Knocked down again

So, after my break from blogging followed by my unplanned and unwelcome hospitalisation I was grateful to be back and grateful to be with you all again.

I should have realised. Things were too good to be true. I really don’t want to post another tough luck story but I can only tell my life as it unfolds.

In the early hours of Friday morning I started feeling slightly nauseous. Just the overproduction of saliva and a feeling of ‘something not right’. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew my body was up to something, I assumed it would pass.

A few hours later I started retching into a basin, nothing but saliva to show for my choking and heaving. Or, to use a great Scottish word, boaking. Brilliantly onomatopoeic.

It didn’t take long for the situation to worsen. The next attempt at throwing up felt exactly the same but when I looked down the basin was red, I had brought up blood. Not a huge amount but enough to ring the alarm bells.

I wanted to wait five minutes to see what would happen before calling the doctor but the volume of blood increased. Each retch becoming more violent. I could not wait any longer before reluctantly (if you know how stubborn I am you will understand that) admitting I needed help.

In all honesty, the doctor didn’t do much. He only needed 30 seconds to realise that emergency services were required, he called through a blue light ambulance request. It seemed like only yesterday I was waiting on an ambulance due to my blood pressure problems. Now I had a new concern. Frankly, a terrifying one. Staring into a basin of your own blood tends to do that.

It was round about now that my parents popped in. Timing was a bitch, why did this have to happen this morning? They were packed and due to leave for an 11 day holiday in Greece. I am not a parent but when my mother told me they could not go I understood where she was coming from. Still, I was not accepting it. I tried to sympathise but continually forcing home the message that they were going.

I asked them to put themselves in my shoes. If they could just imagine my guilt if this passed in a couple of days. I would be busy getting on with things while they were stuck here missing out on a holiday. One they had worked so hard for and deserved even more. They could always get back quickly if needed but that point was brushed over as quickly as I could.

Eventually, just in time for their flight, they conceded and left in tears of worry. Not the way I wanted them to start their holiday but in my mind it was simple. This was better than the alternative, them standing at the end of the bed in tears of worry.


I was lying on my side to help the blood flow into the basin rather than back the way into my lungs. The paramedics transferred me from my bed onto the stretcher and yet again the blue light cleared the way to the hospital. I don’t remember much about the short journey other than more and more blood. Every bump in the road rattled my fragile stomach.

This is going to be difficult to explain but the concept of time is irrelevant when I am in hospital.

I get by one minute at a time, concentrating on that moment, not what has already been or what is yet to pass. All my energy is centred on riding out whatever I face there and then. When a new minute begins the previous is forgotten. As the minutes become hours it becomes impossible to count back. Even an educated guess has no basis, all I am focusing on is that minute in time.

I can honestly say that lying in hospital that Friday, on my side watching my own blood spurting out my mouth, I have never felt worse. I cannot remember ever feeling so defenceless and vulnerable. I shouldn’t need to articulate the thoughts that were going through my head, it was one very long afternoon.

As time did pass I was bringing up larger volumes of blood. The IV tube pumped morphine into my system for the stomach pain and anti-emetics (to prevent vomiting). Neither had much impact. They also had to replenish my body with fluids and the blood I was losing.

They eventually managed to manoeuvre my body into a safe position for x-rays which came back showing a dark pool of liquid lying in my stomach. It was vital to get a NG (nasogastric) tube up my nose and down into my stomach. Anybody who has experienced this will testify to the fact that it is a disgusting procedure.

The plastic tube needs to reach the top of the nose before it tries to bend round the top and back down the way. You need to swallow constantly to ease this passing. Eventually, if you are lucky, the tube starts to move down the back of your throat. You need to open your mouth wide (while still swallowing) so the doctor can guide the tubing down the back of your tonsils and then into your oesophagus. From then on it’s a straight journey down to the stomach. As I said, disgusting.

With the NG successfully in place the doctor started to use a syringe and pull the dark, thick blood from the inside of my stomach.

All in all they reckon about Β½ litre was removed.

Like last time, I won’t go into the details of the days that followed. Blood tests, x-rays and more blood tests.

No more complications gave rise to the verdict that this was a one off case of gastroenteritis. Apparently it could have been caused by anything. That does not sit well with me. Just like the blood pressure situation, I want to know what caused this. Without a cause I can only wait helplessly on it happening again.

Another knockdown, a painful one. Like those that have came before and those that will come to pass I took it square on the chin, got off the deck and got back on with the fight. It did take a little more fight out of me but not enough, not nearly enough, to keep me down.

Another knockdown but still no knockout.



  1. You are definitely a Weeble. You may get knocked down quite a bit but just look at the way you get back up., Feel better . I hate NG tubes when Chelsea was a baby and intubated we had to put them in to feed her. Tiny nostrils, screaming baby, sobbing mother – it all came flooding back to me as i read your post. Great writing

    • I needed to have a quick Google to find out what a weeble is. Now I know, every day is a school day!

      I can’t imagine being in that position, having to be cruel to be kind to a little baby who doesn’t understand the concept. I hope she does now!

      Thank you for the comment please say hello to Chelsea for me x

  2. Your life and spirit as always renders me speechless! I was thinking about you yesterday funny enough, and wondering why you hadn’t blogged-now I know. I don’t understand your world and in lieu of a wise and encouraging comment which I seem to have run out of while reading your blog – what do you do when you aren’t hanging precariously from the cliff of madness? Or boarking? Sheesh now that’s a word! Hugs x

    • You are rendered speechless?? My goodness, that must have been some writing haha.

