Saturday, October 24, 2009

Birthday & E.R. Visit - March 2009

I am relatively symptom free again in the beginning of March '09, except for the depression and sleep deprivation.  Then, my 40th birthday rolls around and I have a big party.  The day of the party I work out, and drink some alcohol at the party.  I am also up until about 3 am that night.  The day after the party I am seriously sick.  I think, "ok, I'm hung over."  But there is something more happening in my body.  I try to go to work that Monday, but my body isn’t having it. I leave work early that day and almost vomit in my car.  I get home and begin the vomiting again that lasts for hours.  My roommate, Samantha, takes me to see my doctor AGAIN and, although I am lying in the fetal position on his exam table, sobbing, and telling him something is seriously wrong, he says, "well, I just think it's a recurring flu, take some Advil and anti-nausea pills."  I am standing in the Rite Aid pharmacy getting this medicine, trying not to vomit while I wait.  This is to be the first of MANY trips to this pharmacy in Los Angeles.  

The next night, I am up the entire night in so much pain I seriously think of suicide, because it is the only way I think I could get relief.  My roommate is sound asleep and I am terrified.  I know if I wake her we will have to deal with whatever it is that is happening.  We are in the middle of moving and she is preparing to move to London.  I stubbornly keep telling myself I'll be fine.  Only I definitely am not.  I can’t sit or lie down or stand up.  In fact, I find I can barely walk.  The only thing that helps is pacing.  If I sit I can only rock myself to ward off the pain.  I have a fever of 104 degrees and I am delirious.  Finally, after days of pain and headaches, I go to the hospital.   

My friend, Heather, takes me and waits with me while I rock in nausea and pain, until they have a bed for me.  She harasses the nurse at reception trying to get them to see me before I vomit all over their lobby.  She tells me later she told the nurse she is worried I might be having brain issues, and could she please see me ASAP.  We end up waiting for a bed for almost 2 hours.  Samantha arrives and they sit with me in the ER while I am put through a CAT Scan, blood work, a chest x-ray and urine testing.  Samantha and I are able to laugh in the bathroom at the situation when she is holding my iv bag while I do the urine test.  They watch me get the CAT Scan and their faces are a mix of anxiety, concern and love.  Everything is found to be normal.  But I am still in terrible pain in my body so I am given morphine and the pain begins to recede.  At one point there is no morphine getting into my system because the drip is cutting itself off, and the girls insist a nurse come in and fix it.  I am so grateful they are there looking out for me because I am too out of it to do so; I am dreaming about roast beef with wings flying around me. The E.R. doc tells us they can only stop the pain and can’t really diagnose me, and that I need to go see a rheumatologist.   When I go home I spend the night itching as the morphine leaves my system.   But I don’t have a headache for the first time in a week. 

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