My mum was admitted into the hospital last week on Wednesday. Her surgery (Werthers' Hysterectomy) was scheduled for 8am, which meant that she need to check in at 6am. So, accordingly the entire family woke up at some ungodly hour and trotted off the the hospital. After getting her settled into the room and prepped for surgery I left and hastened downtown to work. Got there just in time to set my phone/email to "out of office" grab my files and head over to Union station to catch a train out to Waterloo which is about 2 hours west of the T Dot. Got there, attended my meetings, gave my presentations, met the people I needed to meet, shook the hands I needed to shake and then it was right back to TO. Went over to the hospital that night to stay with my mum. Thankfully she was loopy on morphine and snored most of the night away. Didn't get too much sleep myself as the room was freezing (but mum was hot), the floor was icy cold (even through the sleeping bag) and it seemed like my mum and the dude next door were competing for who has the loudest post-operative snore.
My dad relieved me the next morning and I trooped off home to catch some much needed zzzzzzs. Woke up at 11am and worked from home for the rest of the day. Back to the hospital for the night shift. Mum was moving around now, and so this night was filled with trips back and forth to the washroom.
9 am the next morning. Where the HELL is my brother? He was supposed to relieve me at 8 am. 9:54 - Brother finally shows up. Sans coffee. Grrrrrrrrrr. Run back home. No time for a nap as have to sit in on conference call at 10:30. Continued working right through the afternoon. Trippy* and the Beer Baron rescued me that evening and I headed off with them to oogle at Daniel Craig's ass. (ok, just Trippy and I were doing the oogling) Back to the hospital after the movie, that's when the fun REALLY began.
Woke up at around 1 am coz my entire body felt like it was on FIRE. Apparently I had been itching in my sleep and my arms and tummy and legs were all red and there were some weird-ass looking welts all over me. Realizing that I hadn't had too much of sleep over the past 2 days, there was the distinct possibility that I was dreaming up this entire episode. A quick check in at the nurse's station confirmed that I was indeed awake and in need to medical attention. Well, good thing I was in a hospital! So, after making sure my mum knew where I would be, off I went to the ER.
It was easy enough to check in and get my "wait-in-line" number. The hard part was trying to find a seat in the waiting room where I could avoid catching another disease! It was truly hard to avoid all the coughers and sneezy and feverish folk who had strategically placed themselves all over the waiting area so that no matter which way you faced, you were in direct line with one (or more) of them. I spied a seat that SEEMED to be angled just right. As I settled in, I at once realized WHY that seat was empty. The girl across from me looked like she was going to hurl at any minute. Eesh! Well, it was too late to move; All the other "good" spots were taken. And besides, I was already drawing curious looks as I was in PJs and bedroom slippers with a big shawl wrapped around me. So it was sit tight and hope for the best!
About 1.5 hours and 20 songs on my mp3 player later, my name is called and I'm told to "....follow the green dots to room 9." Feeling a little like Indy Jones on a treasure quest, I comply with direction only to find myself in another little waiting area; what a let down! I guess they sort out patients by their symptoms/illness so I was with a group of fellow symptomizers.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) by the time I actually saw a doctor, the hives/rash had subsided so I actually didn't have anything to show him. He looked at me most suspiciously (well, who could blame him? I was wearing cheeky monkey PJs and fuzzy blue bedroom slippers) as I tried to explain what exactly the rash looked liked. Anyway, without any current symptoms there was little he could do so he told me to get some Benadryl and come back if it got worse. Great, 3 hours later he tells me to do what I wanted to do in the first place. We did figure out however what DIDN'T cause the hives!
- Not food: symptoms would have manifested with 15 mins to half hour of eating.
- Not a bite: symptoms would be localized to one area of the body.
- Not medication: I wasn't on any (though I could see he doubted that)
So back I went to my mum's room to try and catch whatever sleep I could sitting upright in a very uncomfortable hospital chair.**
Day 4As soon as it was possible (i.e 6 am) I called my brother and told him to come pick me up - and bring some Benadryl! Went home and crashed and was thrilled that the hives had all disappeared when I woke up. Thinking that everything was peachy once more, I headed off to get my hair cut. By the time I got back, my mum had been discharged from the hospital and we had a whole load of people over at our place all supposedly trying to "help" but in reality they were just all in way! Finally got them all out and my mum settled in, just in time for the hives to flare up again! Great!
A quick call to Telehealth Ontario assured me that I didn't need to run back to the ER, instead keep up the regular doses of Benadryl and apply lots of cooling lotions on affected areas. This time around, it was all over my back which of course meant that I couldn't sit down or lie down very comfortably and that meant that I had to sleep on my belly all night long.
Day 5 (today)Woke up this morning and the rash on my back is all gone - only to be replaced by a rash all over my neck and upper chest and around my shoulders. So its been regular guzzling of Benadryl all day long and constant lathering in lotion and here I am!
Wonder what tomorrow will bring???
*The artist formerly known as Menace will henceforth be referred to as Trippy. Why? 1. She didn't like Menace and threatened to withdraw breakfast pancakes until I made the change (that sounds menacing to me!) and 2. She trips and falls down rather a lot. There is a funny story about Trippy, a road in south India and a local bus; but that's for another day.
**Just why ARE hospital chairs so bloody uncomfortable? I mean, surely they know that there will be some very concern (and very tired) relatives and friends visiting and/or spending the night. At the very least the hospital administration can say - Let's give them some nice chairs so that they in turn don't have to show up in the hospital with a strained back!