So. How have you guys been? I spent my weekend feeling like death on toast. The NSAID (anti-inflammatory medication I take twice a day for my rheumatism) that I've been using for the past 9 months or so landed me in the hospital on Saturday night.
Friday morning I was fine. I even ate a sensible salad for lunch and took a short bike ride with my dad. But at about 2pm I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling like I'd just been speared through the chest, right at the base of my thorax. I tried to wait it out but I couldn't sleep at all that night and after a short stint at work on Saturday morning it was quickly becoming evident that it was here to stay. I immediately figured it was probably an ulcer but couldn't get any over the counter remedies to help. I called the Kaiser advice hotline to ask if I could get in to see my doctor any time soon. I got transferred around for a while and they told me they'd call me back later in the day.
So I talked to a very twitchy little doctor on the phone at about 5pm.
She was the kind of confused and baffled doctor that instills a real
sense of security and faith in a patient. Regardless of the fact that the Kaiser website states that "ulcers can cause nausea, dizziness, and intense pain radiating in to the back" she urged me quite vehemently
to hurry down to the ER, which I did. Well, sort of... because FOR REALIOS
WOMAN it is an ulcer not a heart attack. Yes, I am dizzy. Probably
because I HAVE AN ULCER. I should not have to guide you to these things.
I actually had to reassure her at one point that stomach bleeding goes
along with the whole ulcer thing, so even if I was dizzy I probably
didn't actually have a terrible ruptured whatever-the-hell.
did eventually get to the ER (about 5 hours later), mostly because I know that the regular
clinic would take several days to run labs and the ER would run them in
less than two hours. And the sooner I got this you-know-what over and done with the
better (theater season just started. Ain't nobody got time for that.) They hooked me up to an EKG machine and put so many stickers
all over my body that I am still not sure if I got them all off. There
must have been six just on my left boob. I felt awkward, not for myself
but for the poor nurse who had to cover me in boob stickers. Obviously
it's her job and all, but it still must be contrary to your sense of
social propriety. My own sense of social propriety ends at the point
when I have to hold a little plastic barf bag and wear a gown with the
butt all open, sorry. The doctor came in and
we had a brief conversation about how it's basically almost certainly an
ulcer (or gastritis, the precursor to an ulcer) and you can point your finger
straight to my shitty rheumatologist for refusing to TREAT my ACTUAL
condition and instead leaving me hanging on high doses of particularly
nasty NSAIDs for several years running. He scrunched up his face when he
laughed and he was terribly young. I felt old and silly and wished that my husband was there (they forgot to tell him it was okay to see me after the
EKG, so I was basically hangin' out there in my boob stickers by myself
for an hour) because otherwise my ER quiet room wit (which consisted
mainly of pretending my large penis-shaped barf bag was, in fact, a
large blue penis while trying to interpret the oddly coded ER intercom
announcements) was utterly wasted (hey man, it was late and I felt like hell, okay?). I eye-balled the spare rolls of exam
table paper in the cabinet. Because you know what exam table paper is
great for? Pattern making.
Eventually they made me drink three small
shots of tutti-frutti flavored lidocaine (they tasted like Satan,
basically) and sent me home. Two IVs for nothing, man (one in my right
arm that didn't work out properly that has left me with an aching blue bruise the size of a golf ball, and one in my left by a slightly
more competent nurse). I tell ya what, guys. IVs suck.
I still feel non-stop nauseous, hopefully the heavier-duty acid control pills I now have to take (every morning. That makes 8 pills PER DAY, now) will do me some good. I'm not allowed to have caffeine or chocolate (I think I might cry, guys) or tomatoes or ... well. Anything good. I can eat oatmeal (without milk, naturally) and brown rice. I guess I can add some thrilling tofu in there for protein.
I already had a chocolate chip cookie. One a day can't kill me.
My husband brought home Mexican for dinner. It was a very sweet gesture. But for reals.