Tag Archives: ER

So, What Do You Do For Fun?

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Woke up and the pipes were frozen. So, I throw on my coat and my daughter’s faux Uggs and walk out the back door, down the ice covered stairs, over the Mountain of Snow And Random Garbage That Spilled From A Bag Back In November and into the basement. I looked around for leaks and saw none. I gingerly opened the door to the Random Animal Morgue (never have I found an actual dead animal body in this room but it seems like it would be a perfect place for an animal morgue) to check the furnace and the water heater. Everything looks normal. Well, excluding me. I look like a freak. And then I notice the window…the only window in the Animal Morgue…it’s open. I walk over to inspect the situation and find the window pane on the floor, unbroken. Very odd. The window had been nailed in. This is the first time in my day that I wish I had a partner to turn to and discuss the weirdness with. I don’t have a partner but I do have an imagination so I just talk to myself about the strange situation…which I am guessing is also the reason I don’t have a partner? Paradoxical right?

I put the window pane back in, go upstairs and get the space heater, bring that into the Animal Morgue, plug it in, shut the door and say a prayer. My prayer went something like “Dear God, please let that work because it is 6am and I have so much to do today and ya know, I have already done the frozen pipes thing TWICE this year so…I’m pretty sure I have met the quota. Thanks. Bye” I walked out of the basement and forgot to duck (because the basement door is slightly shorter than I am) and slammed my head on the frame. Hard. I guess I deserved that. Because…..yeah.

I came inside and went upstairs to get ready for my day. No way am I going to let some frozen pipes and a slight concussion stop ME from living my life! And then the dog poops on the rug. It is now 6:15am and I have dealt with so much, just, so much. But I’m not going to let a little dog poop get me down! No sir!!

I’ll skip the rest of the day part except to tell you that about 8am I started having the most massive, unusual stomach pain I have ever experienced. Not cramps, more like a tennis ball with razor blades rolling around my body cavity. It was INTENSE!!! Every 15 minutes or so I would stop what I was doing and grimace in pain, sweat, cry and then it would pass only to come back as if I had swallowed  some demented Serena Williams and she was living in my abdomen batting around a razor blade tennis ball. Get out of my abdomen Serena Williams!

And then I made the first good decision of the day and I went to the ER. No one was there so I was waited on immediately. That never happens. Remember that time I sliced off the tip of my finger and they made us wait for like 3 hours with my poor daughter holding the severed tip on a paper towel. Ew. The Dr came in and asked if I was pregnant or the Virgin Mary. Neither. Odd question. After a few more questions like ” What’s your favorite color” and ” What classic movie character are you” he ran some blood tests and ordered a CT Scan. The best part of the CT scan is the contrast dye. Contrast dye makes me giggle. Only veterans of the CT scan will know why.

While I was downstairs giggling about the contrast dye, they moved a drunk guy into my room. Now, it wasn’t MY room per say. Just…I was there first…so, I claimed it as mine. Drunk guy didn’t care. He just wanted a samich. As I waited for my Dr to come back and tell me all they found on the CT was a giant fart and I was being a big baby, Drunk Guy went into the Spouting Off Profound Shit part of his drunk and said “It’s fun being crazy but it’s not fun being insane” And just as I was about to agree and meditate on that he said ” Unicorns are what’s killing our economy. If the people would stop feeding the unicorns we would all be better off. This ain’t China ya know. We don’t get to only have ONE baby.” Cue my doctor coming around the corner with a diagnoses for me. It wasn’t just a giant fart as I had both hoped and feared. It is a massive bladder infection. I had put all my money on gallbladder. Now I am broke because I lost AND I have a bladder infection. What a way to end the day. They shoot me up and give me pills, tell me I will feel shittier before I feel better and send me out the door. Drunk Guy blew me a kiss and then gave me the finger. I thought that was an appropriate send off. Here’s a picture of the tube thingy sticking out of my arm.

bloody tube arm

Dear Diary, My Friends Are Jealous

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No, seriously, they are. Which I think is stupid but hey…I guess since they know all of the intimate details of my life they must feel like they are lacking or something. Anyway, let me tell you about my week…so I can make the rest of you feel jealous…Started out with my desk top dying. I know I know, first world probs…whatev. Put it in context. The context is I LIVE IN A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY. Believe me, if I was in West Africa this whole blog would be about Ebola, if I was in the Middle East it would be all about war and if I was in Scotland, it would be about how stupid my countrymen are. But I live here so…

Follow up the desk top dying with the bathroom sink deciding that it wanted new pipes. It didn’t consult with me before it made this decision, just went ahead and started leaking. So, the plumber came and cut away part of my kitchen ceiling, told me there was some sort of nest near the pipes and he would be back next week. Let’s keep track…that’s a dead computer, a leaking bathroom sink necessitating removal of the kitchen ceiling and discovery of a nest that has now been disturbed and is directly above the hole. So far so good. Jealous yet? Oh, did I mention that my debit card number was stolen and my checking account cleaned out? Yes well, what can I say? I’m just luckier than you..

