Something happened yesterday and we were all left jaws hanging! Us, meaning Ana, Chris, Ivana, Selome and me. We also have Alex and Vlado who are also here in Veduna right now, artist and chef respectively who heard the story the next day !!
I bring you the chain of events as they happened as it is truly fascinating, if that is the right word !! If I was in the UK and not on a 5 day healing retreat in this beautiful place, I’d have to use a different word!!! Anyone who sees my facebook posts has seen that we are having a truly, utterly amazing and relaxing time…. and we are.However, pictures always only tell half of a story or even a different story!!
We are relaxing and the intention was to come to Veduna and do just that, however again, I haven’t been completely well in myself to do anything but sit and relax while I am here. So when I arrived, one of the things I did was unpack all my meds, and there are a fair few boxes and bottles going on!! I didnt want to set my phone alarms whilst I was here so I placed my meds where I needed them. By my bed for morning and night and breakfast and lunch meds on the tables we sit at. Everyone knows the deal and it is just us here so, I laid everything out where I needed it, to be organised.
I have been waking up well in the mornings but declining each day during the day. By 3pm, my mind and body are rejecting food and drink. I am unable to take much in and anything I do manage to consume appears again later in the evening!
The night before, I hadn’t slept well and was in and out of the bathroom for a good chunk of the night!So yesterday after breakfast, I just needed a lie down. We walked down to the pool and I slept in the sun for half an hour! We staggered back to the lodge and I told Selome I needed to sleep in my bed! Selome decided she has sympathy tiredness so we both knocked out for almost 2 hrs in my room! We woke up and had a very light and late lunch. I ate a bit bit had started to feel unwell again.
Our big agenda for the day was to sit in the sauna for a few hours! I asked everyone to excuse me as I needed to get my head down again. I didn’t feel strong enough to go to the sauna just yet! Had a rest and decided that I didnt want to waste the whole day sleeping so went to the sauna! We were there a little while, it was lovely and warm, even outside by the pool. We just lay about chatting away!!!
I decided after 3pm that I was quite poorly and I was not going to manage dinner or a hot drink or anything in fact! I also decided that I was going to skip my chemo drugs. I had a burning in my stomach and throat. I was bringing up pure acid and I didn’t think I was going to keep any tablets down me at the moment.
I had decided that since it was sunday tomorrow and sunday is a day of rest so I would give myself a break from my tablets and just reduce some of these symptoms. Sunday night I was extremely unwell. Put it this way, I mayaswell have taken my pillow and duvet and moved into the bathroom !!
What I didn’t know was that while I was resting, Ana and Selome had had a conversation about my decline and decided to keep an eye on me. Selome had checked all the emergency numbers in her room just in case they were needed. Selome asked if she could sleep in my room but I politely declined. When you are that unwell, the last thing you want is anyone seeing you like that.
At midnight I was in a frenzy of throwing up every 10 minutes and felt quite weak. I had not eaten or drank anything since 3pm and it was now nearly 2am. Everything in my body had come out and I thought to myself that if this carries on any longer I will have to wake the others as I was now getting severely dehydrated and didn’t want to pass out somewhere.
Anyway my body handled it all and I managed to sleep for a few hours without my usual sleeping tablets as I was just exhausted. I was also having slight nosebleeds for the last 3 days but knew that a dry nose was one of the known side effects of my chemo tablets.
This is the morning view from my bed.
I woke up quite early, it was sunday and I had 2 missed calls from Spire hospital at around 2am followed by a voicemail and a text message asking for me to contact them as soon as I woke up. I wondered who had been at the hospital at 2am and what was the emergency calling me on a sunday!
In my fuzzy head, I thought oh its the gaviscon, maybe I shouldn’t be taking it but regardless, it was so vile I left it in London.
I called back and was told that one of my medical team had been reading my blog. Through reading my blog, they had realised that due to an error, I had been taking double the dose of my chemo tablets. I was supposed to be taking 4 tabs a day, not the 8 that I was and had been taking for the last 10 days.
