Wednesday, March 25, 2009

E.R. (Eavesdropping Rae)

I have this problem.

I love people. As in, I'm very interested in people and their lives and their conversations and sometimes I eavesdrop.

That's right--I eavesdrop sometimes. I guess you might say I'm still 13 that way? And maybe that's why I like photographing weddings. Because in that forum it's my job to be nosy, to be interested, to be looking and recording. The worst I get is the occasional cranky face or please-no-not-photos! face, and I have to tell you that doesn't sway me a bit. I click and smile. So cruel; now I have your soul in my camera. (Wow. I sound a little ruthless! I'm not, though; trust me.)

Anyway. Yesterday I woke up with fiery burning pain in my chest. Determining that it was not me-about-to-cry and not a quarter-life heart attack, I got up to give the kids breakfast and get them dressed. The second I got up, I was dizzy and could feel my head throbbing loudly. It was all I could do to dress the sweeties, feed the sweeties, then tell the sweeties I had to lay down. Phill dropped by with some allergy medicine. We thought it might be the new green in the backyard. But three hours later I had chills, not to mention no relief from the medicine.

Phill came home (oh, my hero!), and I took to the couch. I did call a few family practices and had no luck with an appointment for that day. So I just thought I'd wait it out. Unfortunately, it puts somewhat of a damper on life in general if it hurts to breathe! So I finally told Phill that maybe we should go to InstaCare. We had a neighbor come over and with Phill, give me a blessing (thank you very much, Mike), and then we went to InstaCare while our sweet neighbors watched the kids. (Have I mentioned my amazing neighbors? They take the cake. Oh! I should make them cake!)

Can you envision what I looked like? It looked much worse than it was. The chills were making me shake like a leaf, my face was flushed with the effort to breathe comfortably, and I had been crying, so little mascara-filled tears had painted faded-black rivulets down my sad face. Oh, poor me. :) They sent me to E.R., saying that more extensive testing was probably needed.

So....this is a long story and you might be drooling as you're asleep at your desk. Sorry. I wax wordy. Zipping forward: Fever of 101.8; they gave me Tylenol and Motrin and got me in one of those key-lime-pie-green hospital gowns that so conveniently open at the back. Every nurse/doctor there was very kind, I must say! Dixie Regional Medical Center. (I read that on a sign about forty times while waiting.) I was thoroughly puzzled over. Chest x-ray, blood test, that other test. (The guy asked, "Have you ever done a urine test?" I laughed. Very hard. Then said, "Well....I have three kids. So. A few times, yes.") Sorry for typing the word "urine" on my blog. Twice.

Moving what I was going to talk about in the first place! While I waited--and oh, did I have quite the wait--I quietly tuned in to the goings-on around me. I knew my problem was low on the scale of emergencies. I was sleepy and drifted in and out while I listened.

I heard a baby cooing to her parents after she had a test done. I heard the lady next door talking to her husband and son, saying, "I'm still waiting. I'm okay. Don't worry." She also said: "I can't think of a better way to spend a day than covered in sugary icing and flour." I smiled and wondered if her cake decorating was as good as it sounded, then thought how cake sounded really good.

I also must shamefully admit that I really listened hard when I heard things like "What we think you have is--"

But this is what happened.

"Okay, good news and bad news. The bad news--CLICK"--the door was shut.
Or "This is what's going on. You have--CLICK".

Thank goodness for privacy, right? (pfft....I was just curious! No harm done...)
Ultimately, though, I gleaned more from this than just a handful of sneakily-gotten information.
I grow ponderous when laying on a bed waiting to hear my fate. Wait 'til you hear what my fate was. It's lame.

I listened to the baby cooing and heard her parents talking about how cute she was, how well she was handling everything, how they hoped she was alright and not too terribly sick. I remembered how when our children have been sick, particularly in the E.R., our hearts turn to them and every healthy thing they do is a revelation and a blessing. I heard a lot more loving words in there, as opposed to stressful talk. It was soothing to hear everything happening around me. (so please forgive me for my well-intended nosy-ness? At least I don't tell other people's secrets--just mine)

Even the lady at the front desk, an elderly petite lady, made helpful conversation while I sat out-of-breath, waiting. A gust of wind came in through the closing doors and she said, "You know, there are so many of those little flower petals blowing around in this wind! Every time I open my garage, they get blown in." I forgot my aching lungs and smiled, imagining this cute lady standing in her garage, flabbergasted and surrounded by white cherry blossom petals carried on wind.

Oh. Are you wondering what I had? Well, I told you it's lame--they don't know. They figured it's a virus (given the fever) and sent me home, my fever down. It's alright. Aside from feeling rather silly and even a bit sheepish today, I'm functioning better and in much less pain. At least I made my little e.r. visit fun for myself, listening to the conversations around me and composing this post in my mind all the while.


leslie the licorice stick lady said...

You know, when Dave and I were first married, he got a pain in his chest one day that lasted for about a week. It hurt him so bad once during that week that he had to sit down on the side-walk once to recoop and catch his breath. I really thought it was serious. It turned out to be what we think was Pluracy, which is when your lungs stick to your rib cage. We never went into the E.R., and that diagnosis was just my dad's best guess, he's a dentist, and knows a fair amount about other health issues. It eventually went away, so we don't worry anymore. I wonder if this is what it was for you, although I have no clue why you had a fever. Glad you're feeling better. Oh, and I tend to listen-in on conversation too, but I am too shy to get right in someones face if they don't want me too. :)

Suzanne said...

I do the same thing, especially at the dr.s office, I am just curious (thats what I keep telling myself).
I hope you don't get that again, it sounds horrible and it always stinks when they say "it's probably just a virus".
Here is the big blessing in this, Phill was home when it happened and not down in Texas :).

Andrea said...

I did an ER visit in Cedar that also proved fruitless. I did wish I'd listened to Matt and waited a bit longer to go in, seeing as the shooting pains went away as I checked in (and spent the $100 co-pay).

Bridget said...

Oh gosh! Well I'm glad you're okay or at least on the mend ; > And thanks for your post by the way! I've read it a couple of times and when I'm feeling a little down, I will read it again! You are so sweet!

Kelly said...

You have such a happy spirit, even when things are at their worst. Please, please, PLEASE feel better. I hate to think of my Rachel in pain! (So glad that you blogged about it)

Kristy said...

I hate it when that happens (going in just to have them tell you ....virus...nothing you can do :) Anyway, I hope you get feeling better. Loved the entry. I love reading your blog. Tons of fun!

Qait said...

Oh, sad to think of my poor Rae crying and shaking and sick! :'(
I'm so glad it seems to have gone away. And don't feel sheepish--I'm sure you and I are particularly sensitive to our bodies' signals, and it's not something to be ashamed of. A little embarrassing sometimes, yeah, but I'm glad you were at the ER where it could be fixed if worse.
I eavesdrop too. I LOVE it when people hang up but the phone doesn't click or something...SO EVIL! :D

Lara said...

I am such an eavesdropper. I admit. I love listening in. Drives Joel nuts. But, there you go!

I hope you feel better soon, and I'm glad they finally figured out what you have and that you're on antibiotics.