Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wheelchair Wedding - Part 1

To say it has been an emotional few weeks is a bit of an understatement. I don't think I've ever felt so many emotions in one time period...

So here's what happened. We were due to leave for Israel for our wedding on Sunday 2nd June (wedding on Monday 10th June) and the Sunday before that, I came down with some sort of horrific virus. It started with a sore throat and I woke up at 1am with a raging fever and insanely ridiculous joint pain all over my body. This kind of joint pain I have only experienced once before - and for someone who has had Rheumatoid Arthritis all their life to say this was bad, it really must be bad. The last time I experienced this pain it was only in my knees. This time it was every joint in my body and it felt like something was attacking them, like knives and saws and needles - that is the only way I can describe it.

I lay writhing in pain for hours while my-then fiance tried to figure out what to do. He called NHS Direct (always useless), an on-call doctor, and finally, an ambulance. The paramedics came and I have to say, my experience of paramedics has always been a great one. They are usually wonderful and caring and helpful. But this time - not so much. They acted as if they didn't want to be there and were bored and this upset me even more. To the point that when they said do I want to go to hospital and at first I said yes, they said 'well you'll have to walk downstairs.' I couldn't walk. Don't they carry people on those seat style stretchers all the time?? I changed my mind and said I didn't want to go to hospital and they were very happy. In the meantime they'd left the door wide open the entire time they were upstairs and unbeknownst to us, the dog had run out and we lost him. The paramedics left and Daniel was looking all over the house for Milo and I was stressing and crying as I couldn't move but I was so worried about the dog - he's like my child! Daniel then had to leave the house (at 4.30am) with a torch calling out for Milo and in the process waking up the whole street. After about 10 minutes the paramedics called us to say they could see him down the road so Daniel ran down there and got him. I've never cried so much in all my life.

Once we'd calmed down from this ordeal I suffered another fever and come 7am we couldn't take it anymore so my mum came round and we all headed up to A&E. I was literally rolling around in my wheelchair in pain so when the triage nurse told us to take a seat back in the waiting room I nearly screamed. I needed to lay down. So they gave me a cubicle with a bed and after about 40 minutes the cocktail of diazepam, cocodamol and ibuprofen kicked in and I calmed down.

I left with antibiotics even though they weren't sure if it was a virus or an infection and had to come back to my parents house as Daniel had work the next day and I continued to have raging fevers every 6 hours that lasted 2 and a half hours at a time. This went on for 2 days and the fevers were real shaking, sweating, shivering, painful type of fevers. I've honestly never been that ill in my life, I don't even remember the last time I took antibiotics or had a fever. After those 2 days my throat swelled up, I got severe headaches where I couldn't open my eyes for 7 hours at a time and the joint pain continued, just on a more dull than sharp level. And all the while I was on a countdown to when I was due to leave for my wedding which obviously made me even more stressed. I was so ill I didn't even watch TV or read a book until the 5th day.

By the Friday I felt a bit more 'human' again and by Sunday the virus was much better but I couldn't walk. We got to the airport and as we sat at the gate and I looked over at my wedding dress in its bag while I sat in my wheelchair waiting for Special Assistance to escort me onto the plane, I burst into tears. I couldn't believe this was happening. I've never asked 'why me' with my arthritis, but this time I did ask 'why now?' I just couldn't understand it. I couldn't stop crying and my parents were scared they were going to kick me off the plane. I stopped and calmed down but the flight was extremely traumatic - physically and emotionally.

We arrived in Israel with me utterly spent, in pain, and unable to walk - having to take the wheelchair everywhere and having to be carried to the bathroom, with 1 week to go until the wedding...

I'll leave you all guessing as to what happens next until my next blog post tomorrow...

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