I caved and went to the ER on Wednesday afternoon. Pain 5/10, threw up my morning coffee. By the time I got there, I was hypertensive (180/102) and tachycardic (120’s), because of the pain. I had lab work, an abdominal CT, a pelvic ultrasound, IV fluids, and pain meds.
After it was all said and done – we don’t know what is causing me pain, but we do know what isn’t, which is valuable. The ER doc said about 25% of the time, he can’t diagnose the cause of acute abdominal pain.
I want to say that the staff were great and they really helped me. When the ER doc first came into my room, he said “Hi, I’m David. I see you used to be a nurse.”
*Yeah, I’m an ex-nurse.*
“I don’t think you ever stop being a nurse.”
Over the years, I’ve discovered that care is/seems better after they find out you are in the medical field/family. It’s a shame, really, because everyone deserves this kind of care.
When David came in to say he was discharging me and I thanked him for his help, he stood up, got out his wallet and fished out a business card. As he was writing something on the back, I asked him if he was giving me a magic spell. He looked at me funny then showed me a coin trick. He told me he had used this trick earlier with an oppositional/defiant teen to connect with and reassure her and get her to cooperate with her workup. “I guess that was a magic spell”, he smiled. What he really wrote on his card was his cell phone number, in case I had any questions or needed help with follow up -really sweet of him.
Today, my belly pain is much better, a shadow of it’s former self and I’m supposed to follow up with internal med. and a GYN because of incidental findings.
Yesterday, I saw my T after a 2 week break. When I told him about going to the ER he screwed up his face as if to say “sorry you had to deal with them”. I think I surprised him when I said “no, it was really OK.” I had read 2 very negative patient reviews of the ER on Yelp before I went, and i made a point of going on Yelp the next day and writing my positive review. Funny, there was an article in the Post yesterday about Yelp and negative reviews and how insurance companies, especially Medicare, use these bad reviews to punish health care systems. Gotta look out for my former brothers and sisters.
the other crap :
My therapy session went OK. I complained about my ongoing insomnia, my belly (at one point I told D I had to unbutton my pants because my stomach hurt and he looked briefly concerned ( no, I’m not planning to drop my trousers or anything inappropriate – relax.) We talked about a few more things and I left feeling OK. But, on the ride home, I felt my mood take a leap off the edge and by the time I got home I was filled with despair and self-loathing. I had an overwhelming need to cut, bleed, and become a big sticky mess. Uncharacteristically for me, I texted my T that I was feeling dangerous and seeking suggestions. He responded with : “Benadryl and some sleep, hospital admission, or get out and take a walk.” By the time I got his response I had already self medicated myself into non-action and made it through the night unmarked.
What the fuck is wrong with me?