AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,
AngiePen
angiepen

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Fun With Hospitals

Well, I've had a thrilling couple of days.  I got to go to the hospital on Monday, twice.  Two separate hospitals, in fact; that's a weirdness.



So I got this nosebleed at about 11:30 in the morning.  I was just sitting here at my computer, reading some decent smut, when all of a sudden I have blood flowing down onto my shirt.  :/  I grab a kleenix and keep reading, changing said kleenix as required.  It was required quite a bit.  And for quite a while.  At about 12:30 my husband called me to make sure I was up to get to a doctor's appointment I had, and I told him what was going on.  I said "If you come home and find me collapsed unconscious over my keyboard you can tell the ambulance guys it's blood loss."  I was mostly kidding.  Jim, who's a real sweetheart, got kind of anxious and suggested calling the doctor and going in.  (This would've been a different doctor, BTW.  I'm bipolar [have I mentioned that? I don't think so.  Anyway, I am.] and had an appointment with my P-doc, but he doesn't do blood loss.)  I said I felt OK and I needed a shower if I was going anywhere and that I'd take one and wait a bit, and if I was still leaking in another hour then we could see about going somewhere.

Ever taken a shower with a nosebleed?  I hadn't either.  It's actually a lot easier than dealing with it outside the shower, once you steel yourself to just letting go.  It's better for you, too.  Swallowing blood is bad for you, which I didn't know before, and I'd probably have been in worse shape later that night without the twenty minutes or so of, well, not swallowing while I took a shower.  The tough part, though, was getting out once I was done.  I'd put a box of kleenix on the toilet next to the shower, figuring I'd dry my hands and then grab one before I got out so I wouldn't leak on the floor.  Nice idea, but in grabbing one I knocked the box off onto the floor (far side of the toilet of course) and lunging to grab for it produced more blood than the one kleenix I'd grabbed could handle.  I toss it in the toilet.  So I'm standing in the shower covered in blood with nothing paperish within reach.  I turn the water on again to rinse off while I think what to do.

I'm still feeling out of it, so I'm rambling and am probably running longer and less coherent than usual.  Sorry.  :(

I ended up kind of squatting down and reaching for toilet paper.  I got blood on the floor, but that couldn't be helped.  By this time I'm also feeling dizzy and light-headed, which is bad.  I don't bother wrapping in a towel -- blood washes off me a lot easier than it does off of terrycloth -- and just put a towel down on my computer chair before I sit.  Call husband.  Still bleeding, feeling dizzy, want doctor.  Husband calls doctor, who says to go to the ER.  Husband comes home.  I get dressed (which is fun with one hand holding a kleenix to one's nose) and we take a cab to Memorial, me armed with a box of kleenix and a plastic bag.

We get there and check in.  Take a seat.  Some time later, like twenty or thirty minutes, although I wasn't actually keeping track, we get called.  Go in to triage, lady asks questions, writes stuff down.  Go back to chairs, take another seat 'cause our first ones were full.  Another half hour or so, get called.  Different lady comes out and puts wristband on me, says I'm now registered.  Oh, good.  Go sit down.  Third chair, second being full.  I got this idea for waiting room bingo -- each chair gets a number, and you get a card when you check in.  Punch out a number for each chair you sit in before being called in to actually see a doctorish person.  If you get a row, you get 10% off your bill.  Anyway, by now it's a little over three hours since my nose started up, and it seems to be stopping.  Oh, good.  I'm still dizzy and all, though.  Finally get inside.

I get the usual stats and such, with a nurse who was sniffing like he should be the one on the bed instead of me.  My blood pressure is like 155/115 or so, which could certainly account for the nosebleed, although the nurse said that the nosebleed could've caused enough stress to drive my blood pressure up, so who knows.  My BP usually runs around 125/90 or so.  Heartrate is up at 112, usually it's around 80.  I get an IV put in, first time for that, and they start me on a liter of saline.  I get my BP taken a few more times over the next couple of hours; it runs in the one-forties to one-fifties over one-hundreds to one-teens.  I think systolic went down to 138 once, but it was back up later.

I still haven't seen a doctor.  The nurse ordered a bunch of tests and a chest X-ray.  I have no idea what the latter was for, and so far as I know, no one actually looked at it.  Since I wasn't bleeding any more they didn't have to do anything about that, although the nurse mentioned a couple of things the could've done.  Did you know that they use cocaine to stop nosebleeds?  Yep.  It's legal and everything.  I love it -- a doctor can stick coke up your nose to stop a nosebleed, but god forbid he prescribe marijuana to prevent nausea in cancer patients, or to treat glaucoma.  :(

Anyway, doctor shows up.  He looks in my nose and throat, takes my BP and all again, checks out blood test results -- which have had time to come back -- and decides to send me home with a prescrip for some water pills and orders to see my GP the next day.  My BP's down a bit, back to one-thirties over one-hundreds, and I'm not as dizzy as I'd been earlier.  Says if it starts bleeding again, I should pinch it -- applying pressure, as with any other bleeder -- and duck my head down.  When I was a kid they told you to do the kleenix thing and tilt your head back, but apparently that just makes you swallow which is bad.  OK, cool, so they unhook me from everything and we go home.

