After spending the last 2 days in an E.R observation room, my Pain Scale has been completely redefined. Here is my story of survival.
Friday morning I woke up with some odd abdominal pain. The kind that finds you sweaty, dizzy and naked on a toilet. I made a few attempts to leave for work and couldn’t, so I finally called to ask Vern what she thought I should do.
I will never call Vern if I am sweaty, dizzy and naked on a toilet. Ever again.
Vern rushed over and picked me up and took me to the E.R. We thought it was possible I could be having appendicitis – which would not be something to sit around and think about. I was so anxious the whole way over that I’d fart or something and all my pain would go away before we got there. That would be my luck.
I arrived at 11am Friday and wasn’t released until 3:30pm on Saturday. I hadn’t had anything to eat since 8pm on Thursday. They don’t let you EAT OR DRINK anything if they think they may have to take you in for surgery – so that basically meant that come 2pm on Saturday when they were still trying to come up with more tests to run on me – I was on my 43rd HOUR of NOTHING TO EAT. Do you have any idea what kind of headache you get when you don’t get food for 43HOURS? Pissy doesn’t even come close.
So for my first pain threshold marker…I give you STARVATION. It is an 8.
Drinking barium for a CT scan? Not nearly as bad as I expected. Had I known how the next 24 hours were going to go, I might have actually ENJOYED IT. It is a 1.
CT Scan? Easy peasy. 0.
Starting an IV line? Well, if you have deep rolling veins this can be a most unpleasant experience. I had a rookie give two attempts at this after which he nearly had me come off the bed. Nurse #2 got it on her first try and Vern was actually SWEATING watching this. I cried. I yelled. Bloodwork revealed my white cell count was way up. I had a temperature of 100.5. Not a happy camper. I give this a 7.
Dilaudid + Tordal? Have you ever been on the GRAVITRON at the fair? I don’t like the sensation of my face melting into my pillow. I give this a 3.
It is almost midnight, I have been at the hospital for 13hours and they aren’t sure if it is appendicitis. They say because I don’t have a lot of fat surrounding my appendix, they can’t tell if there is any inflammation. My lower abdomen is tight, sensitive to the touch.
2 pelvic exams? Awful. I swear the ER doctor reached all the way up into my rib cage looking for my ovaries. Horrible pain up in my parts. I give this a 6.
The surgeon doesn’t want to call the surgery – thinks its gynecological, the Gyno they call in at 11pm is clearly annoyed she’s been called in, and thinks I’m fine. No one has answers. They decide to keep me overnight for observation – thinking if its appendicitis it will get worse. It stayed the same.
I hardly slept all night, I wanted to go home. I was ready to be either cut on, or let go so I could binge on Taco Bell Gorditas.
Day 2 sucked so bad, I can’t even really talk about it. Still. And its been 3 days now since I left the hospital – and that long that I have been working on publishing this post. But who are we kidding? I’m going to go for it anyway…
2 things happened that have earned the new top records for my worst pain ever. Hateful, horrible, things that you wouldn’t wish on nobody. Which is why I have decided I can’t ever get pregnant for I live now in the fear that someone, someday will request a FULL BLADDER SONOGRAM 10 minutes after I have just had my IV LINE removed thinking I am done with TORTURE for the day.
On day 2 they wheel me down for a sonogram – lay me out and lady starts rolling on my belly. “Your bladder’s not full. I need a full bladder.” They send me back. I am crying. I am STARVING. I have a headache like you wouldn’t believe and people EVERYWHERE are drinking COFFEE. I am tired. I want to go home. I FEEL like I have a full bladder, but the hateful sonogram woman says she needs it fuller. Which in my mind means I am going to be bumped out of line and there for another 4 hours before I can get back in for my test. Which means another 4 hours I have to wait for results, so they can tell me I can FREAKING HAVE A CHULUPA.
Problem is – I have asked them to remove THE IV LINE because they put it in the crack of my arm and I couldn’t bend it all night. It hurt bad (a 2 – in hindsight) and I requested they remove it since it didn’t look like I’d be going in for surgery. They did. Since I can no longer get fluids from my IV, and you know whose not allowed to eat OR DRINK? – two nurses come into my room with their heads down and say “Sorry Mrs. Pitts, we have to set you up with a Foley”. They are carrying a box and some equipment…and I burst into tears thinking Foley is their term for another IV LINE. I respond wailing “You better just go get your expert person now, because I’m not going through this again!!!”. They look at me like I am jacked.
Vern shoots me a look like “oh, poor child…she has know idea…”. The nurses ask Zack and Vern to leave and through my tears I can see that I am getting a FLAMING CATHETER.
Having a McDonald’s sized straw shoved in a hole half its size with a BALLOON to be expanded in your bladder so it doesn’t come out? I called for Vern to come back in…it took them forever, I was freaking sweating all over. Crying. Legs trembling like Elvis (I had had this done once in college but it was just to get urine sample..it sucked. But it was only in there for like 10 mins) I was miserable. I wanted to die. They get it in there and I yelled out louder than the woman a few rooms down who had somehow gotten her finger stuck in a blender. In this moment – it is a 10. Little do I know, the 10 is in another room waiting for me. Vern knows about the 10 in that room. Vern also knows that its not really a 10 – its just a 5 – and I might aught to reconsider having 3 children.
The 10 is something I don’t even know if I can talk about. It is pure evil. It trumps every other painful experience in my life. It lasted for about 10 minutes – and it felt like an eternity. It kind makes me tear up just thinking about it.
They have put the catheter in – I am so uncomfortable. I am a sweaty mess. I can’t get any pain meds because I have no FRIGGIN IV! They wheel me back to the sonogram room on my hospital bed. I am IN HELL.
So here is the deal. I have figured that they’ve already somehow filled my bladder with all that tube mess down there and I’m good to go. But not. The tech has to fill it. And she tells me ‘This is going to feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE…and I’m thinking I have NO ENERGY for things uncomfortable at this point. Just kill me now.
This big ol’ mamma says to me…straight up…”now, I’m just gonna tell you right now…this is going to hurt – it ain’t natural for fluid to go up like this, and its going to feel like you have to go real bad”. And I seriously just start crying. Again.
And people – let me tell you. There are no words. There is no comparison. All I can tell you is that what that feels like is something that you just – cannot – bear. That you might explode in pain. I have never sweat so much in my life while she was bearing down on my abdomen while it felt as though 10,000 leagues was being drained into my little bladder. It was wrong. And that is my 10.
If childbirth is an 11 – I’m fuct.
What I have learned from this experience is:
1. A ruptured cyst can mimic the symptoms of appendicitis. And it sucks.
2. IV’s are for drugs and filling bladders the natural way. The ER is full of DRUG INDUCING experiences. THE IV IS YOUR FRIEND. It must not be removed until you are paying your parking fee and driving OUT. I traded a 2 on my pain scale for a 10 – and I will never make that mistake again.
3. The FOLEY is the Antichrist.
*Update. I had a baby. This was mos def WORSE.