Well, now that I'm feeling well enough to post a bit, I supposed I should.
Thursday night I went to bed at my usual time, about 10pm, and was feeling pretty good actually. At midnight I was awakened by severe chills… And I do mean severe. I was shivering so badly I barely made it to a hot shower, which fixed it. Later I was to discover that I was probably causing brain damage with the 104 degree temperature I was running plus the hot shower… Yay!
This event was repeated two more times at roughly 1am and 2am. At 3am I awoke feeling like I was on fire and the bad disk in my neck had shifted from all the shaking, pinched that bad nerve I have in there, and had shut down my vision on my right side…
Oh, and I was in absolute agony. For those who've never pinched a nerve the sensation simply cannot be described.
So, my roommate out of town and being 3am, I literally crawled over to my cell phone and called 911, then managed to stumble to the front door and unlock it for the paramedics.
Here's where things get a little fuzzy because all I have to go on is what I was told.
The ambulance got here and I'm told the paramedics found me slumped over on the couch. All I remember are the two Russian nurses trying to take my shirt off around an IV line in room 22 at the ER in the Aurora medical center…
It is really amazing what burns into your brain when it reboots – I can tell you everything in minute detail about that room from when I first came to; from locations of people and equipment to the positions of the lights and the labels on the cabinets. Really freaky.
Anyways, on the trip to the hospital the paramedics tried 3 times to get an IV into me and I have these huge black bruises to prove it. Apparently I go so dehydrated in the 5 hours since I went to bed that every time they stuck me, the vein burst. But they eventually got one to stick for a bit in the top of my left hand.
Once in the ER they gave me and injection to reduce my fever in my lower right leg. This will become important later in the story.
So once they got me conscious and could prove I wasn't a vegetable – and believe me, I got *real* tired of them asking me my name and birth date over and over and over – the battery of tests began.
I was on my third bag of fluid when they came to get a sample of snot from me, which involved squirting some NASTY fluid up my nose then forcefully running a vacuum tube through my left nostril and into the back of my skull… Then it was time to take blood samples, and four wine bottles and a handful of vials later it was time to pee in the cup.
I was heart monitored, blood oxygen measured, blood pressure cuffed, oxygenated, and IV'd… I must have looked a mess… And it didn't help that the IV in my left hand kept leaking and several times I bled all over their floor…
So here I lay in this crazily uncomfortable ER bed for about four hours total while they run every test they can think of to figure out why I was at 104 and unconscious when I came in. The result? Another “we don't know”…
All they found was that my white blood cell count was a bit high. That's it! I nearly die and they don't know why.
And I have to PAY for this? Sheesh…
So, eventually, the doctor gives me a prescription for Vicodin to keep the pain from my pinched nerve at bay for a few days while I heal up, and told me I was free to go.
Now, here's a problem: I was delivered by ambulance so my car is at home, I don't have my wallet so I can't pay for a cab, I feel like shit and I don't have a coat, my roommate is out of town on vacation, and it's 7 in the morning on a Thursday and everyone I know is either at, or near, work.
Well, I learned two things that morning, namely that some cab drivers take credit cards these days and that a rare few will take you home on the promise that you'll run inside, grab your card, and pay them. I gave my driver a nice bug tip for being such a nice fellow about the whole deal.
So I call into work and let the HR guy know I won't be in for obvious reasons and probably sounded like a loon thanks to the pain medication, and promptly went to bed.
At about 2pm I wake up with my lower right leg on fire, and get to see this really hot and angry looking rash covering my entire leg from ankle to knee…
So this time I call my doctor and explain what's going on. He asks about a zillion questions, determines I won't die immediately, and schedules an appointment for me the next day, Friday, at noon. He also tells me to keep taking the Vicodin for this pain too.
So Friday morning I head into work… I have a big project running right now and I'm the only one there who can do it, so I figure I'll work from 7:30 to 11:30 and finish up building the test harness.
I get to my doctor's office at the appointed time, he looks me over, determines that I have a skin infection now on top of everything else, and proscribes me some antibiotic horse pills and ups my prescription for Vicodin figuring I already have some and they're working, I might as well have more… He also wants a chest xray and some more blood work…
So I run downstairs at the medical complex my doc is in and go to the lab. Once there the nice lab-lady takes one look at the huge bruises on the insides of both arms and calls a couple of junior lab-ladies over to explain how *not* to do an IV. I give another liter or so of blood, wondering how much of the stuff I have left, and am sent over to the xray-lady.
The xray lady tells me the big xray radiation tube-machine is perfectly safe, while tying a lead bib to my lower half then retreating to another room, and I get a few xrays done.
So I get my sack of pills from the pharmacist also in the same medical complex and eventually make it home…
So for the last three days I've been alternately in pain, stoned, or feeling ill.
What a week.