Pain is NOT your friend

Well, it’s not mine, anyway.  Spent all of yesterday in the hospital.  Chest started to hurt really bad around 5:30 am.  Felt like a muscle spasm or something.  By 8, I really couldn’t do more than shallow breaths because it HURT, oh man, did it hurt.  Called my friend Tess and she drove me to the ER.  Tests, tests, more tests.  EKG, cat scan, loads of lab work.  Nitroglycerine.  Meanwhile, it was hours before they gave me pain meds.  Also, the potassium was very low again, so had two separate infusions of that, plus oral pills.  Morphine.  Did nothing.  Morphine!  I thought morphine was one of the ‘good’ drugs.  Apparently not.    Over the course of the day, they ruled out pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and finally decided it is pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the chest muscles.  Finally gave me some Vicodin, which kicked in after about two hours, and made the pain at least bearable.  What causes pleurisy?  Possibly a virus, although I haven’t been sick at all.  I wound up with about a dozen stick-on things for the ekg, etc.

So we go to the drugstore and get the vicodin scrip filled, and stopped off for some Chinese food to go so I would have something I could just eat.  Tess made sure I had pills, water, phones, remotes, etc. before she went home.  Fell asleep on the couch, propped up on pillows.  Cannot lie down with pleurisy, apparently.  The cat scan was NOT fun, but fortunately did not take long.  Took more vicodin at 11 pm and really wanted to go to bed, which was interesting.  Trying to find a way to semi lie down and still be able to breathe.  Finally did, zonked out, and just woke up about 20 minutes ago.  Pain, pain, pain.  I did pretty well, I can be pretty stoic, but the potassium iv really made my arm hurt, and the two different pain sources almost did me in.  I was starting to lose it, but they adjusted the flow and added some fluid, and the arm didn’t hurt as much.

Everyone at our local hospital is really nice and caring, and I was lucky to get a very good ER doctor, who explained everything, and did what he could for the pain.  I am, however, getting to familiar with the hospital.  After only ever being in the hospital when I had my kids, and once for a few hours when I had biopsies when I first got sick with fibro and they thought it was something else, I have, in the past few years, been there three times.  Only once overnight, when it turned out there wasn’t actually anything wrong that they could find, then one morning for the non-surgery, and yesterday.  I can have fun any where, apparently, and did all three times, even yesterday with all the pain.

 

Er doctor could not reach my primary care doctor to discuss the potassium situation, for which I am already on supplements.  Soon as I can breathe reasonable well, (soon, please) I am calling a new doctor.  Seriously.  When the ER doctor calls you numerous times about your patient and you don’t bother to call him back, something is wrong somewhere.  This is about the fifth time there have been communication issues with my doctor, so it is time for a change.  And that’s the saga of the really bad, horrific, miserable pain day, which has now carried over to today.

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