Cancer · Coronavirus · Covid-19 · Family · Lockdown · Osteosarcoma

The worst day of my life

It’s currently 1.39am and I’ve just got into bed. I am in a parent accommodation next to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Ellis is laying in intensive care.

I don’t even know where to start. So bear with me.

Ellis was tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning. As well as being in the middle of chemotherapy for Osteosarcoma.

Today his temperature spiked. He was so angry at me, but I knew we had to go to our local hospital. We followed the normal protocol we are given, but making sure I mention 100 times that he has covid.

He arrived to an amazingly safe ward, the nurses were the absolute best. They made us feel at ease straight away.

The first obs showed that Ellis was still 38 but she thought the blood pressure machine was broken. No one can have blood pressure that low.

It was 78/38.

That’s as a low as a baby. Not my huge man child! They checked again…. and again and again. It started to get busier rather quickly from this point. His heart was struggling so it’s a good job we came in when we did.

Before we knew it, he was being whisked away to HDU with all kinds of wires coming out of him. In the space of an hour he had 4 antibiotics pumped into him, 2litres of fluids and an oxygen mask. He had two failed attempts at a cannula, because his veins were just non existent. I genuinely thought he was going to die.

They came in and told us he was going to be blue lighted in an ambulance to Great Ormond Street Intensive Care.

The wait was about 4 hours until they got there and during this time Ellis really started to perk up. He sat up and asked to go to the toilet. The nurses were discussing amongst themselves where to find a wheelchair from for him, because someone with blood pressure that low wouldn’t be able to walk. Meanwhile, Ellis was bowling around the corridor, into the toilet like a boss. No one could believe it.

He then came back and started eating sweets and crisps…. all the while his heart hasn’t improved. The Ellis charm that he is renowned for at UCLH and GOSH was in full swing. The nurses loved him! They even asked him to at least pretend to be ill when the ambulance arrived!

The ambulance came with 2 doctors in. The did. lots of obs on him trying to get a better picture of what was happening. She said his bloods were showing an infection of some kind, a bad one, but they don’t know where it was coming from.

She wanted to do an artery cannula, which is exactly what it sounds like. Ellis hates his wrists being touched or anything on them, so he started to panic. They normally do them under anaesthetic, but because of his BP they said it wasn’t safe. So she injected local around the area and proceeded to single handedly create the single worst moment of my whole entire life.

Ellis was in agony as she routed around trying to find his artery. He was screaming in pain, telling her to stop. His eyes were blood red and he looked terrified. There was blood splurting out everywhere, it was terrifying. She pulled the cannula out and apologised. There was blood on the bed, up his arms and on her visor.

All I had eaten in the last 3 days was a couple of bananas and some porridge. The sight of him absolutely terrified and the sheer volume of the blood took its toll on me. I fainted.

Not there and then, I know too well what it feels like so I recognised the signs of my vision going, my hearing going and feeling so hot I felt like I was in fire. So I walked out.

I left him.

I left him crying, terrified and needing me. What mum does that? When I came round I felt sick with guilt. How could I just leave like that? Why can’t my body work like a normal body just this once. I had to have some water and a fan before I could get back up.

Back in the room, Ellis was in bits by this point and due to covid I was having to sit the other side of the room and just watch. Until this time.

This time was even worse. She was digging around with this huge needle, ignorant to the fact his BP had shot right up, she was shaking and couldn’t breathe.

Not having that. Not my baby.

So I got up and covid went out of the window. I grabbed him, wiped his tears and told her to back the fuck up. He has had enough.

He lay in my arms sobbing in the way that only a toddler would. It was horrendous.

No one hurts my kid.

She sheepishly went out of the room to phone an anaesthetic to come and do it. By this time Ellis was inconsolable. There was no way I was letting her try again. Over my dead body, bitch.

Three professionals all in his room, all trying to persuade him to ‘try one more time’. Not happening. Not with Mamma Bear in your way. He was safe.

Turns out they didn’t need it after all. They can just monitor him.

We then got into the ambulance and were taken to GOSH- our home from home. The weirdly familiar smell and the font of the writing. I felt safe.

He was wheeled directly to Paediatric Intensive Care, which is called Dolphin ward. It was very surreal. A once full, busy unit… empty.

I had to wait outside while they settled him in and got him onto a comfy bed. The nurse with was lovely, her name was Grace. She told me that she would sort my accommodation out for me.

I’m sorry, what? Accommodation? I’m staying here…. aren’t I?!

Nope. I wasn’t. Parents weren’t allowed. She gave me a key card to the parents accommodation up the road.

I went into see Ellis to make sure he was ok, baring in mind this was about 12.30am. He was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. So left him.

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Anyone who knows me, knows how terrible I am with instructions. I don’t know my left and rights and forget instantly any information given to me.

“Go right, then left, then through double doors, up the road and you are there”

Or something like that. I had no clue what she said. I asked her 3 times 🤦🏼‍♀️

So I did what I do best and winged it. I made my way to the entrance, so thought I would ask the guard where to go from here. Only to be greeted with the same words.

By this point I was angry, tired, hungry and so very low. I had kept it all in all day to be strong for Ellis. I got outside on the pavement, with my 4 bags and just cried.

I was so out of my comfort zone, I had no battery on my phone and there was no one about.

Luckily, a lady saw me out of her window and came out to help me. She physically pointed the accommodation out for me, which I was so grateful for.

I made it to the building and it was like the crystal maze to get into. No one there to help me, I had to figure it out on my own. Tears and snot everywhere and more bags than Heathrow.

But I made it. I walked into my room, shut the door behind me and just cried. So much. I couldn’t stop.

I have needed someone more in that moment, but I was alone.

I had no other choice than to blow my nose, wipe my face and get sorted.

I’m in bed now and it’s 2.30am. I’ve had an hours sleep in two days, I haven’t eaten and I’m so so tired.

So why won’t my mind just let me sleep.

I really wish my mind would just let me sleep.

Xxx

One thought on “The worst day of my life

  1. Keep hanging in there Gem, my family and I are keeping you and Ellis in our thoughts and prayers. You both have been through so much, and you can’t be hard on yourself for having to step out in that moment. My mom had to do the exact same thing with me following my hemipelvectomy amputation in January due to the pain I was in even with multiple pain pumps in me. I was a mess, crying and screaming for more pain meds, as she just felt helpless seeing me in that much pain. Just remember that you’re not alone, you and Ellis will get through this! I know this seems impossible during times like this with so much going on in your mind, but you have to find a way to get rest. I’m sending you both strength and well wishes from across the pond.

    Like

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