Monday, November 8, 2010

Extremely Overdue...

So the other day, I was reading some of my family's blogs and I realized that I should blog again, that it had probably been a while. So I went to my links to find my blog page and it wasn't there, I checked my other browsers and even my wife's computer and I couldn't find the address anywhere. I guess that just goes to show how long it's been since I last updated this blog... Oops! So here I go again, endeavoring to blog at least once a week, even if it's just a short one, because I do enjoy writing (well typing anyway, if it was actually in my writing, then nobody would be able to read it. Thank goodness for computers!).

So I had a bit of an adventure this last week, on thursday morning I woke up early to go to work, like every other dull thursday, and my stomach hurt a lot. This is not particularly out of the ordinary for me since I often wake up hungry. I assumed that this was the reason for my pain and that I was just hungrier than usual. So I proceeded to quickly pour myself a large bowl of Honeycomb cereal, which is awesome first thing in the morning! Now before I had even gotten half-way through my bowl of greatness, I had to rush to the bathroom. This was quite out of the ordinary for me and then I was very sick, which is also very odd for me. I proceeded to finish my cereal, not thinking too much about anything, let alone my being sick. In my defense it was only 6:15 or so in the morning and I hadn't had all systems firing yet, if you know what I mean.

So as the morning progressed, so my sickness did intensify. I kept having to rush to the bathroom, which for me hasn't happened in probably fifteen years or so. I went to work since I knew I had an easy day and thought that I could be home in about three or four hours and then I could worry about getting better. As my apprentice was loading the van however, I started to feel even worse and it felt like I was going to be sick in multiple ways in short order. My apprentice also told me that I looked really pale, so I decided to call the shop and do my job the next day as I also had an easy day scheduled for Friday. I went home and proceeded to be sick in multiple ways throughout the rest of the morning and early afternoon. I also slept for around 6 hours throughout that time! To give you an idea of how rare that is for me, I might nap for one or two hours maybe once every three or four months. Karla was beginning to get more and more concerned about my well-being, so she called Health-link who told us that if I was sick more than 6-8 times in a 24 hour period, that I should go to the hospital. So we waited and I was sick a few more times. By 7 pm I had been sick 10 times in a matter of just 13 hours, so we decided to go to the urgent care clinic.

There weren't that many people there, so I was relieved because I thought that would mean a shorter wait time. I have been to this clinic just a few times, so I know. We got there around 7:45 or so and the clinic closes at 10 so I thought that no matter what happened it wouldn't be that long of a visit. After I had been waiting for maybe 5 minutes or so and a couple of other names had been called, they announced that it was my turn! I was excited to get in so quickly, but also curious as to why they thought I should get seen before about 6 other people that were waiting, all of whom had been there longer than I. "Oh well," I thought, "I'll take what I can get." So I was shown to a room and I had only time to take a quick cursory look at the sad selection of women's magazines and to decide that despite my urges I wouldn't take my own blood pressure with the machine that was hanging ever so temptingly on the wall next to me. Suddenly a nurse came into the room and asked me only a couple of quick questions before tossing me a gown and blanket. She told me to get in the gown and that she would need to start me on an I.V. as soon as possible. I had a few thoughts running around inside my head after that whirlwind of activity but I pushed them to the side long enough to realize that whoever designed hospital gowns was in no way concerned about the ability of the patient to tie bows behind their backs. This frustrated me only briefly as I surprised even myself by being able to tie both sets of strings on only my second and third tries. Now I had time to process my thoughts about the I.V. while I waited for the nurse to return. My thoughts were the following;

Thought #1. I've never had an I.V. before! This may not be a surprising thought to the average person, but I have had plenty more than my fair share of hospital experiences so this actually was quite a surprise to me as I slowly and methodically went back through my memories of all of my hospital experiences to realize that this was indeed the truth.

Thought #2. I have only seen a couple of people get an I.V. before, my daughter and my wife. My daughter had had one when she broke her arm a few months ago to keep her hydrated and to administer the anesthesia more easily. My wife's was when she was giving birth to our daughter, again for the same reasons as Emma's I.V. I knew I must be dehydrated, so that didn't really phase me at all. The thing that made me nervous was that I could remember quite clearly when Karla was given her I.V. It was a student nurse who, I guess hadn't had enough practise at it yet. She was to give it to Karla in the back of the hand, which to me seems like a fairly sensitive area to be poking around, but hey, I'm no doctor. So the student nurse missed Karla's vein, not once, but twice! I also remembered that the size of that needle struck me as being the fattest piece of metal I've ever seen being poked into a person to help them. I had only a little more time to focus on this thought before the nurse came back to do my very first I.V.

As she was getting ready she said that it was going to be quite a big poke and so I psyched myself up for it even more. I don't usually watch when they stick needles into me, because I find it easier if I can just focus on the pain rather than what I'm seeing on top of the pain. This time, for some unknown reason, I looked at the last second, just in time to see the needle go into my skin and my vein to slide away from it to the side! She had missed! "Oh no," I thought, "here we go again!" Thankfully on the second try she got it and she remarked to me that I have "fairly tough skin!" Apparently she had to push pretty hard to get that needle in there. Once the needle was in she kept apologizing for how hard she had had to push and I told her that really, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting and that at least she hadn't made me cry. That seemed to put her at ease a bit more. She set up the machine pretty quickly and I instantly felt a cold rush of fluid going into my vein! It is quite the bizarre feeling that I'm not too sure just how to describe. It's so odd to be able to feel something like that entering your body through a place where things don't usually enter. My whole arm started to get very cold, but the nurse assured me that this was normal since the I.V. was quite a bit cooler than my body temperature.

After I had sucked back one bag of I.V. the doctor came to see me and asked me a few more questions and then assured me that it was a good thing that I came in when I did! She seemed to be overly concerned about me, which I thought was odd. She said that they had done some blood work and that my white blood cell count was quite high, but they didn't know why yet. They were going to run some more tests. She then said that I should probably have a second bag of I.V. since I was so dehydrated. As my veins starting sucking away at the second bag I realized that it was already after 10. I figured that it was going to be a long night after all. Karla got too uncomfortable in the chair so she spread my jacket and hoody out on the floor and lay down in an attempt to get some much needed rest. The doctor came back and said that I was going to have to give her some samples of an undesirable nature since they had ruled out a viral problem and now were focused on a bacterial infection of some sort. She said that I would have to take them myself at home. (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it involved a toilet but not a cup). This experience scarred me for life! I thought that it must be even more terrible though, to be the person who had to look at the sample and make sure nothing was wrong. I instantly had an immense amount of pity for lab technicians everywhere.

The good news

Finally, it has been more than 24 hours since I was sick last and I have actually had an appetite which had alluded me for the duration of my sickness. I have eaten a few meals to no ill effect and am quite happy to feel hunger again and not have to cringe at the thought of needing to use the toilet! It's amazing how such a little thing can make one so happy! So here I am, writing this while contemplating which food I will once again enjoy shortly, and all of the possibilities that are again available to my palette!

Farewell and happy eating!

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