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Monday, August 10, 2009

What's More Fun - A Day in the ER, or a Day Suffering From a Stingray?

Well, it's never a dull moment around here I tell you. Exactly one month ago, I was slammed with a migraine which I told you about here (among several other things that happened that week). Well, it decided it liked me so much that it came back for another impromptu visit this month, but this time, my husband unwillingly decided to get it on the fun.


I woke up on Saturday just fine, but the hubs seemed to be on the rag from the moment he woke up. He had a long hard week of work and by Saturday, he was a tired and cranky mess. I guess this started the stress portion of the headache because the kids and I suffered his wrath from the moment we woke up.


He wanted to do something, but couldn't figure out exactly what to do. Then what he wanted to do didn't fly with the kids or me. Then he had to start going on about how Julian broke the lawnmower this week after he just spent $150 having it tuned up and fixed, and that we just spent almost $200 replacing the keys to the van that he/I lost a month ago, and because of it, our kitchen remodeling had come to a near screeching halt and kitchen shit was still lying everywhere. Around and around and around he went until finally he went off sulking and slamming doors into the bedroom.


And how old is my husband now?????


By 3:00, here came the pangs of an impending migraine. By 5 p.m., it was in full swing with flashes of light every time I closed my eyes. Then came the ice pic feeling in my ear and on top of my head. I was out of my pain medication and no Tylenol to be found in the house, so I did the next best thing. I frantically search for, found, and downed half a bottle of children's Tylenol along with a big swig of NyQuil for extra assurance. I'm in bed by 8:30 and holding my head in a pillow in the process.


It's a grand maul migraine coming folks - I'm really desperate here!!


I wake up Sunday with the whole left side of my head throbbing and not a pain killer in sight. Back to the ER I go with Nadia in tow this time around cause I'm not waiting another 3-4 days with my head in a heating pad while this thing subsides. Luckily I get there and the wait is not as long since everybody is in church. Thank you God! Within 10 minutes I'm in my own ER room, and within another 5 minutes the doc is in to see me.


NOTE: If you plan on going to an ER, have your accident or illness on Sunday mornings. Trust me, nobody goes at that time of the day, not even ambulances.


This time around they decide it's time for a few extra tests like a CT scan and sucking all the blood out of me before I'm a few points away from having a transfusion. All I care about is getting something to stop the increasing pain in my head. Though I do agree that the tests need to be done just to make sure I don't have a worm infested tumor growing deep inside my head or something.


Actually, all I want is for them to refill my prescription and let me go home!


Nope, they wanna try a different - a better - medication for migraines! Something called Tyvola or something like that - I really don't remember - didn't care - just want the pain to end.


Here came the cat fur and rubbing alcohol taste in my mouth again as I waited for the pain to stop..... and waited..... and waited..... and waited.


It wasn't working whatever it was they gave me.


So I call the nurse I meekly beg for something for the pain. 2 minutes later they arrive and ask if I have someone to drive me home. "Nope, but I'll call the husband and let him know to pick me up in a half hour.", I let them know.


I pick up the phone to call him as they were putting the "good stuff" in my IV. I was met with a flurry of words I didn't understand and a bunch of screaming on the other end of the phone. I'm having flashback of Saturday now.


I start to feel foo-foo.


"I've been trying to call you for an hour but NO ONE is answering the phone!!", my husband is screaming at me.


I'm feeling a little more foo-foo and his screaming almost seems humorous to me even though I have no clue why he IS screaming yet.


Finally I manage to understand him say "I was stung, I was stung.... a crab stung me! I don't know what it was really.... I think it was a crab. I was stung. My arm feels like someone injected me with battery acid. I can't move it it.... it's.... it's paralyzed to my shoulder!", he screams with in an incredible panicked state of mind.


Understandably so since he's paralyzed at this point.


Since I'm feeling really foo-foo now, I hang up on the phone only to realize that I should have asked the doctor for advice instead of insisting my completely freaked out husband with a paralyzed arm to drive himself with three other kids to the ER and be checked. Now I feel some coherency push through the fuzziness filling my head.


I page the nurse to get the doctor, and it's really kinda hard to talk normally at this point since my mouth is dry and my tongue feels like it tripled in size and keeps sticking to various parts of my mouth whenever I try to talk, so I'm not sure if the nurse understood quite what I was saying.


Nadia, instead, flags the doctor down as he walks by our room.


I explain the whole yada, yada, yada story to him in the best garble I can manage at the moment, and my husbands symptoms, and he replies very firmly, "HOT WATER... get him in the hottest water he can stand for at least an hour. He's been stung by a Stingray and it's what we do here in the ER; put his arm in hot water now."


He smiles and leaves and I'm left wondering if I am gonna get a separate bill for that piece of advice.


So I call home and tell my husband to get his arm and the stinger site into the hottest water he can stand and stay in it till I get home. I tell Julian to corral the girls in their room with a video and keep them away from daddy until I get home.


This means I will be driving myself home under the influence of some heavy narcotics...... someday.


They release me and I am still in no shape to drive the BMW (we left the van at home in case we decided to lose the keys... again), home from the hospital. So we decide to walk around cause I kinda remember from high school days that.... well, let's just not go down that memory lane today.


Suddenly I had a bright, but foggy idea - COFFEE! Nadia is hungry by now so we/I wobbly walk down to the cafeteria to get something to eat and for me to consume a few gallons of coffee to break down the heavy drugs currently flowing through my bloodstream.


We sit there for about an hour and a half before I feel I'm capable of driving myself and Nadia home without taking any casualties with me. I stop by CVS to fill my pain meds and the two other prescriptions they have now added to my medicine chest repertoire, and then I head home wondering what's gonna hit me there.


I find my husband at his desk with his arm in a bowlful of now lukewarm water. He's been in it for over an hour and says it's feeling much better than before. His arm and hand are still swollen, and the blood vessels are bulging, I mean bulging as venom still pulses through them.


Upon further explanation and a little research on the net, the hubs had been stung by a Southern Stingray which had covered itself with sand in order to hide from it's prey. I guess he didn't realize the hubs was on the dinner menu yesterday. My husband was walking backwards on the sand in shallow warm waters when, WHAM, he was stung by the sucker hiding in the sand. Stingray stings are not suppose to be that common, but I apparently gave birth to the family where uncommon becomes the norm.


This adds to our list of items to watch out for during our beach trips: jellyfish, pot-bellied rednecks, and now, Southern Stingrays. Who cares about sunscreen anymore? If you ever see a crazy family of six stirring the waters with a stick before diving in, that'll be us.


The rest of the day goes pretty uneventful accept for the two other pain meds I had to take as the migraine tried to creep it's way back into my life. My husbands pain level went from Mach 15 to a level four by the time bedtime arrived. He didn't get much sleep last night though as the ache kept him up. But he still managed to go to work this afternoon cause "He has a household to feed." he says while getting dressed and trying to contort his arm into a comfortable position to put his shirt on.


This is one time I really wished I could have taken his place.


I'm a ninnie though; I would have been in the closet whining still over the whole episode.


But maybe that's what separates the sexes: some handle migraines with ease and an IV full of narcotics, while others take Southern Stingray stings with a grain of salt and a bowl of hot water.


"Whose up for going to the beach today?"

2 comments:

Draft Queen said...

remind me never to go swimming with you...

hope your head and your husband's arm feel better soon!

Tara R. said...

You're right reason #3 for staying out of the water.

Hope you both are healing quickly.