Sunday, February 20, 2011

My weekend at the hospital

Stephen took this of me with his cell phone in the ER Triage.

I hope I never have to use this blog post title again. So the story begins on Friday afternoon. All last week I had been sick with a chest cold, I even stayed home from work for 3 days. Went back to work Friday morning even though I wasn't feeling 100%. After I got home and ate some lunch I started to feel feverish and have the chills. Then very quickly came the shaking and shivering and vomiting. And it wouldn't stop. I tried to lie down and rest to see if it would go away but I just had this feeling something wasn't right. So Stephen sent the kids across the street to Kate's and took me to the hospital ER close by.

There weren't too many people in the ER waiting room but for some reason we waited nearly 20 minutes. Nurse saw me shaking and coughing, gave me a mask and said someone would be with us in a few minutes. But then I got this feeling and knew I would be sick again - I got up and went into the restroom, sat on the floor in one of the stalls and started vomiting again. Finally a nurse came in and helped me into a wheelchair and took me to triage.

Photo I took of one of the triage rooms when we toured the new hospital in 2009.

They immediately put me on one of these beds and while I was shaking one nurse took my blood pressure, another was sticking heart monitor stickers all over my chest, another poked my right arm with a very big needle and drew lots of blood while another started asking me tons of questions. I tried focusing and answering best I could but I was feeling nauseous again. So they injected me with some anti-nausea meds. They suspected I either had the flu or Pneumonia. So they swiped my nostrils to check for the flu and also gave me a chest x-ray. While we waited for the results they put me on an iv fluid. Dr. Lee came in and explained my x-rays showed an onset on Pneumonia in my left lung. That I probably started out with a cold virus earlier in the week and unfortunately it just got worse. He said I was really dehydrated so he order that after I finished the first liter of fluids for me to have another liter. Eventually the nausea and shaking subsided. But I still was feverish with the chills and had a hard time breathing. Dr. Lee came back to check on me and was concerned because my heart was still racing (when I arrived it was 155bpm, normal is 60-80bpm) around 130bpm. He asked if I had been on an airplane recently or if blood clots ran in my family. He started checking my legs too. He suspected I might have a blood clot in my lung and ordered for me to have an EKG test and a CT scan. Okay now I got REALLY nervous.

Picture I took of the CT scanner room when we toured the hospital in 2009, they have one of the best scanners in the area - I never thought I'd be using it.

More stickers on my chest and legs to hook up more wires. The technician was pleasant but when I asked her if the test went okay, she had this negative look on her face and said, "I can read the test but I'm not allowed to share the results, sorry." That didn't make me feel good. Next they wheeled me off to have my CT scan. The technician was really nice. He hooked up my iv to give me iodine (I think) for the scan and got me as comfortable as possible. When in position he released the iodine which gave a warm sensation all over my chest. I watched the machine spin around me for a few minutes and then it was done. I prayed that whole time. They wheeled me back to triage to wait for the results. They gave me some oxygen to see if that would help bring down my heart rate. When I first got to the ER my temp was 103 and by this time it had gone down to 101.

Dr. Lee came back with good news, glory be to God! No blood clots but the CT scan did give him a better picture and showed him that I did in fact have Pneumonia not only in my left lung but in two spots in my right lung too. He suspected my heart rate was staying high because of the Pneumonia and fever. He said he couldn't let me go home and that I would have to stay the night so they could monitor my heart, blood and lungs.

Photo I took of the hospital entrance view when we toured the hospital in 2009.

I sent Stephen home to get some things for me and pick up the kids from across the street while I waited for a room. I had to pee 4 times within an hour!! 2 liters of fluid does a number on your bladder. My room was ready, and after about 5 hours in the ER I got to my room close to 10pm. Stephen and the kids came back and brought me my stuff. Madeline was of course worried about me, and James was excited with all the cool stuff in the hospital. :) I didn't sleep well that first night, they kept taking lots of samples of blood and I had all those wires on my chest. Plus I was hungry but still nauseous and couldn't eat. The next day I felt a little better and was finally able to eat without feeling nauseous. My heart rate was still around 120bpm and I had a slight fever. Then Dr. Doshi came and said she looked at my CT scan and blood results. She said I'd have to stay another night because my blood count was abnormal and my heart rate was still too fast. She ordered a new chest x-ray and iv antibiotics. By the afternoon my heart rate went down to 105bpm so Dr. Doshi was pleased and took me off the heart monitoring. I slept a little better this next night. They took some more blood this morning and my count came back normal. My heart rate also went down to 98bpm. So Dr. Doshi sent me home this afternoon. I'm exhausted, weak, sore (my ribs are bruised from all the coughing), my breathing is still labored (I have this contraption to do breathing exercises on), my arms looks all beaten up from all the needle pricks and I've got so much sticker residue to scrub off. But I'm home and recovering.

Thankful to God I'm okay. Stephen assured me every step of the way I would be fine, he was my rock. Madeline drew me the best Get Well card ever with lots of hugs and kisses everytime she came to visit. James (aka my SnuggleBug) told me on one visit, "Mama I want you to come home so we can snuggle." And I received so much love from family and friends via phone, text and Facebook - it was overwhelming. This was a difficult health trial in my life but I got through it, God saw me through it.


Kristin said...

I am so glad you are doing better! Rest, Relax, and snuggle withe the kids until you are 100%

jimmena said...

God answers prayers! We hope you have a speedy recovery.

Mickie and Matt said...

Gosh I am glad you were able to come home. What a challenge to go through. Glad you didn't have any blood clots and things are looking up. Get some serious rest and accept any and all help people offer to you. Glad yours and our prayers were answered. :)

Kelly and Nate said...

Wow! That is rough. Nate got pneumonia last week and put on antibiotic too. He can't really miss a day of class with the intensity of his program, so he just kept going. Well, get well soon! We'll keep you in our prayers.

Michaela said...

Oh Melissa what a scary weekend! I'm so glad to hear you're doing better and recovering!

Kelly said...

So scary Melissa! I'm so happy to hear that you are home and feeling better.

Kelly Jung said...

Oh my gosh, Melissa, that sounds so scary. I am so sorry to hear about all you went through. I am so thankful that you are on the road to recovery now. Please rest and get well soon my friend.

Sassy Sarah said...

How scary to have to be in the hospital and so sick! I'm praying for a speedy recovery and that you'll be feeling back to normal very soon.

PS - I'm a long time reader of your blog (I can't remember how I found you.) I'm trying to start commenting more so that I don't seem like such a lurker in the background. I love your blog and hearing about your amazing family.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry that happened, but I'm glad you are okay! I hope you never have to use that title again, also!