Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I have been a negligent blogger lately. Mea culpa. The following is a story whereby I hope to explain my radio silence despite having a week off(!).

We'll start with Saturday. I went to my aunt and uncle's for cake and ice cream for my cousin's 18th birthday. I noticed him texting and asked him if he was going out with his friends later to celebrate. "Nah," he responded, "I'm going to bed. I have to work early tomorrow."

At this point, I had to re-evaluate my life. My 18-year-old cousin, a high school senior, was staying in on the Saturday night before his birthday. I was going to a kegger for a 28-year-old man with a job and a mortgage.

I redeemed myself (sort of) by going to a bridal shower on Sunday and conducting myself like a grown-ass person should. I then drove home. I was looking forward to a bubble bath with my new orange-ginger bubble bath and a glass of Bordeaux. I got to enjoy it for about ten minutes. At which point my lower abdomen started to hurt. Really, really badly. I did what any rational adult would do: I ignored it, hoping it would go away. That didn't work. Especially since the pain was directly over my right hip, also known as "where your appendix lives." Mama Lo informed me I would know if it was my appendix because I wouldn't be able to bend my knee and pull it to my chest. Yeah, my knee moved about two inches and I started screaming. I gave up and called Olivia to see if she wanted to take me to the E.R. (she brought me a book to read, for which I love her).

I'll give you the short version: I spent 4 out of 4 days seeking medical treatment. I spent 3 out of those 4 nights in the E.R. I had 2 C.T.s, 5 I.V. attempts, 3 successful I.V.s, 2 additional needle sticks for blood tests, 2 urine tests, 2 pelvic exams, an x-ray, 4 doses of morphine, 2 prescriptions for painkillers, and countless painful prods in the abdomen.

Doctors: (jabbing me in the stomach, I grimace and make a sound I didn't know I could make). Damn, it sure seems like it's your appendix!
Lola: Swell.
Doctors: But it's not showing up on the C.T. Take the Vicodin. Come back if you're not better in 12 hours. It still may be your appendix, we don't want that thing to rupture!
Lola: (gulp!)

And I still have no diagnosis. On Wednesday, really cute PA-C guy (more on him later) announced that surgery was coming down to talk to me. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of bing cut open, but I figured "hey, at least they know what's wrong!"
About that.
Two of them came in, jabbed me in the stomach some more and then shrugged. "Could be kidney stones. But, you know, 25% of the time when someone comes in with lower abdominal pain, we never figure out what it is. Take the vicodin. Come back if you start running a fever."
Lola: Are you absolutely sure you passed your medical boards?

A word on really cute P.A.-C guy (hereinafter PACMAN). He was...distractingly cute. I'm not positive about anything that happens under the influence of morphine (I hate morphine. Even after the pounding in my chest and heaviness in my limbs subsides, I still say stupid things. Like, I can hear how stupid I sound, but I am powerless to stop it), but I am 95% sure I made an ass of myself in front of him. Like, kept grinning like an idiot when he'd ask me questions or we'd make eye contact. Now, Grey's Anatomy implies that having a hot medical treater is like winning the lottery. Which may be true for most people, I am not most people. The following exchanges, reproduced for your benefit, occurred:
PACMAN: Any nausea?
Lola: Yes.
PACMAN: Vomiting?
Lola: Nope.
PACMAN: Loss of appetite?
Lola: Yes.
PACMAN: What about diarrhea?
Lola: (mortified whisper) yes.

Sometime later...
PACMAN: Well, no ovarian cysts showed up on the C.T., but just to be sure, I have to do a manual exam. So, if you haven't taken your underwear off yet, go ahead and do that, and I'll be back with a nurse.
Lola: You need me to take off my underwear? (under any other circumstances, hearing that sentence from his mouth would have been the highlight of my week. Except he was about to do a pelvic exam. And I hadn't shaved my legs. I swear that the was the first thought I had. Life is cruel.)
PACMAN: Yep, I'll be back in a minute.
Olivia: ...I'll just step outside too....
Lola: Thanks for that.
A minute later...
PACMAN: So any pain? Any discomfort?
Lola: (bites tongue): Not from the exam.
PACMAN: So, the exam doesn't make it worse? Just the pain you've been having? And the discomfort is just....the normal....
Lola: (stares at ceiling in abject horror) Yeah, just the pain on the right side. No additional discomfort.
PACMAN: Good. Well, everything looks good--seems fine down there.
Lola: thanks.
Olivia: (re-entering): So, how'd it go?
Lola: Excuse me, I have to go die now.

The worst part is, I think in my drugged-up state (damn you, morphine!) I confided to my lady-doctor, a bubbly, sympathetic woman, that I thought PACMAN was hot. I think she told him. I say this only because when PACMAN was going over my discharge stuff, he kept asking "so, anything else for me?" and giving me this funny look even after Olivia and I asked him a dozen questions and said we didn't have anymore. Well, that was a lie. I had two more questions: 1) Are you single? 2) Wanna take me out sometime? But, I had had enough humiliation for one night, so I left with another pain med prescription and a laughing Olivia.
Bottom line: I have spent the past three weeks alternately in pain or drugged up. It doesn't do much for me. I hate Vicodin maybe more than morphine because it makes me nauseous. But, hilarity did ensue. I was waiting for she-funk to pick me up to get food one day, and I decided to check my phone. Which had died during the night, while I was Vicodin'd out. I found several panicked voicemails/texts.

Voicemail (and text): J-man: Are you ok? What are they doing for you? Do you need someone to come up there?
Voicemail: D: Hey, are you alright? Dad wants me to come down to check on you? I called Olivia. I didn't leave a message. Tell her it was me.

So, I call back:
Phone call, J-man: Are you ok?
Lola: I'm fine. I took my pain meds and my phone died. I've been napping and doing laundry.
J-man: Do you need your sister to come up there?
Lola: No. . .
J-man: Better call her then!
Lola: (eyeroll)

Phone call:
Lola: D, it's me
D: Oh my God, are you ok?
Lola: yes, Jabba just overreacted. My phone died and I didn't know it because I was drugged and asleep.
D: Ahhh, good. Tell Olivia I was the one who called her.
Lola: For the record, if something really bad happened, the hospital, the police, or one of my crazy friends will probably contact you guys. Simmer down. If anyone had bothered to check facebook, they would have realized I was safe and sound and doing laundry.
D: good point.

Phone call: Mama Lo.
Lola: Mercy Hospital!
Lola: See? You're the only one who thought that was funny!

I get the impression most mothers would not have been as amused.
So, there you have it. The combination of drugs, searing pain, and Barbri have conspired to make me very cranky. And a negligent blogger. So much for my summer vacation.