...and I did.
Wednesday, the 26th, I realized I was freezing when it was 74 F outdoors. I kept a heater on even as I despaired of not being able to afford the heat. I had 102 F temperature. Not only that, but the not-so-economical diarrhea and vomiting were still plaguing me, just not as often.
At 7 pm Thursday night, I made a 50 mile drive, one way to an ER. Charlie agreed to drive me to the hospital when I arrived at his house, so was waiting for me. It was raining and I almost had a wreck as I pulled out of the gas station to leave town. It was a hairy drive in the dark, the rain, and in a feverish condition.
I finally made it to his house, 1.5 hours on the back roads to get there. He dropped me off and parked the car. He left me in the ER while he ran back and got my Schweppes Ginger Ale. I was called to triage before he returned.
The triage nurse was really nice, taking all my info. I had with me a Tupperware glass with two lids, a lid on a lid. It held ginger ale. When Charlie and I pulled out of his driveway, the lid popped off, sounding like a gunshot. "What WAS that?"
I explained, showed him, and then tried to mop the ginger ale from the inside of his car. He was not really concerned, but I hate to have blasted the interior with sugar drops. So, while with the triage nurse, the top blasted off again. Now, it is the middle of the night, downtown, in a hospital with some unsavory characters waiting with loved ones. Three policeman are in the ER. "OH , $%*T! What WAS that?" Sheepishly and apologetically I retrieve the lid and show her, apologizing. "$%*T! Excuse me, I am sorry, but that scared me!" Yeah, both of us and I knew what it was. Seriously, the pop could have been gunfire.
From triage, I was shown a room...aha...fast, lucky me. THEN, the male nurse asked me to remove my clothing above the waist and put on a hospital gown. SHOCK! I have not been to a doctor in four or five years who has wanted me to remove a stitch except the ob/gyn. I told the female nurse that my confidence was restored now. We both howled over that silliness to cover up my nervousness.
Another nurse came in said excitedly, "Am I too late? I need a urine sample." Almost too late, but I obliged her.
Immediately, the nurse put in an IV, the kind with two places for fluids or drawing blood. She offhandedly mentioned something about my being admitted. See my wrinkly dehydrated fingers? I got plenty of fluid that did not come right back up. They put something in the IV to control nausea. Thanks!
Then, she pointed out that the TV controls were on the front and the sound control on the side. I fairly shrieked and acted like I was not ill. Hallelujah! TV! That contraption on the wall made my stay more palatable. I watch Dr. Phil and Law & Order and the Bob Newhart Show. Fun times in the ER! I know I could watch this on my laptop. However, having the screen at a distance really helped my viewing pleasure.
In the same breath as all this, she told me the phone was on the wall and I could dial '9' and any local number. Please, someone tell me if you have a phone in each ER room.
Finally, someone said my friend wanted to come back. So, Charlie came and sat with me. Then, since we had been there since 9 pm, he said he was going home at midnight, to call him when I was ready to leave. I was not happy at being abandoned! But, the TV took my mind off the fact he left me alone.
A bit later, a nurse brought in two Sierra Mist cans and put 1.5 cans in a huge Styrofoam cup and put about a small container of something for the contrast the doctor ordered. Yes, the doctor was afraid I had cancer since I had uterine bleeding, a copious amount when I was throwing up and having uncontrolled diarrhea.
He said I could have all the time I needed to drink this concoction poured over ice. But, I had to let them know as soon as I finished it because they had to time the CT scan for when all the contrast stuff was in my system. I did sip and sometimes more than sipped and toddled off to pee often, unhooking the IV and taking it with me. I notified them when I finished to liquid, and they started timing the occurrence of the CT scan. I think all the contrast liquid pooled on the bottom. The last few sucks of the straw yielded me some nasty, bitter stuff.
There was a face, okay two faces, on the CT machine as I went in. They were gray. One turned green and the mouth was open. That meant I could breathe. The other was red and had a closed mouth and bulging cheeks--hold your breath. Then, right beneath those faces, about 6 inches from my face was a little window that had written underneath it a warning--Do not look at this window. Laser ray inside. So, I covered my eyes and hoped for the best. Granted, I had only looked at it once, but I had been put inside about 6 times with my eyes close. I am not blind, so I suppose all will be well!
I had to have a sonogram (I think, or was it ultrasound) of gall bladder and pancreas. The sonogram/ultrasound was painful because the woman pushed really hard. The last time I had a sonogram/ultrasond of my gall bladder, it did not hurt at all!
About 3 am or a little later, the doctor returned. She said that I had an infection, a uti. From the looks of the sonogram, CT scan, and blood tests, it appeared I did not have cancer. Uterus, gall bladder, and pancreas were fine. I asked if she tested for e Coli. She said there was no use. The antibiotic she was giving me for the urinary tract infection would take care of it.
For this visit I carried the records from visits with the other doctor that included allergies, medication and dosage, and blood tests that the doctor here in town refused to review unless I made a second, fully paid visit. He also refused to replace meds that I threw up and might do so if I came in to the office. Having all this information on hand made the visit less stressful for me.
Charlie picked me up at 3:30 am. I arrived here at 5 am. I had to sleep because I could not safely stay awake until the pharmacy opened at 9 am. I fed the hens and slept from 7:30 until 2:30 and got my two meds--antibiotic and nausea medication. I was able to let them out for about an hour Friday night.
I feel, rotten, horrible, want gravy and mashed potato. Coke tastes rotten. I don't have money to buy anything. Charlie lent me the money for gas. I gave him a check to deposit on the 1st. I may make some jello to drink. Or, just to eat. I am having a hard time getting enough fluids in me, so anything works. Yes, I am getting fluids in the form of tea. I really love water, but it is too hard to swallow. I think all the throwing up as has caused temporary damage.
So, that was my night in the ER--6.5 hours and entertained by TV. I was gone from home for 10 hours.
After Charlie retrieved me and we were driving to his house, I said I was surprised I was called back so soon to the triage since there were other people ahead of me, and I did not have to come back out and wait for two hours. He said he had asked when I was coming out to the waiting room. The nurse said I was not coming back at all because it sounded like I had a contagious disease that they did not want to spread to the 50 people in the waiting room. Imagine!
Oh, I have lost 16 lbs. I was trying to cut back in 2012, so maybe 2 or 3 lbs could be attributed to my efforts. Probably another 13 or 14 lbs has been lost in the last thirteen days. I feel bruised from my breast bone down.
Does your ER have a TV in each room? A telephone? Have you been in an ER lately for yourself or someone else?