Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The story of yesterday

Ok, here it is in all it's glory, the story of what happened to me yesterday.

We've had a really busy week, well actually weeks - seems like we've been doing a million things ever since I arrived here in Texas, but anyway yesterday blest and I were both feeling pretty tired and generally yuck. Over the course of the day my head started to ache, and by the afternoon I had a full on headache and it was starting to make me feel really sick. I went to lie down on my bed and slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up I thought I felt better until I stood up again and the headache and sick feeling came back. I came back downstairs anyway to see what everyone else was doing and to get a drink of water.

I sat at the table with the boys while they ate their dinner, and then when Blest and Danny got something to eat, and managed to colour in a doodle that Blest had drawn (that has no relevance to the story really, but I did it, for some reason, so I thought I'd share it with you!). The thought of eating just made me feel worse, so I didn't! After dinner I'd stood up to get some more water and blest was talking to me and she asked me if I was alright saying I'd turned really pale. I felt like I was going to be sick and tried to head for the bathroom when it happened. I felt really dizzy and everything went red. I couldn't see anything and all I could hear was this buzzing noise in my ears. I guess I was blacking out, but all I knew was that I was frightened and couldn't see or hear. Blest says I wasn't even walking in the right direction to get the bathroom, and that I walked into a pillar not once but twice. That's when she realised that something must be wrong and came over and yelled for Danny. I don't really know what happened, I vaguely remember trying to cling on to the pillar to try to stop the world from wobbling around so much, and then Blest and Danny coming over and trying to help me. The next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground and my vision and hearing were gradually coming back to me. It was like shapes were reappearing out of a red sea, and I could hear people asking me if I was ok. I felt all light headed and my head wouldn't stop hurting.

I don't remember a lot of the rest of the evening. They found my insurance documents and my shoes and coat and then Danny took me to the Emergency Room and I had to fill out a form with my name, date of birth, address and such like. I kept having to check with Danny that I was writing the right things, and what my address and phone number here were. After waiting a while I was taken through to have my blood pressure and pulse taken, then had to go and wait in another waiting area. I sat there for I don't know how long before someone came and took me into a cubicle.

I had to answer lots of questions and tell them about all the medication I'm taking and stuff like that. I think the guy asking the questions (I have no idea if he was a nurse or a doctor or what) was from Kenya and he was looking at my medication and saying things like "oh we use that in Kenya too. Did you get this here or in England?" and I must have said about ten times "yes, it's all from England". He asked me lots of questions, and I think took my blood pressure a couple more times before saying 'that's perfect'. I felt like Goldilocks at the house of the three bears (the first time it was too high, the second time it was too low, the third time it was perfect!) People kept asking me about London and telling me places in Europe that they had been to. One guy (I think the doctor from Dallas) told me that he had been to London and Amsterdam, and all I could think (but didn't say luckily!) was "oh, that's nice. I haven't!"

I was taken from that cubicle to another one further along and lay there for some period of time. A woman kept coming in and saying that the doctor would see me soon, but that first she needed to know when my last tetanus shot was, and had I had a flu injection, and was I sure I wasn't pregnant. I think I managed to answer all those questions correctly, but I don't really "remember. Finally a doctor came along and asked me some more questions, and told me he was from Dallas and flew to work every day. I remember saying "seriously?" several times and he told me it was true. After all the questions he told me that basically I didn't have anything major wrong, and they didn't know what could be causing the headache. They gave me a diagnosis of 'non-specific headache' and a script for some medication which ought to help.

I was handed several sheets of paper and then led to the exit by another man. He took me through a door and I had to wait to see another person to give him details of my insurance and again tell them my address and phone number. I don't know why they wanted to know so many times rather than just looking at my notes where they had already written it down. I could remember the address, but not my telephone number. Luckily I had that written down on a piece of paper in the folder along with all the insurance documentation. Finally I got to go back to the waiting room where Danny was waiting. I realised I must have been in there a long time, but didn't really have any idea how long. I was still feeling light-headed and in a dream world.

