Monday, June 18, 2007

i liked it better when it was just an amusing parody band.

so i had a bit of a scare friday night.

i was drinking a glass of water, gulped a bit too fast, choked up a storm, stood up suddenly trying to get some air and POP!...

there was POP! and a tearing sensation and a flood of pain on the right side of my head...

ouch.

i was dizzy and nauseous and called the lord of the ring to come home from the store and take me to the hospital...while waiting i was literally repeating my name to myself so i wouldn't forget it...i was that freaked out...

so of course at the emergency room they have to put you through all manner of paperwork rigamaroll and extract that symbolic pint of blood and rights to your nextborn before you even get seen...

and i love it when you're in pain and you have to rate it on a scale...like from 1 to 10 what would you say your pain rates?...or, compared to the worst pain you've ever been in where does this rate?

okay.

so i'm in *enough* pain to feel it necessary come to the e.r. and suffer the interminable wait and indignities that being in the e.r. incurs, not to mention the tremendous cost, and i'm supposed to rate it?

and compare it?

how do you compare pain?...i've had migraines since i was six, the age wingman is now, i've had three tattoos, one a half a foot long on. my. spine., i've gone through a divorce from a relationship i thought i'd have forever, my grandmother died and i was unable to be there for my father, i've had two huge babies, one 9.5 lbs and one 10.5 lbs, vaginally with no pain medication and nearly died with one, i've held the hand of a friend while we watched his beloved and my dear friend die in front of us...

i'm thirty five years old...i've had a long time to suffer a lot of different pain...and here i am in pain and you're asking me to rate it?

i'm *here* in the e.r. aren't i?...that *should* be enough.

i've worked in the health care field so i understand the *sentiment* behind rating pain, but it's a whole different ball game when you're on the other side of the table...in. actual. pain.

and don't think while we waited i wasn't thinking of that poor woman who died on the emergency waiting room floor waiting to be seen...shudder.

so i finally get in to see someone and after this and that they decide i have possibly had an aneurysm...which means all manner of procedures to rule it in or out...

oh. god.

on my way to the cat scan i can't say that i thought i was going to die, but i definitely was scared...what is going to happen if i had an aneurysm?...whatever it was going to be i knew it wasn't going to be good...

so i come back from the cat scan and they want me in a gown and since i dashed out of the house still wearing my workout clothes from earlier (i knew i should have taken a shower earlier! damn!) i wasn't wearing any underwear...

but thankfully i didn't spend time in the dating trenches without coming away with a few tricks (and a couple of husbands) and i stuffed a clean pair of undies in my bag before i left the house...

as they're giving me the gown it's just the lord of the ring and me (the boybarians are outside the door) and the nurse...and i start to cry...the nurse says

"oh. are you in more pain?"

"no. it's just been a long day"

i was just sad then because i was scared and i didn't know what was up...the moment you are being handed a gown at the hospital is the moment you know you're not going to go home anytime soon...

so the doctor comes back in and decides the cat scan is ineffective and wants to do a spinal tap...it's really the *gold standard* test for this type of situation...

yes folks, a spinal tap...and lemme tell you, it is just as icky on that soul sucking level as it sounds...

but i didn't get the spinal tap before i got to endure something far worse on a far different level...

so before the spinal tap the doctor wants to deal with my pain medicinally and prep my body for the pain of the procedure...the nurse comes in with a big ol' i.v. and three tiny vials...

"this is a cocktail the doctor likes to give for head pain and relaxation...i will inject each really slowly as to try and prevent a reaction"

"oh, like what kind of reaction?"

"well, if injected too fast like you feel like you're coming out of your skin"

"well, we wouldn't want that!"

"no we wouldn't"

we chuckle...ha. ha.

guess who isn't laughing ten minutes later?

not two seconds into the administration of the anti-nausea drug portion of the cocktail i knew something was dreadfully wrong.

like the most wrong i have ever felt in my life.

and for the next twenty minutes solid i was the moaning, thrashing, keening, freaking out patient you hear in the hospital and thank GOD! you aren't next too and wonder what in the hell is wrong with her?

i was literally coming out of my skin...just as described...i couldn't get a handle on it and it was the most awful i have ever felt in. my. life.

seriously, if there had been an open window i may have jumped...it really was that awful...like you are trying to get away from your own *self*.

it finally subsided a bit enough for them to block the rest with benadryl and enough to freak the guy next to me the. fuck. out.

he was happy to get out of there i can tell you that.

so they did the spinal tap and by then i was exhausted...i could barely move...which worked out really well considering someone was messin' about with my spine with a huge ass needle...

but i wasn't too out of it to not feel how absolutely soul sucking the spinal tap felt...i have never in my life felt that kind of violation...it was terribly intense...

i passed out after that...well as much as one can pass out while in a thin cotton gown and two thin blankets in a freezing hospital while shaking to death with cold can...seriously, can they not get a handle on that basic comfort?...

i understand they've never seen me before...i understand each person is a new challenge...i understand that medicine is not perfect, and neither are caregivers...i understand that just because i put my life into someone else's hands does. not. mean. i. will. get. all. the. answers. i. seek...i understand that not everyone can have their own room...and i understand we are all in this together...

but what i don't get is why i can't get a thicker more modest gown that covers and fits?...more than one blanket at a time without having to ask, that isn't thinner than my sheets at home, in a place that is kept perpetually cool, so i who am suffering from whatever and am scared and unsure can have some. measure. of. warmth and comfort?...

they need a clause in that hippocratic oath that has to do with better linens and bigger gowns...it's only right...

but, good news!...after all that as it turns out hallelujah i DID NOT SUFFER AN ANUERYSM!!!

hoo freakin' ray!

apparently it was some random freaky migraine...i got released but had to spend the next 24 hours flat on my back, literally, so that my spinal fluid didn't get all wonky in my body...

i've suffered a bit of a residual headache since then, but am MUCH better...

and the absolute best part, other than not having to have brain surgery, is that the doctor gave me two doctors "release from work" notes to use!

score!

i'm keepin' these bad boys for when i really need them!

yeah right...ha ha ha...he obviously didn't understand what my *job* is...

what am i gonna do?...hand one to the duke and wingman and say too bad kids!...give yourselves your own latin tests and there's no dinner tonight!

as it was, i rested well and the lord of the ring picked up the slack...and we're somewhat back on track...

but don't think i'm not hanging on to those doctor's notes just. in. case.

x.

2 comments:

Bonni said...

Oh my God! How awful was THAT whole experience!?!

You are definitely on my 'women to admire' list. Sorry to laugh at your really-bad-time, but that was a great piece of writing.

Glad to hear you survived and it was nothing too serious.

...how much for one of those notes? My guy is all about following proper procedures...I might actually get a day off with one of those golden tickets!

kkr said...

Holy Shit!
What an experience. I love the nurse telling you it would be like crawling out of your skin. BUT, of course THAT IS HORRENDOUS that you felt that way. Ouch. Wowza.
My dr. once said that if I did not take my new meds. correctly that the skin on my face would fall off. She had a blank look.
I laughed, nervously, and then she said,
"Well, not really, but you could get a really bad rash."
I didn't think it was funny.

You crack me up, X. It's great to have someone else that can find the humor in these tragic situations in life. I'm glad you are o.k.