Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I learned in the ER....

I had the first trip of my life to the ER on Saturday.  I had my 96oz of water on Friday, 32 before & 32 after the race Saturday morning, started on a headache about noon, visited w/a friend, did my grocery shopping then took a nap to get rid of it, woke up a few hours later swearing that someone had cut the back 1/2 of my head off, it was the most excrutiating pain ever.  I took ibuprofen & ate a little bit to get it moving & tried to sleep it off again. An hour later, I was done fighting & had Tim take me to the ER, nothing was comfortable; standing, sitting, laying, changing positions, crying, not crying, nothing eased it at all.  Getting checked in was long & painful, but luckily they led me to a dark, cool room eventually.  Doc ordered  pain med, anti-nausea med, fluids & a cat scan. The wheelchair ride to the scan was horrible-not her fault just moving hurt. Once I got it all flowing & found out the cat scan came back clean, the pain eased immensely.  Sent home w/orders to take tylenol & sleep . 

So now that you know the back story, on to what I learned while in the ER:
  • never ever go alone.  I might have laid there for quite a while with the orders made but no one following thru if not for Tim leaving the room to go to the bathroom & someone seeing him asking how I was doing & him saying nothing's been done yet.
  • if you need something, ask. I was shivering on the bed under a blanket & was strong enough to ask for a second blanket.  I almost didn't b/c I thought I'd be out in a few minutes, that would have been a miserable 20.
  • tell them when it hurts.  the EMS worker that did my IV was quick & on target but gentle he was NOT & was able to adjust as well as aplogize a little when I vocalized how much it hurt.
  • don't take it personally when they call your worst pain ever, 'a headache', they can't feel it, they have no idea.
  • be patient.  someone ahead of you truely might really be critical, blowing a fuse waiting isn't worth it. Tim had a horrible time w/this.
  • if you have any questions about the orders, ask.  The nurse was terrific with my qusetions about the meds & the dr was great about telling me how much I should have been drinking & told a story about a previous patient's scarey similar condition.  He was also great about being honest about how I might feel ok to go to the party but w/in a few hours I'd be back in to see them if I went. (so I didn't go)
  • WIERD reactions happen.  I was cold & sweating until the fluid was half gone.  I can't explain it but when the fluid started, & my arm went cold, I instantly smelled rubbing alcohol.
  • they really do want to see you feel better.  I happened to be there at the change of EMS shifts. one guy clocked in, heard about me & made me his first stop.  He also gets bad headaches & wanted to be sure I had what he would want/need, a blanket & the door closed.  I made sure to thank him on the way out.
I am happy to report that its still down to 'just a headache' 24hrs later.  I have made sure to get lots of water today.  I have taken the house chores slowly today. Partly because I am foggy brained either from the super pain meds or from the migraine & am struggling to focus & partly because I have very little energy or ambition and am scared to push too hard & fast & have it return. The only reason I am not spending the whole day in bed is that I have my family coming tomorrow for BBQ after the parade. So I am creeping along.  Lets just end by saying that the flower beds aren't getting weeded today ;)
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