So recently I had “something” very wrong with me. On Monday night, I started having some mild cramping which I assumed was normal post-partum cramping but a few hours later it turned into a violent attack in my abdomen radiating across my front torso and into my back, and eventually settling on my left lower side. I did all I used to do before when I had stomach pains or gas- Tums, Pepto, a carbonated beverage, and heat (thinking it could be menstrual pain). Well, nothing helped. 12 hours and several vomit episodes later, I realized the cramping was still pretty bad and I had a steady pain that radiating from my left side to the middle of my abdomen so I thought it best my husband take me to the ER. Well, that is where the fun begins…
… we arrived at the ER and I was in severe pain. I remember telling my husband it was worse than labor. Now, that is important to note because I had just delivered our second child four weeks ago so for me to say it was worse than labor was quite the comment. We were admitted into a room there and another person was also wheeled in later. Sharing a room wtih just a curtain blocking you from the next person over is quite unnerving. In fact, it is downright annoying at times… more to follow on that. But, you get to hear the person’s name, DOB, and their entire medical history. Fortunately, for me, I was there first so I got to hear others’ personal privacy information first. I am surprised that they share beds in the ER considering they are so concerned about HIPPAA every other time you try to ask for something…”oh no, that would violate HIPPAA Privacy Laws, but here, share an ER room with this person and then you can record their DOB, their name, their medical history and their diagnosis…that’s okay.”
I was also fascinated with the fact that when the guy next to me got X-rays taken in the room with the push cart X-ray maching, they stuck that nice little bib over the railing of the bed I was laying in. I was miffed by this because I saw no point. How does hanging one of those bibbs over the rail of my bed protect me from radiation? Not to mention I am breastfeeding so really? A bibb over the rail? Really? Anyway, that was humorous but it did not end there.
We ended up getting an annoying new curtain neighbor when the other one left and what an entertaining couple of folks they were! The guy who was admitted was hard of hearing and was screaming – he was loud! The lady that was with him – maybe his wife but who knows right, was a complete freak too. She was talking loud and all sorts of nonsense but for my husband and I, it provided a few minutes of humor in an otherwise scary and unnerving day. I mean who enjoys going to the ER only to have to wait to find out what is wrong with them.
Which brings up my next point- so, they could not figure out what was wrong with me. Four weeks post partum, but no one thought to call my OB and do an exam. Instead they took urine to rule out UTI and kidney stones. Well, it does not end there. I was breastfeeding and of course had not eaten or drank in sometime and I was drying up. Amidst all this they decided to do a CT Scan with contrast so I could not feed the baby for more hours. They wanted to find out what was wrong so I had to drink this horrible liquid in the room. All I could think of as I watched the monster 64 oz. cup come at me was … “Man v. Food” from the Travel Channel and it was a quest really to finish the nasty stuff as I fought cramping and nausea. I tried to think back to some of the gorry episodes where he tackled the 13 egg omelet (or something like that), and the burritos and the clams, and thought… okay, the key is to down it. They had brought me a straw but turns out, that was a time killed. It was better to just down it all at once and hope for the best. In the case of woman v. nasty drink, drink almost won. So, after I conquered the liquid drink, they wheeled me into this room to take the Scan and it was not as scary as I thought it would be so I was glad- I can’t imagine how people get CT Scans of their heads — to be rolled into some giant machine and not come out seems frightening to me. The weirdest sensation was when they injected me with the contrast dye which turns out is actually the safest thing to give pregnant and nursing moms. This dye which is clear allows them to see all the organs better- it is cool but when it goes into your system gives you a warm, a very warm to hot sensation that extends from your head to your groin. It is quite unnerving and feels like your body is on fire. It goes away quickly but nonetheless, weird.
So we received a diagnosis a few minutes after returning to our walled off curtained area. No, it’s not a tumor! Thank god. I was envisioning the worse. To Be Continued in Part II…
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