Print Story No, today is day six.
By blixco (Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:54:24 PM EST) (all tags)
And this morning once I could walk, I went to the ER.

Now, I'm not one to call an ambulance if I'm not in a life threatening situation. So after lying on the floor trying to do enough McKenzie exercises to live, I managed to get back up and get to my car.

My car is low to the ground and tough to swing in to. I'd forgotten how everything works when you're in that sort of pain, all the strange little things to avoid pain. It wasn't any fun re-learning those lessons. I drove to the ER and checked myself in.

When you're walking like someone is poking a large superheated steel rod into your ass, you tend to attract attention. When you do this on the way to an emergency room, you tend to get these sideways glances, or these horrified looks. I was walking as though my hips held a bomb, gingerly limping to the front desk.

Once through the sign-in procedure they fast tracked me to the first bed available. I try not to exaggerate when I talk about pain. They asked me to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, I told them it was a 9. "A nine would be excruciating," the nurse said. "Well," I said, "I've had a ten once. This is close. I'm shaking, nauseated, and can't really move."

"Let's say it's a ten," he told me after I tried to follow him to the room. I was locked up, gasping. Stupid back.

The ER was hopping. The guy in the room next to me had been thrown from his horse. "Got-damn thing just up and got-damn threw me, then stepped on my got-damned ingrown toenail." He was more concerned about his toenail than the rest of it, which ended up being a separated shoulder, a broken wrist, a broken arm, and a broken toe.

The lady on the other side of my room was talking to her dead grandmother. She'd started taking some new parkinsons drug and the cops had found her standing on Parmer Lane in her housecoat talking to a pole. She'd apparently dehydrated in the process.

A life flight helicopter landed while I was there and brought with it a screaming patient, someone who'd been in a major wreck south of the hospital. They had to tranquilize him (I could swear one of the doctors called for dilaudid) and it took a while for his screaming to stop.

By then I was felling pretty goddamn stupid about taking a bed in an ER. I mean, if there were some way for me to see a doc, get the drugs that I knew I needed, and go away I totally would have.

They X-rayed my back right after the helicopter guy quieted to a whimper. The X-ray tech laughed at the ridiculously short gown they'd given me, and got me a larger one. She offered to hold up sheet while I changed out of the smaller one, which was nice of her but, hey, by then she'd seen all there was to see (why do you have to strip down to skivvies for an X-ray anyway?).

X-rays were clean, though my spine was curved to the left just like the old days...the straightest I could get.

Back in the ER bed listening to the various dramas playing out. The tired yet professional and still very personable nurses, the outgoing and happy doctor, and the impatient patients. I lay staring at the fluorescent light waiting to be discharged, trying not to twitch. One of the nurses, after an exceedingly long triage interview of an addled patient, told another nurse "You can always tell when you need to call the psych ward." The other nurse replied in the affirmative, saying "this morning one guy told me his entire history from birth. He was the king of Bavaria, apparently."

Two rooms down, a patient went code. Everyone snapped to it, and they did what they could. They wheeled him to the trauma ward one door down.

Twenty minutes later, I was out the door with my drug scripts and a note telling me not to go to work or class for three days. I was feeling lucky to only be in pain. This pain thing, it can be fixed eventually. I can still breathe.  I can still function.

Today is a good day.

< Around me arose the lamentations of grief stricken girls | Poem of the Day: "I have often imagined that glances" by Valerio Magrelli >
No, today is day six. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)
Wow. by reza (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 04:50:41 PM EST
It's funny how a day like that can really change our perspective on things.

/gentle hugs/

Hope the scripts and the rest help.

" Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind do not matter, and those who matter do not mind!" Dr. Seuss

Well, that was obviously a bullshit story. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #2 Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:03:16 PM EST
I was the king of Bavaria.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

And someday, by mrgoat (4.00 / 2) #17 Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:01:47 AM EST
You'll need medical treatment, and they'll send you to the psych ward instead.

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
Jolly good. by bruno (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:20:27 PM EST
Glad to hear you're up and about cruising the town and doing drugs again. 

Hell, that hospital visit sounds almost pleasant for you.  Our last week or so was like living in a torture chamber.  You're a lucky lucky man.

Seriously though, I'm glad you're not in pain.  I hope some how some way this gets fixed.

I hope you get fixed up quickly. by grendel (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:26:56 PM EST
Take care of yourself and let me know if I can do anything.

Good by Pasofol (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:38:13 AM EST
to hear you feel somewhat better even if it is the drugs.  Nice post.

Oh man. by ana (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:33:24 AM EST
9 is a good day, eh?

Glad you're ambulatory, at least, and have the drugs you need. Hope you won't need them much longer.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

dude... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:02:54 AM EST

so for the record by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:50:12 AM EST
no more bizarre autoerotic games while laurea is away ;)

dude by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 07:31:53 AM EST
take care of yourself, please.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
Did you have surgery yet? If not, do so. by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:42:26 AM EST
It is truly life changing. I haven't had significant trouble since then. And nurses stopped asking me: "Can you still control your bowels and bladder?"

I had surgery by blixco (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:48:34 AM EST
two years ago.

This is either a new disk or a relapse.  I have so much shit coming up at work and with travel that I can't afford any downtime, so after I get back I'll schedule with my neurosurgeon and we'll get this done.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Jeeze! I didn't remember. Good luck. by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #12 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:36:07 AM EST
I actually kind of hope it's a new one instead of a relapse. You'll have more options if that's the case. I had (as you may recall) both L3-L4 and L4-L5 done at the same time - with the surgeon picking bits of disk out of the spinal dura, where they'd almost worn through - 12 years ago now. My new problems are C4-C5 and C5-C6, which are much easier to deal with both in terms of pain management and correcting them through exercise.

At any rate, good luck my friend.

[ Parent ]
Please see the doctor first by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #14 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:32:35 PM EST
an acquaintance had a bad back that kept going out. One time it went out and didn't come back. Now he's paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Don't be that guy.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
I'm working on getting an appointment, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #15 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 06:31:05 PM EST
but i have a shedload of things that interfere with that. The list is long, and annoying because it all has to happen during work hours, and I cannot take time off until after next week.

This could have happened at a worse time, I guess.  Like, say, the 5th of July, when I'm scheduled to fly out to VA.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
There is nothing by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #16 Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:18:45 AM EST
more important than your health. Without that you have nothing.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Ow, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:57:31 AM EST
And totally worth calling an ambulance for, IMHO.

Good luck.

No, today is day six. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)