ER Visit On New Year’s Eve
So spending New Year’s Eve in the ER getting pumped full of Fentanyl was NOT on my training spread sheets.
Everything started great, though. On New Year’s Eve, I rode and awesome 41-miler with my daughter. The weather just cool enough we had to wear arm warmers.
I kept on the leg warmers anyway. One, because they were a birthday gift and I am finding every single excuse to wear them because they are so neat. Also, it was threatening to rain and we were still going to be out in the late afternoon with the sun going down.
Temperature Drops in the Desert-
In Phoenix, the same temp with clouds is so way colder than the same temp without them. It’s really pretty surprising the change. I get that this isn’t Chicago. I spent plenty of time training in that sub-zero stuff. I’m so adapted to Arizona now, that rainy, cloudy, and below 60 makes me want to look for the fur parka.
There were very few cyclists out. But lots and lots of cars. I was waiting for some early drunk on New Year’s Eve to hit us. If cars veering over white lines are an indicator, lots of people were either texting driving down Maricopa Highway or DUI.
We made it to the Circle K in Maricopa. Usually, we go to the QT (I love their clean bathrooms) but we turned off a little early. It turned out OK. We found these big “Complete Cookies” for $1.99 and split one for the ride home. They were either the best cookie I had in a long time or I was super hungry. I might go back and buy a few because I think they mispriced them, and I’d like to get a couple before they figure it out and jack up the prices.
No flats! That was super nice. We only had a little bit of a cross wind on the way home. Tina’s legs had a nice burn to them. My side had ached most of the ride- but it was a dull ache. And I just figured it was whatever has been messing with me for several months that the GI doc, after scoping and x-raying just about anything she could, hadn’t figured out, but she said it is no big deal. Nothing to worry about.
Jan 1st, 2017
Finger Food and Fireworks Before Fentanyl!
Last night, I made all the traditional New Years Eve fair the kids and Russ always seem to like: Bruschetta with crab meat, stuffed mushrooms, ribs, low fat chicken wings, and nacho fixings. We played LOTR trivia. It was great. We love nit picking the questions between the books version of the adventure and the movie versions.
And the kids have some sort of permanent memory of so many scenes in the movies, that they get some of the really tough questions right. Somewhere during the merriment, my gut decided to start aching worse and worse all night. Not, “Hey, I fed the family bad food and we are all going to get sick” bad. It was definitely something else.
By the time we got to the fireworks outside in the cul-de-sac, I was doubled over in agony. But I didn’t want to mess up the fireworks for the family, so I gritted my way through it. But everyone seemed to figure out I was a mess when I was doubled over int eh driveway, gritting my teeth. I refused to admit it until the fireworks were done, then they helped me hobble inside. I gritted it out on the couch. The pharmacist in me had the kids bring me every tonic known to calm down a gut gone wild, from Tums to simethicone.
They finally managed to convince me to go the ER about 1 am. Which totally stunk.
Happy New Year in the ER-
I remember getting into a horrible waiting room where people had to stand in line to come into the ER and register- like being at a Will Call window for game tickets or something. Only I couldn’t stand and hobbled across the room to find a chair to collapse into while Russ checked me in. The registration lady diagnosed me a probable gall bladder. They made me walk back to the ER bedrooms, not even a wheel chair. I wanted to die.
When all was said and done, it took a couple of doses of fentanyl before they could get my pain under control, to stop my frantic painting from the pain, and run a massive number of tests. Several hours later, between the XRAY machine, and the very rude CT technician that had just about zero compassion, they basically said they had no idea what was wrong.
Maybe pneumonia, maybe pleurisy, or gall bladder issues, or something they weren’t quite sure. But something.
Bless the nurse that advocated for me. I got a shot of Dilaudid before I was sent out the door with pain pills and antibiotics in fist.
This whole thing was getting ridiculous.
We got home at about 7 or 8 am and crashed in bed for the rest of the day. I am hitting the Vicodin and sleeping, mostly. I am calculating how much Vicodin I can take before I blow out my liver from the acetaminophen (the pharmacist in me never sleeps). I am in total and absolute hate with my body. I can’t breath without it hurting.
And I have no idea what is wrong.
The kids are so awesome. They keep trying to tell me positive stuff, like how I can just rest a bit and start training again. And Russ is so supportive. He stood by me the whole time in the ER. I am pretty sure I was breaking his hand gripping it so hard until they hit me up with that second dose of fentanyl.
And I’m mad. Because I don’t want to give up.
And I am sick of my body.
Taming the Pain-
When I finally wake up (much later in the day) I can’t roll over or get out of bed without a sharp pain in my side. I really just wanted to go get a Vicodin, crawl back into bed. I know the public media is freaking out about opioid overuse, but there are really times when it is needed and makes a lot of sense. I was afraid I’d run out, though. I needed to make the few pills I had last, knowing how hard it would be to get more. But I hurt, and needed them. I couldn’t take a real breath without them from the pain.
Staring At the Ceiling-
Since I couldn’t move a lot, I had some time to just lay there. I was pretty grumpy. I remembered my grandmother always used to write me Birthday and Holiday cards and whine on about how sick she was. There was always something. Maybe I got her body, her genetics.
I totally and utterly refuse to become like that. I may have a really challenging body, but whining about it isn’t going to work for me.
So I pushed myself out of bed, made my way to the kitchen, popped a Vicodin, made some coffee, and started to plan.