Monday, May 05, 2008

Fact or Fiction

Saturday was a good day of recovery for my wife - Ms NFMC (thanks for the alias, May!). But on the heels of one good day of recovery at home, she had a night of restlessness and nausea and vomiting. She was unable to keep down any food, any liquid, any of her medications.

And it was green. Like pea soup green.

So we looked on our list of "Call the doctor if any of these are present". This list had been kindly provided by the hospital when we left on Friday. There were about ten things on the list. She had three. Extreme nausea. Vomiting. Green vomit.

So the call was made. And guess what they told us to do???

You guessed it - return the emergency room - the place where it all began last Wednesday morning. The triage wait was very short. Nothing else on Sunday was short. We were in that tiny room in the ER for eight hours.

Eight is a very big number when you are bored out of your freaking mind! There is NOTHING to do in ER. Not one single magazine. No Sports Illustrated. No National Geographic. Hell, I would have been happy with Women's Day! But nope, nothing to read.

And no food or beverage. We left home about 8AM on Sunday morning. No coffee. No breakfast. And they would not let me bring in a soda or a snack. Nothing. Oh sure, I could go to the cafeteria and eat. But I could easily return to find my wife gone to some test with no idea what really happened to her. So I stuck around.

But I did eventually entertain myself. For example, when I took my wife's heart monitor off - that little thing they clip on your finger to monitor your pulse (heck, she was sleeping by then, she didn't know), I found out that my pulse was about two beats per minute faster than her pulse. And that little gizmo also monitors the level of oxygen in the blood. Don't ask me how, some sort of medical techno magic. But however it works, my rate was again about two higher than her rate. But we were both in the upper 90's - which apparently is good. But what was a little concerning about their magic technology was that the sheet had an oxygen content of about 60. Really? Hmmmm.

Oh, and those little stretchy things they wrap around your arm tourniquet-style to make the vein pop up for an IV...well those little suckers will really fly across the room if you pull back on them really good.

But enough about me and my fun. This is about my wife, huh? Cause she was the one laying on the bed. And since she went in reporting massive vomiting, they immediately gave her an anti-nausea medication. It stopped the urge almost immediately. And then, since she had been awake all night, she fell asleep and slept for most of the eight hours we were there.

And if they solved the problem right away, why did we stay so long? Well it wasn't cause the food was good! Apparently they wanted to figure out why she was throwing up. Picky, picky. So she slept...and periodically had someone take an x-ray or do an ultrasound or take a blood sample.

And the result of all that? They don't know! Their guess (gee, isn't it nice when the doctor only has a theory?!?!) is that she had a reaction to one of the anti-surgery medications they gave her. But did they change any of those? Nope. Just gave her some anti-nausea medication to take at home and sent us on our way.

After eight hours. I did say it took eight hours, right?

And today? She seems just fine. No throwing up. No pain from the surgery. Still sleepy from the medications. But basically it seems like the recovery is back on track.

Now...which parts of this story are fact and which are fiction?

Sadly, all of it is fact.

20 comments:

Jenster said...

How very lame for both of you! Glad she's back on track, though. And it's nice you can entertain yourself anywhere.

Big Brother said...

Glad that Mrs. NFMC is feeling better. We had something happen like that in England where Mrs. BB was admitted to hospital after having been hit by a car. Her wrist was badly broken and they gave her an IV pain killer, because the pain was excruciating (side effect of another medication she had been taking), except we didn't know that she was allergic to opiates so vomiting, disorientation, more pain. Got rather scary there for a while, but they finally figured it out and things got better.

TK Kerouac said...

24 hours flu?

Jocelyn said...

Won't you be the most appreciative person ever when you get a long stretch of boring, do-nothing days?

The image of you clipping that thing onto the sheet is killing me.

barefoot gardener said...

Hehe...I think Mrs. NFMC and I need to get together. I did the same thing to Mr. Barefoot before my gallbladder came out.

3am: "Oh, honey, we need to go in...the pain is sooooo bad!" Get to the hospital, get pain meds, go to sleep while hubby sits in the emergency room for 8-9 hours with me waiting for them to say "yup, it was another gallbladder attack" before driving my stoned butt home again.

Ah, good times.

At least in our situation there was some scary crazy dude just across the hall from us (under police guard, no less) who struck up a conversation with Mr. Barefoot and kept him entertained while I slept. He didn't have to resort to playing with the equipment that time.

Jazz said...

Glad she's feeling better. And you managed to discover that the sheet has an oxygen content of 60. You taught us all something usefu... well, totally useless actually.

charlotta-love said...

You flung the blood pressure monitor? Oh, that makes me smile. I hope you and Ms NFMC both recover: you from boredom and Ms NFMC from the theory.

Mysti said...

They are so good at giving medication to mask the side affects of other medications aren't they? Shesh! Big hugs Em. It's a shame you are all going through such a bad year.. So much for my "it only comes in threes" theory right?

whimsical brainpan said...

That sucks big time! To spend eight fun filled hours in an ER and walk away with no answers... I think that actually might be a circle in hell.

I'm glad she is feeling better.

Pendullum said...

Hope she is well on the way to a full recovery...
I always believe you need a buddy system when dealing with hospitals... You should never ever go in alone...Always,always have a back up, and someone to help you decipher what the heck the doctors have just told you to do...

MaryB said...

Oh, gee, em - what an ordeal! Here's hoping everything stays down and she's on the road to recovery.

Thomas said...

The anti vomitting stuff knocked her out. It is yummy and a great sleep aide. I have a bottle of them on hand at home. Pop one and you no longer want to vomit or stay away. I guess the two go together.

Glad to hear she is doing better.

TV

VioletSky said...

Oh Em, sorry about the recent set back. Sounds rather unpleasant for her (until the sleeping).
Glad to see you were able to amuse yourself - it never occurred to me to play with that oxygen monitor.

btw cotton BREATHES, dontcha know!

VioletSky said...

and I just noticed ... thanks for including me in your love to read list!
Sanna

Anette said...

You know, maybe there was a nurse somewhere who sat watching(half asleep) a long strip of paper, that showed(if she had been awake she had seen it)these weird changes of pulse, oxygen level and so on! They're supposed to keep an eye om machines like that aren't they? Your positive approache to this extreme dull-ness really impressed me!

becky68 said...

Wow- a lot has happened since I've been here- my condolences on your mother & I hope your wife is feeling better.
Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier- Re: your comment there- we mommy bloggers need a life too you know!

Chelle said...

Oh man.....don't you just LOVE the ER!!?? Not!! lol Though it sounds like you are a fun one to hang out there with....lol I always blow up the gloves and bounce them around like balloons....hehe Hey...we have to amuse ourselves somehow, eh? :)

I am glad that your wife is starting to feel better (and at least not vomiting anymore!!) Full recovery ahead!!

Kati said...

*snort* Dontcha just "love" hospitals?!?!?! It's always "hurry up and..... wait" with those folks!

Sorry it was such a dull 8 hours for you. And I'm sorry Mrs. NFMC was feeling poorly enough that she needed to return to the hospital. I hope the anti-nausea meds do the trick and she can continue her recovery in peace.

Winston said...

Oh, the wonders of modern medical technology! We will now spend 8 hours running $7,000 of tests that will help us to make a better guess.

Hope she's all better now...

Gretchen said...

Gall bladder surgery and it's after effects suck. But, I'm so glad your wife is feeling better. I read a little of your previous posts, too. You're absolutely right to give yourself the time to process all these hard things before feeling like you need to blog. I hope the 2nd half of this year brings you much joy and peace.

gretchen