Friday, April 21, 2006

Where Ya' At?

It's been a rough coupla. Alex is having a tough time with med changes, and mid-week I had a migraine bad enough that it landed me here:It was bad timing, with Alex going through his own health stuff right now, but somehow, the two of us have always each managed to pull through and tough-out our own crap when the other one is in trouble. So after 36 hours of migraine, and not being able to get in to see my GP (and having the "on call" doctor unwilling to offer me any relief besides a prescription to which I have a dangerous allergic reaction), I gave up, and my Mom dropped me off at the hospital. I checked in at 3:00 P.M., and settled in for what I knew would be a long wait, since this small hospital doesn't actually HAVE a doctor present in the Emergency Room...they have to call one in. When I got there, the waiting room was virtually empty, and the stupid T.V. was blaring "Montel," and to add insult to injury, it was one of the days when he had that Sylvia Brown "psychic" woman on, with the annoyingest voice in the world.I had stupidly brought a book to read, as if my eyes could focus. Stupid. And there it laid.Reminding me of Bad Puppiness. (OK, actually, there are no "bad" puppies, and when something like this happens, you should roll up a newspaper, and smack yourself soundly over the head for leaving a precious BOOK within reach of Puppy's teeth.)Right on my heels, naturally, came a horde of people who, no matter how much pain I was in, how much I was puking from it, etc., I knew would be triaged ahead of me. Heck, one guy didn't seem to know who he was. I passed the time by making calls to my insurance company's customer service department to verify the fact that I had, indeed, made every good faith effort to see my Primary Care Physician before going to the E.R. Supposedly, this means that they must treat my E.R. visit as a PCP visit, with half the co-pay of Emergency Care. We'll see.You might be wondering why I had my camera with me. I have no idea. I think I brought it to the office to show Mom some of the pictures from our hay-fetching weekend. So, at this point, I got called back to an exam room, along with FIVE other people, simultaneously. No one had been called back the entire time I'd been there. I shut off the exam room light, elevated the head of the bed (to lie down in Migraine-Town makes your head explode), and settled in for a long wait.Cocked my head back at a weird angle so as to cut of some circulation to it at the base of my neck, thereby relieving some pressure, and stared at this for a while:Saw a nurse, got an emesis basin, was assured Doctor would be "right in." (Aren't they always going to be "right in?")Sat up, pinched of circulation of temporal arteries, stared at this for awhile:Speculated on the possible gruesome contents of this:And then, the CAVALRY arrived! Or so you'd think, anyway. Alex got there. See the apparent look of tender concern he has for me, the sweet thing!That's what you'd think. He was there all of 5 minutes before he complained that the only seat in the room hurt his back, and asked if he could lie down. On my gurney. I debated briefly as to whether to puke in my basin or spit in his eye. Glamorous, isn't it?Both would have made my head hurt worse, so I held it together. It was at this point that I heard the words, "Whatta they got here that I can get into?"Fortunately, the doctor finally showed up, and established that I needed a shot, just like last time (July 2005) and the fortyleven times before that. He left the room with a chipper "We'll get that shot right to you."During this wait, I notice that Charming and Hilarious Husband's cell phone (which, yes, he wears holster-style, on his belt) has a message didsplayed, and try to read it. Charming and Hilarious Husband sees me struggling to make out the text with my migraine-impaired vision, and immediately pulls an Elvis voice and hip-swagger, and cracks, "See anythin' ya' like, darlin'?" OH, the fun he is when you're in screaming pain! Eventually, I did get my shot.Fortunately, since I'd been around this block before, I didn't have to wait too long to be released, and we were finally on our way.Off home we went. See that shadow at least 20 feet ahead of me? That is Caring Husband, "helping" my drugged self out of the hospital. He was actually singing the chorus, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp," but I really DO think he'd have noticed if I hadn't made it to the truck.My final comment is on this thing which has driven me crazy for YEARS--the "illustrated pain scale:"I would like to see this chart reconstructed by Dave, preferably using Bad Monkey as the model. It's just all wrong. These balloon-heads have not been hurt enough in their lives. First of all, that "No Pain" guy. WHO is he kidding? This is not absence of pain (unless you've been in acute, chronic pain for some time, and it suddenly stops)--it's a downright hootenanny! My husband made some ribald speculation at what might be happening to that "No Pain" guy at the moment he made that face, but this is a family site, so I won't repeat that here. "No Pain" should begin, in my opinion, with the #2 guy. He's non-committal. He's not ecstatic, but no way do I buy that he's in "Mild Pain." Mild Pain should at least get you a wrinkled eyebrow. "Moderate Pain" guy just looks confused. I'm not sure what's up with him. He belongs, at best, in the #2 spot. Likewise, slide the #4 guy over into the #3 spot, and the #5 into the #4 spot. That last guy doesn't even look like "Severe Pain" to me yet. Again, these balloon-people have possibly not been hurt enough to appreciate true pain. I think maybe I have. Now, for the "Worst Possible Pain" representation, you've really got to have some screaming (which--a tip from me to you--gets you moved WAY up in the triage line, and out of the outer waiting-room lickety-split). The Edvard Munch figure would be a good inspiration, but MORE pain should show. "Worst Possible" has GOT to be, like, "limb in a combine"-caliber pain. And that's all I have to say about that.

