Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in the ER

So, we spent part of Thanksgiving in the ER, why not make holidays in the ER a tradition? Actually, I sincerely hope we don't.

J and I are truly blessed when it comes to family. We have a lot of family who live close by. Even better, all of the family that lives nearby are really awesome, fun, wonderful family, all of whom we are anxious to have major roles in our lives. We are really grateful for this.

The holidays kind of stress J out a bit though. Growing up, they didn't have family nearby, so Christmas day was a quiet day, and so that is what Christmas day is to him.

Christmas day for me was to go visit various grandparents, aunts and uncles. I absolutely LOVE the hustle and bustle of it. J loves seeing all these people, but would rather we spread out the visits so we spend more time, and only go to two houses a day. He had even threatened to wake up sick on Christmas day.

So I got a vague sore throat. On Wednesday, I woke up feeling pretty bad. I decided to go to the doctor so that just in case it was something that could be treated with antibiotics, I could get on them and feel better in time for Christmas. The local office got me right in. The doctor was really nice. He didn't do a strep test (which I thought was odd, especially given I had no fever), but put me on antibiotics and gave me a painkiller. Unfortunately, I woke up Thursday morning feeling even worse. Much to my dismay, I missed my family's annual Christmas eve party. I sent the rest of my family down though, so they wouldn't miss out.

Christmas morning, I felt even worse. It turns out the painkiller the doctor gave me nauseated me, so I got to throw up on top of everything else.

We fed the kids homemade caramel rolls, and then took them to my SIL/BIL's house. Then J and I headed up to the ER. We got there and sat down. To the right of me was a guy who was at the wrong end of a knife while taking plastic off of a present. He was hopeful that a couple stitches and he'd be well on his way. Um, no. He'd been well on his way to cutting his thumb off. It was going to need surgery.

Another guy comes wandering in who I guess had been in line, but then had to leave to get a cigarette. He was also there for a sore throat, but the man would.not.shut.up. If I hadn't been in so much pain, I would've enjoyed visiting with him, because I love talking to eccentric people. But, alas, I couldn't talk. Anyway, he told me about how that cigarette really made his heart rate go up.

A woman with uncontrollable vomiting shuffled in, and she got to be triaged immediately. Fine with me. Mr. Chatty told us about how when he was living in Denver, he got appendicitis, and he let his 13 year old drive him to the hospital. He said he walked all hunched over, just like vomiting lady.

We get back to my room and Mr. Chatty happened to get the room next to mine. He stood in his doorway and tried to talk to people as they walked by. It was a little sad to me, because he was a nice, engaging guy.

J had to use the bathroom, and when he came back, he reported that Mr. Chatty had completely disrobed, and had wrapped a hospital johnny around his waist like a towel, and was still standing in the doorway. I got the giggles from that. That only got worse when we overheard the doctor tell him, "Ok, you can get dressed any time now."

As for me, they told me that I had the beginnings of a peritonsillar abscess. Given the state of my tonsils, I think it was a definite risk for me. The germ that caused it wasn't a superbug or anything like that, in fact, none of our kids have gotten sick, and they're constantly giving me kisses, sharing drinks, etc. They gave me an injection of antibiotics, and an injection of a steroid anti inflammatory, and instructions to come back the next morning for more of the same, plus to double check it hadn't gotten any bigger. As it was, it was starting to interfere with my breathing, and they were concerned about that.

I came back today for another round of poking. The doctor confirmed I'll definitely have to have the abscess drained, but it has shrunk to the point where it's "non-emergent, but urgent". So, I will go in to the specialist Monday.

I suspect that when I consult with an ear/nose/throat specialist, they will tell me that I need to get my tonsils out. I have always been prone to throat issues, and I think my tonsils are so damaged that I'm somewhat vulnerable to anything that comes along. I am hoping that I put it off til June, when the kids will be out of school. That way, they won't have to be shuttled around, and it'll make caring for them much easier.

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