Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Emergency Room

Ok, I'm going to attempt to recount what's been going on since last Sunday (Oscar party night).

As I think I mentioned I was having some very weird stomach pains.  These pains did not feel localized and seemed to move around and cover a wide area of my abdomen.  I'd spend countless hours googling and figured I was very much a lost case with IBS.  After some prodding by family about a week into my stomach pains I went to the urgent care.  He felt around my abdomen and did routine vitals and talked to me.  He thought it was some sort of virus even though it was odd that it has lasted so long, viruses like this last about 2 maybe 3 days.  But perhaps my immunity system was down in the dumps from the very bad cold I had just gotten over that lasted about 3 weeks, maybe longer.  He gave me a prescription for Imodium and told me if it didn't go away come back in a few days and he would refer me to a gastroenterologist.  That was Wednesday the 22nd.  Like everything I had been trying and I had been trying everything, the Imodium did not work.  On Saturday I decided I would call a gastroenterologist on Monday after the weekend.  This was the weekend of our Oscar's party.  On Saturday we went grocery shopping.  On Sunday I wanted to cancel but we decided to modify the menu so Brian could prepare everything.  I did very little for the party.  Actually, I took a huge nap and arranged some fruit kabobs, that was about it.  During the party I sat very still and didn't eat anything.  I was drinking water.  Around 10, like I usually do I start convincing myself my stomach hurts because I haven't eaten anything so I had a banana, no relief, surprise, surprise.  Around 10:30 I felt like I had been still too long so I got up and went into the bedroom.  The idea was I could do my stretching exercises on the bed and maybe that would be enough so I could go back out and watch the rest of the show.  Funnily, everyone at the party was staying, this never happens!  Everyone is always leaving around 10 but everyone was having a great time and talking about best movie and who was going to win the ballot and so forth, it was great.

However I was in the bedroom trying to stretch but nothing was happening, it was like suddenly I got worse, if that was even possible.  I could not stop twisting around and everything was so painful.  I was really really hurting and going back to the party wasn't going to happen.  A few minutes later Brian came into check on me and I twisting around on the bed, crying and said, "I feel like I'm dying and I don't know why."  He asked me if everyone should go home and we should go to the emergency room.  All I could think about was that it costs $150 with copay to go to the emergency room.  And I was still so worried that they would tell me nothing was wrong but I was in such pain I said yes.

Brian went out to ask everyone to leave and we both got dressed in more casual clothes.  Brian had to help me with my shoes.  We got out to the car and Brian was running stop signs and stop lights (luckily this was very late at night and you could really see there was no one coming), finally we got to the emergency room.  Things would get better now.  Brian asked me to go in and sit down and he would sign me in.   The entire emergency room was full.  This was very very bad.  I sat in my chair hunched over crying.  After about 20 minutes someone came out and said they couldn't find me in the computer, oops she wrote down my wrong birthdate.  Another 10 minutes I had a id bracelet thing.  Another 20 minutes a triage nurse came to get me.  She took my vitals and asked me questions.  When I got up to leave I couldn't stand up they brought over a wheel chair and put me back in the waiting room.  About another 40 minutes or so, a nurse came out to bring back 4 groups of people to beds in the emergency room.  Finally.

My bed was in the hall with 3 others.  This is when it got really weird.  Over time, I'm guessing the next hour. All three other people who had come back were seen and left.  I had yet to speak with or see a doctor.  Time kept going.  About another hour or so they wheeled me out of the hall and into a pod room with 4 other beds.  Another 45 minutes or so the doctor came, oh yay, the doctor.  He pressed on my stomach and oh man did that hurt, especially on my right side.  For the past few days it had been on my left side but it was definitely in my right side now.  He ordered an exray.  But wait, there's more  First I had to drink this radioactive stuff and I couldn't drink it fast or I would throw it up.  They said up to an hour to drink it.  Then I had to wait and hour after drinking the stuff.  Then I could have my exray.  Blood was drawn and they put in an IV but I was not attached to fluids, turns out it was for the exray.

So I got to drinking.  I drank it in 40 minutes.  Brian was about to pass out.  I wish I knew the time, I'm guessing somewhere between 3 and 4am.  I told him to go home I would wait the hour, have the exray, wait for the results and call him.  So he went home and I waited.

An hour finally had past and I was wheeled down to exray.  The guys there were very nice.  My IV was attached to the dye and I held my hands back over my head while the machine moved me back and forth.  They helped me back in my bed and I waited in the hall for someone to get me, which they did and brought me back to my pod.  Not too much longer later the doctor came in and said it was my appendix.  My appendix!  Totally not on my google radar because the pain was not localized to my right side.  I would need to have surgery that day, in fact in hours from now.  He told me most appendectomies are about 20 minute surgeries and you go home later in the day.  I was really in shock, wow, surgery, I can't believe it.  I called Brian poor guy and he came back to the hospital to wait for the surgeon to show up and talk to us.


Things surprisingly went pretty quick from there, I can't remember if there was talk about rupturing, I'm sure that's what it was.  But pretty soon I was moved to the OR prep area where the anesthesiologist comes to talk to you and everyone asks a lot of questions.  When she gives me the IV pain meds my pain went almost completely away, I mean just from that, whatever that is.  They wheeled me into the OR and then people started asking about a pregnancy test, was I given one, I was not, no one ever asked me in the ER or at Urgent Care either.  However I was not pregnant.  I would have to be one of those I didn't know I was pregnant and be about 3 months pregnant.  We did not have sex when I was sick with my cold last month and  I was just about to ovulate and obviously that wasn't going to happen.  But they were insistent.  They asked me to pee into a bedpan with 20 people including guys milling around.  I had just used the bathroom in the ER after my CT and I don't pee under pressure very well at all.  Finally they decided to use anesthesia they would use if I were pregnant because obviously I had to have my appendix removed.  Finally the bustle was over and I could breath into the mask, and I was out.

**next up, recovery room**