Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The week that will never end.....

... and here's why.

As you'all may have noticed, I rarely post about health issues here. Just generic flu and such, nothing exciting, which is really how I like it. With crappy health care on the horizon, I'm even more old skool about posting forever information on the web. However, this past week, has been, well, from hell.

Cutting to the chase...if you ever want immediate care in an ER, just write chest pain on the little intake slip; sprain your ankle, "chest pain", cut your finger, "chest pain". You go right to the head of the line, even if you're standing upright, and not in particular distress. OK, I'm only kidding. Only write chest pain if it's true, and it was for me this past Monday.

Backstory: I'd been feeling pain for about a week (yeah, don't say it), but I'm pretty savvy about heart symptoms, and this felt muscular, and was relieved (somewhat) with NSAIDs. Saturday, though, at the end of a gymnastics meet (didn't participate HAHA), might have been all those great male buns in tights, I was seeing stars. As we drove home, I mentioned to my DH that I was trying to decide whether he should take me to the ER. In typical fashion he said, "Well, we're halfway there, so decide now! Don't wait until we get home!" Men!! Yoi! (I may add here that because I've got a pretty good background in the medical arena, understand the lingo, and can even spell the hard words, he defers pretty much to me.) Anyway we went home, I took 500 mg of Motrin, and the pain eased. By Monday though, when this hadn't resolved I called our doc. Though it is a large practice with a cadre of PAs, EVERYONE was booked. The nurse finally said, just go to the ER, even though this doesn't sound like a heart issue, women get weird symptoms, so go.....So I called DH at work, and he took the afternoon off and took me to the ER where we remained for 5 hours, they poked me more times that I could count, Xrayed, CT'd and EKG'd. I rang the bell on two blood tests, and with further testing determined that I had slight pneumonia and pleurisy in my left lung. They threatened to keep me overnight, but my wonderful doctor, who has been treating us for twenty years, told them to hold off, that he'd followup.

We did followup today, and things look like they're resolving. Still going to do a minor test to make sure nothing is missed, but wants to wait for the pneumonia to clear up. Smarty boots is our doctor. If the pneumonia had been on my right side, or both sides, this would have probably been different. Leave it to me to have lung problems exactly where my heart is supposed to be.

Some interesting things. We have a small town hospital here. In the trauma center where I used to work, you had to go through a medical (ETA: left for entertainment purposes, this should be metal detector!) detector, and a guard searched your bag. Not so here. EVERYONE from the treating PA, to the RNs to the LPNs, to the volunteers, were so nice! Professional and nice. And they were busy! It was Monday, and everyone who had problems over the weekend showed up. It is spring break week, so everyone who had been holding off because of students, showed up. (An aside: When I first felt the pain, it was "State Patty's Day" here, a totally bogus excuse for students to get blasted, and I added that to my "whether I should to to the ER" calculation because they are always busy treating alcohol overdoses. It was a resounding NO!)

They have TV's attached to each ER bed. Now, had I been alone, without my iTouch and knitting, that would have been a nice option. As it was, though, we had to endure soap operas and Judge Judy, from the bed next to me. (And that woman was being treated for migraines. Does bad daytime TV contribute to migraines?) They have free wifi, so when they told me something I could look it up immediately on web md. I tried to knit, but the IV--IN MY WRIST (which is the oddest place anyone has ever installed an IV) made it uncomfortable. On the plus side, there is no evidence that I even had an IV but for a little soreness. Speaks to the skill of the RN.

On discharge I was told to use Motrin(!) if I experienced more pain. What is it they say, even a stopped watch is right twice a day.

So we're back to business as usual that means:

On the way to drop my car off for maintenance service, my DH's car, with NO prior warning, decided to quit. Yes, just quit. We had to have it towed to the garage, cancelled my service, and are awaiting the diagnosis.

I was planning to travel to a campus to deliver two presentations at a campus wide event, only to find out that their chancellor passed away yesterday, from a serious illness. They are forging ahead with the event anyway. Which is rather shocking on the surface.

Just some trivia:

My sister (30 year critical care veteran) tells me that the term is no longer ER, Emergency Room, but ED for Emergency Department. (Who knew?) And that shortness of breath which used to be abbreviated SOB, for millennia, is now SOA for "shortness of air" because some SOB was offended.

Ben Rothlisburger had better get his act together. Outside of the whether or not charges are filed, he is going to wear out his welcome in Pittsburgh. I've said it often in this space, Pittsburghers love their athletes, if they work hard and stay out of trouble. (Think blue collar esthetic.) That's why they love the hockey guys so much. You rarely see them in the news--unless they're visiting a hospital or bowling for charity. To be fair, I feel that Rothlisburger is getting roasted somewhat unfairly, at this point. He buys an expensive house in podunk GA to get out of the limelight, goes to a local watering hole, and barring charges, cannoodles with the locals. None of that is criminal. (If charges are filed -- all bets are off.) But buddy, you need to pay better attention, that's all I'm sayin'.


kemtee said...

I hope you're going to be able to rest while this clears up.

And yes, bad daytime teevee causes migraines. Which is why I rarely watch on days when I'm not in the shop.

Feel better soon!

Bezzie said...

Hee hee! Quite the most entertaining "I'm not feeling well" post I've read in a long time!!! Hope you feel better!

Mag said...

Hope you're much better by now. My blogger reader doesn't work well on my I-phone, so I missed your post.

I don't post about my medical woes. If I take the lid off of that can of worms I'll never get it back on.

Oh, and about the lady with the TV on for her migraine? Anything to keep calm and normal feeling I'm sure was her need. It's horrible to be alone with that pain.