Friday, November 4, 2011

Surgery of a HIP mom - The ER - Part 4

Room service was delivered.  My husband wanted to know what I wanted from the cart and I told him I wanted nothing.  

The muscles in my neck were so tight I wondered if it was improper use of the crutches, a possible cold in my neck and back from the air conditioning in the hospital room or did I sleep wrong on the couch the day before during my afternoon cat nap.

All I knew was, I couldn't raise my head to drink or eat.  Mike tried to feed me a bagel in bed, lying down, but I just couldn't do it, the pain was too bad.  He put a call into Phil, Dr. Brook's PA, and his instructions were to get caffeine in me, that would help the headache.  So with those words of wisdom, Mike had a pot of coffee delivered to the room and I tried to drink.  The hours passed and I had not moved, only making excruciating trips to the bathroom.  Phil had called in a prescription for Maxalt MLT.  This med is for extreme migraines.  You place 1 tablet on the tongue (it melts in your mouth) and repeat in 2 hours if your headache persists.  

Around 3 o'clock I was in such discomfort I needed to phone Sister Linda from our church. I needed a diversion and knew she'd be a big help.  I've never said the rosary so much in my life.  I had many conversations with God and prayed like I never prayed before.  Sister Linda and I decided God was busy in Turkey with all the earthquake victims.  I asked if He came knocking on her door to send him my way.

Mike didn't want to leave me alone to run to Rite Aid but assured him I'd be fine, I couldn't move and I'd be on the phone with Sister Linda, it'd be a good time for him to go out.  He told me besides the prescription, he'd pick up some Pepsi for additional caffeine and I also asked him to pick up super strength Ben Gay along with a heating pad, I was sure that would give me some relief, if it was muscle pain.  

He arrived back announcing he had the prescription and Pepsi but all I was interested in was the Ben Gay and heating pad.  I know you're not suppose to use the them together, you can receive bad burns on your skin, but I had a plan.  When I asked him to grab the Ben Gay and start the massage on my neck he looked at me and said, "Oh shit, I forgot them honey." Forgot them, how in the heck could you forget the 2 things I wanted the most.  I felt like a child at Christmas not getting the 2 toys on my list I was so looking forward to.  So, the wonderful husband he is, went back to Rite Aid to retrieve the items.  He was so nervous due to my condition I'm surprised he could remember his name if asked.

The massage was soothing to the soul but didn't help the head and neck at all.  I tried the Maxalt MLT tabs, taking the last one at 7 o'clock, and they didn't touch the head and neck pain.  Finally, at 9 p.m. I couldn't take the pain any longer.  I couldn't lift my head to drink, get up to go to the bathroom or eat, so I told my husband he had to call for an ambulance, I needed to go to the ER.  I told him it felt like I was being paralyzed slowly from the neck down and I needed help.

The medic's arrived around 9:15 at my hotel room.  Gurney brought in and the questions began.  Once I was loaded into the ambulance they started an IV, which hurt like hell.  Normally I'm a very vascular person so finding a vein is no problem.  I've always said my veins are a drug addicts dream.  I could tell, just the way the needle felt, I was dehydrated.  All the caffeine from the coffee and Pepsi worked, but worked on the wrong part of my body.

The ER is multi layered, I was delivered to the lower level and it
looked and sounded like something right from a weekly show on television.  I was stationed in hallway No. 1 until a room became available.  The room I was wheeled into was short lived, an emergency worse than mine appeared and I found myself back in the hallway.  I thought to myself, what could be worse than the pain I was experiencing?  A group of Drs. came by in surgical clothes and masks, I knew it couldn't be good.  Come to find out, I gave my room up to a gun shot wound in the stomach, the patient was spewing blood and needed immediate attention.

Like I said before, no matter how bad I feel, there is always someone worse than me.

Between 9:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. I was shuffled around, had a CT scan and was able to see Dr. Keith Bachmann who was the on call resident in the Orthopaedic Department.  He had phoned my husband, at the hotel, just prior to my departure for the ER and told him he'd see us within the hour.  A CT scan was performed to rule out a blood clot somewhere in the brain.  No blood clot.  Dr. Bachmann said it looked like I would need another blood patch.  He did tell me he wasn't sure if they'd perform a third one.  It was very unusual what was happening to me and they never had to perform three on one person.  He would take all the notes, log them into the computer and Phil would contact us sometime after 7 a.m. to get me back to Euclid Hospital where my surgery was performed.

The ride back to the hotel was excruciating.  My husband escorted me in the back of the ambulance, therefore, we had no vehicle to get us back to the hotel.  It's only a 10 minute drive but it felt like 30 minutes.  The Cleveland Clinic has their own police force, so one of the ER nurses contacted them to give us a ride back to our hotel.  I was excited about getting back to my bed, my husband was excited about riding in the police car.  He was having a great time in the front seat, I on the other hand was trying not to throw up in the backseat.  That's all he talked about when on the phone with friends or with the nurses in the hospital..... how he got to ride in a police car!  

By 3 a.m. my head felt like it was going to explode, so it was very hard for me to function in an upright position.  Walking on crutches is one thing but running on them is another.  After I threw myself onto the bed, I was worried I hurt my hip in some way.  My leg was so tight and sore.  Daylight couldn't come soon enough, it's one morning I was looking forward to having a cell phone wake me up, and the call couldn't come soon enough.

                                                                                                                                (to be continued)

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