So I was supposed to go Lenox, MA this weekend for a book launch party for one Ms. Flowers. That was the plan anyway. Flights and times were not working out and work was completely kicking my ass, so try as I might, it was not meant to be.
One can wait until the last minute to get good flight deals for undersold planes: Albany or Hartford anyone??? But whereas the price was right, I had to fly on a Saturday and Tuesday.
Or, there was the thought of flying from Columbus on Skybus – which is pretty freakin’ cheap. So cheap, in fact, the airline folded over the weekend. Couldn’t you have just seen me driving 2.5 hours to Columbus and not have a flight out? Or worse – no flight home?
But the other backhand of the situation is this: I would have lost my bet regarding Saturday’s post. It was not an allergic reaction or irritants from the peppers. I was and am truly sick.
Enough so that I knew when I woke up this morning I would be making a trip to the Emergency Department. At home my temp was 103F. Crikey! Had I gone to MA, I’d be a cranky, stranded and infectious houseguest.
As Denton getting me ready to go, I told him I needed a clean t-shirt, socks and underwear. He brought me a pair of the latter that really needed to be discarded, so I rejected them. Then he goes – 2xist? I say, ‘oh nooooo. They’re too nice for hospital ware.’. We both laughed. My humour was still intact.
I picked out the rest of my outfit too. Casual and easy to get in and out of. Flannel shirt (nothing to pull over my head – I didn’t have the energy) and Crocs. Oh, and sweat pants. Naturally, all the colours matched. I mean – I AM gay!
For those of you who do not know – in my past lives, I used to manage two emergency departments. Knowing what I know, I called them first to see what the wait time and triage times were – and how many folks sitting waiting to be seen. I mean – I’m not a fool. If I was going to sit somewhere being sick for hours, I’d rather it be at home.
I did find a close (reliable) ED that could get me in right away – no waiting. I suggest you do this if your needs are not critical. Oh – and avoid Mondays in an ED at all costs!
True to their word, they took me right back and almost everyone was really nice: the RN, the PA, the MD. The only cranky one was the registration person when asking for emergency contact info and I said ‘my partner’. I don’t need your fuckin’ silent ‘tude on my life. Not when I’m sick. Not anytime, actually.
So here I am after my paper work was done, my pee was in a cup, my blood was in tubes and my chest x-rays were completed……oh and IV hung. You can see my Crocs and green sweats, along with the fabu bottom half of my hospital gown.
Since Denton didn’t come back right away, I was texting him where I was and what they were doing. We didn’t have any of that nastiness you hear of that if you’re not family you can’t come back. They were doing so much to me, he would have just been in the way.
He asked if I was live-blogging and I said ‘no, but I need to you to take a picture of me.’. I honestly think he was slightly annoyed at that. But hell, I’m lying there for HOURS – what else am I going to do but write my blog in my head?
After all my tests, I just had to lie there and have my IV rehydrate me. Both liters. Due to my temp and lack of fluids, it is no surprise that I was tachycardic – and my resting heart rate was over 110. For the record, even in physical activity, it shouldn’t be above 140. …..and hell, I was just lying there!
Here’s my O2 saturation monitor. It is hard to see, but it has a little red light on my fingertip. I guess I could have done an “Elllllliotttttt” thing, but Denton knows I have never seen ‘ET’ and couldn’t care less about it.
Most of my bloodwork was normal – though my white count was on the high end of normal….like borderline (“c’mon….I even wrote a song about it!”). My chest x-ray came back normal too. My diagnosis: acute bronchitis. I swear they weren’t even going to say what ‘it’ was, if I hadn’t asked.
My background makes me a great resource for hospital care, but I suppose I could be a nightmare patient because I do know so much. T.S.
While I wiled away the hours there, I was just there watching other patients and staff go by – as I asked to keep my curtain open. I was bored. As normal, there were lots of folks just in trying to score pain meds (welcome to Emergency Medicine!) and some lady who was not happy with her pelvic exam (or as she said – ‘you know – down there!’) and went out AMA….I couldn’t hear what her male nurse said to her as she was leaving but she stopped, turned on a dime and said, “oh you did NOT just go there!”. It was the first smile I had all day.
Song by: Rodney Crowell