Do you have a primary physician? Do you have an Advance Directive? These are just a couple of the questions that nurses seemed surprised about when I answered in the negative. I’m a pretty healthy person in general, and my OB-GYN does my yearly physical, and other than that I don’t go to the doctor. But let me begin at the beginning.
Last Sunday night was a bad night for me. I was running a fever, I was trying to throw up, and my tummy hurt like the dickens! It still hurt some the next morning, and there was no way I wanted to go through another night like that. Figuring it was the “post C-section gall bladder issue” you hear about, I checked the nearest Urgent Care’s website, and the wait time was minimal – about 20 minutes. So, off Tim and I went. Yeah, 3 hours later, the doctor finally saw me… and then sent me to the ER. By this time, I’d sent Tim home to relieve the babysitter, so I drove myself down to the hospital, and walked in to the ER after having walked a country-mile because there was no parking in the ER lot.
It was like a bad movie. There was the old guy sitting there in the NC State T-shirt and oxygen lines… and that was it, except for a sheet that kept slipping. There were old women who had played in the dirt with God being wheeled around by their only slightly less geriatric daughters. There had been a BUS WRECK for God’s sake. I counted 3 people who seemed to be having heart attacks – really, sitting there with chest pains. One guy looked like he might die at any moment (he only sat out there for an HOUR though!). And me. With some pain in my belly. Maybe a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale.
SIX HOURS LATER at 8PM… I was taken back to the Emergency Department, and after a doctor pushed on my tummy (me: stop that!) they hooked me up with some morphine. That is some good stuff, y’all! I could still tell there was pain underneath the highness, but I just didn’t care. After a few scans and a few hours, a surgeon came by to ask if I had a primary surgeon because they might need to do surgery. Who has a primary surgeon?
It turns out I have diverticulitis. I kept being told how young I am to have it (which, you know, always nice to be told you’re young), but since my mom has it and my little sister has it, I’m guessing it’s genetic.
Without really asking me anything else, I was put into the hospital for “2-3 days for IV antibiotics.” Pretty much I slept for the first 2 days. The first day I was IN the hospital though, the surgeon came by and started hedging his bets. “Oh, maybe a few days.” Then it was “maybe 3-5 days.” I ended up getting out of the hospital on Saturday! But thankfully, no surgery right now. But the antibiotics are strictly not-nursing friendly (no one asked me that question!), so Dale Jr is confused, and I am sad.
My parents came to the rescue and stayed at the house with Dale Jr while Tim ran the J-man back and forth to school, and tried to visit me in the off-times. I’m told I was pretty funny on morphine – I had a morphine pump the whole time I was there, and I used it!
Two good hospital stories for you:
1) When I’m on morphine, it affects my ability to feel certain muscle groups. Specifically, I would walk to the bathroom, and sit and wait for about 10 minutes to pee. Yeah, I’m just hanging out here in the bathroom, with the door open, just waiting until my body figures this out…
and why was the door open?
2) The second day I was there, I was walking to the bathroom when I rolled my IV pole over one of my IV lines. Because I was hyped up on morphine, and because using the Call Nurse button had been unsatisfactory so far, I figured I could just bend down, lift the wheel, pull out the line, and go along my way. However, my IV pole had not only the regular IV machine, but a morphine pump attached at the top… which made it top-heavy. It fell over on me, and wedged between the bed and the bathroom door, and I couldn’t get up! I started yelling for help (and my room was across the hallway from the nurses’ station) and when that didn’t work I managed to reach far enough to hit the Call Nurse button.
Them: May I help you?
Me: HELP! HELP! HELP!
Them: What do you need?
Me: (thinking “seriously people, someone screaming for help isn’t enough?!”) My pole fell over on me.
Them: What was that again?
Me: MY IV POLE FELL ON ME!
They sent in a nurse’s aid. She looked at me, crouched down on the floor, with an IV pole wedged over me… and asked if I had fallen. “No,” I said, “but I can’t get up because this pole fell on top of me!” She called for more help, and suddenly there were four nurses, and they pulled the pole off me. From then on, every time I got a new nurse, he/she would walk in and say, “Oh, you’re that patient…” And I never tried to make that IV pole go over any bump again, even the one between the room and bathroom floor.
I’m still on heavy-duty antibiotics, and they make me constantly lightheaded, but I’m not in any pain. The pain of trying to get an appointment with the gastroenterologist is getting to me though – they’ve been putting me through to voice mail, and then not calling me back for 2 days now.
So it looks like I have some unpleasant tests coming up soon, and may possibly eventually end up having surgery… but for now, I’m fine, really.