Thursday, April 23, 2009
I debated whether or not to even post today or to even talk about last night.
But after giving it some hard thought today, I would be very ungrateful if I didn't so, here goes.......
I am thankful for my health. That I am home and not at IMC on the 9th floor in an ugly gown and trying to humor the nurses. February of 2008, I had pulmonary emboli. (Feb of 2008)
In dumb dork talk? Blood clots in my lungs. Yeah, I know, WTC? It came as a surprise and really, I've talked about it before, but for the past few days, I have been feeling the same pain/discomfort and sensations that I did back then. Now, knowing my lifestyle, there is ALWAYS something that hurts. There is never a day when there isn't some muscle on my body that isn't sore. That's just the fact. That is my lifestyle choice. And so 14 months ago, I thought I had just pulled something at the gym. Yeah it hurt, but my nature is to just keep going, it will get better. It didn't, it got worse and worse to the point that we were in the ER in the middle of the night. The diagnosis took me by surprise as it did the doctors since I hadn't had any real risk factors going on. I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. KILLED ME! By the afternoon of the first day, I was begging Splenda to get the laptop because staring out the window to my office building downtown was killing me. I was just sitting around, might as well work when I wasn't sleeping off the Lortab.
Fast forward to last Thursday night, Friday morning. Again, feel like something is tweaked. Whatever, I have the half marathon and really brushed it aside as I focused on the race. It has consistently gotten worse, to the point yesterday it was now the same discomfort and sensation as last time but in the early stages. Not the, I-want-to-die-of-pain, stage.
I made the mistake of telling Splenda Daddy. See when it comes to things like this, I am a worrier about him but not about myself and vice versa. So I usually don't mention stuff like this, knowing it will go away. My mistake. He stews on it and decides we need to go get it checked. Me? No. I know what is involved, and I want none of it. He keeps after me, after me and after me. I finally acknowledge that yes, he is right. If it's clots back again, better catch them now. Or risk dying. Take my pick. I tell him he is going to look silly when we leave the ER and it's nothing.
So off we toddle to the big beautiful IMC ER. Do you know what happens to ER's when the weather is nice? HOLY FREAK! I knew it was going to be bad the minute we pulled in the parking lot.
I check in, give them my symptoms and sure enough, here comes an aide with a wheelchair. I can walk I insist. No, no, if it's clots we don't want them moving around. Fine. Sit in the blasted chair and get wheeled right to triage, as the other waiting patients glare at me for going back before them. Whatev.
Cute little Dale, the volunteer, comes shuffling in to take my vital signs. You know it's bad when they have to start using the really old birds that volunteer there to take vital signs. My vitals are all very good. Yeah, I work hard for that kind of blood pressure. No imminent threat is perceived, so I go back the waiting room. Ditch the wheelchair, I can and will walk by myself.
Observations while sitting for an hour and a half in the ER waiting room. These might have been said out loud, they might have just been my thoughts.
That lady over there looks like she is going to heave.
That is a fine motherly example. And those are just the tats we can see.
Is her toe completely off?
What is his issue? He doesn't look or sound sick.
Why do people even come to the ER when they can go to Instacare? (Side note, the only reason we did ER is because the only way they can tell if it's clots is a CT scan. Can't do those at Instacare)
Lady on the laptop looks like a dork with her headphones on.
The least we could do is watch Idol instead of whatever this stupid show is on CBS.
I don't want that big aide taking my blood. He is scaring the equally big dude he has come to fetch.
What does that lady have that makes her look like she is going to heave? She keeps wiping her brow and looking like she might really keel over. Please don't be an airborne viral something or other that I will catch.
Dude with the chains, the door is locked, you can't get through without being buzzed. Wait for it....wait for it...."hey the door won't open." "Yes, I need to buzz you through, just a minute"
I have now done a complete assessment on every person in that ER waiting room including laptop lady's companion; some chick in her camisole and sweats limping around; the entire family with pregnant wife, hubby, and three small children one of which is the patient and she jumping around like no cares in the world.
I am also then assessing each new person who comes in. One in particular, an older hispanic woman with what appears to be her adult son. This woman is IN PAIN. It is more than clear she is hurting. Splenda and I take turns guessing. I settle on kidney stone. Been there, done that a couple of times, I recognize the painful squirm. They don't however speak very good English. Son fills out paperwork and tries to communicate the fact that his mother is about to die, please see her. He's told as quickly as we can. They sit, I watch her writhe in pain. I suggest to Splenda that maybe we wait another day, see how this goes and come back if it doesn't get better. Nope. Not only is it not getting better in the time we've been sitting here, but I'm really not comfortable right now. It hurts.
About 10 minutes later as more patients go through the process - check in at the desk, go to triage, sit in the waiting room and when anyone comes to call out a name, look like you are waiting to see if you won the lottery, I notice that Hispanic son is getting pretty agitated that no one is calling his mother. He goes to one of the triage rooms and stares in the window. I am thinking, please don't be packing dude. Please don't be so upset that you decide to shoot your mother's way in. I am now not only feeling crappy from the pain in my back and chest, but now freaking a little that we just might have a TV episode in real life going down.
