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Another ER Adventure!

I’ve been to the ER 3 times in the space of 13 months.

January 2013, it was food poisoning.

July 2013, I was having trouble breathing, which we finally attributed to my medication interacting.

Yesterday was just full of surprises all around.

I woke up at around 7am on Wednesday with my stomach feeling oddly empty.  I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t sleep because of the weirdness, so I ate half a granola bar, took an anti-emetic (because sometimes early-morning-empty = nausea for me, for some reason), and tried to go back to sleep.

By 10am, I was awake and vomiting.  I felt “woozy” and foggy, and was having a hard time focusing my eyes.

I would take a sip of fluid, and throw up within 30 minutes.  I called Forrest and asked him to come home, because I wasn’t sure if I would need him to take me to the doctor.

He brought home Gatorade, which I tried to sip, unsuccessfully.  My fever went from 98.4 to 100.3 in the space of 30 minutes.  I started to get horrible muscle cramps in my legs and lower back.

My doctor’s office was closed, so we decided to go to a minor med and see what could be done.

They IMMEDIATELY told us to go to an ER, because it was clear I would need an IV, and they don’t do that stuff, there.

The ER we chose was slammed because of the norovirus outbreak in Memphis, and for a while we were afraid that’s what I had.

We were in the waiting room for an hour before we were called back for registration.  A paramedic did my IV port and drew blood, I gave a urine sample, and we were sent back to the waiting room for another 2 hours.

Side note on the urine sample:  I didn’t feel myself having to pee, nor did I feel it when I was peeing.  I looked down after 30 seconds, and the cup had fluid in it.  That surprised me, but I didn’t think much else of it.

While we were in the waiting room for the second waiting time, there was a woman laying on a bench and moaning – apparently she had pancreatitis, and hadn’t eaten in several days.  I didn’t hear anything except a few moans and the word “paramedics” from her, because I was busy having horrible muscle pain.  I was around a 6 on my pain scale when we arrived, and by the time we were called back, I was a firm 9 and was doubled over.

My arm is covered with stripes of pressure bruises from the BP cuff, because I was in so much pain that the machine couldn’t get a read on me, so it just kept squeezing.  The nurse left for about an hour to “let [me] calm down,” which kiiiind of didn’t help, because the longer I was there, the worse my pain got.  My chest started hurting, and I couldn’t tell you if it was from panic or from my stomach being empty.  I have no idea.  But I ended up getting a 12-lead EKG while waiting for the doctor to come into the room.  THAT was fun.

My pain was so bad at one point I started biting my lip to distract myself from my legs and hips, and I nearly bit a hole in my bottom lip.  I was so dehydrated that my lips and tongue were sticking to my teeth.

Finally, the doctor came in, asked questions, stopped for a second after he learned I had Lyme disease, and then a nurse came in to FINALLY start the IV so I could get some fluids.  I was given some sort of antacid (through the IV…which…okay?), some zofran to keep me from puking any more, and then some morphine so I could calm down.

I immediately got a headache from the morphine, probably because I was so dehydrated, but it took the edge off, and thank goodness, because I don’t know if I could have stood that, any more.

When I say I was in pain, you’ve got to understand, this was very close to the amount of pain I was in when I woke up from my surgery and they had forgotten to check my chart until the last minute, so they didn’t know what kind of painkiller to give me until I was already vomiting and thrashing around.  No matter how I moved, stretched, breathed – it was there, and it was all over my body.  I’m still not sure why I was hurting so badly, but it’s over, now, so I’m just going to hope that doesn’t happen again.

After another hour, they took me to get an x-ray to make sure I didn’t have blockages in my intestines, because apparently the fact that I was vomiting but didn’t have diarrhea was a big deal, and those came up clean.

Then they swabbed me for strep throat.

Then they took MORE blood.

We had arrived at around 5:30pm on Wednesday.

At 1:30am on Thursday, the doctor came back in and said I had a nasty UTI, prescribed cipro for the infection (which…I’m already on two strong antibiotics…how did this happen?!?), painkillers because yeah, and more anti-nausea meds, and we were finally able to prepare to leave.

Another hour, the nurse came in and unhooked everything, gave me some juice and crackers (which I thankfully kept down), and we left.

NINE HOURS.  For what turned out to be a kidney infection.

My fever is down, my pain is manageable (I’m still really sore from what was apparently 3 solid hours of being completely tensed up, but I’ll deal), and I’m drinking cranberry juice and trying to remember to use the toilet regularly.  I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor in a couple of weeks (to give the antibiotics a chance to work).

My life is too exciting.

So how’s everyone else’s week been?

6 comments to Another ER Adventure!

  • Yikes! Hope you get over that quickly

  • I’m wondering if if the nurse thought you were a frequent flyer pill seeker. Hence why she kept ditching you. Please have your Dr contact the Hospital and have them mark your records about your conditions so they won’t possibly cause your kidneys to shut down next time from dehydration.

    • I’m sure they were thinking something along those lines, especially since I can’t take dialudid. But I didn’t come into the hospital screaming for drugs. I even asked for just fluids before the doctor came, because I knew too long without fluids was going to be awful for me, but she said I would get absolutely nothing until the doctor came.

      I tried to remain calm so they wouldn’t think I was just seeking. And I called my doc’s office and told them what was going on, what I was given, etc., and am going to have them contact the hospital, as well, so that everyone’s on the same page.

  • HMS

    Squeaky, before a days comes when, God forbid, you go to the ER and don’t come home, we’d like to invite you to annoy the crap out of our readers as one of our Authors in Alexandria. This invitation has been extended to you by email as well.

    In addition to posting on anything you wish, as you desire, you may of course mirror posts you’ve already written from here or elsewhere to gain a different or additional audience or for any other reason that appeals to you.

    If you think you might be interested, contact me through Alexandria or by return email via this comment and I’ll forward our formal invitations for you to look over and return if you decide to proceed.

    Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there or, even better, start some new – and different – ones of your own.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    H. M. Stuart

    • I’ll check my spam folder for the email – for some reason it didn’t come through, and I’m not getting my comments emailed to me by WordPress, for some reason, so I didn’t see this until now.

      Thank you for the invitation. I will seriously consider it!