Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The tale of a new pain, 2 ERs, and 1 FABULOUS Doctor!

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip...or in my case 2 trips!! Let me explain...

Friday, I went to bed feeling fine. Saturday morning at 5 am, I was awakened by this stabbing pain, every time I breathed or moved certain ways. Now if you know me, then you know I am not one to call the doctor with every little thing, so I waited to see if it would go away.

Ya never know, I could've just slept weird and that is why I was hurting.

Well, the pain didn't go away. In fact, it got worse, but I still decided I would give it until Monday, so I could call my plastic surgeon, rather than go to the E.R. Sunday night, I didn't get more than a wink of sleep. The only way I could handle the pain was to breathe shallow and sit up. Have you ever tried sleeping like that? Well, it sucks!

Monday morning, I got up and called my plastic surgeon. She tells me that I need to go to my local E.R., because I could have a collapsed lung or something serious and she didn't want me driving the whole way to Pittsburgh. I told her I was worried because my local hospital doesn't deal with this kind of surgery and I wasn't sure they would know what to check. She tells me to go there and have them call her and she gave me 2 phone numbers for them to try.

My friend Cheri and I head to the E.R. I go in and they start an IV, do blood work, and get a chest x-ray. The doctor comes in, tells me I don't have a blood clot in my lung, says she tried to call my doctor, but was unable to reach her, so I could go and just follow up with my plastic surgeon on Thursday. I paid my $75 copay and they sent me on my way with discharge papers for pleurisy.

I was so upset, because there I was leaving the E.R. in exactly the same shape I came in, with no answers or solutions, only $75 poorer.

I called my plastic surgeon and she was really mad they had not gotten a hold of her and couldn't believe they sent me home. She told me to go to Magee where she could order a bunch of tests and make sure I was okay.

My mom and I get down there and my doctor was getting ready to leave the hospital, so she turns around and meets me in the E.R., tells them to get me in a room, and explains what she wants done. Within no time, I was triaged, in a room and my very own plastic surgeon was examining me and ordering tests. She is so wonderful!

I had a chest CT with contrast (it took atleast 10 tries for them to get the iv in, so I look like a pin cushion), cardiac blood work, and an EKG all while in the E.R. We found out I hadn't had a heart attack, I didn't have a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), and my reconstruction looked okay (no obvious problems).

My doctor said she still wanted to keep me over night, so they could give me meds, make sure I was comfortable, and monitor me, so they put me in a room. I was so happy to see my favorite nurse walk in the room. Remember Ciara? She was the one that realized I was having the tardive dyskinesia reaction to Phenergan after my lat-flap surgery.

All night I was hooked up to a cardiac monitor, pulse ox, and a leg compression device. They were giving me Toradol and Dilaudid for pain and it was actually helping. I still had the pain, but it was more of an ache, rather than the stabbing pain I had before, so I managed to get a little bit of sleep.

Some time during the night my cardiac monitor started alarming and it read asystole (aka flatline), so nurses came running in real quick to make sure I was alive and well. Let me just say, they have an excellent response time and I was fine! Good thing too, because my Mom continued to lay all bundled up on the cot and didn't even acknowledge anything was going on! I could've been dead and the nurses would've had to tell her! lol

In the morning two residents came to see me and then my doctor and a resident came to see me a few hours later. My heart rate was still high, my ekg had been abnormal, and my heart had done a few abnormal things, so they ordered a repeat ekg and said I could go home with the Toradol for pain (supplementing with Percocet if necessary) if it was okay. The pain was probably either muscular or chondritis (inflammation of my rib cartilage) and that is why the Toradol was helping.

My repeat EKG was okay, so the resident told me there could still be a problem they are missing, but it wasn't anything life threatening, so I could follow up with my PCP if necessary for that. I am to call if the pain gets worse or if I have any other problems, if not I am okay to go away for the week (I'll tell you about my planned trip soon) and I can follow up with them when I get back. I am just not allowed to lift, push, or pull anything heavier than 10 lbs.

Let's hope the worst is behind me and things start looking up from here.

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