I had a few days respite. Mainly because I had no money. I just sat in my kitchen, below the hole, with a shotgun awaitin fer that dern animal to show it’s furry little face. Ok, I’m exaggerating. I didn’t have a shot gun. I had a tennis racket. And iffen that animal pokes it’s head outta that there hole I’ma whoop it square inatween it’s eyes and cook it fer dinner. That part I am serious about. We’re hungry.

Next up, I decided to make dinner. I decided on potatoes. I took out my mandolin and played the theme from Deliverance. Just kidding. A mandolin is a kitchen aid that slices stuff with a wicked sharp blade. It is tilted at an angle and you slide whatever it is you need sliced back and forth and it makes uniform slices. It comes with this handy little tool that stabs the vegetable so that your hands stay safe and far away from the very sharp blade. But I rarely use the handy little tool. Because, duh. So, I was sliding the potato and it was slicing nicely and then….the potato slipped.

And I sliced off a chunk of my middle finger. Now, I have done things like this before so I walked over to the sink to run my finger under water and I saw bone. Yup. You’re turning green with jealousy now aren’t you? So, I scream for my kid who takes her time because she think I am yelling for her because the dog pooped or something and she is going to have to clean it up. Now there I stand with a good chunk of my finger missing, blood everywhere and the kid just meandering down the stairs la tee da….I scream ” GET THE DOG WE HAVE TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM NOW!” I swear I have never seen a teenager move so fast. She chased the dog into his crate and came running back. I was already in the car. As she came out the door it occurred to me that I might need the missing chunk which was laying somewhere in the pile of potato slices.

I yelled for my kid to find the chunk of finger in case it needed to be reattached and grab a Coke out of the fridge as I hadn’t eaten all day and I was feeling a little woosey and the ER is about 25 minutes away. She didn’t even question it. Just turned around, found my finger chunk, grabbed a Coke and ran to the car. What followed was 25 minutes of me driving, singing, swearing and laughing at the absurdity of it all. My kid sat in the passenger seat, supporting my arm so my finger stayed above my head and watching me for any signs that I might be passing out from loss of blood.

We got to the ER and waited. It wasn’t crowded. Just 2 people ahead of me. The triage nurse asked me all of the usual questions and then didn’t believe me when I said I have never had a surgery. No idea why she didn’t believe me but she sat there stunned and then said “Are you sure?” Um…yeah…pretty sure I would remember having a surgery or at least someone would have told me or I would have had a scar or…wait….maybe I HAVE had a surgery…maybe this nurse who I have never met before in my life is right…I mean, she IS a nurse and I am just some lady with a chopped off finger chunk, a dead computer, a leaking bathroom and some sort of critter living in my ceiling hole. What do I know? Maybe she was just jealous.They finally took me back to the exam room and the nurse said something no one wants to hear when going into an ER ” It’s a little messy in here”. The Doctor came in. He was very funny. He looked at the finger chunk my kid had so thoughtfully brought along and held the whole time because it grossed me out to even think about it. He said we could make a necklace out of it if we wanted but it wasn’t going back where it came from. He ripped off the paper towel and made my kid look at my wound as he said ” YOU should have been slicing the potatoes!” Then he bandaged me up while I sat there making ugly faces and singing “This is the grossest thing that has ever happened to me and I am so grossed out cause this is gross gross me out the door grossey gross gross…” It was a pretty good song.

The Doctor asked me all the usual questions : chest pain? no. throat pain? no. diabetus? no. allergies? no. surgery? no. And he paused…surgery? no. None? no. Ever? no…What the heck? Maybe I need surgery for something? I mean, now that you mention it, my gallbladder has been feeling sort of off now and then…will that make my finger stop hurting? Medical professionals are weird.

He left. We sat there waiting for the nurse to come back to see if I had changed my mind about having had surgery in the past. I stuck by my original answer of no, no surgeries and they let me go. I left my finger chunk on the tray in case they needed it for someone else. I’m generous like that.

So, my darling friends, if you weren’t jealous of my fabulous life before I know you are now. Also, I typed this whole post with just my left hand. It took HOURS. All so you can envy me. You want to be me. And here are some pictures for you to drool over…

In the waiting room...holding the finger chunk in what shall hence forth be referred to as my Good Hand

In the waiting room…holding the finger chunk in what shall hence forth be referred to as my Good Hand

The Finger Chunk

The Finger Chunk

Lookit ma finger!!!!

