrance for the next 2 and a half hours as Mum was unable to pick us up until 7am.
While we waited, we watched hundreds of nurses and doctors arrive around 6am. My heart went out to them, knowing they would soon be starting a 12-hour shift, caring for people, saving lives. The real superheroes.
October passed by quickly as I spent more time sleeping than being awake.
The day of my appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London arrived. Thankfully, the time of my appointment was near lunchtime and didn’t have to get a ridiculously early train. This was my first train ride as a wheelchair user and the first time Mum witnessed my involuntary movements while I was asleep. I kept, without knowing, kicking the woman opposite me – if you ever read this, I’m still so very sorry!
Moorfields is a maze! We were directed to different areas throughout the next few hours while an array of specialised tests was carried out. Some were standard eye tests, but the more I had, the more detailed they were and the more my eyes were put under so much strain that by the last test, I was crying hysterically because I could not handle anymore. All the tests were painless, but they drained every ounce of energy I had.
I’m very thankful for my wheelchair that day because there was no way I would have been able to stand for more than a minute.
A few days later, I had to go back to King’s Lynn Hospital for the ultrasound and internal scan. The nurses were very lovely and put me at ease within minutes. Both were painless, but cold – the tests, not the nurses! By this point, I had lost track of what results I was waiting for – hearing, vision, bleeding, and possibly more.
The following week, on Monday, Mum received a call from Moorfields, they wanted to see me on Friday.
I thought, “What now??”
Fortunately, my best friend, India and her boyfriend were in London that week and offered to come with us to the appointment. I hadn’t seen India for 2 years and I was worried as to how she would react to actually seeing me. We always were in contact with each other, and she knew about my health, but this would be the first time she actually saw me.
As soon as she saw me, she ran up to me and cuddled me. In that moment, I could forget everything and focus on the love I had for this girl. We always carried on from where we left off. It was a good hour or so until my appointment so we talked and had a laugh, which was refreshing as I had not genuinely smiled in so long.
While we were in the waiting room, I was trying my hardest to hold back my tears – I was scared of what news I would be given.
Time passed and I was called in. The four of us sat there whilst a consultant told them my results. I kept asking what was happening but I just got told that it would be explained to me soon.
It’s frustrating, it was my appointment and nobody would tell me my results there and then.
After ten minutes, we were told to go to an office. But in the corridor before the office, my wheelchair suddenly stopped. I turned around to see what had happened and saw Mum burst into tears with India comforting her. That was the last straw, “What the hell is wrong?”, I snapped.
Mum couldn’t tell me. India pushed me towards the seating area in front of the office we had to go in and sat next to me. She told me, “Your optic nerve is severely damaged, they can’t do anything to reverse it”.
I couldn’t speak, I just cried.
The office we were about to go in, was where I would be registered as severely blind.