It’s early on Thursday 7th February 2019 and I’m awake with tummy pains. I pop some paracetamol and hope it goes away.
It doesn’t. By mid-afternoon I’m back in bed, feeling shivery and by now in some degree of pain. I ring the clinic. Someone tells me it’s very unlikely to be related to my IVF and I’m probably coming down with a bug. I’m pretty sure they’re wrong but I swallow it and stay put.
By 5pm I’m in agony, unable to move from my bed and I know it’s not a bug. I call them again and, gasping for breath, tell them it’s got worse. They tell me to get someone to take me to hospital, and if there’s no one home then to call an ambulance.
Arriving home following my panicked phonecall, John carries me down the stairs as by now I cannot move and I arrive at Macclesfield General Hospital A&E at 6.30pm, hot and crumpled.
Hours later, I am admitted. Vaginal swabs taken behind a flimsy curtain in an A&E corridor will be sent for testing and bloods checked for infection (a high temperature does not bode well). I am taken by wheelchair to a ward in the depths of the labyrinthine hospital, and wonder how John will ever find me. He’s gone to the 24hr Tesco to find me some pants and a toothbrush.
Arriving on the ward, I am wheeled into a 3 bed room. One bed has the curtains drawn, while in another a pale and ancient female figure is propped up in bed under what seem like glaring lights, all rattling breath and staring eyes.