Lookit ma finger!!!!

No for real, this face makes my finger feel better

No for real, this face makes my finger feel better

This is my

This is my “does this bandage make my finger look fat” face…

Ask me if I have had surgery in the past again...go ahead...ASK ME.

Ask me if I have had surgery in the past again…go ahead…ASK ME.

What I Did On My Spring Vacation

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After the drugs kicked in...

Any of you who have read my previous posts where I tell you about my fun and relaxing vacations are obviously reading the wrong blog…because I have never had a fun and relaxing vacation. Ever. My vacations are filled with stress, anger, fear and vomit. That’s MY idea of a good time! This year, despite my recognized and accepted fear of flying, I decided to fly the kids and myself to Florida to visit the Mecca For The Modern American Family, Disney World.

This isn’t our first time. I went as a kid and have been back twice more with my own children. I like Disney. It isn’t an obsession or anything. I appreciate it for what it is, the iconic nature of the place that was built for families. But my idea of a great vacation would be to rent a house in Martha’s Vineyard and shop and eat in small, exclusive, upscale places and read on the beach. But I have kids, so I felt the pull…Disney it is. But, I am a single mother and I just can’t see driving from New York to Florida with a 13 year old and a 9 year old.

I tried the train, which would have taken about 24 hours and doesn’t leave the ground, but it was booked. I thought about the bus as I had taken the bus to and from Texas and Philadelphia and Chicago when I was a wild and crazy teen. The bus would have taken about 28 hours and I remembered how the smelly, weird, drooling guy ALWAYS sought me out, sat next to me and then fell asleep on my shoulder. Not only do I have NO patience for the smelly, weird, drooling guy anymore, but I didn’t want to subject my kids to him either. Because in my experience there is a smelly, weird, drooling guy on every bus. So, no to the bus. I tried to talk my neighbor into driving with me but that was a no go also….which leaves me with the last resort: flying. Shit.

The last time we went to Disney we flew and it was the first time I was aware that I was terrified of flying. Prior to that trip, I knew I wasn’t a huge fan of flying but I would take a Dramamine and usually sleep. That last time I flew I had a panic attack for the 2 and a half hours we were in the air. I took about 10 Dramamine while in flight, which did nothing for me, until we landed and I basically passed out on the ride home. This time I knew I needed to be better prepared with stronger medication. I called my doctor.

She prescribed me 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills which sent me into a panic attack. Because it was only 6. I know how my vacations go. I was anticipating a week-long panic attack and 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills weren’t going to cover it. So, I wrung my hands and creased my forehead for 3 days and then called and exposed my crazy to my doctor and asked for at least 6 more. She listened to my logic and called in 6 more. Honestly, if my doctor could live inside my body for just one day she would burn thru her prescription pad writing out all sorts of meds I have no doubt.

And so the day came  to take myself and my two kids to the airport. I have read thru all the new rules and regulations, I have reaquainted myself with all my meditation techniques to relax, I was concentrating on the fun we would have once we got there. I know how to do this stuff but it is a Don Quixote sitch in my brain. The Don Quixote where he is going full tilt at the windmill but with a toothbrush…? Anyway, we are there waiting for the required 15 hours before the flight takes off. Ya know, 15 hours to sit and get nice and worked up with fear and anxiety. I took my calmthehelldownyouspaz pill  an hour before we were to take off. And it did nothing. Not. A. Thing. My panic was escalating by the second. The kids were doing their best to act as if all was right in the world, playing with their Nintendo, listening to their iPod, giving me sideways glances to see if my head would actually explode. I decided to kill some time and distract myself with a potty break. Good idea.

Except that being in the bathroom made me think of throwing up. I didn’t want to throw up. So I got the hell out of the bathroom. But the seed was planted and I began to notice that I felt sick to my stomach. Dramamine! My old friend! I popped two Dramamine and waited. Half hour later we had to do another potty run. That damn bathroom…despite the calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and the Dramamine, I totally puked. Now I KNOW it’s a vacation!

We go back to the boarding area to wait some more and then we board the damn plane. I immediately check for barf bags. None. WHAT??? I flag the flight attendant and ask for one. I also give her a heads up that I am probably going to be her “annoying” passenger on this flight because I am not a good flyer. To her credit, she smiled, brought me a handful of barf bags, some plastic bags and a ginger ale with a smile. Just before we started taxi-ing I turned to my kids and said “I don’t think I can do this.” and they, being 9 and 13 said ” I think you can mom!” And just as I was about to stand up and run off the plane we started moving and I knew it was too late. I popped another calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and 2 more Dramamine, said a prayer, and tried to find something to watch on the tv while I ignored the safety instructions about what to do if we were about to die…I mean crash (same thing).