A triage nurse placates him. He returns to mother, I sigh in relief. Except I hurt. Hear a little girl moaning and see Mom holding a 5 or 6 year old in her arms and talking with nurse. Should she just go to PCMC or stay there? Heck if it were me, I'd be picking up the phone, calling PCMC, seeing how backed up they are, and then if at all possible, head up there. But, I am not her, and I hurt.
The door to the patient room area is opening and shutting quite a bit, and it slams as it shuts and locks each time. Laptop lady is sitting next to the door because there is a plug there and she can plug in. Big, blood-draw guy comes through and, no way, she actually complains to him about the door. I guess it's jacking her laptop every time. Are you freakin serious? Unbelievable.
Finally! Melissa, a blond ER nurse, calls my name. Yes, it does feel like we won the lottery. As we go through the doors I tell her to specifically let it slam HARD! HAH - take that laptop lady!
Get a room, which luckily had a TV. A few moments later the doctor actually comes in. The doc before the nurse? Wha? Bad omen. They are busy. Go through my schpiel AGAIN for like the 3rd time. When they get to the question of family medical history and I say my dad died at 36 of an MI (myocardial infarction - heart attack), I ALWAYS get raised eyebrows. Well, that merits an EKG. Seriously, I could go in there with a sore throat but dang girl, let's get an EKG! She also reviews the other tests she is going to do and leaves.
My nurse, a dude whose name I can't remember now, comes in. YES! A dude nurse! It's been my experience, that they are the best! I have to give him my schpiel AGAIN. That's it, I'm done telling the stupid story. He takes my vitals. Gets me a warm blanket and leaves. Splenda finds something on TV to watch and we settle in for what we both know is going to be a looooonnnnggggg while.
EKG kid comes and yes, he was a kid. I even asked him for ID. Blood person comes and places the IV (HOLY HANNAH FIRETRUCK!) and draws blood. More waiting. Dude nurse comes back, so like could I maybe get something for the discomfort? No only do I hurt, but you know, those hospital beds are oh-so-comfortable. Sure, he'll ask doc.
Dude nurse comes back, little morphine in the IV. WHOA NELLY! WHOA NELLY!! WHOOOAAAOOAA NELLLLLLLY!!! Um, dude, you realize I weigh a buck eleven, how much did you give me? Seriously, I've had morphine a time or two or three, but this was significantly different. Now off to la-la land.
At some point, I think I better text the Shark so she'll know why I will prolly no beee to classsshhh in the murning. Yep, morphine has taken over. Shark is all over this. Splenda's cell phone starts ringing. Who needs family when you have the Shark? What would I do without her? Promise to keep her up to date. Purdy now calling. She got a heads up from the Shark. Promise to keep updated. I wanna close my eyes again. Me no hurty anymore, me no talky anymore, me sleepy.
CaaarraaaaP! What is taking CT so long? Really, that's all I needed in the first place. Just a little CT scan, see that there are no clots, feel silly for coming in and go home. Splenda walks out to nurses station to check on it. He is very nice, he explains that he understands they are busy, but just to make sure, it did get ordered right? He is placated and wanders back to the room.
Stop clicking your ankle Splenda. Stop clicking your ankle Splenda. Where in the crap is CT? Really, I just wanna go home. Stop clicking your ankle Splenda.
FINALLY! CT comes in, turn on the light, sign some papers, yada yada yada. Contrast dye, yada yada yada. You don't understand sweetheart. I.ALREADY.KNOW.ALL.THIS.
Just freaking get it done already!
Fresh warm blanket and wheelchair ride to CT, just about to get out of the chair when a tech comes in and explains he needs this particular machine RIGHT NOW.
NOOOOOOO, I've been BUMPED! Apologies, so sorry, it will just take another minute. Wheels me out to the hall, and I turn my head to see who dared to take my spot. Um, okay, it's a little boy who is scared to death. They have given him meds to slightly sedate him and need to do it while he is manageable. My head hung in shame. Okay, fine. Do the boy. I can't wait. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Get on the CT table, take some pics. Give me the dye. HOLY FREAKING MOTHER TRUCKIN WHA?!?! Okay, I've had this before, but um, I think I might explode. I think I have become a human bomb! Thank goodness the feeling lasts a mere minute. Or two.
Back to the room. And surprisingly, the wait is now minimal. Doc comes within a half an hour and is pleased to inform me that:
1. No clots - that is a GOOD thing - YAY!
2. Blood work looked great. No sign of an underlying infection.
3. EKG - splendid. No heart issues.
4. I checked out as "pristine".
Did you hear that? I'm "pristine". I get my good girls and shirt back on, Dude nurse comes in with paperwork that Splenda signs and a bottle of a couple of Lortab. Niiiiice. Will add to my collection.
Home and in my own bed by 12:45 or so. Relief, relief, relief. The morphine is wearing off by now so I am in bed with a warm rice bag and back to la la land. Blessed rest, in my own bed on floor 1 in my own jammies. No beeping machines, no chatty nurses and no.ugly.gown.
And that boys and girls, is what I am most thankful for today.
Side note: If this happens again, Splenda said we would do it just the same. Go to the ER and get it checked. Better safe than sorry you know. I informed him no, unless he was willing to take the IV. Hmmm, change of plans, will hit up the doc for muscle relaxants first. Thatta boy Splenda.