I don't even feel like reading smut at this point, which tells you something about what kind of shape I was in.  :P  I crash on the couch, kind of periodically reading a bit and then napping a bit.  I'm not as dizzy, but I'm still feeling tired -- really wiped.  OK, fast-forward to around midnight.  I'm still on the couch 'cause I didn't feel like climbing the stairs to go to bed, and if I start bleeding again we're planning to replace the couch soon anyway so I'd rather mess it up than the bed.  Lights are out, my husband's taking his shower.  Suddenly I feel the trickle again.  [sigh]  Grab kleenix.  Within a few minutes I'm also feeling a bit nauseated, and I have to go to the bathroom.  I detour to the fridge to grab a soda, hoping that'd help settle my stomach, and take it into the bathroom with me.  I never got a chance to open it, though.  I started going, and then I vomited into my kleenix -- not intentionally, it was just there -- producing a truly impressive spatter pattern, all over myself, my clothes, and a bunch of books that were on the floor.  I call for my husband, who luckily was on his way downstairs, having seen the light on when he finished his shower.  He sees me sitting there covered in black vomit and calls 911.

You know, I'm an unusually modest person in some ways.  When I'm using the toilet I won't even let my husband in the bathroom, nor will I be in the room while he is.  I've read that this indicates a fear of "this level of intimacy," but to me it's just gross, and basic manners keeps that sort of thing private.  But within five minutes or so I had three ambulance people, two guys and a girl, in and out and asking me questions and I really didn't care.  I felt like hell, and anything not having to do with my immediate condition was so irrelevant it might as well have been on the other side of the galaxy.  They could've brought in a news camera and I wouldn't have given a damn.  I had to strip out of most of my bloody clothes, and Jim brought down a pair of shorts, which the lady EMT helped me into.  There was some talk out in the hall of a shirt, but I didn't pay a lot of attention.  I think Jim brought down a second pair of shorts; he was in a towel himself and kind of flustered so I don't blame him a bit.  When they were ready to take me out to the gurney they draped a towel around my shoulders, but I didn't care.  I had a bra on, that was enough, I just wanted to lay down.

Ambulance ride.  They took me to St. Mary's this time, since it was closer than Memorial.  I didn't care.  A nice guy named Jeff was next to me filling out some papers while we rode, asking me questions every now and then.  I get into the ER and get a bed right away -- one of the benefits of showing up in an ambulance is no waiting.  They do all their vitals stuff and put in another IV -- in the back of my hand this time, which hurts a bit more than the arm I discovered -- and eventually gave me a nose clip so I didn't have to hold my hand up to my face any more.  That was nice.  They cut off the wristband from Memorial and put on one of their own.  It says I'm fifty when I'm actually forty, but I don't suppose it matters much.  Bleeding eventually stops.  More poking and questions and BP checks.  It's lower than it was that afternoon, but still higher than normal.  Doctor says that I threw up because of all the blood I'd swallowed earlier, and the only thing that surprised her was that it took me so long to get sick.  I make a mental note that if this happens again I should just get in the shower and stay there until it stops.  I'm still feeling kind of sick, and during one of the frequent doctorless interstices I have Jim drag over a trash can so I have something the spit/throw up into.  I was coughing up largish blood clots.  I felt like Ron Weasley after his slug spell backfired in Chamber of Secrets.  :/  Doctor comes back and has the nurse give me some stuff for nausea.  IV lines are nice, very convenient.

Another doctorless interstice.  I start getting this weird twitch in my left leg.  It feels tingly, kind of pins-and-needles like when it's half-asleep, and kind of....  You know when you're in bed and your legs suddenly feel like they just have to move?  Like the muscles need to be worked?  It's called restless legs or something like that.  Anyway, it felt like that; the muscles had to move, more and more until they just spasmed.  Then it started building up again, repeat.  The nurse came by and Jim had him watch me do my trick.  He went to tell the doctor.  The twitches spread to my right leg, then to my arms.  It was kind of alarming, although it didn't hurt, it just felt weird.  Jim was upset, though, and when the doctor said it was nothing he argued for a bit.  She said that there was no physical reason I should be spasming, they weren't seizures, and it was probably mental, from the stress, although I've been more afraid and stressed than I was right then and this has never happened to me before.  She said it might have something to do with my being bipolar, which is just stupid.  Most GPs don't know squat about affective disorders, and she was no exception.  She ordered a relaxant, and a while later they sent me home again.  The nurse found me a shirt to wear -- a really nice twill pullover.  I don't know where it came from, but I'm grateful to whoever left or donated it.  We got home around four or so in the morning and I went back on the couch, with kleenix and trash can and nose clip near to hand.

I couldn't get in to see my GP on Tuesday, so I went today.  My BP was back down to one-thirties over mid- to high-nineties, which is higher than usual but not dangerous.  He poked around and looked inside and had me do some neurological tests -- hold your hands out in front of you, what's the date, that sort of thing.  Everything was OK.  He said to keep taking the water pills the doctor at Memorial had prescribed, and to come back in a week.  I left a variety of body fluids with the lab for testing, and we came home.

And here I am.  I'll probably just post this and then go back to lay down.  I don't know what my Flist is going to look like by the time I feel like going through it, but right now I don't care.

I do, however, have the greatest husband in the world.  Jim came right home for me on Monday, and took yesterday and today off to be with me and take me to the doctor.  He talked to peole and called for appointments and took care of me.  I'd probably by lying here, collapsed unconscious over my keyboard, if it weren't for him.  Or at least, I'd have been a hell of a lot more stressed out trying to manage all the logistical crap while feeling so bad.  He cleaned out the shower, and cleaned up the bathroom, which was pretty awful, and has been right next to me the whole time.  He's always there for me no matter what, and I honestly don't know what I'd do without him.

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