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16 February 2008

Longest night of my life

I hope y'all had a sweet Valentine's Day. I spent mine feeling poorly, off and on, till the pain hit. Drat! Another gallstone! Well, it should pass after a while and I can go on about my day. Or not!

When Duller called from Jax around 10, I told him I'd be fine, not to worry. When he called back an hour later, I was not fine and he informed me he was coming home. I didn't argue.

He made record time... not so much traffic in the middle of the night... and we headed for the emergency room. 3o miles away. In the next county. Now I can take that sort of thing for an hour or so, but after 16 hours, I was about to tear my hair out. The sign on the wall said patients were seen in order of severity, etc. Since I was the only one writhing in pain... all others were sitting around chatting about eHarmony and such... one would think I wouldn't have long to wait. Think again. I tried sitting, but that was impossible, so I stood leaning against the reception counter, trying my best not to scream. On occasion, I had to slide down a bit and lean forward. I didn't care a whit what anyone else thought. Finally, Duller started squeaking. After a few non-commitals, I went back in the room where the male nurse had taken my info and sat in the only chair that was halfway comfortable. Duller said, 'you can't come in here'. I said, 'watch me.' Well, I hadn't been there 5 minutes before the nurse came in with a needle and a vial of morphine. Aaaahhhhh... OK, now I'll wait patiently. And, since I had just been drugged, I was told to sit in the next triage room, in a nice comfy recliner, where I lightly dozed, off and on, to the sound of crying babies, barfing women and such. We noticed the sun had come up and we were still waiting. Several times, someone came in to take my vitals, giving us hope that we might actually see a doctor before the end of the month. Having someone come in for vitals 10 minutes after someone else had done so did not inspire great confidence in the staff's efficiency. And having to tell each person the same things over and over did little to add to that confidence. By now, I didn't care that I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything, I was hungry! I hadn't eaten in 16 hours. So Duller went to the cafeteria and brought back some dry toast and bottled water. Finally, around 11, I was called back to an examining room, where we cooled our heels for another hour. I told Duller if we were still waiting at noon, I was leaving. Then I dozed off under the nicely warmed blanket the admittance clerk had brought me. Aaaaahhhhh...

Just before my 12.00 deadline, a doctor came in. I explained for the umpteeth time that surgery was NOT an option and that I was not interested in any invasive procedures. What a shock! He actually didn't argue. In fact, he actually gave me a little credit for having been through this before and asked what I wanted to do. I was impressed.

Next, I was treated to a gurney ride through the hospital corridors to radiology. My blanket had cooled off, so a nice lady brought me another warmed one and arranged it over me. What a sweetheart! Finally, they wheeled me across the hall to the ultrasound equipment, rubbed my tummy with cool gel and poked my my ribs over and over with some hard gadget that sent interesting pictures to the hulking computer screen. Including a nice bag of 'marbles' in my gall bladder.

Next, back to holding to wait for another gurney ride back to the examining room, where I dozed again, waiting for yet another doctor. (We rarely saw anyone twice.) This one wasn't quite as open to the idea of non-invasive treatment and pretty much insisted I at least consult with a surgeon before making a decision. As if the surgeon is going to pass up an opportunity to bulk up his bank account. Anyroad, we finally got out of there, some 12-13 hours later, and made it home around 5PM. I headed straight for the bed and was out for the count. I woke up around 10 and tried to use the computer, but kept falling asleep at the keyboard. I woke again a few times through the night, looked at the clock and rolled back over, finally getting up around 5.30. Now I have to figure out what I can eat. How can a Southerner live without fatty foods?! *sigh*


SwampAngel65 said...

Oh you poor thing! I had gallstones once and know what that pain feels like...knives in your gut! I ended up having emergency surgery, though.

That is incredible the amount of time they kept you waiting in the ER. I've never, ever had to wait more than an hour to get in. You'd think me living in a big city would make my wait longer...guess that's one plus for big cities!

So, what do you do instead of having surgery? I am really curious... my surgery was actually minimally invasive. They did it laproscopically through 4 small incisions. I can barely see the scars anymore. I wish I had kept my stones, though, as I've heard they are very pretty. Would've made an interesting necklace or pair of earrings...ok, I'm weird...

Hope you feel better, sweetie! I'll be thinking about you today. If you need anything, let me know and plan on about a 10 hour delay before I get there (hmmm, kind of like the hospital!)

valown said...

Aren't ERs grand. I always have loathed going to them. Luckily I've only been once for myself, and 3 or4 times with the boys. I hope you start feeling better soon.

Cathy S. said...

I hope you are feeling better. So sorry, you had such a rough time. Praying for you.

Steve said...

Impressively rough night, Sophie. I hope you can get past that soon, and I'll pray for you in the meantime.

Jane said...

Have just found your blog. I'm staying in the Florida Keys at the moment, and blogging about the wildlife and nature around me. Back home to Dorset, England soon. Great blog. Jane

SophieMae said...

Swampangel, thanks ever so! It's been quite a few years since they've given me any trouble. I'll probably do the same now as then, flush them out. But first, I need to get the ultrasound pics t smeone who has a clue and make sure they're not too large. If you're interested in detwils, check out
BTW, I'm weird,as well... I'd keep them. 8-]

Valown, this was the second time for me. the first was very quick and much less an ordeal, except for my passing out over the table when they filled my backside with penicillin. 8-}

Cathy, thanks ever so for your prayers! I've been thinking of you during your recent hiatus.

Steve, thanks for your prayers, as well. It's a long process, but will be well worth it in the end, I'm sure.

Jane, so glad you stopped by! I've just had time to skim your site a bit. Enough to make me miss one of my favourite places in Florida. We lived, for a short time, in Marathon during the big clean-up after Hurricane Georges. Have you seen the Key Deer?

Floridacracker said...

Poor Sophie!
Emergency rooms are like time black holes.
I find if you are holding almost severed fingers in a bloody T shirt and dripping blood they will whisk you past the folks with the sniffles and hangovers.
I hope you can resolve this your way.
Take care.

SophieMae said...

FC, I'm thinking you've had a lot more experience in these matters. I did wonder if my passing out would speed up the process. 8-}

Anonymous said...

That's funny - I was going to ask if you had heard of doing liver/GB flushes. Apparently you have.

I'm a big proponent of natural cleanses. I'm about to do another fasting cleanse, myself. It takes some mental prep along with the resolve to go 10 days without solid food. Feels GREAT, though. Can't reccommend it highly enough.

Let's hear it for natural cures!

I hope and trust that you're already feeling better. Watch that cholesterol, though!