Tuesday, January 20, 2009

hospital adventures

Short-eared owl in the Galapagos Islands
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

Well this is an interesting adventure. I'm at the hospital with a numb right side of my body. I came to the ER after realizing this is just not normal... I drove myself here. I waited for 5 hours. First I got through triage on the "fast track" (meaning faster then the dozens of other people, but it still took me 1 and a half hours of waiting). Then once in the back I sat in a room with 3 others for a few hours, during which time they took blood, and did a cat scan, all the while I kept having to remind people of my existence. The cat scan was interesting. You lie on this machine and they put your head inside this thing you've probably seen in the movies. It made a weird wooshie sound like the ocean.

So around 530pm, the ER nurse read my bloodwork and the cat scan and said oh it's probably nothing but then the ER doc looked at my work and said this isn't normal, it might be a stroke (there's something on my brain) and you need to be admitted. So I've been alone all day but I start updating my facebook page and then all of a sudden a bunch of people showed up! Only one person is allowed at a time in the ER though, so first Matt and the kids stopped in and - thank God - brought my cell phone charger (my lifeline to the world via text and facebook mobile - thank God for it!) and laptop and a book and food! At first the ER doc said no food, and then later another one said "regular diet" so I was like, "Quick bring me food before they change their mind!"

Then a few other friends came up and visited. They did this ultrasound scan thing of my neck arteries, and they ordered an MRI of my brain but apparently everyone's gone home for the night and no one is gonna take time to look at me or do the MRI until morning. I'm not hooked up to any monitoring machines, so how the heck do they know if I get worse? Sheesh. I am already a skeptic of the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial-complex!

Oh, so they moved me into a holdover area of the main hospital in a room shared with someone else, and it's midnight so I am going to bed. Everyone's said their prayers and there ain't nothin I can do. I'm feeling ok at the moment. Was a bit scared earlier but I just feel tired now. And yes my body is still numb on the right side. It has actually gotten worse all day - was first only on my shoulder/back then spread down my arm and now down my leg to my toes. It's a very odd sensation. I don't feel any pain though. I feel a bit loopy and like my brain isn't quite functioning properly. I'm alone now - that's the sad part. I need a bulldog advocate for my health! I wish Doug was here but he's offshore! :(


Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

Well, it's midnight here, but now that I've read your post, I can go to bed, too. My colleague Madhu Khatti (ecologist at CSU Fresno) alerted me to your condition and so I sent you a brief, panicky note via Twitter. Sorry! I don't really know how to use it and just created an account so I could get some news. It was a relief to see that you could post a detailed account, so I won't worry either of us any more. You've got enough going on without worrying about others' worries. Peace...Scott

Janine said...

Hang in there and text me to keep me posted! I'm off on my own medical adventure now!!

Anonymous said...

Saying prayers for you and the doctors/medical team that they find out what is wrong and that it was NOT a stroke. Stay strong!
Natalie Shellhouse