Monday, November 21, 2011
The vague pain in my head and neck lingered. I payed little attention as I continued to inspect the house. My thoughts limped forward as if caught in a deep haze. When I was finished, I slid into the passenger seat of the car and my wife began the long drive home.
My eyes felt heavy and my head woozy. A spasm of nausea started in my abdomen and worked its way up my throat. The saliva spilled into my mouth as I gulped to keep from vomiting.
It's just a concussion. It's just a concussion.
I kept repeating as I crawled into bed. The nausea abating only in complete stillness. My head was pulsating. My eyes felt heavy as they rotated to survey my surroundings.
I fell asleep hoping that I would feel well enough to make the long drive to work the next morning. Every few hours I awoke and choked back the uncomfortable feeling in my belly.
As morning came, I arose and walked down the stairs to get a Tylenol. I stumbled over the ledge. I felt like each step was another turn on a roller coaster. I walked past the bathroom but thought better and turned back quickly.
As I lay on the ground in front of the toilet my body heaved and convulsed rhythmically. Each wretch sent spasms of pain up my spine and down my forehead. After a few minutes I was able to get up and flush the toilet. I wandered up the stairs and woke up my wife. It was time to go to the emergency room.
The ER is such a different place seen through the eyes of a patient. I slumped in the chair at the front desk as the intake person took my insurance information. As she asked me questions, I tried my best to control the war that was raging in my abdomen.
I was walked quickly back to a bed. The gown was cold and the bed had neither sheets nor pillow. I laid flat and moved as little as possible. A nurse came in and placed an IV. The blood trickled down my arm as she applied pressure.
Sorry we hit a bleeder!
Zofran and ativan were pushed through my IV. The nurse dutifully scanned my wrist band after each new medication as If I was a box of cereal being checked out of the grocery.
The attending came in and checked me over. I fidgeted at the thought of the radiation of the suggested cat scan, but I felt too sick to argue. This is what I would have suggested for my patient.
The cat scan was negative and I was sent home with an anti emetic. After sleeping most of the day I finally feel well enough to sit up and write this blog.
Tomorrow I will return to work and forget this day as if nothing happened.
But maybe I'll be just a little bit more understanding of what it's like to be sent to the emergency room.
Maybe, from now on I'll avoid crawl spaces.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 6:26 PM