I did manage to sleep off the worst of the headache while Alex held down the fort, and then as soon as I was better, he succumbed to his medical problems, and has basically been asleep since Wednesday night. See? We take TURNS being useless. That's what marriage is all about.

NOTE: For those of you receiving soap packages (they're going out in staggered groups, because, DANG, that was a lot of soap!), just a note on caring for your natural soap. It contains all of the natural glycerins it had from the start, so you have to keep it DRY between uses, especially the Castiles. Use a soap rack, not a dish. Do NOT let your natural soap sit in water or moisture between uses.


  1. What an ordeal. Glad you're both back in the saddle again! Now I have to go and get a soap rack...and I've never seen a TV in a hospital or any kind of waiting room here. Is that common there?

  2. I was getting worried when you had not posted anything new in a couple of days.

    I'm glad that you are feeling better and I hope Alex comes around soon also, so you can be at it again (whatever it is that you all get into). I have only had terrible headaches, not on your level, so can only sympathize with you.

  3. You and I always seem to have similar health issues...I had a migraine Wednesday night. I seriously considered going to the ER at 3 AM, but toughed it out instead. No fun. :-( I hope you're feeling better.

  4. I've been in migraine world this week, too. It's awful. I hope you both feel better soon. I completely agree about the pain chart - I get frustrated just thinking about it!

  5. Geez, that's rough! And to think it all could have been avoided if the on-call doctor would have pulled his head out. Thanks a lot doc.

  6. I knew something was wrong because you never go three full days with no posting unless something is amiss. I just didn't know what was going on. I'm sorry about the headache. I've been there in the past, fortunately I haven't had a migraine like that since I had the twins. That's ONE thing in their favor, anyhow. I can't take any of the meds due to my heart issues, so suffering just had to become grace in my case.

    I'm worried about Alex, too. We did a med change this week and so far, knock on my wooden head, things are good. Not great, but better.

    Hope you're feeling great now.

  7. Mauve is so your color!

    Glad you're feeling better.

  8. Glad you are feeling better and hope Alex's medicines help him also.

    Must be the week for getting sick, I've got a cold.

    Am looking forward to soapy goodness!

  9. They have to call in a doc to the ER??? Wow...

    I am familiar with that stupid pain chart, LOL

    Hope that you're feeling better!

  10. Ugh. I had a migraine this week too. On the pain scale, it was actually mild. I did not have to go to the hospital. That is terrible. I hope you are feeling better!

    PS I liked the pictures of the clock the most in this post. I could almost feel the agaony of the wait!

  11. Well, I'm very sorry for the migraine - I hear you on that, sister - but it was lovely to see a photo of you, even if you do have an emesis basin over half your head.

    And I agree about the pain chart. That "no pain" guy definitely looks like he got into the nitrous oxide.

    Glad to see you back. I was off my blog for a while and didn't have half the excuse.

  12. You are Wonder Woman! Migranes make me want to curl up and die and there you are keeping your humor and the contents of your stomach!

    You're my new heroine!

  13. Besides the fact that you were in a lot of pain and it was a really sucky day for you... I thought that post was pretty awesome!

    (Jacy's on my lap and arm as I type this)

  14. Holy cow! Man, I hope you guys feel better soon. Seriously.

    And in all fairness, it really IS hard out here for a pimp.

  15. Migraines suck ass!

    I'm glad you're back on the mend. Thanks for the glimpse into your ER. It's swankier than the country bumpkin ER we have here - but slower.

  16. Oh, my darling. My dear, sweet Belinda. My friend who can make even the suckiest ER visit story be tinged with humor.

    I'm so so sorry, but I will pressure Dave to do a Bad Monkey pain chart if you want. And hey! You won a t-shirt so WOOT on you, girly.

    Alex is a keeper. Say that to yourself over and over and over. Just don't fall into a migraine trance again.

  17. Wow- we're migraine companions-- I was stuffed in bed (upright) for 36 hours myself. I've accumulated enough drugs that I was able to medicate myself into oblivion, but I do love that shot at the ER, if it didn't take so damn long for them to give it!

  18. Oh yeah, Migraines, auras, numbness in my fingers, wretching... yup. Lotsa fun.

    On the other hand... you're a Gunslinger fan eh? I LOVED that series. I think I'll read it again, it's been a couple of years since I read the last book.

    Hope you and Alex both feel better soon.