It's not often that a patient drives his own ambulance to the hospital.*
For the past two weeks I've been having a little 'bumps' in my heart rhythm, once or twice a day I'd feel my heart skip a beat. Not a problem I thought it would resolve itself.
However last night I was getting run after run of these missed beats, this made me feel a little nervous and I thought that a quick assessment at the local hospital would rule out anything scary.
So we waited until we had we took a patient into the hospital (a woman who'd fainted and was refusing to talk or open her eyes) and I let the nurse in charge that I would be booking myself in.
A few moments later I was in the resus room being poked and prodded. A twelve lead ECG was done, which showed nothing unusual (as the missed beats are intermittent).
I've put in a countless number of cannulas into patients – for the first time ever I had one stuck into me.
I was hooked up to a heart machine that does printouts and when I felt the missing beats I'd shout to the resus nurse who would come running and hit the 'print' button.
This is what I got.
Now, in the big scheme of things this isn't that worrying a rhythm. As my bloods came back all normal I was discharged and will have a 24 hour ECG recording which will be arranged by my GP.
I'm still getting them, but not half as many as I was.
The staff at the hospital were great, they looked after me really well. On more than one occasion I had one of the nurses come in to see how I was. They'd have a laugh and a joke with me, and I could hear my fellow patients in the resus room also having similar chats with the nursing staff.
(They'd also look at the tracing and mutter 'Oh shit!' under their breath. Which is nice of them).
I also had one of our station officers come down to see me, and he couldn't do enough to help me out. We shared gossip on the big fire in Plaistow, the smoke of which that was making the meridian laser beam look really pretty.
Also there were a fair few stabbings and shootings in the area which was making life 'interesting' for the local police.
The nice thing about it was that the station officer stood me down from working tonight (he also wanted to drive me home, something I refused, I was driving around on blue lights for most for the shift, a little run home in my own car wasn't going to be a problem.)
It is a bit weird to be a patient, especially when you don't know what is causing your illness. I normally self treat my own illnesses, but in this case I needed some help and the hospital and my workmates were all excellent. Just goes to show that the NHS can work well.**
*Big tip of the hat to my crewmate who pointed this out.
**Of course, if I suddenly drop dead then I may change my opinion…