Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Adventures in the ER

We spent 12 hours in the ER on Sunday night. Got there at midnight and ironically left there at noon on Monday. (What's with the number 12?) I guess my body wanted a hospital practice run before May 4th. Actually, I had a new pain...a different pain from my usual back troubles. This one was still in my back, but off to my right side and wrapped its way around towards the front. I couldn't get comfortable no matter what position I was in, and was literally crying in bed because it was so unbearable. I had no idea what it was. Something with my kidneys? An infection? Appendicitis? Reluctantly, I agreed to go to the emergency room. Talk about a production! We had to walk Buster, pack some things for the kids, wake them up (which is never a small task!), get them and their things into the car, drop them off at my parents house (11:30 at night!) and then finally be on our way downtown.

So many things happened around us that night. There was a code blue down the hall, which was broadcasted over the intercom system, and I could hear the noise of them doing chest compressions. A Korean lady broke her hip, but there was a communication barrier amongst her, the doctor, and nurses. Because she was combative (probably from being in so much pain) they had to restrain her but luckily called a family member over to serve as an interpreter. A man next door seemed to be a regular pain meds receiver there, known quite well by nurses. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation because his room was right next door to mine. Actually, I couldn't help but observe everything that was going on around us because everything is so loud there on the floor so it seemed like nothing could be kept secret. While I waited in my room, I also wondered how the man in his mid 20's accompanied by his 2 friends broke his hand and also about the little girl a few doors down that had trouble breathing and was so sick they had to admit, and hoped that she would be better soon...hoped that they all would be better soon. What a night. What an adventure! After seeing all of that in addition to going through my own ordeal, it felt so good to finally be home and be in my own bed without being around people that are unfortunately sicker than you or ones that only frequent the ER for pain meds paid for by taxpayers!

So my pain ended up to "probably" be a pinched nerve due to my back issues. All of my tests came out normal and they couldn't find out the source of my pain, so they said it was most likely due to my bad disc. The ER doctor and my surgeon's office both said to increase my pain meds and take 1 1/2 to 2 pills every 4 hours, instead of 1 every 8 hours, and lucky for me my surgery's next week so I won't be a walking zombie for long! You know before all of this excitement, I was pretty apprehensive about my back surgery even though I know it's going to pretty much save my life. It's a major thing, and I kept on freaking out about being put under, being in the hospital, being away from my children, the recovery process, etc., but spending the night in the ER helped me overcome some of my fears and in turn, made me realize that this whole ER experience wasn't such a stumbling block after all. That in fact, this was a hidden blessing that was sent to reassure me that everything's going to be ok. :) So with things in a new perspective for me, I'm ready for the surgery with my chin up and eager to take things one with one step at a time!

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