Well, I made it 29 and a half years without having to visit the Emergency Room. I think that’s pretty good and I hope to make it at least another 29 years before I have to go back. Hospitals are no fun.
This story is going to involve a lot of female-related vocabulary and discussion. You have been warned.
Earlier this afternoon, after a morning of lazing around in pajamas and eating breakfast in bed, I started having terrible stomach pains. I always get really bad cramps before my period, and I thought that might be what this was, but it wasn’t the right time of month for that. Then I thought it was horrible indigestion, so I took some medicine. Then I freaked out and figured it was appendicitis. Then I thought maybe it was kidney stones. My mind was all over the place. I couldn’t sit down. I couldn’t really walk. I ended up on the floor on my knees, head down, butt up in the air. It was the only position that was mildly comfortable. By the time it got this bad, I was crying and couldn’t speak.
PJ had been trying to help me, but there wasn’t really anything he could do. He started Googling stuff and decided we should go to the ER. He got up to get dressed. I opted to stay on the floor instead of trying to put on clothes. He wondered for a minute if we should take the bus, but I vetoed that plan. I didn’t even want to go to the hospital, and if we absolutely had to go, I sure as heck wasn’t taking a bus there. Plus, I couldn’t walk or stand up straight by this point, which are both helpful motor skills to have when riding a bus. Also, both my arms had gone tingly. This was getting kind of scary.
We got to the ER with no issue other than traffic, which was surprisingly bad for a Sunday afternoon. We had no idea what to do with the car, so we just left it in front of the door and then walked inside. PJ realized there was valet parking, and gave the keys to someone wearing a vest who he hoped was hospital staff. I checked in with a lady at a desk and then we waited. It luckily didn’t take long. We spoke to a nurse and ended up in a room with a gown on the bed that I needed to put on. That’s when it finally hit me that I was out in public in leggings, rain boots, and a flannel pajama shirt. Oops. This was also where the complete awkwardness began. I first put the gown on with the opening in the front, because that’s how they always tell me to put it on at my yearly physical. PJ thought the opening should be in the back. I think I changed it three times. PJ took some very unflattering pictures. Once I finally settled on the gown (opening in the back), my nurse, Pamela walked in. She took one look at me and said “You don’t look so hot, girlfriend.” That’s the first time I thought something might actually be wrong. Until then, I had been trying to convince myself it was just something I ate. “You look really pale,” Pamela continued. “Oh, that’s normal,” I tried to kid. Then PJ said that I actually was really pale. Oh.
Pamela put in an IV and drew some blood and asked me a bunch of questions and left. A doctor came in and asked me more questions and told me it sounded like I might have ovarian torsion, which sounded like the scariest thing ever. He said I’d need an exam and an ultrasound and that he’d go get a nurse. Then, another doctor came in and started asking all the same questions. I informed him my exam was already scheduled, and he got confused, until he realized that someone had already been in to see me. I was glad two doctors had been in to see me instead of one. At least they were being thorough. The first doctor came back and performed the exam. Pamela brought in a pee cup and I swear she said “If you have to pee, here’s a cup…” and then she walked out. I looked at PJ, confused. “If I have to pee? Am I supposed to give a urine sample?” “I don’t know. Probably.” I stood around with the cup in my hand, trying to decide what to do, when the guy with a wheelchair came to bring me to my ultrasound. “Am I supposed to do this?” I asked the poor guy, holding out my cup. He checked with the nurses, and a different nurse came in to check on me and told me to give a sample and leave it in my room.
I went to the bathroom, did the whole pee-in-a-cup thing, and then stood there again. Had she said “leave the cup in your room” or “leave the cup in the room”? I opened the door and the transport guy was there waiting for me. He ended up bringing the cup full of my pee into my room for me because I was standing there like an idiot. It was SO AWKWARD.
So, I finally got in the wheelchair and we went on what felt like a mile long trek through the hospital to the ultrasound. That was pretty uneventful. The ultrasound tech was really nice. When my ultrasound was done (I had to have both external and internal exams- yuck) she brought me back out to wait with PJ. There was swimming on the TV and the room was cold. We waited for like 20 minutes before the transport guy came back for us, and then we were off back to the room. I did not like being pushed around in a wheelchair. I totally could have walked at that point.
We got back and sat listening to the nurses discussing cases at the nursing station. Apparently someone had tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and some other drug. Yikes. A woman in another room began moaning, LOUDLY, and we both really wanted to get out of there. The doctors on duty discussed my test results standing outside my door, so we totally heard them before one of them came in to officially give them to us. I found that slightly unprofessional. Anyway, turns out I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured and I currently have another unruptured one and I’ve probably had them in the past. Fun times. I was prescribed bed rest, pain killers, and a heating pad. I’m glad it wasn’t something more serious and that I finally know why I get killer cramps every month.
Someone finally came in to take out my IV (which took a while because apparently the adhesive REALLY liked my skin and just didn’t want to let go), I got to put my embarrassing outfit back on, and we got to go see if the car was still there (it was).
Oh, my discharge sheet also said I shouldn’t overexert myself until the pain goes away. I plan to milk that for as long as I can. I already got to have dinner and ice cream served to me in bed.
Song of the Day: Hospital Beds by Florence + The Machine