The insurance guy had told me to try Walgreens to get my script filled and Danny took me to one. Unfortunately the pharmacy there had already shut and we had to try a second Walgreens before we could try to get my medication. I waited in long line there, and when I finally got to the front of the queue they told me I had to go to a different window. Luckily there was no one there and I was able to hand over my prescription. Initially the woman there was unsure if they had the medication I needed, which seemed like the last straw, but she went off to check and came back to say they had the generic version and would that be ok. I think by this time I would probably have agreed to anything so just said yes. She took down all my details again, and thank goodness Danny was there to tell her the address and phone number because I had no idea by this point! I finally thought (at 11pm) that she would be giving me the pain killers any minute when she said "there'll be up to a 30 minute wait, we'll call your name when they're ready". By this point I'd had enough and really didn't want to be responsible for keeping Blest and Danny up any longer so I asked if we could pick them up tomorrow and we headed home. I have vague memories of talking about four way stop signs and street names on the way home, but I think I was probably just babbling by that point.

When we got home Blest was still up and welcomed us in. I took some paracetamol and then Blest suggested I should try to eat something so that I didn't have the medicine on an empty stomach, so I had a couple of bites of an oatmeal muffin, but then went a beautiful shade of pale again and just about made it to the bathroom in time before I was sick. (I'm sorry everyone, too much information, I know!). Eventually I was able to make it to bed with a glass of water and slept through until this morning. Well, I say slept through, I kept having bizarre dreams and waking up at odd times, but managed to stay in bed until about half past seven.

This morning we drove to pick up my medication and I've had one tablet. I think it's helping a bit with the headache, although I'm still aware of it being there, and still feel a bit lightheaded if I get up too quickly. I'd appreciate prayer that the drugs help and that I recover totally swiftly, and definitely that I don't have a repeat of the blacking out thing, because that was not fun.


steve said...

poor Debs.I hope you get well soon.I know how hospitals in other countries can really take it out of you, cos when my family went to America mum had a problem with her foot and they kept asking for all her details and when she would pay.It sounds like a really frustrating day which i am sure just added insult to injury.Hope you get your appitite back soon.

HP said...

Oh my debbie bear. That sounds horrible. Big hugs and prayers. Thank goodness you have wonderful Blest and Danny to look after you, they are brill by the sounds of it. I cant beleive you have already visited a hospital after only being there for like 3 weeks!!! But anyway, get well soon and dont over exert yourself or do any damage. Lots of prayers for you. xxxxxxxx

Elly said...

Poor love it sounds worse written down than when you explained it all. sorry you felt so bad. please look after yourself and be sensible
Will pray it goes quickly and you are fighting fit soon.
Big hugs, mummy

blest said...

Yeah...the walking into the pillar thing would have been pretty funny if it weren't so freaking scary!

She bumped right into it - and I said "Oh! Are you okay?!" and she said "No." and walked right into it again! I jumped up and went to hold her up and started yelling for Danny...

And you know how men are - I said "Danny! Come here!" and I here something like "Uh huh..." and I have to add "And I mean NOW!!!!!" Cause I don't know about other men, but mine always has to finish whatever he's doing before he responds to the next thing. But he caught my urgent tone and came running...

I took the boys to the zoo this afternoon - so she got four hours of rest in silence. (hard to get around here) I told her that when I got back, if one thing in this house was cleaner than when I left, she was in BIG trouble. hee hee

HP said...

hehe you are funny Blest. But thanks so much for looking after my Debbie bear. She sounds so safe and happy with you, its brialliant so a big thanks to all the family!!

Pig wot flies said...

Oh Debbie monster! Oh dear! How weird and scary. I'm glad you're feeling better. See, did Debs tell you, Blest, that Debs just has to find all the hospitals in the world and visit every single one? She's well known for it. :-)

Kathleen said...

Debs, that is terrible! I have to say that Emergency rooms in the US are the most frustrating... not that I have had lots of experience in other places, but I feel I've been there here enough times to recognize the telling and retelling of information. And yes, I can tell you my address one more time, but will it really help this broken arm? Really?
Get rest, drink fluids, keep taking the meds, and I hope you feel much better very soon!

bfc said...

OK, so I'll do all the sympathy thing and hope you're feeling better and all is well, but let's face it, the rest of the family are way better with that than me. So it's got to be said, the walking into the pillar twice thing is definitely funny! It's the twice bit that does it. And what sort of useless diagnosis is that? You find yourself making use of the local healthcare facilities (surprised it took you so long, to be honest) and all they can come up with is 'non-specific headache'. What sort of value for money is that? Were they even sure it was your head? I just have visions of them saying, "well there's an ache in somebody's head around here, but we're not sure whose."
So hope all is now well, look after yourself and don't go having to pay a second visit to ER, not even for blog entertainment value.

blest said...

You're absolutely right - It WAS the twice bit that made it hilarious. And when I reenacted it last night for Debs, she turned a lovely shade of vermillion she was laughing so hard. ;-p