ER…Not Just A Tired NBC Hit Show…

I have very small, shy, uncooperative veins. The lab techs at the base hospital don’t like me, and I don’t blame them. Who wants to stand there and dig and dig in a patient’s arm, trying to score enough of the good red stuff for basic lab work? It frustrates them and they really don’t (well most of them) enjoy hurting the people they’re trying to suck dry.

It really frustrates techs and nurses in the ER. They have to get a good vein, not just to get a tablespoon of blood, but to stick that IV in so they can also give fluids and meds.

Last night (well, this morning, technically) it took 3 people a total of 5 tries to get a useable vein on me. The first tech tried once and when the vein blew she got a passing nurse—same guy who had been there last time I was in the ER, and who remembered me—to come try. He tried 3 different veins that seemed promising, but refused to put out for him once he’d stabbed me. The last guy—he was offered all kinds of goodies if he could find vein on the first try.

And thank God, he did.

So yeah…I was in the ER all night, accompanied by the Boy. All morning? We got there at 1:30 and left at 6:30.

This was the worst pain yet, bad enough I’ve had to readjust my personal 1 to 10 scale. Since I hadn’t clawed my eyes out or just passed out cold in a puddle of my own vomit, I’d give it a 9.3 at its peak. There was no position that relieved it in the least, and leaning back felt damn near impossible so I sat there on a not-very-comfortable ER bed with my legs crossed, leaning forward, head in hands with fingers clutching my hair, and I rocked back and forth, hoping that if nothing else the rhythm would distract me.

Yeah, didn’t work.

Since I had the abdominal ultrasound done last week, the ER doc was able to pull it up and get a good look at it. This is when Thumper found out that there appears to be nothing wrong with her gall bladder. No stones, no sign of inflammation. Slightly fatty liver, but no gall bladder problems.

So they gave me morphine and phenergan for the touch of nausea I was having at that point, and we waited for the lab to do all my blood and urine work. And then the blood work came back showing everything normal except for one very slightly elevated liver thingy, and a slight increase in leukocytes. By then I was loopy and sleepy but still hurting too much to sleep, so when the IV bag ran out they started another and gave me more morphine.

(This is the same drug that had me crying after the surgery to remove the pituitary tumor. I was convinced that it was going t make me stop breathing, and I didn’t want it, not at all. Knowing better now, I welcomed it last night.)

After dose #2 the pain settled into a mid 5, low 6 range. Pretty much what they let me go home with the last time I was I the ER. But not this time…Next on the agenda, a G.I. cocktail of Maalox, lidocaine, and some anti-spasmodic drug.


Pain free in 3 minutes.

We don’t know if the morphine finally did its job, or it the anti-spasmodic did it, or if it was the combo of Maalox and lidocaine, or all of it, but I felt fine after that.

And we were still waiting on the urine sample.
We waited.
And waited.
And waited some more.
And surprise, the doc came back and said I have a UTI. I have no symptoms of a UTI, but have one I do, apparently.
The ER doc surmises I may have an ulcer.
Oh joy.

They sent me home with Zantac and Bactrim, and come hell or high water my doc is seeing me on Monday.

I felt bad for the Boy, who was just getting ready to go to bed when I asked him to take me to the ER, and who sat there in the World’s Most Uncomfortable Chairs ™ all night. But thank God he was home, because that really was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

I need new innards.

After we’ve gotten the tax crap squared away, I may start look for some on EBay.

‘Cause EBay has everything.


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