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?