The Barnes Er.
The wait was short in registration, long in seeing a bed. My pain level went from annoying to “periodic knock out and frequently disorientation.” The wait went on so long that my father had to go start his shift at 1 that morning.
By the time I got to a room I was so disoriented from pain they had to throw something into my IV to render me coherent, and I described the pain, the bleeding cystic mass, the torn abdominal muscles, and the sickness I felt on sitting up. Somewhere in the middle of this an IV drip was started, freezing cold and stupefying. I managed to describe how the pain and nausea kept me from eating for two days and how despite that long of no intake my fasting glucose level was 103 as read in an ambulance.
I was told that everything that could be done had been done, and in my current state the recommended ultrasound was not possible (one needs to be awake for that in its entirety), and without the ultrasound nothing could be done about the bleeding mess—though I was told to avoid aspirin until further notice…
Which means the only thing that works on my back pain is out.
Anti-nausea drugs, stacked like mad. Acetaminophen, stacked on the tramodol.
Agreement with the doctor's judgement that my pain is undermedicated. Disagreement on what to do about it.
That was as far as I got. The room fuzzed out on me along with one pain spike, and I was out.
“We didn't put anything drowsy in there.”
“Here's the thing, sir—being in constant pain is exhausting.”
I don't know how much time passed, but when I woke up they were back to the back and forth on how to manage the situation. A bag was changed. A comment was made on my dehydration. I was asked… Something. I don't remember. I remember answering “Huh?”
“Get some rest, kid.”
I wake at morning in no knowledge of where I was, exhausted, and mildly delirious. I was also given my discharge papers. I had a sense—there were no windows—that it was dawn out and I knew my father wasn't present. They offered to help call him. I thanked them for letting me sleep the pain off and not tossing me out like Memorial does, and I was wheeled to the exit, along with the seven blankets that kept me from catching a chill.
For the record he was unamused with the results. I registered just long enough to explain the why before I was out again.
Then I slept until two.
I have to survive this long enough to take all the appointments. I've also been advised to slowly, slowly increase my sitting up (heavily medicated for nausea and vomiting, of course) with back support. I'm not supposed to push it, and after such a stretch of no food I am to EASE into solid food again, no matter how much I feel like I can eat seven giant sandwiches, so that I don't hurt myself. Continue with the Gatorade because calories in.
Just writing this has worn me out. I'm going to rest until I'm due for the late pills.