It’s funny that I’ve been blog-sent for about a month now. I haven’t had anything interesting to write about. As a matter of fact, I started a draft last week called “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” about how I didn’t want to bitch and moan in a blog post so I was keeping it buttoned for a hot sec. LOL. I now find it supremely ironic. After last weekend, I have plenty of not nice things to say and I’m not holding them back. I think I’m a bit justified though! I hope all my posts for the rest of the month are shiny and sparkly!
On Thursday morning of last week, I woke up to a text message from my husband. Instead of lovingly kissing me adieu for the day he had taken a picture of my ridiculous sleep position. I laughed about it at the time! I felt achy and chalked it up to my arms and neck being in that odd pose all night. I saw a show with my mom that night and complained of armpit pain. Armpit pain? WTF. I suffered through and got home to put some Sombra warming therapy on it. It felt okay and I passed out.
I got up the next morning to say goodbye to Hubs and couldn’t put my arm down. Um, what? It was crooked over my head or i was in agony. When I laid down and kept my arm at my side it was tolerable. I debated what to do next. I’d never experienced this kind of stabbing pain. I decided to drive myself to the hospital and have my mom and Hubs follow later. I scream cried my way around the corner to ‘Schmackmyback’ Hospital with my arm in the air. (Name has been changed enough so you can probably still recognize it because I’m a bitch like that.)
I was swept into the ER quickly. I got some drugs that did nothing. I saw an APN who was useless and didn’t seem to notice the tears streaming down my face or the arm that I just couldn’t put down. I got an ultrasound and a CATscan. My mom showed up and morphed into Shirley MacLaine a la Terms of Endearment protective mode as I clawed the walls in pain. They put us in a waiting room where Hubs found me pacing around like a mental patient. The pain was rising from a 7 to an 8 or 9 when I asked for more painkillers. They didn’t work. Mom finally said to give her daughter the drugs and they brought on the morphine. The pain stayed but I became drowsy quickly and calmed down.
A little time passed and my mom and Hubs watched over me with great concern. Finally the APN came into the waiting room with my results and proceeded to announce them to me in the waiting room. Hello HIPAA violation. They needed to admit me to get an MRI and the neurologist wanted to see me. They wheeled me into a room and I saw the quirky but helpful neurologist, the only doctor I saw at the hospital who gave me any information or relief. I wasn’t presenting normally but he was pretty sure it was a herniated cervical disc/pinched nerve. They brought in another round of people to “admit” me to the hospital. Here we go, right? I didn’t have a choice and the pain was just too much.
As I was groggily wheeled to the observation unit and they tried to park me next to a kicking man with a prosthetic and a naked thug, I refused to be left there. I had had it. I offered to sleep in the waiting room. They told us I was being admitted to a room, not admitted to observation. I was tired, drugged and hadn’t eaten all day. No one in observation could understand why they hadn’t told us this. The Patient Experience representative saw us and didn’t help AT ALL. He left me there to rot and I never saw him again. Comforting. A very nice nurse finally got us into an isolation room with our own bathroom but I was petrified. Here I thought I would get proper care and everything that day had proven to be the opposite. I was scared to death that if my mom and husband advocates had left me, the hospital would have left me in a hallway to scream. Hubs got us food and the nice nurse got me some more of the drugs that didn’t work. We tried to sleep until the MRI which was scheduled at 1am.
At 3am I was awoken on my gurney for my MRI. My arm was throbbing and achy. More of the not working drugs and I was on my way. I was told the MRI would take an hour and a half of lying completely still. I literally had no idea how I would do it in the pain I was in. I laid strapped in for that whole time willing myself not to run. I cried silently, yelped, whimpered and sounded like a lunatic. No inhibitions at this point. The MRI Tech couldn’t have been nicer, giving me time updates and putting Broadway tunes on my headphones. He even tried to get them to bring me painkillers and the nurse kept bringing the wrong ones. When it was finally over, I couldn’t even get out of the machine. Keeping my arm so stationary, dealing with the pain that long and trying not to panic for so long got to me. The pain was a 15 and I fell to the floor in a heap. The nurse and the tech pulled me up on my gurney, tried to give me more useless drugs and even throw a lidocaine patch on my back. Nothing worked. Meanwhile Hubs was worried because I had been gone 2 and a half hours by now.
