Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pain Bad! Morphine Goooood!

Last Thursday at 5:30 AM my four year old decided it was time to get up. Not only did she decide it was time for her to get up, it was time for Mommy and Daddy to get up, too. I'm always torn when my kids do this, or at least when they do it with a smile. On the one had, it's great to see them in the morning being happy. On the other, I like to sleep, thank you.

Interestingly enough, she wasn't the biggest pain I had that morning, though. As I started trying to extricate myself from the mattress, I started getting a pain in a band across the top of my abdomen. At first I thought it might be muscular. I've started working out in the evenings and hitting my "core" muscles pretty heavy. Trouble is, it didn't go away.

I took some ibuprophen and tried to get ready for work, but things just kept getting worse. I even tried eating a light breakfast but that didn't go so well. The pain just kept intensifying, alternately feeling like an ache on steroids and a muscle "burn." My back started aching, too, mostly from bending over and trying to hold the rest of my body up.

Have you ever been in enough pain that you can't think straight? That's where this was taking me. Finally, at about 8:00, I gave up on going to work and told Cozy to call the doctor. He couldn't see me until 10:30. After bit of hemming and hawing about the cost (we've got really crappy insurance through Healthwise Blue Cross) for a half an hour, I told Cozy to wake up the older kids (to watch the younger ones), and take me to the hospital. I couldn't wait two hours to see a doctor; I hurt too much. It hurt when I moved, and it hurt when quit moving, so I'd hit my limit.

Cozy drove me over the emergency room, and I was seen pretty quickly. When the triage nurse was taking my vitals and interrogating me about my condition, she asked, "On a scale of one to ten, with one being very little pain at all, and ten being someone tearing your arms off, how much pain are you in?"

I told her, "I don't know. A seven? I've never had my arms torn off so I don't really have a point of reference." She just looked at me in disbelief, tried not to smile, shook a hear head and moved on. I can't blame her. I get that a lot.

They showed me to a tiled stall (I'd hate to call it a room) with a gurney, a window, and a drapery over the opening. Then they hooked me up to an I.V. and took several phials of blood out of my arm.

Eventually the doctor came in and proceeded with the interrogation. She poked and prodded my belly so she could find just the right place to make me scream. One thing I will say, she's was good at it. I must have told my would-be captor what she wanted to hear, because she gave me morphine as a reward for good behavior.

Pain bad. Morphine good.

About 15 minutes later I was pretty zonked. The pain was gone, thank goodness, and I was in morphine heaven. The nurse wheeled my stoned butt down the hall to get an ultrasound done. After more pushing, poking, and picture taking, I was taken back to my stall to sleep off the rest of the morphine.

A bit later the doctor came back and declared me a victim of gallstones. My gallbladder was throwing rocks at my small intestine and causing all the trouble. Funny. I never realized the two of them didn't get along.

I was then referred to a surgeon for a consultation in a few weeks. The doctor promised me more pain and torture. I think they want to take out my gall bladder. I know it's been misbehaving, but ripping it out of my body seemed a bit drastic at the time.

My captors didn't find sufficient evidence to hold me on charges, so they let me go home, with a prescription for Lortab. I don't like that stuff, to be honest. It doesn't do much for my pain; it just makes me nauseous. When my head hit the pillow I was out like a light. Yeah, the doctor said the morphine would wear off in two hours, but I don't believe her. I slept straight through the day until 5:30 that night, exactly twelve hours after my daughter had first woken me up.

At this point I'm thinking I'm going to have to beg off on the surgeon. If I can keep this under control for a while, without resorting to surgery, I think I'll be better off.At least I'll be better off financially. Like I said, we've got crappy insurance. On the other hand, I was in a lot of pain and I'm not looking forward to that happening again.

Then again, maybe it's the morphine calling.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

You're wise to seek out alternatives to surgery. I wish I had.