Hubby and the boys walked with my bed as I was wheeled to room 3102B. After I was admitted I was started on the antibiotic, ampicillin, because I believe Dr. Parry assumed I had some type of infection either in my bone, my bone marrow, my muscle tissue or my blood. The ER doctors mentioned I may have osteomyelitis, so I WebMD’d it and began to accept the realization that something was indeed seriously wrong with my body. They took a few vials of blood for a blood culture and hooked me up to an IV. I called my parents to let them know what was going on. They were much more calm than I’d expected, which was a relief. I spoke to my mother-in-law as well, and I could hear the concern in her voice, but no one freaked out and said they were jumping on the next plane, so I could relax and not worry that they were freakishly worried.
I had a roommate, but her curtain was closed. Her voice sounded young, so I was a little excited that I wasn’t rooming with a geriatrics-qualified roomie. The next day I learned that her name was Jazmin and she was also 29. She had a nasty nasty nasty cellulitis infection on her leg. So we both had some sort of leg infection. I made sure to never touch her stuff, but sharing a bathroom made it a little difficult. I super sanitized my hands and brushed my teeth in a different bathroom. My first evening I spent alone because Hubby took the boys back home because the ER nurse said that visitation hours had ended.
My night nurse was the nicest nurse I encountered. We chatted about her experience as a nurse and she encouraged me. I don’t remember the exact content of our conversation, but I remember writing down on my Stamford hospital feedback form that she was excellent, because she treated me as a healthy person who just happened to spend a night or two under her care, and not a helpless invalid. She woke me up at 3 AM to change my IV fluids and to give me a heparin shot. This was first time in my life I was given a blood thinner. It is literally a shot in the stomach. I could have handled the repetitive pricks and stabs in the arm, but I could not handle being stabbed in the stomach with a needle. I decided right then and there that was the last heparin I would receive for the rest of my life.
In the morning, I awoke to my morning nurse who was not nearly the same caliber as my night nurse. The morning nurse was young and inexperienced and treated me as a checklist. She came in to give me my heparin shot, and she was shocked at my refusal. My belly was sore at the site from the shot, and I was not about to let another person stab me in the stomach. It was Sunday, and not a lot of doctors were on duty, so I tried to to enjoy the day. I asked Hubby to bring a list of items for me, and at the top of the list was my laptop. I quickly realized that I was not going to be able to blog because of the bigger IV needle in my arm. I didn’t want to move my arm a millimeter. I looked forward to seeing a doctor the next day and figuring out what was wrong with me. I had a lot on my plate. Monday was the Sex and the City 2 red carpet premiere at Radio City hall. I was very excited to possible meet Sarah Jessica Parker. I had worked on our brand’s promotional event and was super excited to finally go to something fun to brag about. On Wednesday, I was heading to South Beach for the team’s offsite on Wednesday morning, and from there I was flying to Kansas City for Granny Gee’s 90th birthday. I had one event and two trips, I seeing the doctor was numero uno so that I could get discharged and be on my way. My blood culture was negative, which meant there was no infection in my blood. This was great news, but I still couldn’t lift my leg any higher than a few inches off the bed. Room 3102B was quite confining. I was 29 and healthy, so I couldn’t wrap my head around why I was in a bed that felt like the geriatric ward. I thought it was unfair that the old people got to hang out together. I even called the hospital operator and asked if there was a place for young people. She told me it was called ‘pediatrics,’ but that it was for up to 18 years old and that I probably should not visit. I quickly became the mayor of Stamford hospital on foursquare.
On Monday morning the variety pack of doctors began making their rounds and I was still the mayor. I saw a doctor for internal medicine, a general surgeon, Dr. Parry, the infectious disease doctor, the attending, and the intern. I obtained the results from the previous Friday’s CT scan. There was fluid (which indicated inflammation) in my abdomen, my pelvis and hip and in my reproductive organs. My pelvis was extremely tender to the touch in one spot tiny spot. Everywhere else hurt internally or when I attempted to use my thigh muscles. Everyone was still baffled and then the testing began. That Monday I had an a pelvic and lower back MRI, an echo-cardiogram and a lyme disease screen. The MRI’s were the worst. It’s freezing in the testing room because they have to keep the machines very cool so that the instruments do not over heat. I was padded with two heated blankets and them slid into the magnetic imaging tube for over an hour. I lay there with ear plugs and counted down in my head while trying to remain perfectly still. I am not a very claustrophobic person, but after more than an hour in a skinny-weeny tube, it gets to you.
After each test I was wheeled back to my room. I remembered after having Gadget that walking around showed signs of improvement to the nurses, so I limped, circling the nurses station so that they could see that I was improving. I took a shower, and booted up my laptop. I was convinced that I was getting out in time to make it to the red carpet premiere. I met with the physical therapist and she taught me how to go up and down the stairs with my gait. She gave exercises for my underworked leg. I called work a few times, and told my team I was planning on making it. I made a comment to the admin that I was missing some balloons. My roommate had beautiful ‘Get Well Soon’ balloons and a bouquet, and I had nothing. I told the admin that I would sincerely enjoy an edible arrangement, since flowers just die and don’t taste very good. I spoke to my manager, and he asked for my ticket to give to someone else. I told him that I was waiting to see Dr. Parry, that as long as I was released in the next few hours, I could still make the premiere.
After two children and two laparoscopic procedures I finally learned how the pain scale worked. It ranges from 0 to 10, where 10 is the most painful feeling you’ve ever had. When Gadget was born, I thought 10 was the most painful experience one could imagine, so when the nurses kept asking me my pain level, I kept telling them ‘4,’ because compared to being run over by a train (to me THAT was a 10), childbirth had to be about a 4, because women did this everyday. It was amusing to learn that a ten was the most pain I had ever experienced. After this realization, I now classify my gallbladder attacks, non-epidural assisted vaginal childbirth and my hip pain as a ten, everything else I’ve experienced was manageable.
I ordered lunch, which was a baked potato with shredded cheese, and the cafeteria told me and I quote, “this is not a restaurant.” My baked potato arrived with no cheese, and the regular strawberry Yoplait yogurt arrived as a Diet Blueberry yogurt. Not the same. The clock was ticking, and Dr. Parry finally arrived. He had bad news. He had no clue as to why my hip was inflamed, why my muscle wasn’t working, my antibiotic treatment was not over, and for these reasons, he would not discharge me. I missed the Sex and the City 2 premiere and moped for the rest of the day. I was frustrated, in pain, sad, depressed and angry, and the only place I had to turn was to God.