I arrived home on Friday night from Geraldine after a wonderful time with the 14 – 17 yr old campers.
Unfortunately, I noticed just before I left the Bible College at mid-day, that I had started bleeding again from the duodenal tissue damage. By the time I got to Christchurch airport I had lost 250ml. By the time I arrived in Nelson at 6.30pm I had lost a further 300ml. I have always been instructed that when this happens I should take myself off the the Emergency Dept at the hospital. I had a feeling that the routine would be the same as usual so first phoned the after-hours duty doctor (these things always seem to happen on Friday nights and over long weekends). The duty doctor advised against seeing me saying that she would refer me straight away to the hospital, so save my money, bypass her and go direct to A & E.
I was admitted to A & E and a full blood test was done. My haemoglobin had dropped from 109 to 99. They had cross-matched 2 units of blood but did not want to give them to me that night because my count was not low enough. I was sent home and told to report back on Saturday morning for a review and new blood count. When I got home at about 10.30pm I had lost a further 150ml making a total of 700ml. I reported back this morning, had a new test and the haemoglobin was holding steady. The doctors admitted that it will probably fall by the end of the weekend and that I will probably need a blood transfusion later next week. The house-surgeon even agreed that it was logical that as I’d lost more than 2 units, a 2 unit top-up now might prevent a frustrating week combatting the side-effects of a falling blood count. Nevertheless I was sent me home after a wasted morning with a form for another blood test on Tuesday, after the Queens Birthday holiday.
It is the same pattern every time this happens. I think next time I will bypass A & E and just get a blood test a week after the next bleed. I know when I need a transfusion because the energy levels plunge and I get headachey. I cannot understand why, when they know this will happen, the Hospital cannot pre-empt things by giving me a couple of units as soon as I have lost them. Then again I’ve discovered that medical bureaucratic procedures don’t always factor in common sense.