      You mean what right do for fun? When allowed? I am a massive football (soccer) fan and go to watch Glasgow Celtic every week. Love the cinema as well, I am a big-time movie buff.

      I hope that is what you meant or else I have just given you some random information about myself…..

      • I seldom run out of words so yep – that was one heck of a post! Glad to hear you do get out and about, the thought of you stuck in bed all day is a little much! Personally I’m hooked on the TV series bones and have managed to get 7 seasons so I guess I’m not gonna win the ‘ miss domesticity award’ for a while! Keep fighting and keep writing!

      • Nothing wrong with some mild TV addiction, I have my list but unfortunately my addiction is severe. I am a TV junkie! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks again

  3. If anyone has earned the cape and powers to be called Superman it is you. Geezy Cow Steven. I was so hoping you were out galavanting around with the Celtics fans. Sorry to hear about this new round in the ring. But like you said, no knockout. You are one tough Celt my friend. And I love that someone referred to you as a “Weeble”. Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down! That’s a phrase I totally understood. πŸ™‚

    • Don’t worry Colleen, I manage to squeeze in plenty of social life in between my medical emergencies πŸ™‚

      Thank you again for e-mailing and keeping in touch, always brings a smile to my face.

      Enough of this “Weeble”, I don’t want it catching on as a nickname!

      • I’m sorry, but I think it is too late for that…!

      • Don’t you start ganging up on me too πŸ™‚

      • Mwahahahaha….

      • Okay, but only because you asked so nicely. However, it would be an endearing nickname. πŸ˜‰

  4. wow, what a ride…Hang in there. Universe always sends some kind of wonderful or not so wonderful things to us to amuse ourselves. It is all about the journey that we take and things that we experience along the way…

    • If life is trying to teach me something then it has very extreme methods!! As you say, the experience makes us who we are x

  5. Because we hadn’t heard much from you recently via the blog I was toying with the idea of asking if you were going to post something fitba related (soccer for our non natives) in advance of the UCL fixtures. Think now you had other things to occupy you ! A very tough time for you, hope you’re recovering ok now.

    • Nearer the time I won’t be able to help myself getting back into the “soccer” blogging πŸ™‚

      Thanks mate, good to know you’re thinking about me.

  6. I was thinking about you the other day. I didn’t see this in reader, so looked up your blog to see if you were ok!

    My goodness, you’ve been on a rough road! How are you feeling today? x

    • Hey you!

      It certainly has been a rough time of it but reckon I am coming out the other end now. Feeling good today. Great to hear from you x

      • I’m so pleased you’re feeling a bit better. Keep smiling lovely x

      • Always πŸ™‚ X

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Boaking is a new word to me. Love learning new words πŸ™‚

    Oh Steven, this is just awful. I’d totally freak to see my own blood in the sink like that – from my MOUTH. It’s like you’d been poisoned or something? Sorry, but that’s what I first thought.

    I will have to look up gastroenteritis as I know nothing about it.

    I truly wish you well. I’m glad you were able to stop & write & let us know what’s happened. I’d say ‘take care’ as that’s what people say, but this is just way beyond your control. I’m so sorry.

    I hope your parents are okay too. Sincere best, Steven.


    • Funnily enough, a good friend of mine was round visiting the night before and he was just recovering from what turned out to be food poisoning. You can imagine I was calling him every bad name under the sun when I started feeling rotten.

      I do try to take care, only so much is down to me.

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Steve

    Sorry for the delay in replying, problems of my own 😦 I can understand how you felt about being scared especially as they couldn’t identify the cause. Knowing your opponent makes the fight easier but not knowing what’s wrong leaves you shadow boxing I really do hope it was a one off and you never have to go through that again. As stubborn as you are I’m glad you identified when to get help and pleased they worked so swiftly to start treatment. That must be Steve 20 (figure pulled out of the air) – Medical Condition 0, you keep kicking these setbacks in the back of the net, a proper medical golden balls lol lol πŸ˜‰ Stay strong my friend as there are many people behind you, I hope you have a long run of living before anything else decides to challenge you πŸ™‚ xxxx

    • Good morning Helen

      Firstly, sorry I have not been keeping up to date with every post of yours at the moment. I am checking in often enough to get a good idea of what’s going on, often seeing the posts on Facebook. Anyway, I am thinking about you and will try to let you know that more often.

      So thank you for the comment. I don’t know about 20 and I don’t know about 0, feels more like a draw at the moment. I’m happy with that, I just don’t want to fall behind. Medical Golden Balls sounds good, I could get used to that new name.

      Many thanks again and I hope you are staying positive throughout this bad spell despite everything you’re facing XX

  9. I missed this post in my reader. I hope your tip top now. I am glad to know your experience was down to a perfectly normal phenomena, friends sharing too much!
    I think your mum and dad are brilliant to leave you because that is what you wanted. I am not sure I could have. I might have pretended but really just stayed and checked in with you from down the road.

    • Trust me, they were not impressed with my insistence that they go. I didn’t leave them with much choice and luckily I was right. They are talking to me again now πŸ™‚

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