When I Ended Up in A&E Twice in 24 Hours

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Last weekend, I had two A&E visits in 24 hours! This post recaps my two trips to A&E in under 24 hours and also updates you on my latest gastroenterology appointment.

A&E Trip 1

On Saturday 27th April, I was in A&E in the evening after a day out in Lyme Regis. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, and everything that went into my mouth made me severely nauseated and gave me bloating, a distended abdomen and stomach pains, even if it was just water.

We phoned 111 before we went to see if there was anything we could do at home, and they told us to go to A&E because I wasn’t getting any fluids in or anything. The triage nurse can pretty quickly. They did my vitals, took some (complicated) history and moved us to the Minor’s Area to wait for a doctor.

Over 3 hours later, we finally saw a doctor who did an exam and took more of my history. I told him I thought it was gastroparesis, but he said that I’d have to be vomiting for that (actually, only 65% of gastroparesis patients experience vomiting, many of who have diabetic gastroparesis). He also said the bloating and distended abdomen aren’t usually that severe in someone with gastroparesis, so he thought it was small bowel related. I also had a really tender area in my epigastric region (between the chest and tummy button) which really hurt when he pressed it during the exam.

He then said I should just go home and wait for my gastroenterology appointment which I had on Friday (there’s an update later in this post), which was really annoying and quite dangerous considering I couldn’t eat or drink anything.

There are two square photos. The left one is of someone standing with a flat stomach. The left on is of someone standing with a bloated stomach. - When I Ended Up in A&E Twice in 24 Hours
This is how bloated my stomach gets when I eat. The left one is in the morning before eating anything. The right one is two hours after eating half a mug of vegetable purée.

A&E Trip 2

The afternoon of Sunday 28th April, I was back in A&E after not being able to eat or drink anything for 21 hours (at the time of arrival). They finally did bloods, which they didn’t do on Saturday, that actually came back normal for once!

Thanks to my complicated life/history, they couldn’t do much, so I still had to wait for my gastroenterology appointment which I had coming up on Friday, but they did give me a dose of prochlorperazine to try and help with the nausea and prescribed me metoclopramide.

They made me drink 150ml of water before I could be discharged (originally it was 500ml) which was horrible but I did it! I’m so glad they managed to get me to drink. I was struggling so much and had a really bad headache after not sleeping much or drinking at all, and I really couldn’t do it on my own.

After that, I was sent home, which I was really glad about by that point. I really didn’t want to have to stay overnight. All I wanted to do was go home and try to sleep. I just can’t believe it took two A&E trips in less than 24 hours for them to actually do something to try and help.

Gastro Appointment

My gastro appointment on Friday went a lot differently to how I expected it to go. I didn’t really know what she would do, but I hoped she would give me an alternative to metoclopramide, as it makes me extremely drowsy and zombie-like.

In the appointment, the gastroenterologist did a physical exam of my stomach and also found the tender spot in my epigastric region which was painful. She told me to carry on taking the metoclopramide if I need to and to eat as normally as possible. She suggested drinking smoothies to get the right nutrients, as they may be easier to eat. I was also told to try a ‘toddler diet’ that consists of soft foods like shepherd’s pie and bolognese. I’ve tried that before and it made my symptoms worse, so I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll try it again.

The gastroenterologist thinks my symptoms are functional (with no physical origin), but I don’t agree with that. We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you loved this post (and I’m SURE you did, considering you’re reading this), you NEED to check out my eBook 10 Things You Need to Know About Living with Chronic Illness!

 

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