I have been very ill. It all started when I felt a bit tickly on Thursday evening, 2 weeks ago, after having been out for a couple of cocktails with friends. I got back at a decent hour and took a bath, and while I was soaking I started to feel a bit wrong. Brushing it off as just being tired, I went to bed thinking no more of it.

The next day I got up and went to work. I did not feel good. I lasted just over 3 hours, then decided groggily that maybe I should go home. So home I went and got into bed. I did not leave bed again until Wednesday, when I managed to spend a couple of hours downstairs.

It was the flu. Really nasty horrible bad flu. Which then turned into flu with labyrinthitis. Think being drunk, without any of the fun bits. A trip to the doctor on Friday resulted in my getting some medication, but I didn’t feel much better on Monday when I went into hospital for a scheduled wisdom tooth surgery. But the general consensus was that the likelihood of something going wrong was slim, so the dental surgeon signed it off.

Turns out, those odds were not in my favour. While I was under, the cannula leaked into my hand and arm. It’s called ’tissuing’ and it’s very very painful. I woke up to find nurses wrapping my red, massively swollen, throbbing arm in wet paper towels. It was too painful to even touch. I was back in hospital by Tuesday so they could keep an eye on it, and had another appointment with the plastic surgery people (slogan: “we do limbs”) on Wednesday. The arm was getting better, but they wanted to absolutely make sure my skin wasn’t going to fall off.

A comparison of my arms 2 days after the cannula leak (the swelling had gone down a lot)

A comparison of my arms 2 days after the cannula leak (the swelling had gone down a lot)

In case you’re wondering: this wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s the kind of thing that hardly ever happens, but this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In fact, it’s much more likely to occur when the patient has had a cannula in for a decent amount of time. For example, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. This is because the cannula site tissue weakens and allows the little plastic tube to slip out. With me it’s likely to have been caused by my hypermobility syndrome, which makes my tissue more fragile than normal. However, this doesn’t really make me feel any better about what happened. Two weeks off work has cost me big time. My voice sounds weird and squeaky (flu + tube) and my arm is killing me, and I’m totally bored and have missed out on so much at work. I can’t wait to go back. I reckon that the amount I’ve had to deal with over the past 2 weeks means that I’ve had all of my illnesses for at least the next 4 years.