They wheeled me back into our little isolation room. My husband had never seen me this way. I was yelling, screeching, crying and making sounds of pain I’ve never made. After 15 minutes of this, I was practically scraping the walls with my fingernails and the nurse finally gave me morphine. Within minutes I was warm and asleep. I woke up to my loving husband coaxing me to eat the not so terrible hospital food. I was grateful he was given coffee. He was grateful for it too after staying up all night. It was several hours later and the MRI results we were promised after an hour still hadn’t surfaced. A nice nurse helped get things moving. The fun neurologist came in and confirmed that it was a herniated disc but he wanted me to see a neurosurgeon. The ER doc came in and was the biggest waste of life I’ve ever met. No exam, no questions, no nothing. Hi and bye. The Christina Yang-like neurosurgeon came in offering me surgery even though she said she didn’t think I needed it at that time. This wasn’t a restaurant did I need it? No, but they made sure to make it known if I wanted it I could have it. Not on my menu today, thanks.
So now you would think I’d be allowed to leave? Not yet. You know that button you press if you need help? Yeah, I don’t think mine worked. My pain was back in full force. I finally tore out of the room with my arm above my head. I found the on-call useless fool of a doc and told him I wanted to leave. I said I’m in pain and his observation was that he could see that. They gave me something to tide me over and then wrote me a stack of prescriptions to take with me. I could tell they were ready to be rid of me. I was not given any follow-up instructions. They didn’t even write the correct diagnosis on my discharge papers; I was told to go online for my results. I was wheeled out by the nice nurse who brought me ice for the pain too. Who knew? Someone cared. They put me in my car and Hubs and mom made sure I was fed again and then put to sleep.
I lived the following week in a drug induced coma. I had weddings to officiate and work to think about. I did what I could to be responsible and cannot believe that I made it to a wedding the day after all of this. Hubs drove me and took me home. He took off Monday because I literally couldn’t function without his love and monitoring. He got a recliner from his parent’s house so that I could sleep comfortably and safely. He checked on me constantly throughout the week while I was trying to recoup and relax. He snuck out to get my favorite snacks and a special memory foam pillow. Mom drove me to and from the doctor. She fed me and got my prescriptions. She coordinated with Hubs to make sure I was cared for. All hands were on deck, above and beyond the call of duty.
I used Facebook to find a high school friend who was a neurologist. She is the one who took care of me and is getting me on the road to feeling better. She fit me into her incredibly full schedule within a day. She literally gave me all the info the hospital did not and gave me the follow-up info I needed. She comforted me and made me feel like no time had passed since we were 18 and at the prom together in our pastel dresses. I’m so hashtag grateful to this large network of strong women I went to school with.
So last week I had nothing interesting to report, nothing of positive note happening or going on in my mind. Spring fever, you know. I hated to have all of these painful images to report but I have plenty more things to be thankful for right now that came out of this tough situation. I’m an authentic person and I share it, good or bad, scary or truthful. That’s what I’m glad to share here and that’s what I hope I take from tough situations like this. My Hubs shows me time and again how strong our marriage is and how he is at my side forever and always. My mom is my best friend and would do anything for her only daughter. I am beloved and overwhelmed with excellent friends, near and far, who reached out with offers of rides, food, love, company, and care. I am a lucky woman even through all of the pain I’m still suffering from. I can no longer complain about not having anything nice or interesting to blog about. My nightmarish hospital visit is now overshadowed by all this love, all this tenderness. I truly am hashtag blessed. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive through this ordeal. #blessed