Early in the week, I felt flu symptoms: body aches, fever, chills, upset stomach. Wednesday I was on the couch all day. Thursday I was 100% better. Thursday night, my fever, chills, aches, and stomachache were all back in a fierce way. I barely slept that night and poor Terry had to listen to me complain.
Friday morning I decided I should go to the doctor, and thankfully Terry had the day off and was able to take me. I couldn't believe how horrible I felt; the only semi-comfortable position was lying down, curled up in a ball. People in the waiting room probably thought it was weird. I didn't really care.
When I finally got in to see the doctor (my appointment was at noon, they brought me in at one), my temperature was 101.9. In a way, I was sort of glad to still have symptoms because I'm usually one of those people whose symptoms disappear as soon as I get to the doctor. What a silly thing to be thankful for.
Anyway, the doctor asked the usual questions, then checked my pulse and checked my breathing. She ran a flu test (her office was part of a study last year and they had extras). When she pressed on my stomach and I winced, she decided to send me to the ER to rule out appendicitis. She even made me take a wheelchair over there because my heart rate was high.
By 2:15, I was in a bed in the ER, and after some initial tests they decided to test pretty much everything: blood, urine, stool, Cat scan, the whole enchilada. They hooked me up to an IV to hydrate me with saline and gave me some morphine, too. I also received some antibiotics once the diagnosis was clear.
After SIX HOURS (it was torture--I kept asking Terry if he was starving), the test for appendicitis came back negative, and they diagnosed me with colitis. We were finally able to go home.
By then it was 8:30, and our car was underground in a garage that had closed at six. The nurse had told us they had an after-hours policy in place and we would still be able to get out, but apparently that wasn't the case. We were already trying to find a ride home (thanks Jenn for offering!) when my hero of a husband somehow (I still haven't even asked) drove out of the garage. He may or may not have set off an alarm while leaving, but I didn't care.
Since leaving the hospital, my symptoms have improved significantly. No more chills, aches, or fever. I'm sleeping much better. My stomach is getting better. I'm doing my best to stay hydrated and am eating a decent amount. Of course, I was in a total blur leaving the hospital (I wasn't even drugged up, just confused and exhausted), so I barely heard what the nurse told me to eat. Thankfully my friend Katie is a nurse and gave me great advice and a little clearer explanation of my condition and what to expect. (If you don't have a nurse friend, go make one. I highly recommend it.) (Thanks, Katie!)
Essentially, I've eaten very basic foods over the last few days:
On the "approved" list:
- anything from the BRAT diet (bananas, white rice, applesauce, and white bread)
- Gatorade, for hydration--I hate Gatorade, but I'm drinking as much as I can, and I put it in a wine glass to make it fancy
- Jello, which the nurse recommended but I can't remember why
- lots of water
- plain oatmeal
And that's it. It's sad and white/tan/brown over here in food land for me. Or neon green, in the case of the Gatorade. Thankfully, my stomach seems to be tolerating these foods, and I have something of an appetite now, so I may try to eat some plain scrambled eggs a little later today. Daring, I know.
Despite the horrible day and now-almost-week-long illness, I do realize that things could be so much worse. So I'm counting my blessings:
- Had I gotten sick a week earlier, Terry wouldn't have been here. He's been amazing, and I'm so thankful I didn't have to burden anyone else with taking care of me or driving me to the doctor.
- If I had gotten sick a week later, I would have been in Europe. Not a fun way to spend a flight or any time in a beautiful foreign country.
- I'm glad that Thursday night was as bad as it was. Odd, but if it hadn't been, I might not have gone to the doctor, and I certainly wouldn't have thought to go to the ER on my own. I would have been okay, I'm sure, but I'm on the antibiotics much faster this way and already getting better instead of still feeling miserable and not knowing why.
- Obviously, the diagnosis could have been far worse. Ultimately, acute colitis is something that will run its course and then be done, and I know there are much more serious and long lasting diagnoses out there. I'm most thankful for this one.
So that's what's been going on around here. I'm scheduled to sub tomorrow, and damn it I will be subbing. Thankfully, I've felt pretty good most of today, and I know I'll feel better tomorrow.
I hope you had a much better and luckier Friday the 13th than I did. If yours was worse--I'm so sorry. Maybe it's because it's also 2013? Does that double the power or something? If you know experts in this field, please let me know.
Have a terrific week!