Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Trip to the Emergency Room

I am somebody who is pretty damn healthy for 32 years of age. I run multiple times a week, play with the dog and go through jiu jitsu and wrestling training every week. I have been fortunate as I haven't really run into any serious health issues. I make health conscious decisions, and it has paid off for me.

But last Wednesday I was in so much pain that an emergency room visit was my only option.

Wednesday nights are the nights where I get my ass kicked. I have an hour of wrestling followed by an hour plus of jiu jitsu. I made it through wrestling just fine and continued on to jiu jitsu. As we were doing drills, I just felt tight, like something wasn't totally right. I thought I just needed to stretch out more, but after about a half hour, we were about ready to go live, and my right side was so tight that I really couldn't twist my body. I spent about 30 seconds debating on whether I should just push through and keep going before wisely deciding that I needed to bow out of practice. I tried to walk it off, but things were definitely not improving, so I decided to head home.

As I was driving home, something horrible happened; my adrenaline wore off, and I realized I wasn't tight, I was in extreme pain. I tried to find an urgent care place but the one I found was closing in 15 minutes, and I kind of doubted my issue was going to be solved in 15 minutes. After that, the pain was too much for me think straight, so I didn't have the mental capacity to find an alternative option. I called my wife, let her know that I needed her to find a hospital and drive me there when I got home. After I hung up the phone, I had one goal, and that was to stay conscious through the pain to make sure I didn't go careening off the road. This is the first piece of evidence that I a melodramatic baby.

I made it home, and we set off for the hospital. On the way there, the pain got so bad that I nearly vomited, so I was stuck taking everything out of my dog's travel bag so I would have a place to puke. But I held it together and we made it to the small medical facility.

I signed in and was able to get a room in about five minutes. Unfortunately, that was just a room, and that didn't mean I was getting any actual medical attention. As I was waiting, I kept going to the bathroom as I felt I needed to drop a deuce, but every time I sat on the can, the feeling went away. Since I was just stewing in my own pain and filth (I had 90 minutes of sweat built up around my body from the workout), I paced around the bathroom, breathing heavy, half the time with my shorts around my ankles. It was not my sexiest moment.

During this wait, I had time to consider my options. This pain was terrible, and I'd be lying if I didn't think that I might need emergency surgery to save my life. Was this dramatic of me? Of course it was, and I'm not proud of it, but unexpected and unexplainable pain like that leads my mind to start working on the emotional side as opposed to the logical side. 

Still, I came up with three possible options for what ailed me. A sharp pain in my side, my mind immediately went to appendicitis. Like, I have heard that an appendix bursting is an unbearable pain, and this seemed pretty damn unbearable to me. But I thought there were usually warning signs before it got this intense, so after some contemplation, I put the odds fairly low on this one. Next up was maybe tearing a muscle during the workout, but it was a throb, more than just feeling like I had been stabbed, so I kind of doubted this option. The option I was most sold on was a hernia, as it was a pain that went from my front to my back straight through and just felt awful all around. 

Finally the nurse came in, but that was mostly just to tell me that the doctor would be a while. Basically, until the doctor saw me, they really couldn't do shit. So I sat there, laid there, and stood there, all in various states of horrific pain, making weird whimpers of pain all the while. I got an IV, but that was just to keep me hydrated for the time being. The nurse wrongly claimed that I didn't have that great of veins, but my veins are phenomenal.

Finally, the doctor saw me and agreed to give me medicine for pain and nausea. This only took me two hours. I could barely speak before getting that medicine, as I mostly communicated in grunts. But once that pain medicine hit? Ooh, girl, I was feeling good. So good. Was I still in pain? Yeah, but my pain went from 9.0-9.5 down to like a 3 or 4. I immediately wanted to start tweeting and Snapchatting my experience, but my wife wouldn't let me since there was still the possibility that I was going to need a serious surgery, and she was, like, concerned and stuff. Me? I didn't have a care in the world. I was slightly loopy, but it was just such a damn relief that it felt like euphoria. 

Finally, it was time for me to get a CAT scan. They were wheeling me over, and I was shaking uncontrollably. They thought that I was nervous, but I had to let them know that I was simply freezing. Hospitals tend to keep things on the cool side, and considering I was wearing clothes that were soaking wet from the gym. Maybe my best decision that night was having my wife grab my dry underwear from the car so I could put that on shortly after arriving at the emergency room. 

The CAT scan was fairly simple. They warned me that I would get an iodine shot that would make me feel warm and possibly make me think I was peeing myself but not to worry about it. The latter didn't happen, but man, when I got that iodine shot, all of that warmth they talked about went straight to my butthole. It wasn't an unpleasant experience, more like my body was in a pool while my butthole was in a hot tub. Then they scanned me, and I was good to go back in my room, cover up with blankets and watch hockey.

Things stayed relatively calm for the most part, but apparently the nausea medicine didn't take as I did finally fulfill my destiny and start vomiting profusely. That was just my body's hilarious way of saying that there was still something horribly wrong with me. 

After another hour, the doctor finally came in to give me the results. She started off by saying that my appendix looked great. I'm almost positive that this is how ER doctors flirt with patients, so I'm pretty sure that she was asking me out on a date. You know what they say about a guy with a great appendix? Neither do I, but I assume ladies in the medical community go crazy for them.

And then she dropped the bomb on me. What had caused me so much pain, what had caused the most manly of men to turn into the babiest of babies, what made this guy want to cry...a kidney stone.

The first emotion I felt was relief. My imagination had been going wild, and I was expecting a worst case scenario. At least this was something that I knew could be taken care of, and I would be healthy relatively soon. It was probably the best case scenario.

But I'd be lying if I wasn't a little disappointed. With the pain I was feeling, I kind of wanted the doctor to find something incredibly wrong with me and marvel at my bravery and pain tolerance. Like, a family of tarantulas crawled down my throat while I was sleeping, but my kidney held their arms while my small intestine choked them out, and now I would poop out spiders for the next few days, but I'll also do a lot of late night television for being literally the toughest dude alive. Like I said, I have quite the imagination. But no, it was just a kidney stone.

But don't get it twisted, kidney stones are no joke. But I'll tackle that topic next time.

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