Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Normal" is a relative term, right?

So, it’s been a few weeks since I posted on my amazingly wonderful week. It's been awhile, because the fun didn't end just got better... After sticking it out for the rest of the week...and hibernating for the weekend...I once again, crawled out of bed and dragged myself to work. By this time I'd had some serious sinus issues and was coughing on a regular stuff right? Apparently, not fun enough.... By the end of the day, I was so miserable, I had already called my dr--two of them in fact, because one wanted the advice of the other before treating me. Yeah, it was awesome. I was advised to go to the ER--neither of them wanted to play around with my fun symptoms. At this point I should probably mention that not only was out of my mind tired, but at this point was also having trouble breathing--shortness of breath and it hurt to take a deep breath...or cough...or laugh... So, knowing that going to the ER was seriously going to cost me....I decide to go to Urgent Care. Who after collecting my copay, making me wait for over 20 min, and taking vitals, told me that they weren’t equipped to run lab tests and all they could do for me was take a chest x-ray--and I should really go to the ER. They were also concerned because my heart rate was really high--they checked it three different times and it was between 125 and 133 each time. Awesome--could they not have told me that before wasting my time and copay? Seriously...So off we go to the ER--I should mention that my younger brother was home from school on spring break and was being amazing and driving me around--because he's thoughtful like that. And because my mom had to work, and she didn’t want me driving myself--not sure why, but whatever. I did have to pick him up from the ER once at 1am after he "broke his butt" pulling some stunt at the Peak on his snow I guess we're even. :)

Anyway, after the initial check in, we settle in the waiting room for what appears to be a good wait. An hour later they call me back--not to be seen, because they weren't to me yet, but because my heart rate was so high they wanted to be sure it hadn’t gotten worse while I was out there waiting, apparently, that would get you priority. It hadn't gone up (or down either) so back to the waiting room I go...for another hour and a half. When I finally get back there, and get to change into the awesome hospital gown...seriously, they can't come up with something that will close in the back?...the nurse comes in and takes all my vitals again. After a while the dr comes back and the fun begins. I'm going through my last week and such and explaining that I have RA and MCTD--and he actually seemed to know what that is! And listing the different medications I was on...and explaining that I'd discontinued the Plaquenil that Saturday, and why. ( I was having some blurry vision issues and some serious pressure around the eyes, putting in my contacts was even painful--not to mention the nausea) They get the chest x-ray from urgent care, and he tells me that he's not sure if they'll run any blood work or not, he hadn't yet decided, but he wanted me to have an EKG because of the heart rate issue. After that the nurse comes back to put in an IV, they were going to give me a CAT scan, with the reactive dye to check for blood clots in my lungs. Before they do this though, they need to be absolutely positive I'm not pregnant....Apparently not everyone believes its possible for a 26 year old to be a virgin...whatever... So they send me down the hall to the bathroom (in the amazing flowy nonclosing hospital gown) to pee in a cup. If having that stupid gown, three sizes too big and all over the place was not bad enough, they still had lines from the vitals machine that they didn’t detach but unplugged hanging down as well as my IV needless to say that was an adventure... So after they had confirmed that I had not immaculately conceived, I was detached again and wheeled around to x-ray for the CAT scan. Once back in my room a Phlebotomist comes back to draw some blood. After a while (by this point the IV bag was pretty much empty, so it had been awhile...) the dr came back to tell me that my CAT scan was clear and I didn't have any clots, and they didn’t notice anything on the chest x-ray, so they think I just have a serious sinus infection. He also told me that my blood work showed some irregularities in my kidney function that was most likely caused by my connective tissue disorder. He wrote me a script for a Z-pack, gave me orders for more blood work to do in two days to check my kidneys again, and told me to follow up with both my PCP and my Rheumatologist.

I wasn’t much phased by this new development, and after getting home at 2am and finally getting to bed, I actually got up in the am to drop off my rx on the way to work...yup, I still went...Another miserable day at the which I eventually gave up and went home around 2:30 when I seriously had depleted my last drop of energy. I also told my boss that I would not be in the next day either. After staying home all day Wednesday...bored out of my mind I might add...I went back to work Thursday. All in all, a crazy and tiring week. Now, two weeks later, I'm feeling back to normal--or at least, my version of normal. Tomorrow is my follow-up appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. I'm worried that they will try to put me on another medication and then insist on seeing me again for another follow-up. Its insane having to take an entire day off to drive out there (it takes 2 hours) not to mention the gas money...not to mention the CC itself is ridiculously expensive. I managed to hit my $750 deductible by Feb 4th...seriously...that’s insane...35 days and I'd already surpassed it...So, yeah...while I may only have my copay to worry about since I've already satisfied my deductible...I'd still rather not waste my time and my gas money driving all over creation when I have a perfectly fine dr right here in Erie. Have I mentioned I'm using my last sick day to go out there tomorrow? Yeah, so I'd really rather not have to go again. So here's hoping...

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