It's just that they have the audacity to affect *me*!
So. It's been an interesting week. Continuing the story from last week about the smashed van:
Without transportation for K, it became my responsibility to get her to and from work. Why me? Because she has no one else, she's a good friend, and after all I owe her. Think I've mentioned that.
This meant getting up at 6:30, fixing Hubby's breakfast and lunch to leave on the counter, dash off to pick up K by 8:00 (15 min drive) and have her to work by 8:20 (it takes her at least 10 minutes to get up to her 'post'), hurry back to pick up Hubby and have him to work by 8:55. Then in the evening, have to pick up K at 4:40 and Hubby at 5:00 or 6:00 depending on whether he's working overtime.
I also needed to spend Tuesday doing things like turning in the license plates on the van, and spending hours talking with insurance companies.
Fortunately it was a relatively warm day (above freezing) and I got quite a bit done. Came home at 4:00 and relaxed until 4:30, dashed out the door to pick up K.
And slipped on the ice on my front step that had formed in the last half hour.
I landed against the rail so hard that I thought I had probably cracked a rib on the left side. However, there's nothing one can do for a cracked rib except avoid making it worse, so I got in the car and went downtown to collect the working people.
After discussing it with K, S, Hubby and Grandson (who technically owns the car), I decided to loan K my old Honda (1991) until we can get together the money for another van. So I spent Wednesday and Thursday getting that plan together, and delivered the Honda to Shirley on Thursday afternoon. (Meanwhile doing the whole double morning and afternoon thing.)
The good thing was that by Thursday, my ribs were much better and I knew they weren't cracked and probably not bruised. Been there before. But I had a growing pain in my right back, exactly opposite the abused rib. By Friday, the ribs weren't bothering me much at all, but the back was awful. Bad enough, in fact, that after grocery shopping in the morning, I didn't do much of anything else for the rest of the day. I had some difficulty convincing myself to fix dinner, and slept fitfully because lying down intensified the pain.
I want to emphasize that this is *not* a strained muscle. I did acquire several of those in the process, but this is inside the ribcage, and tends to move around a bit, feeling worse sometimes in my back and sometimes in front.
Saturday was worse. I moped around all day, unable to focus or set the pain aside. I did take an aspirin, which helped, but I am leery of relieving an unknown pain for fear of stressing something just because I can't feel it. I went to bed about 10:00 and slept until about 3:00, went to the bathroom and then couldn't convince myself to lie back down, because of how much more it hurt lying down and how difficult it was to get up again.
Hubby, who was still awake (he does that on weekends), looked up 'detached kidney' on the internet, because of the location and the increasing pain, but dismissed that possibility because it said that lying down relieved it, and it would cause nausea. Then he lost interest and went back to Twitter. So I went downstairs, hoping to doze in my desk chair (which is somewhat common - I find it the most comfortable place to sit).
I swear, I am *not* susceptible to suggestion! In fact, I usually stubbornly go the opposite way! But within a half hour, I was sick to my stomach. I have in fact never been so nauseated in my life. It was just about unbearable, in that no-escape, no-relief way of a headache or child birth. I sat there, unable to think of anything to do about it, as I gradually became dizzy; until it seemed (in a somewhat delirious way) that I was desperately in need of the bathroom (for urinating). I dashed upstairs to the bathroom, certain that I wasn't going to make it, getting dizzier by the step. Had my head been clear, I never would have done that, but by definition my head was *not* clear. I am so lucky I made it to the top. I got to the bathroom and fainted.
My son heard me fall and came running. Hubby came as Son called him. They tell me I looked dead. My eyes were open and I didn't seem to be breathing. That apparently lasted only about a minute. As I became aware, I knew that my son was saying, 'Breathe Mom' and crying; but mostly I knew that I was blissfully pain free.
Son was holding my head up. Hubby asked whether I should go to the hospital. Remembering that 'detached kidney' thing and realizing that *something* must be up, I said I probably should. He called an ambulance.
I'm so glad I had put on slippers and bathrobe to go downstairs! 'Cuz I at least had that much on for the ambulance and hospital. (Well, and nightgown and underpants - I'm old fashioned.) They came and strapped me into a chair and got me down the stairs and into the ambulance stretcher. You know how embarrassing that is when you actually feel fine? But I am truly grateful for the medic who put in a vein access whatchamacallit, because he did a really good job. There was minimal pain going in and the thing never bothered me. I've never had that experience before.
Anyhow, the rest of the story is very boring. Saturday night, all of Sunday, nearly all of Monday: tests and lying in bed trying to be comfortable. They tried Motrin which was only minimally effective. I turned down the morphine because I was afraid it would interfere with the next test they wanted to try (it would have - they apparently hadn't coordinated on that one). The Chest Pain Center has really, really nice beds, free TV and phone, and attentive staff. I was as comfortable as the pain allowed me to be.
Blood tests, x-ray, and cat scan all turned up exactly nothing. They also did a test for heart efficiency, the results of which I haven't yet seen. They finally, based on a specific test, made a diagnosis of 'Syncope', which basically means that if I run upstairs when in severe pain, I'm likely to faint.
Well, they have to justify getting paid somehow.
Anyhow, all of the tests indicate that the pain is simply inflammation inside the ribcage, and I just have to wait it out. They prescribed Lortab in spite of the fact that I told them that both acetaminophen and Lortab are ineffective for me. I'm taking aspirin and ibuprofen which is working quite well. I take the two which is enough to sleep for 4 hours, then take them again.
Nobody has any explanation for the nausea. They mostly pretended it didn't exist.
Oh, just to make sure that nothing is easy, when I fainted, I landed mostly on my left shoulder. Due to the pain on my right side, I can sleep only on my left, so I simply have to ignore the aggravation to that. And I broke a tooth.
Hey, I'm not trapped in a collapsed building in New Zealand!