Ambulance And Beyond
It started with nausea, an elevated heart rate, dizziness, shortness of breath, and pain in my joints. After what seemed like an eternity (but was only about ten minutes) on hold and being passed around the phone system at my doctor’s office, I got an appointment for 3pm. I elected to drive home from work after putting in about six hours (I’d gotten in a bit early to work on a very demanding client’s site). During that drive, I started having trouble breathing and had to loosen my pants in order to breathe better.
I made it home in one piece but was too weak to climb the stairs to my bedroom, so I grabbed the phone and collapsed on the living room couch.
Since I lost my cell phone, I no longer have access to certain phone numbers: my roommates, my friends who just moved, etc… So, I contacted my mother. She drove over and helped me drive to my three-o’clock appointment. Before leaving, however, I vomited pretty heavily. By this time, I was in a lot of pain and every breath felt like I was breathing underwater. My chest was hurting, I was dizzy, and felt sick to my stomach. When I didn’t respond to oxygen and they couldn’t get my heart rate down, they called for the ambulance.
My weight is such that I was instructed to climb into the ambulance (since the EMTs had trouble lifting me on the gurney) and, from there, it’s a lot of a blur.
I arrived at Unity Hospital and they continued sticking me with needles, giving me scans, and feeding me pain killers. Extra-Strength Tylenol and Ibuprofen were both not much help and the bed they had me on was not just uncomfortable, it was sending jabbing pains through my lower back and hips. I had trouble moving to alleviate the pains and it took them about three hours to finally get me a medication that killed the pain I was in. The nausea and trouble breathing would come and go. What they finally gave me was a narcotic that they described as “ten times the potency of morphine” but only lasted about an hour or so.
After they injected me with it, the first minute or two was terrible. The drug made me feel like I was going to throw up and made my shortness of breath even worse. Then, it kicked in and I started getting sleepy. But I couldn’t be allowed to sleep since they wanted my oxygen levels to come up. So, they had my mother wake me if I started falling asleep and instruct me to take deep, fast breaths. I don’t remember much of this.
By 10pm, they had finished running their tests and said that it was at least stress and food poisoning. I was a bit bleary, still, and don’t remember it too well, but that’s what my mother told me as we headed out. My lower intestines were enflamed and they prescribed more Tylenol and ibuprofen in addition to an anti-nausea medication. They want me confined to my bed or a couch for at least a day and have told me no solid foods for at least 24 hours.
I’ll be throwing out the last left-overs of the clam chowder I’ve been eating since last week.
It may also be a form of virus or bacteria, I guess, but they couldn’t be sure. I do know that it was not cardiac in nature nor a blood clot … those, they ruled out.
I’m still in considerable joint and stomach pain and don’t have much of an appetite. I’m heading downstairs, now, to lie on the couch and drink some chicken broth.
That’s just a summary of what happened, yesterday.
Definitely not the best day I’ve ever had.