As to why I was in hospital, at this stage I was unsure. As such I had no idea what to do when I got there, how long I would be staying or even who I was expecting to come and answer my questions. A quick few questions to some of the nursing staff confirmed I did have doctors coming to see me and I had tests booked, which the doctors would talk to me about. My father had managed to get in contact with my mum and she was already on her way to Perth. Dun had figured out how to unscrew the furniture and make the armchair as much of a recliner as possible. My TV did not have Triple J and the movie guide was 5 years old and inaccurate regardless. I could see I would have an interesting time of it.

A Physiotherapist called in to take me for a walk of the ward and confirmed I was independently mobile. Showers and toilet by myself! An orderly took me for a ride to the radiology and confirmed with an X-Ray that I did indeed have ribs. Upon my return to the room Mum confirmed my new roommate was a 90 year old chocoholic with Dementia recovering from a Stroke and hip surgery. I was optimistic about the potential for friendship between us. Her name was Flow.

The first morning I was woken at 6am for my blood tests and I have to say WOW! Never have I been so efficient at giving blood or so depleted when the needle finally came out. In total 15 vials of my produce left the room with the Pathologist in exchange for an orange juice and a coffee. Flow and I snacked on her Lindts until the heavily anticipated appearance of my Team.

The Team consisted of: Wally, Connor, Humphrey, Tim and Abigail. A healthy mix of Cardiologists, Neurologists and Immunologists, the Team had assembled to collaborate, since working as solos was helping no one and they had me in hospital for all the tests they wanted to run and any others they thought of in the meantime. I was already scheduled for two MRI’s, a Lumbar Puncture, an Angeogram, a Transoesophageal Echo-cardiogram (TOE) and they wanted me to have a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, but I could do that as an outpatient if need be. Whilst I was in hospital I would be tested to confirm I have Lupus, as well as investigating if the growths were increasing in size and number, or if they were inactive and lastly I would be treated for minor recovery from Stroke.

Neurological tests and observations by everyone in my Team were conclusively showing a weakness in my left side and whilst it was not significant, or anything to be concerned with long-term. It was evident and I should be tested thoroughly to know what I could and could not do, as well as what I should be doing and how to recover strength. I was rather scared and shocked at this point, not only because I was not aware of weakness but also due to the amount of new tests I would be undergoing and the potential outcomes of these tests.

Fortunately for me, I managed to turn in my optimism and positive energy switches. I sent out an informative message to my good friends for support and researched the tests I was to undergo so I could understand and get a little bit excited about trying new things. This would certainly be a different Christmas!

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