Thursday, November 08, 2012


Got my first ride in an ambulance Saturday night.

It'd been coming on for over a month, and I just didn't recognize the signs.

First, I had been light-headed for brief spells.  Mental note:  tell family doctor to adjust blood pressure medicine.  Only thing was, my blood pressure was fine.  Even during a spell.  I actually had Husband RJ take it once right between two spells.  Normal as hell.

115 over 80.  My personal best.

Then (Squeemish, look away!) my catheters began to sting.  Well, I reuse them and have done for almost a decade.  But my new Neuro decided that that was WRONG.  I patiently explained that I wash them and dry them thoroughly after each use.

Well, she raised Holy Hell, and I finally decided that, Hey, maybe she's right.  I began to dip them in alcohol after washing them.

DOH!  I thought the stinging was the alcohol.  Wrong.  I also did not catch on to the terrible pain in my back, left side.  I thought it was the sprain acting up again.

Well the light-headed thing finally got out of hand.  Happened only when at rest or just standing around, doing nothing. 

Saturday night, while watching Celebrity Ghost Stories, the sound was pulsating in my head, and the room was swaying.  Total confusion set in and I collapsed on the couch.  RJ tried to take my blood pressure, but my arm kept flopping away from him.

"Call 911.  I need an ambulance."  He grabbed the phone and began to dial.  Then he had an idea: why can't he just drive me?   This was a huge mistake, because it takes no time to dial 911.  He had already gotten through when he hung up.

911 called back.  RJ said I was unwell, but he would take me to the ER.

911 wasn't having any of it.  In a few minutes a police car showed up, and my dear, sweet HuggaMutt attacked the nice young cops, who just wanted to help.  They took a minute to assess the situation and called an ambulance.

It took God-Awful Forever for the ambulance to arrive.  By then I couldn't keep my eyes open.

(It was only the next day that it occurred to me that neither the cops not the EMTs believed RJ's story.  I wasn't much help because I couldn't focus, visually or mentally.)

I was finally lofted onto a gurney and carted out to the Erway van.  Then the interrogation began in earnest.  To his credit, the EMT was still monitoring my pulse, pb and taking blood samples.  Pretty soon, he stated, "Your blood pressure is high, and you are hyper-ventilating.  We will proceed to the ER."  He kept calling me "Dear" during the whole interrogation and followup.

For a Saturday night, the ER was fairly quiet.  Guess the party doesn't start until after Midnight.  We did the usual waiting in the curtain-shrouded room.  I was stuck all over with monitor thingies. (What a pain:  I hadn't shaved my legs all week.  I don't shave my legs all winter.  My bikini area is another story.)

The final verdict:  U.T.I.  What the hell?  Also, it would be a very good idea to go to the Neuro as soon as possible for the lightheadedness.  They gave me stuff for the soaring blood pressure, a smack on the butt, and sent me home.  The next morning my blood pressure went so low, I couldn't leave the house.

It is nearly a week later and the UTI is somewhat better, but the light headedness is not.

Punch line:  Neuro can't see me until the middle of December!  She's stacked up and I am going on a waiting list for a possible opening.  In the meantime, I am living as usual, with antibiotics and those orange pills that dye EVERYTHING orange. 

I am light headed as I type this post.

Little Pond

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