My stay in the hospital

Friday, August 10, 2012
One thing you should never have to do is take yourself to the Emergency Room.  I had to do that the other night.  I've been having abdominal pain for 3 days right under my chest.  Every time I moved it felt like someone punched me in the stomach.  It would take my breath away and make me cough.  It got bad enough for me to decide I need to go to the ER.  The thing is that we don't have any family here to babysit when things like this happen and there are very few people I'm close enough to even consider asking to help out.  I txts two people, but both are moms and couldn't get away to come over.  I didn't want to disrupt my son's routine so I waited until I put him to bed and called a taxi to take me so my husband could stay home with our son.
Like I said, you shouldn't have to take yourself to the ER.  You should have someone there to hold your hand.  I spent the ride to the hospital trying to hold back the tears because I was feeling so very sorry for myself and so very alone.  Because I refused pain meds when I got to see the evaluating nurse 2 hours after I arrived (because pain meds make me sick and the last thing I wanted was to start throwing up in the ER waiting area), I guess they thought I wasn't sick enough to see a doctor in a reasonable amount of time.  I watched people come and go as I suffered by myself for 2 more hours.
When I finally got to see a doctor, he was young, attractive and very nice.  He was attentive and thorough - too thorough as one such exam was the sort no woman or man wants to have especially when you have nobody to give you a hug when it's over to help sooth your humiliation! He even took my blood himself without asking a nurse to do it and walked me to radiology to get my x-ray.  I don't know if the extra care was because I was alone or because he was like that with all his patients, but I was grateful for his wonderful bedside manner. 
Later, after going over my results, he came in to the waiting area (instead of sending a nurse) and held my hand when he told me he was sending me to the surgical assessment unit to be admitted for the night and it was important I didn't eat or drink in case they needed to operate.  Unfortunately, his kindness didn't make me feel any less alone or afraid after he was gone and I waited for a nurse to take me up.
It was the middle of the night.  I was exhausted and in pain and all I wanted to do was go home.  The last thing I wanted was to have to stay the night in a cold dark ward that was filled with hacking, moaning and snoring patients.  The smell of urine, antiseptic and so many other unpleasant things that I couldn't place was enough to make anyone feel unwell. The blanket was thin and the pillows were hard and I have to admit that I cried as soon as the nurse closed the curtain to leave me there alone.
I laid there for hours unable to sleep.  A doctor came in a couple of hours later and then at 3:30 in the morning, they took me for more x-rays.   When I got back to my bed, I stuffed tissues in my ears to try to block out the sounds of the other patients around me and tried to sleep (desperately trying not to think about my son waking up in the morning  without me there to give him his morning cuddle time for the first time in his life). 
After a couple of hours I was woken up by nurses having a chat in the hallway.  I always find it amazing how much they just don't care about the patents trying to sleep around them.  They were overly loud and their chatting and laughter made me want to throw something at them. A nurse came in, took my vitals and said she'd be back with an IV and some pain meds.  She never came back.  Instead there was more banter, chatting and laughter among them as they did as little as possible until the morning staff came to relieve them.  The morning staff did the same until the doctors came to do their rounds and then they looked ever so busy until they were gone.
After spending the morning with still no food, water or IV, I was feeling pretty sick.  I was taken to radiology for an ultrasound and then left in the waitingroom in a wheelchair for what felt like hours for someone to take me back to the ward.
Thats when I saw the best site ever - my husband walking down the hall holding the hand of my skipping little boy next to him. My husband pointed me out to him and my son came running to hug me.  I was so happy to see them and after that I stopped hating the nurses (but still didn't like them much) and didn't mind waiting for what was to come next because I had my family with me and that's all I really needed.
That afternoon (with still no food, water, pain meds or IV), once the doctors were able to go over my test results, I was discharged for outpatient tests.  I still don'y know what's wrong, but I am so happy to be home.  The pain is manageble after getting a good nights sleep.  I'll rest today and I see my doctor this evening.  I trust my doctor and I'm hoping he'll have some ideas on getting to the bottom of what's going on.

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  1. andrea said...:

    Oh no! I had to take myself earlier this year and it sucked. I hope you get answers soon and feel better!