It’s been a whirlwind of activity since Monday afternoon, and I’d like to bring you up-to-date. I know I don’t normally do posts like this, and haven’t for a really, really long time, but I felt this post was in order considering what’s been going on 🙂
Some of you may or may not know that I have had symptoms of a cold for 3 or 4 weeks now, and didn’t seem to be getting better. Rather, I recovered and then felt worse.
Probably the worst thing about it was my extremely sore throat.
So my mom decided it would be best if I go to the doctor in case it was strep so it could be treated accordingly. Long story short, we ended up making an appointment at urgent care on Monday because my doctor couldn’t fit me in till Wednesday.
Warning: Very long, very medical, slightly humerus (haha) post!
My heart started racing into the 180s when they brought me back to be seen by a nurse, who checked my exact pulse and promptly brought me to the back to a room that was something like a hospital room, where they told me to relax on the bed and did an EKG on me.
They soon swabbed my throat and made a stab at drawing blood (haha), although that didn’t work out so well.
Meanwhile, I made it my primary job to stay happy, amuse the nurses, and make everyone laugh. I daresay I succeeded.
Anyways, my throat swab for strep (talk about a gag reflex!) came back negative. The main concern at this point was my heart. The doctor soon decided I was having episodes of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) and needed to stay laying down.
On top of that, nurses continued to compete amongst one another to see who could actually penetrate one of my veins with a needle; not just dig around in my flesh while my vein flopped around.
Yes, I have a few bruises. And at least nine pricks in all, one of which was on my foot. More about that later.
So, when they did manage to get blood from one of my veins (I believe it was on the top of my left hand), they took it off to the lab to test for mono, Lyme, tropical diseases, and other stuff.
The Lyme and tropical disease panel will be back in a day or two probably, but the mono results were available shortly afterward.
And they came back positive.
Sidenote: Now knowing what I have, I wouldn’t say mono is the worst disease in the world. In fact, I’ve had much worse myself. (2/11/19: It is actually the worst thing I’ve ever gotten…) But I would say that this has been the most awkward to explain out of everything I’ve ever gotten. As you know, mono’s nickname is the kissing disease – so there’s no end to teasing when I tell someone I have mono. “Oh really? Well, who was it? Hahahaha!” And they think they’re sooo funny, too! It makes me want to scream: “I didn’t kiss anybody!! I think I accidentally drank or ate after someone, but there’s no way of telling. Quit teasing me!”
I was soon brought into the radiology room for imaging of my chest (during which I had to stand, which made my heart rate spike again) and head, specifically my sinuses.
Sidenote: When one of the lab techs told me I needed sinus testing, I asked her exactly how that would be done. She proceeded to tell me with a straight face (with a little bit of a mischievous grin) that they would take a very long Q-Tip, shove it all the way up my nose, and swab all the way around. On both sides. When I likened her description to a Roto-Rooter, she and everyone else in the room broke out into laughter.
The sinus x-ray came back with the diagnosis of a sinus infection.
All through this, I was doing my best to remain optimistic and humorous, because, after all, laughter is good medicine. (See Proverbs 17:22) That made the nurses laugh and helped them stay optimistic, which meant they cared for me better.
All of this determined about me, they decided to keep me in this back room in the urgent care facility to keep my condition stabilized until an ambulance could arrive to transport me to a hospital down in the city to get looked at by a pediatric cardiologist, get stabilized, possibly stay that night, and see what else they could do for me.
The picture above is from that urgent care room with two of the best nurses I’ve met (the other ones there were amazing, too) bending over me trying to put an IV in my arm while my vein flopped about and while I read a biography and joked around.
Turns out, my ambulance was needed more for a really sick five-year-old in the room next door, so I hung around some more and waited. I pretty much stayed laying down the whole time or my heart rate would spike.
By the time the ambulance had arrived, I had been pricked seven times – six of those in the same event of trying to get blood. I had another episode of tachycardia (just a big, fancy medical term for high heart rate) before I was to go when I tried to stand up, so I just transferred from a wheelchair to the ambulance stretcher.
The paramedic in the back with me was awesome at his job, and the EMT driving did a good fast job of getting us to the ER 🙂
Before I knew it, we were down in the city, and parked outside the ambulance entrance of a hospital. I was soon rushed in, checked in, and given a room.
When the ER nurse and tech came in to meet me, the following conversation ensued:
Nurse: Hello, I’m Carissa. I’ll be one of your nurses tonight.
Me: Cool. <pause> I’m Elle; I’ll be one of your patients tonight.
Tech: That was the best introduction I have ever heard!
