Thursday, May 31, 2018

So I was Really Sick

We've had the puppy for two weeks now--her name is Cava--and I spent one of those weeks really sick. For some reason I was entirely in denial about how sick I was. I'm still not sure why.

It was food poisoning--campylobacter, as it turns out--which has an incubation of 3 to 7 days, so hard to say exactly where it came from. I started feeling bad Saturday night--eleven days ago--when, just after I went to bed, I came down with the worst chills of my life. Pretty soon I was huddled under five blankets, wearing a wool sweater and socks over my pajamas, shivering so hard my shoulder muscles ached afterward. That lasted a few hours. Then I spiked a fever that had me on top of all the blankets, wearing only a t-shirt, drenched in sweat.

My husband plied me with Tylenol, Advil, and Imodium--I needed that, too--and my symptoms abated for a few hours, only to return every time the meds started wearing off. I spent all Sunday asleep in my bed, alternating between chills and fever.

Monday I moved to the couch, which somehow seemed like improvement enough that I flat-out refused to go to the doctor. Even now I can't really say why. I didn't want to, and I didn't go. I should add that my husband is actually a doctor, and that he was saying, emphatically and often, that I needed to go to my own doctor. And I wouldn't do it. I didn't want to be sick.

Which as we all know has nothing to do with anything.

So. I had another really difficult night Monday night--three in a row, for those who are counting--and I woke up realizing that I really did need to go to the doctor. I'd eaten very little the day before and my gut was starting to feel heavy, turgid. I was wildly thirsty. I went downstairs and took a slug of Sprite and pain shot through my abdomen. Yikes.

So then I ended up in the emergency room, with my lovely patient husband trying not to grind his teeth over how annoying I'd been. Fortunately my daughter is home for a few weeks and she stepped in also--between the two of them they kept me company and helped me get proper care and took care of the horses and the new puppy. They were superstars.

I was not, even then. My husband left the ER for a few hours to see some urgent patients of his own and clear the rest of his schedule. When he returned, I told him hotly that some woman from "respiratory" had come in and told me they were scheduling me for breathing treatments, and that I'd told her it was all hogwash, I would just take my asthma inhalers the way I usually did.

My husband said, "Could you please start being a patient and quit being a pain in the ass?"

I have a feeling that as a doctor he's waited a very long time to say those words to somebody.

Anyhow I complained that I didn't need "Respiratory" and he said, "Your sat is 93," and I said, "WHAT?" because I know full well my blood oxygen saturation is supposed to be above 95, always. I said, "why is my sat 93?" and he said, "Because. You. Are. Sick." and I said that if the Respiratory woman had told me my sat was 93 I wouldn't have brushed her off. (It didn't matter. She came back and gave me a treatment as though I'd never tried to refuse it; I got them twice a day the whole time I was in the hospital, and my sat went back up.)

Anyway I ended up admitted to the hospital and I stayed there until Friday. We had to cancel a family golf trip, to our dismay. (I don't golf, but I love the place where we were going.) My son was able to come home instead of meet us at the golf place, so that was good. I had big bruises all over my arms from all the IVs and blood draws. I took naps all weekend and eased back into eating.

Yesterday my daughter was cleared to ride her horse again, after the knee surgery she had 10 weeks ago. We went out together on a long walk hack, through the wet high grass redolent  with the heavy smell of honeysuckle. It was fantastic.

I really am better now. I really was sick.