All of the sudden, I felt numb. Like mentally. Like it didn’t really matter that we were in a plane, flying above the clouds. It was totally fine and if we crashed then oh well. My 13 yr old, on the other hand, came to a very sudden realization that she didn’t like flying! thru her tears she downed a couple of Dramamine while I held her hand and tried to get my “whatever” state of mind to rub off on her. What would a vacation be if it didn’t involve crying and panic and vomit? Well, it would be not MY vacation that’s for sure!!!

Come to find out the 9 yr old has a problem with landing. She didn’t cry but she squeezed my hand so hard and tried to make everyone around us be quiet and still. We really are a fun family huh? But we made it. I casually mention to the kids that we could always take the bus home…

After that beginning you would think that things could only get better right? Except that this is me we are talking about. Ofcourse I am on an antibiotic that says right on the bottle “avoid direct prolonged sun exposure” and ofcourse I am in Florida in April and the weather is completely perfect, sunny, 80’s beautiful. Now, I didn’t notice the STAY OUT OF THE SUN warning on the bottle of pills. I was just amazed that we were lucking out with the weather. Because this was my vacation, I just assumed it would be the first record snowfall in Florida in April ever and packed accordingly. We had jeans and long sleeve tee shirts. We all had 2 pairs of shorts and 2 tee shirts. So, we did some shopping. Hey… the weather is nice, we get to shop for new clothes…this has GOT to be someone else’s vacation…

Day One...survived the plane ride, the weather is perfect...who's vacation is this???

Day One we shopped. Day Two we did The Magic Kingdom. It was awesome! The sun was shining, the lines weren’t very long, the sun was shining. I got a bit of a burn but nothing bad. Day Three dawns just as sunny and warm and we head off to Animal Kingdom. I wasn’t feeling great and the places where the sun had burned my skin were feeling very prickly. Like needles under my skin but itchy also. I stopped taking the antibiotic that day after I read the sun warning and I grabbed some Benadryl from the gift shop just incase. I have taken enough vacations to know that if it is gonna happen, it’s gonna be bad. Later that day we went to Hollywood Studios. By that time I had purchased a black umbrella (because that is all they had) and was walking around like I was Michael Jackson, trying to stay covered. My mood was deteriorating rapidly although I was trying so hard to stay happy in the happiest place on earth for the sake of the kids. We went back to the resort and once night fell I started feeling a bit better. The kids joined a Wii competition,we swam and I took some Benadryl. All the other parents were having a drink and here I was pounding the Benadryl, praying that I didn’t wake up with hives. I didn’t wake up with hives. I woke up with my entire body tingling like it was on fire from the inside out. But what do I do? take some more Benadryl and head off to Epcot as it is our last day…and I love Epcot.

We got thru 3 rides and my lips started to swell. And as hip as swollen lips are, I knew it was a bad sign. So I get the kids, we go back to the resort and I call the front desk to try to figure out how I get help before the swelling travels to my throat. The front desk lady helpfully called me a cab to take me to Celebration ER. The kids and I pile into the cab and I feel like I want to die except I can’t cause I have a zillion needles under my skin trying to poke their way out and I have the kids who would be so bummed if I died at Disney World.

We walked into a hospital the likes of which I have never encountered. It was nicer than our resort. I said allergic reaction and I was immediately whisked away to  triage. I was put into a room that had doors and tv and a private bathroom. The last time I went to the ER in NY where I live, I was stuck on a cot in the hallway and the only entertainment was a drunk, crazy guy who was spitting on the cops and hitting on me. Celebration ER is paradise! They dose me up with steroids and pepcid and fluids and the Doctor tells me I do have hives but they are internal and on every nerve ending in my body. Leave it to me to have a unique allergic reaction while on vacation! Don’t be jealous.

The nurses were so nice and after 3 hours asked if I felt ready to leave, that I could stay as long as I wanted…what??? But I knew my kids were getting bored, ya know, after the excitement of having their mother almost drop dead and all…and I opted to go back to the resort and let the kids swim. The Doctor gave me strict orders to stay out of the sun, a prescription for more steroids and 2 epi pens because now I am apparently going to be allergic to bees also. Good to know.

We went back and the kids swam while I slept and then packed.

Oh crap. we have to FLY home?!?

Day Five we went to Downtown Disney and shopped like the girls we are. Had a lovely lunch and grabbed the resort bus to the airport. Oh damn it. We had to fly home!!! In all of the excitement of almost dying, I totally forgot that all three of us had serious issues with the whole plane thing. Great. Three calmthehelldownyouspaz pills for me, Dramamine for the kids and we are off! The flight went well except that it was packed and my 13 yr old wound up sitting with two young girls who tried in vain to comfort her as we took off. But all in all, it was an incredible vacation! I mean obviously right?