I came back from the visit to the minor med clinic full of rosy thoughts, no doubt prompted by the shot of painkiller administered to my left buttock. Don't get me wrong, I'm still blown away with the kindness and care of hard working people, and I was dead sure the bottles of pills and a little bed rest (enhanced by a couple of pain pills), would set me right in a few days. NOT!!!!!
By the time I came to on Monday evening, I felt a thousand times worse and my face was swollen as well as my lip. I rolled around on the bed for a little while until I felt sober enough to drive, stuck my wallet in my pocket, threw on my coat--by now it was bitterly cold as the weatherman had predicted--and took off for the emergency room. Not really sure which hospital to go to, I headed east, then decided I was not in the mood for stopping at a hundred red lights and got on the interstate. I figured I could go to the hospital in Germantown the back way in and stay off the main drag. When I took the exit from Sam Cooper Blvd onto I-240, I thought it would be a piece of cake to navigate the construction zone, because I'd done it many, many times. But this time it was DARK!!! And I probably didn't have all the faculties I needed to be transporting myself in a full size pickup truck with other kind and caring citizens risking their precious lives driving on the same roads as I. At one point I vaguely remember looking at the speedometer and I was doing around 30 mph. Oops!!!
I managed the exit and headed east. There right before my eyes was a hospital that I hadn't considered for some weird reason. I drive by it at least twice a week. So I thought, screw Germantown, and pulled into the emergency room driveway, attempted to pull into a parking spot, but wasn't confident enough of my driving abilities to think I could get in the space without taking out some other vehicles, backed up and found a more suitable spot to wheel the truck into.
The doors to the er slid open, I yanked off my wool hat, which caused a great deal of static electricity, making my hair crackle and stand straight up all over my head. I walked to the admitting desk, where two of the three health professionals were wearing face masks. Their eyes widened as I approached and one of them immediately asked me to sit and explain what had happened to me. I relayed my sad story of pain and swelling, gave them my vital statistics, got my name put on the list, and was directed to sit "over there", but not before the guy asked me if I was self conscious about how I looked. He was wearing a mask and I guess figured I should join the party. So I put on a mask. About a half hour later, I was called to follow the health professional who was not wearing a mask and went to one of the inner exam rooms, to wait a little more, but at least I was on a bed. The doctor came in, took one look at me, poked on my increasingly large and painful lip, asked me what happened, to which I answered with the same sad story I told the three at the admitting desk.
The doctor started talking about nasty infections, that if in such close proximity to your brain, can go there, infect that fine and wondrous organ, then kill you! Taken aback by his direct manner, I figured I was in for stronger drugs, and to be sent home with the admonition to obtain plenty of rest and check with my primary care physician in a timely manner. You can imagine my surprise when he told me I was going to be admitted to the hospital!!!!!!!
"NO" I said. "I have too many things to do in the morning!" and I began to cry. A very sweet young woman patted my shoulder, told me I was going to be okay, then stuck an IV port into my arm and hooked me up to fluids and antibiotics. A couple hours later I was ensconced in a room on the third floor.
The only time I have been in the hospital was to tend to my dear departed mother or sister, to have an out patient procedure, visit a friend, welcome a baby into the world, or give birth to my darling boys.
Now, I was a patient. Oh my god!!!!!! Stay tuned for the rest of the story.....