Yesterday afternoon, I was admitted to a private hospital. Normally one would require a specialist consultation prior to admission, but my GP contacted a respiratory specialist who organized a private room for me without seeing him first. I admitted myself, and the nurses checked my OBs. My oxygen saturation was 88%, and I was given a little nasal oxygen mask.
After a while, the specialist came to see me. He listened to my chest and knocked on my bones, and apparently it sounds like a cave of bats waking up. I have early Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease from smoking, which is apparently not very common in 20 year olds. I also have Bronchiolitis, from a mystery source. It's basically when the very smallest airways close up in your lungs, and there's a tonne of things that can cause it. So now I need tests done to see if I have Lupus (we have a family history), or whatever else that could be causing it.
I felt like I was being surrounded by doctors and nurses when I first got here. I had an IV cannula placed in my left wrist, for antibiotics and fluids, by a lovely young bloke. He's the best IV-placement I've ever had. I used a scary machine called a Nebulizer, which blasted my face with steam to give me different medications. I had blood tests galore, and had to spit a sputum sample. I'm being given IV antibiotics each night, which thankfully only takes an hour. I needed oxygen while I slept, and I still kept waking up coughing, but it wasn't quite as bad as its been at home. I actually slept more than 3 hours.
Yesterday was so stressful and busy, I simply didn't eat. Zilch. I drank 8 cans of Coke Zero, and a lot of water. I haven't done a full fast in a good 12-18 months, so it was a little bizarre. It's scary how good it feels to fast again; I feel strong. This morning I had to get a CT scan done, and could only have clear fluids until midday. Lunch was an unbearable leathery piece of roast beef, watery gravy, and a floury potato. I barely touched it; approximately 1oz beef, and the baby potato eyeballed 70-90g. The menu looks grim, and I doubt I could even manage 800 calories on it. The only god-sends are the low-fat ice cream and one glass of alcohol with dinner. They give you a choice of red wine, white wine, or light ale. 151 cals for an ice cream and a glass of red? That I can manage.
One of the major downsides to all this, is that I'm not allowed to smoke anymore. At all. Not a single cigarette, or even a nicotine inhaler. Nothing toxic is allowed in my lungs, and it sucks. I went outside for a breakfast-cigarette this morning with mum, which the specialist later lectured me for. Now I'm ward-bound. If I keep smoking, my airways will continue to shrink up, I'll be short of breath for life, and my condition will deteriorate. I told the specialist that at home, I usually smoke weed. Maybe a contributing factor? My logic was "but tobacco is better for me!", though the specialist didn't exactly agree.
I've just turned 20 years old, and I'm being told I have lung damage from smoking.
My thanks to everyone for the kind words left on my last post, and my apologies for taking so long to update. Things are intense, and it took me all day to even get this together. I'm feeling totally frazzled and disoriented, and I keep crying uncontrollably in anxiety. I don't leave the house, and now I'm in a massive hospital in the middle of my city. It's scary, as stupid as it sounds. Thankfully it's practically a psychiatrist-free hospital, and I doubt I'll encounter one. They know I have Anorexia, and am under the care of a dietician, and so far it hasn't become a topic of serious discussion. I just hope tomorrow will be better.