Saturday, January 14, 2012

In Which a Trip to the Emergency Room results in Hubby Losing HisCheeseburger

I'm attempting to post this from my phone so if a sentence suddenly makes no sense at all, it's because auto-correct kicked in. Or the pain meds.

Why am I on pain meds, you ask? (and more importantly, will I share? No.)

If you missed the riveting twitter feed Thursday, I'll fill you in. I was in the emergency room for 9 hours.

It started with a doctor visit on Tuesday for back and abdominal pain that started two weeks ago and was just getting worse.

Doc took blood and scheduled some tests. Rather, started the red tape process with insurance company to get the approval to schedule the tests.

2 days later, pain worsening, hubby increasingly more worried, sister telling me I'm being like our aunt who ignored her symptoms and died suddenly from pancreatic cancer, and no word from doctor, hubby tells me we're going to the emergency room.

Hubby leaves work early and stops at doctor's office on way home to see if they had results of blood tests. You see, hubby had his appendix burst at 20 years old, never having had a pain in his appendix at all, and after being told by two emergency rooms that he had the flu. So he may be a tad paranoid when it comes to pains in the midsection.

So paranoid hubby asks doc if white blood cell count is high and if it is, he's taking me to emergency room. Doc has to call lab for results, gets them, and tells hubby to take me to emergency room.

And here is where the story goes awry. If you were hubby, wouldn't you ask, what exactly, in the blood results, would be the reason for our trip to the emergency room? Just so, oh, I don't know, we might be able to tell the ER the reason we are there?

Hubby doesn't ask. Doc doesn't say. Hubby, bless his non-questioning heart, comes home and tells me he's whisking me off to the ER.

Meanwhile, I'm searching for clean undies and clean pants with an elastic waistband that isn't pajamas. Because if I was going to be sitting in a hard chair for hours and hours in an ER, I was damn well going to do it in an elastic waistband.

And for some reason I'm compelled to shave my legs. Only I'm in a hurry because paranoid hubby thinks my appendix is going to burst any moment, so I quickly dry shave my legs.

OMG - the burning!  You know what I'm talking about, right ladies? It burned all friggin' night.

So, we get to the emergency room. Lovely place. This one happened to be especially busy.

So as not to make this post painfully long, I'll just highlight a few things I learned that may help someone else on their next trip to the ER (knock on wood that there are no ER trips in your future):

1. Wear a bra. I thought I would be put in a hospital gown and whisked off for an appendectomy so when I was throwing on clothes, I decided a bra was unnecessary.

But what's the very first test they do? An EKG! You know, the one where you lift your shirt up and they put a bunch of sticky things on your chest, attached to wires? Yeah, it's a bit awkward with no freakin' bra.

2. Don't use the sticky tape things from the EKG to cover your nipples. It's frowned upon.

3. Expect that if you're over 45, they'll do an EKG, because, well, you're old.

4. When in the Multi-gender bathroom, with instructions to pee in a cup, make sure you understand the complexities of the door lock before sitting on the toilet. Sick people apparently don't knock. And you are likely not a pretty sight with legs splayed open, holding the pee cup against your nether regions with one hand and the little wipie packet thing in the other, trying to tear it open with your teeth. Although for some, this could be a turn on. (You know who you are)

5. While in the waiting room, listen to the things the kids say because they provide much comedy relief. Like the little girl who looked about 6 and should have had her own show. She kept telling this other kid he "had a booger." she finally got tired of the subtle approach and just told him, "Look, you got a booger on your face and boy, you need to do something about it!" I envied her directness.

6. Be aware that some people with nothing better to do will hang around hospital emergency rooms and scam others into giving them food. For added effect, they'll even sit in a wheelchair.

I know this now, because after the 3rd hour of waiting, hubby decided to hit a McDonalds for food for him and The Boy (my 21 year old son). He also went home to get me a bra, in case there were anymore tests that might involve me taking my shirt off.

So on my way to the bathroom to put on my bra, wheelchair boy asks if he can have some food. I'm a charitable soul and a bit of a sucker, so I go back to where hubby's sitting and tell him he has to share his food.

Now, normally hubby is kind and generous but something about wheelchair boy struck him as a scammer. He argued a bit about giving up his cheeseburger, but begrudgingly handed it to me.

I return to wheelchair boy, hand him the cheeseburger, and ask if he needs anything else. His answer? "Yeah, the fries."

From that moment on, he was known to us as "The Hamburgler".

For the remaining 6 hours of our ER stay, we would watch Hamburgler ask people who were there with their own sick loved ones to push him here or there, or outside, in his wheelchair. He asked families who were feeding their kids for food or candy, and got some every time. Once, he got out of his wheelchair, walked outside then back in, and sat right back down in it!

I'm still hearing from hubby about how I gave away his cheeseburger to The Hamburgler, and probably will for quite some time.

7. The last thing I learned from this little adventure is if I want information from my doctor, I shouldn't depend on hubby to get it because men just don't ask enough friggin questions! It turns out that the hospital blood tests were fine and the only reason the doc said to go to the ER is because hubby said I was still in pain.

Had I known that, I would have just stayed in my comfy bed in pain, instead spending 9 hours at the ER with Hamburgler, Booger Boy, and Bathroom Perv.

And that, dear reader, is why I'm blogging from my phone and taking pain meds. Thanks for reading this long tale. I hope I didn't bore you. And watch out for Hamburglers.

P.S. While I'm incapacitated, hubby is helping out with household chores. While I'm in the recliner, finishing my blog post, I (helpfully) text him that the laundry load is done. Here's what he texts back:

"Fixing sprinklers, then last 3 strands of xmas lights. Get to laundry shortly. Watch cartoons or something. Don't make me send you back upstairs."

Think he's still mad about the cheeseburger.


Christie Farrar said...

LOL funny. Glad it's only gallstones. Hope you pass them soon. Drink lots of fluids. Hang in there. Hurray for pain meds!

Lori said...

I have to PASS them??? No one said anything about passing anything! Now I'm going to google it. Thanks for your comment - and for freaking me out a little. lol.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight into ER rooms, fortunately I don't have much experience with them but if I do, I'll be sure to look out for hamburglars! FUNNY! Glad you are okay and hope the gallstones clear soon. I heard they're painful. Or is that kidney stones? Anyway, feel better soon!

Tracie said...

Thanks for reminding me to avoid the er at all costs! I'm glad it's "just" gallstones. I had my gall bladder removed years ago and know how painful they are. I thought it was worse than labor pains.

mollydcampbell said...

Your husband must be MY husband's long lost brother. Does he play the accordion, by any chance? Isn't vicodin grand?