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A couple of days later I was taken out of ICU and returned to my regular room. It was really a beautiful one, a corner room, quite spacious, suite like, with seating, an attached bathroom and a fridge. Now, this is all standard, but then, it was special. It also had air conditioning. But it did not have a TV. So a small one was brought in by my parents.
My condition wasn’t getting any better, especially with the internal bleeding. So I had to undergo minor surgery to insert a draining tube. I reached a point where a blood transfusion was needed. My blood type is not very common and I remember the panic about contaminated blood. So the whole family trooped into the hospital to see if they were compatible, but it fell to my brother’s lot. His retort was : you dried up my blood (expression in Arabic meaning scared me witless), then you sucked it up” نشفتي دمي وبعدين مصتيه.
Getting blood infused is a very strange feeling. First it makes you very, very cold, and nothing seems to warm you. I was told by the nurses that I should let them know the moment I felt anything at all unusual. Half way through I felt faint, so I told my family I’m going to faint. They called in the nurse. She took my blood pressure, and it was flat. She immediately opened the regulator on the blood being infused, lifted the lower part of the bed, keeping my upper body at a lower level, and raised the alarm. Immediately the room was full of doctors, each doing something, I was quite confused and not quite aware. Finally, quiet. When I next woke up I asked what had happened and was told that it was a near call, but the nurse’s prompt action had saved my life, I was going into cardiac failure because of the loss of blood.
After this crisis was over, my next hurdle was getting rid of the fever that raged. I had an antibiotic drip set up, and it was only taken off when I started developing an allergy to it, by having burn-like boils appearing on the outside of my thighs. They were quite painful. But my fever subsided. And I think that was the turning point at which I started to recover.
To be continued … The Staff 3