“Thank you…” I said quietly.
He answered that I was welcome as he continued to spread a sheet over me and tuck me in.
“You take such good care of me,” I said; my voice cracking and my eyes welling up with tears, “I love you.”
He looked at me with concern, holding my hand and asked me why I was crying.
“I dunno… Just emotional now I guess.”
Teen Titans was playing on the TV in front of me, but my eyes felt heavy and I felt vaguely nauseated when I saw the images move, besides it was more to keep the kid’s interest than mine. I closed my eyes and turned my head to start drifting off.
The pain was lessened now; I wasn’t sobbing and writhing or begging for someone to help me. I had stopped vomiting since the IV Zofran had kicked in alongside the IV pain med. I was still in discomfort though, down from a “10” to a “4 or 5” at best.
“It still hurts,” I murmured.
Jason was sitting on a stool next to me, holding my hand. “Yes, but look how much it’s improved… You are a lot calmer now.”
I nodded, I knew it was true, I just wanted to be all the way better. I was nervous if the pain didn’t go away it would just slowly start to increase again – as it had done before I headed to the emergency room.
A moment later a man came in to retrieve me – he said he was there to take me to get a CT Scan and informed Jason I would be back in 12 minutes. I had the vague thought that that was an oddly specific time.
I never had a CT scan before, I had a sense of what to expect, but it was still to be a new experience.
I closed my eyes as he wheeled me out of the room, but the motion made me feel nauseated again. I hesitantly opened my eyes – as I was afraid the visual stimulation would make my nausea worse. I watched the fluorescent lights, smoke detectors, and green signs stream past until we arrived outside the CT lab. He parked me up against a wall and told me it would just be a few minutes until the lab was free again.
I wondered if he had calculated a wait into the twelve minutes he had told my husband.
I lay there, watching people pass by or come in and out of the Cardiac Rehab room to my left until it was time to go in.
After a few minutes, he wheeled me in and the chill of the room hit me like a wall as we entered. I vaguely recall murmuring that it was cold. He lined me up to the patient table after putting my guard rails down. Then a lady came around the other side to offer her hand and told me to scoot over onto the table. Luckily my sheet came with me, because I was starting to shiver.
They had the lights in this room covered with cloud scenes which I thought was nice. Not as elaborate as the 3-D scenes we had in the elevators at the old children’s hospital I used to work at… But a nice enough distraction for a moment.
He told me to raise my hands above my head and then follow the directions of the automated voice as I started moving into the circular machine. The instructions only consisted of periodically taking a breath and holding it and then breathing normally. Easy enough instructions, not sure I could have handled a whole lot more in that state, if I’m honest.
I saw something move behind the tinted plastic that lined the inner part of the circle, which creeped me out at first – though once I oriented myself and focused to look I realized it was just the mechanisms inside, the lenses that were capturing the images. I moved in and out, holding and releasing breaths for a few minutes until I came all the way out and they said I was done.
The transport guy offered his forearm to scoot me back onto the stretcher and another lady showed up as well to assist my transfer. By now my teeth were chattering, so she retrieved a pre-warmed blanket and laid it over me.
I can hardly describe what a comfort that actually was. You wouldn’t think it old rough hospital blankets would be, but the warmth enveloped me immediately and for a moment I thought I’d never felt so cozy.
After I was settled back in the ER room, my husband kissed me and then took the kids to get some lunch. While they were gone the results came back – I had a 4mm Kidney stone. Doc said it was still just small enough that it should be able to pass through my system – they generally only blast them if they are 5mm or bigger. I’d never had a Kidney stone before – and now I know what people mean when they say it hurts so bad!
The nurse then came back in to give me some Flomax to relax my muscles and dilate my urethra, and ask me about my pain again. I told her it was slowly increasing again, so she left for a moment and came back with Fentanyl for my IV.
If I weren’t already married, I’d wed myself to Fentanyl… I tell you what. I rarely like stronger opiod based drugs, personally. Usually plain old ibuprofin does more for me than anything else… But on this occasion Fentanyl was making me feel all right with the world. By the time she finished pushing it in my IV over several minutes, my pain was just about gone and my head was feeling lighter than air. Needless to say, I was feeling better than I had in quite awhile.
After my head cleared up enough to be able to get dressed and walk again, I was discharged and my husband came back to get me and go get my medication while I fell asleep in the car.
All of this happened yesterday, so I am still not feeling well. Luckily the pain meds I was sent home with have been working pretty well, so I’m managing while I wait for this MFer to pass through me…. But I still anticipate at least a few days of feeling like crap overall.
I must say though that the RN in the ER was amazing. Her name was Sandy and she was very in tune with my needs and clearly seemed to care. My Husband was also amazing… Leaving work early, holding my hand, letting me squeeze as hard as I needed to… Trying to distract me from the pain, putting cool cloths on my head and rubbing on my hair…. I’m so glad he was there for me. Even my kids were amazing… sitting so quietly and good and even running to the car promptly when I told them we had to go. (They knew something was up, to be fair, since I had woke my son up with the sound of my vomiting that morning and a little while later woke my daughter up with the sound of my screaming and sobbing…) I’m just so relieved that part is over… I’ll be even more relieved when I get all the way better. Wish me luck it passes quickly.
(Featured photo is my arm after the first IV they put in me blew after drawing blood btw)