For Andy it has meant a huge number of support workers coming and going, most of whom we'd met in the hospital but not all. Most of them have had their competency signed off but not all so they are shadowing the others who are. We've had the clinical team leaders in who have been making sure Andy is settled, meds organised, care programme running well etc. Andy has had to go shopping as the cupboards were bare, visit the GP to get registered and visit the wheelchair centre to talk about a power chair and on Mother's Day he came to church
On Tuesday 17th, which was the wheelchair centre day and it was along day for Andy as hospital transport didn't turn up until 2 hours after the end of his appointment! I had gone to work on an afternoon shift and at 7ish I got an answer message from the team saying ' nothing to worry about but please give us a call as soon as you can'. So I did, it turned out Andy was having an autonomic dysreflexia attack. Autonomic dysreflexia means an over-activity of the Autonomic Nervous System causing an abrupt onset of excessively high blood pressure. Autonomic dysreflexia can develop suddenly and is potentially life threatening and is considered a medical emergency. If not treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, stroke, and even death.
Andy has a 'recovery' medicine for this, which should bring the BP down almost immediately, but because he's never had an attack that his body hasn't been able to sort out himself he's never needed to use the medicine and as it turned out the medicine didn't work for him. He was given both doses allowed in 24 hours to no avail so we were left with little option but to phone for an ambulance. I left work early to be with Andy and when I arrived he looked quite awful really, the ambulance turned a couple of minutes later and the paramedics didn't know what AD is so we had to educate them on that and they agreed it would be better to take Andy to hospital. We arrived about 20:30/20:45 and left at 3am. In between times Andy was waiting to be seen by a doctor, whom when she saw him listened to what we said about AD and also about him being ventilated and could only stay on ICU so she called ICU down to see him. The ICU doctor gave him a different recovery medicine which worked instantly and the doctor said so long as his BP stayed down for an hour with his usual meds going in, he could go home and wouldn't need admitting- thank goodness!
His BP did stay down and he got home about 4am. I got home around 3am and went to bed thinking about the fact I had work the next day. My alarm went off at 6:15, not really appreciated if I'm honest, but I made it to work and was very tired most the day. When I popped in to see Andy afterwards he was looking bright and happy so I added a few digs in about my tiredness and then went home to bed, relieved and pleased he was all good!!!