Friday, May 30, 2008

emergency room part I

Well. There is nothing like a middle-of-the-night ambulance ride to put things in perspective. The person in the ambulance was me: I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with an excruciating pain on my right side that only worsened over the next hour. To make a long story short, after several tests and a night spent at the hospital, they still don't know what it is. I'm feeling a tad better, though I still have a fair amount of abdominal pain and discomfort. The doctors and I decided to "see how I do" over the weekend. I must say, as much as I love doctors, it was rather frustrating to go through all that (CT scan after drinking a HUGE amount of DISGUSTING Barium, 2 ultrasounds, gyno exam, various needle pricks and IVs, etc.) and leave the hospital without an answer. I guess that's how it goes. I guess that's better than hearing some really bad news of some kind.

So, I'm home. Taking it easy. Hoping I don't wake up at 3:30 again tonight with that same pain. And feeling a brand new level of empathy for sick people.
I'll leave you with something that made me laugh so hard a few weeks ago that I kept remembering it in the ER and cracking up (and then cringing horribly as the pain shot across my stomach.)

Here's a favorite comic: Brian Regan. (Do watch Emergency Room Part 2 as well.)


Beck said...

You poor girl!
That happened to my brother. It was his gallbladder. Not great, but fixable.
Take CARE of yourself!

Kate said...

Oh Yikes!
Relax, take good care of yourself and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

That was so funny! I can see how it would make you laugh in the ER.

Okay, I'll say it. "I had that. I had it." This is how I felt, ready?

First it was like a little gas pain. But it wouldn't move or go away. Then it got worse. Eventually I felt shooting pain over my shoulders. Weird, but true.
Worst pain of my life - I'd rather have a baby and get an epidural.

My husband takes me to the doctor because we wanted to avoid ER charges - very, very stupid. The nurse practitioner sees me, the doctor won't - she has no idea and sends me to get an ultrasound (across town) for gallbladder. The test takes several days to come back. Very helpful. I am DYING, cannot sit up and can barely breathe. I say, "what about the pain?" She says, " I don't know - maybe a hot bath?"

And so we go home. I overdose on percoset until it finally subsides. Two days later, I'm running a fever and basically don't care about anything anymore. My husband takes me back and demands to see a doctor. The doctor sees me and immediately sends me to a surgeon, asking his nurse WHY the nurse practitioner asked to have a test done that would not be ready til next week when I am obviously seriously sick? Good question.

Result: ruptured ovarian cyst. It had caused such a mess that it was all getting infected in there. Yikes. Worst pain ever. (the pain over the shoulders was from radiating nerves - I had blood in my gut that was irritating my diaphragm muscles - the nerves radiate from there over the shoulder. Isn't that weird?)

Clincher: two weeks later the doctor's office calls to tell me, "good news! your gall bladder is fine!" I got a laugh out of that and proceeded to explain to her why I would never be back and would she please pass along my diagnosis to the nurse practitioner?

Wow, that was fun telling that story! It's my only war wound, I'm afraid. I have to get the mileage out of it.

Hopefully yours is no big deal, but ruptured cysts can be small, too. Overall they are not really dangerous, just painful.

Who knows? I am convinced that the older we get, the weirder our symptoms get. Some days I'm like, "my thumb hurts... and I feel dizzyish." :)
Like you said, most of it goes away on its own. Isn't it lovely to age? And the doctors, they make you feel so GOOD, and not hypochondriacal at all, you know? (and I hope you recognize sarcasm dripping when you hear it!)
I used to think medicine was a science...
More like a guessing game.