Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Pain. But I'm not dying.

Hello, little circle of readers.

I'd like to say that I feel great, and that I'm back to normal. I'd like to say that for the past 5 days I've been running around like normal, and with even more energy than normal.

But I'd be lying to you.

Instead, I've been lying on the couch. I've been propped up on pillows and popping Rx strength ibuprofen. I've been applying ice packs. I've been wearing long sleeves and hiding my hands to keep others from being grossed out by the blown veins in my arms from where they tried to give me an IV. I've been hating sitting upright and moving at school and work. I've stopped carrying some of my books to school. In short, I've been a sad sack of whine and pain.

I've done what I'm supposed to. I called my PCP and told the receptionist about the issue. I told her about the ER visit and the fact that they wanted me to follow up. The soonest they could see me was December 7th. After some cajoling, the receptionist connected me to the medical assistant, who evidently knows about the super secret appointment times that aren't filled. I left her a message. This was Monday at 9am, and she still hasn't called me back.

I went to the student clinic, where a very nice nurse complimented my outfit. Evidently they see a lot of undergrads without jobs. And then the doctor came in and listened to my heart and lungs. And then he started pressing on my ribs. Hard. Repeatedly. "Does this hurt? Does it hurt now, when I press harder?" Hint: when I cry, yes, it hurts.

So, I'm not dying. I don't have a blood clot or a heart or lung problem. I just have chest wall inflammation. Which hurts. All the time. And which is exhausting, because being in pain is exhausting.

I've been told not to work out for at least a week, and not limit my lifting. To "take it easy." I suppose there will be more couch time for me in the near future.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

When good weeks go bad

Let me explain. No, no. Iz too much. Let me sum up.

It's been a shitty week.

Boyfriend has bronchitis. He has two inhalers.

I've been swamped with work and school, and I'm having my lovely monthly time that makes me wish I no longer had a uterus.

On Wednesday, I saw a woman get hit by a car leaving work. And, I was insulted by another witness for sticking around to give a statement, because she saw that I work for a personal injury attorney. Shortly after I gave my statement and the cops left, a guy at the bus stop asked for my panties. Then kept edging closer, and tried to touch me. I may or may not have told him I'd have no problem killing him. I may or may not have meant it at that point.

And I'm sick, too. I've been running a low-grade fever, and have the sniffles. And headaches.

So, because we've been kind of woe-is-me, Boyfriend and I decided to go out for dinner and a movie. We ate sushi, then decided to go see Paranormal Activity.

And both were good. Except ...

Except that toward the end of the movie, my chest started to hurt. I thought it was just because I was scared, but then it didn't go away. Then I felt light-headed.

So we went to the ER.

Evidently the magic words to be seen quickly are "Uh, hi. I'm having some chest pain and I feel nauseated." They don't even ask for your insurance card. They plop you in a wheelchair and start ripping your clothes off before you even get back to the curtained area. And they don't let your boyfriend go back with you.

But the nurse was a nice guy named Andrew. And the EKG wasn't so scary. Nor was the heart monitor. Or the chest X-ray.

But trying to get an IV in my arm? JESUS. Turns out I'm a hard stick. Especially when I've had caffeine. Don't ask me how much I'd had by 11pm when we showed up at the ER. It's embarrassing. Anyway. Three different nurses tried. One (my dear Andrew) was able to draw the necessary blood to get the tests for blood clots done. Then the sticking really started. My favorite is when one of the shift nurses tried to start one in my hand, and totally blew a vein. I bled all over the floor, and my hand is still swollen three hours later, after ice.

After all that -- no clue why it hurts. I have a prescription for the super-extra-strength Motrin. They think it's probably inflammation between my ribs, but I'm supposed to follow up with my PCP ASAP.

So. How was YOUR week?