(this is part two, part one is here)
I pushed the button on my phone. Three oh three A.M. The maxillary and ethmoid sinuses on the right side of my face burned like they were filled with flesh-eating acid. And speaking of flesh-eating. On the unit where I work at the hospital, we care for patients who have bad infections. So I'm routinely up to my elbows in MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus). Granted, I'm gowned and gloved and I wash and wash and wash all day long, but in my three oh three A.M. mentation I was picturing my whole head just a'swarming with MRSA bugs and surely I was going to die a slow horrible pus-filled death.
It didn't' help that if I moved my head the slightest bit in any direction or if I held it perfectly still, I had stabbing pain clear down my spine. I turned away from Swede William so that I didn't infect him with my MRSA breath. At three oh three A.M. it was clear that I would be cold and dead long before I ever got to see Bill again, and I would never get to kiss Mama Pajama on her little nose.
When Laurie started stirring (six? seven?) I must have said I would ask Lee and Dee, who were in the room across the hall with puppy Mia, to take me to the E.R. (I'd love to blame the total lack of recall for Monday on my illness, but I'm just generally senile and I already can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning and it's only 8:40.) I imagine that Dee walked all my dogs. I know that Bill was terribly alarmed when I called and told him that Dee was driving my van with me and all the dogs in it. In downtown Lexington, no less. WHAT??!!
I do remember convincing a reluctant Lee and Dee to leave me at the E.R. and go back to cheer Laurie on. The clincher was when I pointed out that the dogs would be better off at Griffin Gate in the van than in downtown Lexington. The waiting room was empty (say hooray for 7:30 A.M. Monday morning E.R. visits) and the clerk asked me to write the reason for my visit.
I was momentarily stumped. I figured "sick" wasn't a good enough answer. I pressed my R.N. brain to come up with something professional. What was wrong with me, anyway? I had pain above and below my right eye. Oh! It suddenly dawned on me! I wrote:
I thought that sounded much too run-of-the-mill over-the-counter for how I felt, so on the next line I wrote:
That was better.
I work at Western Baptist Hospital. This was our sister hospital, Central Baptist. I was seen, stuck, and CT scanned in very short order, and everyone was so nice. While I was waiting for results I felt like my right eye was swelling. There was no mirror, so I took a picture with my phone. Bill double-dog-dared me to use it here. I figured after the hoodie-footie shot, what the hey?
the Queen of Glamor!
The doc came in and told me it hurt to look at my CT films. "Nasty," he said. Then he said he would have to do a lumbar puncture because I had a stiff neck ("nuchal rigidity").
Say what? A spinal tap? Could this day get any better?
"Well, you have a raging sinusitis, and a stiff neck. Your white count is normal, so it's probably a viral meningitis, but we have to check because your sinuses lie right there next to your brain." He did allay my fears of MRSA. "Nah, we're just usually colonized with the stuff when we're exposed all the time."
I called Bill. "They have to do a lumbar puncture," I weeped.
"It will be okay," Bill said.
"I know," I squeaked. I sounded pathetic, even to myself. I had assisted in a bazillion of them back in my O.R. /Recovery Room days. But it was hard to look forward to a lumbar puncture, even with my Big Girl Panties on.
End result: normal CSF. If anything was going on in my brain it was viral. I promised the doc that I would call my retired doctor husband to pick me up and take me to my own hospital if I didn't get better. They gave me a shot of Rocephin and a prescription for Augmentin and called a (free) cab for me - wasn't that nice?
I can't say enough good things about Central Baptist Hospital! (Little did I know I'd be seeing them again...)
Now enough of this wallering. Back to the show!
hug your hounds