I was released from the hospital yesterday around noon and am so glad to be home.
Last Tuesday, I came down with a pretty bad headache that lasted through most of the day Wednesday. I didn’t think much of it. By Thursday night, the headache was back along with terrible body aches, my hips and back especially. Friday morning, I was in tough shape but knew something was going around at work. By the time I got home from work Friday afternoon, I was exhausted and could not wait to go to bed. I took a shot of Nyquil at about 5:00 and went to bed early. I got up again about 11:00 pm and took more Nyquil. I hadn’t slept well all week and thought that a good night sleep would help me feel better.
I was up for the rest of the night with a splitting headache (one of my 5 worst headaches of all time) and was really sick all around. Saturday morning, Mark offered to take me to the Urgent Care Center but I knew I was too sick for them. He took me to the ER instead at 7:00 a.m. We were there into the early afternoon doing every test available. CT Scan, Blood Work, Urinalysis…everything they did came up looking great. Meanwhile, I was medicated for my headache. Thank God for narcotics!! Mark took charge, keeping the doctors informed of my medical history and letting my family know how I was doing and single handedly keeping Bailey calm and happy. I was in no position to do any of that. I left the hospital Saturday afternoon with a diagnosis of Acute Viral Syndrome with some concern for Viral Meningitis.
Saturday afternoon at home, I was doing pretty well. I watched a movie with Mark and Bailey and went to sleep with a Percocet and hopes of a good night sleep. At about 11:00 pm, I woke up with a headache ten times worse than I had in the morning. My back was screaming, I was running a fever and knew that I was going to suffer until the morning. I woke Mark up at 6:00 a.m. begging for help. He was amazing. He brought my fever down and brought me fresh ice packs. The ice really helped my head. He brought me water and juice and a Popsicle in an effort to get me to stay hydrated.
While Sunday was kind of a blur, I know that I was in tough shape. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and not really looking like myself. By 9:00 a.m. it was back to the ER. After more blood work, more narcotics and lots of fading in and out, I was admitted for the night. I really wanted to avoid a spinal tap to test for meningitis. (If you remember, my last spinal tap didn’t go so well – spinaltap ) The thought process was that if I stayed the night at the hospital, I could be medicated for the headaches, get a good night sleep and hopefully feel well enough Monday morning to avoid the spinal tap.
Mission Accomplished! I did sleep better at the hospital although the bed was really uncomfortable, I really missed my family and the nurses woke me up every three hours to check my blood pressure. I really did not want to stay at the hospital and when I met with the Doctor at check in. I told him I was probably going to go home. He told me to stay the night and he would write orders so I could leave early in the morning if I was feeling well.
Tuesday morning came. I had a sinus headache and cough but was WAY better and not near sick enough to stay. When I asked to leave, I found out that the Doctor never wrote orders for me to leave. I had to wait for the new on call Doctor to discharge me but had no idea when he would show up. By 10 a.m. (I had been trying to leave since 7am), I asked the nurse what my option was since the Doctor may not show up until the afternoon. I really wanted to go home! I thought about my message of “taking charge of your own health care” and that is what I wanted to do. The nurse said I could check myself out against the direction of the Doctor or hospital. I told her to bring me the form. I called Mark to come and get me and was so excited to get out! I wanted to get home to my family and my bed!!
Well, when the nurse brought me my form to sign, she let me know that I would not get any prescriptions that were ordered and my insurance might not pay for my stay. I was defeated. I was too weak and sick to get mad or ask smart questions so I just cried. I know this all sounds pretty pathetic but in my frame of mind, at the time, everything seemed very traumatic.
I waited for the doctor who finally discharged me and sent me home with a prescription for Augmentin and instructions to rest, drink lots of fluids and put my head over steaming hot water four times a day for fifteen minutes. I was never so happy to see Mark as when he came to pick me up. (in my mind at that moment, he was rescuing me from the place where I had been trapped for hours). We came home, I took a nice shower and went back to bed. I wonder if Tysabri or MS may have made this illness worse than it should have been and will discuss with my Neurologist. In the meantime, I am recovering slowly and taking it easy in an effort to put off any type of MS relapse.
By last night, Mark was running a temp of 103 and coughing up a storm. I had no fever and was starting to feel better. As many of us do when a loved one is sick, we ask God to take away their pain and give it us. As silly as that may sound, Mark asked for help when we were in the ER. While I know logically that is not probably why he got so sick, it is nice to know that he wanted to make me feel better so badly that he was willing to be sick himself. There is a lot to be said for prayer and love.
Today, we both stayed home from work and are feeling better. This was the most miserable weekend we have had in a long time. We are looking forward to next weekend so we can ski or do something fun and feel well.
As aware as I am about how good I have it and as grateful as I am for everything I have, it took being really sick and getting rescued to know that I will never underestimate the importance of true love.
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