I told her about my unwellness and was asked to stop taking all drugs until they get hold of my oncologist. I had already decided to stop taking them as wasn’t handling it all that well so waited for further instructions.
Anyway, we don’t know the full extent of my issue right now. I was called a few hours later by a doctor from the hospital who did a full medical assessment on the phone. They asked me if I get any worse, I would need to go to A&E. I was asked if I could get to the hospital but I informed the doc that I was away but on a resting holiday and I had my friend looking after me.
I was told to stop all medication immediately until I return on wednesday and a full assessment will be done!! I immediately picked up all my meds and chucked them in my suitcase. I was sick of the sight of it all.
So for my Data Management buddies, I guess this is an overdose and an SAE needs to be reported!!!
That morning, I had booked Ivana to come at 9am for reflexology! I was starving when I woke so had a tiny bowl of cereal and felt ok.Ivana does her reflexology session and as she cannot speak much English, she calls Ana to translate anything she has seen.
I just love this bit as Ivana gets very animated, talks with passion and speed and often gets very emotional too. Although Ivana can’t speak much English, you can see the passion through her voice and hand gestures.
Ana is called to my room. Ana always asks me every morning, firstly how I am feeling and if I slept well! Everyone is looking after me here. I looked at Ana and said, ‘I am ok but didnt sleep too well but let’s finish with Ivana and I will fill you in’.
I had told Selome about being unwell but note, I have not spoken with Ana or Ivana at all. Didn’t really want to broadcast it and make everyone worry.
Ivana and Ana start speaking very fast in Slovenian. They take a few glances at me, pause, Ana sighs as if she wants to say something, then they go off and start talking between themselves again and it gets very animated. I am intrigued as to what is being talked about.They both stop, Ana looks at me, takes a deep breath and starts explaining,
“Ivana sees something that she is hesitating to tell you. She needs to say it, she is not telling you what to do, but she says you are taking too much medication, and you know you are taking to much medication, your body and lymphatic system are working too hard to get rid of the toxins from your body. You know this, your body is strong, but you need to look at everything and check it properly”
My jaw fell to the floor! I was quite stunned. I was infact actually taking too much medication in the right sense of it all. I looked at Ivana and gestured to her that she was correct. I started to tell Ana about the hospital call at 2am and how I had been really unwell and we all sighed around and puffed for a bit!!
Ivana sighed with relief and put her hands against her chest, she had tears in her eyes, I think she saw a bit more but was holding back, she asked me how long I had been taking too much and I said it had been around 2 weeks but I had stopped last night as my body wasn’t coping.
I had not spoken with Ivana or Ana prior to this and they did not know the full extent of me being unwell. How did Ivana see or feel this? What if I didn’t have my blog? What if my medical team were not reading my blog? How long would I have carried on taking double the dose of a cytotoxic medication? How did I go all this time on double the dose and went unnoticed? My blog may have just saved me from something a lot more severe.
Ivana went on and told Selome to stop drinking tonic water!!! We had a bit of a giggle as Selome only drinks tonic water, Ivana can’t speak much English but said ‘tonic water’ really clearly!!!
I have been recovering today and feel a lot better. I have eaten today and kept my food down. I didn’t really need to be unwell on this break but glad it was caught when it was so that I could stop all meds and be at peace for the remaining 2.5 days that we were here. At least my entire trip wasn’t ruined !!
I will deal with the issue when I get back. This evening, we decided to forget everything and we had our own little movie night !!! It was so lovely and special !! We watched The Hustle! I really have a special place in my heart for Ana and Chris and Veduna.
We came here and have truly mastered the art of doing nothing. We have literally just sat around, just sat and sunbathed and sweated in the sauna! Endless chatting and sleeping and staring at the beautiful scenery of Veduna!
I came and I am happy I have accomplished what I set out to do. A healing break. I have healed! I saw Ivana twice but will see her again tomorrow! I have rested and got some head space.
I will return again to Veduna, it has a special place in my heart and Ana and Chris have treated me like family. I have been walking around like this place is my home. It feels like home. It truly is a piece of paradise on earth.