Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Out of the Blue

I felt fine on Monday morning, so I certainly didn't expect to end the day in the ER getting CT scanned, EKGed, and shot up with morphine. Even more surprisingly, I didn't particularly enjoy the morphine.

It turns out, I have pneumonia and possibly a partially collapsed lung.

I started out just having a funny pain in my side, which is sometimes caused by my problems with my digestive system, so I didn't really think that much about it. It kept getting worse throughout the day, so much so that I decided to take my medicine for IBS at work, which I never do since it's a muscle relaxer and makes me sleepy and slow. Of course, I had changed purses that morning and didn't have the medicine with me, so I figured I just had to tough it out until I got home.

By the time I was driving home, the pain had gotten bad enough that I couldn't breathe very well. I took a couple of puffs on my emergency inhaler, but it didn't do anything, so I thought I must be right about my intestinal issues causing the problems. As soon as I got home I took my medicine and waited to feel better, but the pain just kept getting worse.

For some reason, I thought if I could just get a good night's sleep I would wake up in the morning and feel fine. However, lying on my back kept me from being able to breathe at all, and I couldn't fall asleep sitting up. I just sat there in the dark trying not to cry for a few hours before I decided to put that health insurance to good use.

The Husband and I went to the ER, which - thank goodness - was not crowded at all, so they took me straight back. I got an EKG to make sure nothing was wrong with my heart, and they took my blood. Then I got an IV with fluids, anti-inflammatories, and morphine. It took the morphine about 10 seconds to kick in, which felt like being dropped over the side of a tall building. I thought I was going to throw up. They turned the lights out so I could sleep, but I just had strange thoughts and sensations without really being able to sleep. At different points I thought I had handfuls of yarn and that I was wearing oven mitts. I realized I might not be able to drive home, so I was thinking about calling someone for a ride, but I couldn't remember my friend's name.

I was grateful when the weird side effect started to wear off after about 30 minutes, and I was left just relaxed with a lot less pain. Then they took me to get a CT scan to check my lungs. They had to inject dye into my veins, and they warned me that it would cause burning and heat throughout my body, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared.

After all the tests, they figured out I had pneumonia and fluid build-up around my left lung, which had caused the bottom part to collapse somewhat. I have antibiotics, prescription Motrin, and - best of all - Vicodin to take for the next several days.

I'm expecting to go back to work tomorrow, but I don't know how well I'll do without all the painkillers keeping me going. I think I'm a damned trooper for trying to show up at all. They'd better appreciate it.


SerenitySprings said...

I hope you're feeling better.

UnrulyDuckling said...

Actually, I am having a great afternoon, which I am spending high on painkillers and eating candy. Thanks for asking!

SerenitySprings said...

At work or at home? Because seriously, high on painkillers and eating candy would be a GREAT way to be at work!

Anonymous said...

wow. didn't see that one coming when i started to read the blog. feel better.