After that, the tech proceeded to attempt an EKG on me, which failed over and over again. We finally got it to work, and it looked wonderful.
Then the nurse and doctor were running around asking questions, fixing things, and taking vitals again.
Praise the Lord my heart rate actually dropped from what it had been in the 130s-150s to the 100s-110s and a few instances at 99!
Around this time, the doctor decided it was time for more bloodwork, so I laid there and let them prod the snot out of me (they were really nice, but their needles were not).
One of the funniest prods I had this week was when the doctor announced she was going to prick my foot for blood since nowhere else, no matter who tried, (and a whole bunch did) was giving good blood.
After she gave this announcement (and I turned pale again 😉 ), she propped her own foot up on my bed and began to feel around for the vein she could always draw blood from. When she located this vein, she removed her leg from the foot of my bed and began to search for this vein on my foot.
She did locate the vein, grabbed her beautifully shiny and sharp needle, and inserted it into my foot.
I did not like this.
My pain tolerance is really, really high, and I had been tolerating pricks all up and down my arms all day, but my foot didn’t feel so great. And then that didn’t work!
So she announced her intentions to prick my other foot.
And then my left arm. Fun times.
I do believe she finally got blood, but I was much too traumatized to remember where from.
While she was attempting what felt like surgery on my left arm, one of my nurses (Darbe was her name, I believe) tried to figure out why my IV was hurting badly whenever fluids started up.
She soon told us that she had discovered a clot in my IV, and that she was going to try to remove it without removing my IV.
She was a great nurse, and I enjoyed having her. It hurt so bad trying to get that clot out, but the IV worked flawlessly immediately after Darbe’s work.
As it turns out, my left arm was a pincushion around the same time my right arm was clotting up. More fun times.
Sometime along in this fun sequence, the clock struck midnight, and sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I was admitted to the Cardiac Stepdown Unit.
I had a really awesome nurse at the unit who took very good care of me that night. I slept great starting at about 4 o’clock in the morning.
Sidenote: I got quizzed with admission questions when I arrived at the unit. Being homeschooled, I’m not very updated on the state of the world as it is, but by the nature of the questions asked, it’s pretty obvious it’s a sinful world out there if I hadn’t already noticed. Who asks 13-year-olds if they’re pregnant or on birth control?!? The world is infiltrating the minds and hearts of youth very, very young, and sin is creeping into even “good kids”! The church is sitting by chained to their pew; hopelessly distracted by the world themselves and not caring to intervene with the Gospel. These people, too, are sadly in bondage and in need of deliverance. The church is in no state to go to battle for the Gospel, as has been evidenced. A very small warring remnant remains that needs to be strong and loving.
So, before I fell asleep, my IV started hurting badly. It had been hurting when it would start flowing, but it would feel better (just cold) after a minute or two.
But about ten or twenty minutes had passed since it had started, and it was still hurting badly.
Now, because I’m quite tolerant when it comes to pain, they didn’t think anything of my very flipped-out (or so I thought) reaction. But I soon insisted the nurse come look, and she came to the conclusion that the IV had gone bad and started leaking into my flesh instead of my vein.
Apparently the needle had forgotten that it was intravenous, not intrafleshous. Okay, so that’s not a medical term. Whatever.
So she took it out, bandaged it all up, and found that the area was quite swollen. So she put a heat pack on it and told me to drink as much water as earthly possible. I tried.
After this, I awoke later in the morning and alternated between napping, texting friends, and watching renovation shows on the retro TV perched on a shelf in my little apartment. And drinking the various types of juices and sports drinks my nurse brought me regularly.
Later in the day, the cardiologist came by, quizzed me about my heart and me and my symptoms, and declared that she was absolutely certain that my heart was not having bouts of SVT because of a problem in my heart. She said that my heart was simply doing as it should do considering the sickness, but because of a severe case of dehydration, it was made to pump much faster, causing temporary episodes of SVT.
In other words, it was pumping too fast trying to compensate for dehydration, a viral infection (mono), and a bacterial infection (sinusitis). This did not mean there was something wrong with my heart; it meant there was something wrong with the rest of me. In fact, it indicates my heart knows what it’s doing and did its best to combat everything.
Anyways, she also felt my spleen and confirmed the Urgent Care diagnosis that it was enlarged and that I need not participate in combat sports or go to school. I don’t think that’ll be an issue.
So I was discharged that afternoon, and I went to sleep.
Wednesday to now:
- I slept
- I followed up at the doctor
- I watched TV
Okay, I’ll quit now. You get the point.
Praise the Lord that I’m feeling better!! (And that I’ve been blessed to watch snow peacefully descending all day!!) Please continue to pray, and thank you so much if you already have.