August 03, 2012

Attack Of The Killer Ant: A Hospital Story

If you are my friend on Facebook, it's likely you saw that I was in the hospital recently. During my stay, my mom told me to look on the bright side: at least I'll have something to blog about. And she was right, a very expensive reason, but now that it's all over I can't really go back in time and change what happened.

Trying to be optimistic. 

On Saturday I was preparing to go tubing down the Salt River with Adam, Ariel, and Joey. As we were packing the car I must have aggravated an ant line because I was promptly bit on the foot twice. All I thought at the time was "darn, that's going to itch later." After we returned home after almost getting a storm dumped on our faces at the river, I noted that my foot looked a little puffy on top, but I ignored it since I react weird to most bug bites.

Sunday morning it was bad news. My foot had swollen much more and I was having a hard time fitting my foot into my heels. After chalking it up to an allergic reaction, I took a full dose of benadryl and went to Adam's ward to hear him sing in church (he did amazing by the way). We left church early because my foot was getting worse and the benadryl wasn't doing anything to me. I took another full dose, and then another a few hours later. I fell asleep while teaching Adam how to play Warcraft and kept sleeping till the benadryl wore off. Still no improvement, so Adam wanted to take me to Urgent Care, but by the time I agreed to go, they were closed. We decided Adam decided we would go first thing in the morning and that he would take my car home since I couldn't drive. He waited with me till I fell asleep, checking on my foot to see if it got better from time to time. He tried to leave later that night but for some reason, my car wouldn't shift into drive, so after several failed attempts, he crashed on the couch with my little brother.

The next morning it was no better and probably getting worse. The swelling was moving up my ankle so after blowing off my attempts to put it off a little longer, Adam threw me in the car and took me to Urgent Care where, after examining me for 4 minutes tops, we were told to go straight to the ER.  I'm getting frustrated at this point because all I can think of is how much money this is all going to end up being, and Adam is getting frustrated with me because I won't go without a fight.

Fat feet... bleh.

At the ER, they decide to admit me to the hospital, so they stuff an IV in me and poke me several times till they find good enough spots to get blood for some tests. Halfway through the blood draw, I get a slight nauseous/dizzy feeling and I turn to Adam and say "Just so you know, I may pass out in a minute." And sure enough, things start going black and Adam comes and grabs me before I topple out of the chair.

Waiting to be moved into my new room. 
Glad I showered today. 

Once I was in my room, I was visited by a plethora of doctors and three specialists, who all gave me weird looks once they notice the twitch/spasm I developed in my leg. I was also visited by my dear family, a couple of which got to stay around for when I was hopped up on Hydrocodone. I don't remember a lot of it but it was fun, that's for sure. I remember staring at the wall, which had become extremely interesting, with a wide eyed expression. Adam told me that when he asked me if I wanted to take a nap till it wore off that I said no, I wanted to ride this as long as I could. Sounds like something I would say. 

An infections specialist thought that I might have tetanus so they decided to move me to the ICU for observation. There I was forced into a hospital gown, had sensors stuck on me, and I couldn't pee without buzzing the nurse and having her unhook me from all my wires and contraptions. 

That night in the ICU was one of the worst because they kept coming in at all night to take my vitals, draw more blood, and have more doctors look at me. Poor Adam stayed the whole night and slept in a recliner next to my bed. The room was an icebox and I don't think we got more than 3 hours of sleep. 

Adam crashed out with his head on the bed.
So glad he stayed with me

The next day I had an EEG, where they attach a bunch of electrodes to my head and read my brain waves to see if the twitching was caused by seizures which looked a little something like this:

They then asked me to hyperventilate myself which is when the twitching came back full force and then they flashed lights in my eyes really fast to see if that would give me a seizure. Thanks guys.

After the test I had a bunch of goupy stuff in my hair and had to wait a while to be able to take a shower. When I finally could shower, it was one of the best feelings of my life. (I just want to add that I am a very independent person and this whole hospital trip was killing me because I couldn't even walk, pee, or get dressed without help). 

I also had an MRI test (I can feel the money racking up now) to further explore the seizure probability. This one was extremely claustrophobic and Adam had to hold my ankle to keep me from freaking out and squirming. The machine looks like this:

Both tests turned out to be clear, which is good. All the doctors at this point still had no idea what was going on with me but after several bags of antibiotics and 16 tetanus shots, my foot was starting to go back to it's normal size. So then the waiting game started. I felt I was well enough to leave but I just had to finish two more bags of antibiotics and get the o.k. from the doctor to go. At this point I was going a little crazy to get out of there.
Adam, decorating my room.

Planning my escape out the window. No one can hold the Batman. 

After one more night of restless sleep and nurses coming in the dead of night to steal more blood, I woke on Wednesday morning and received the O.K. to go. I couldn't have been happier. We got out of there as fast as we could and then went to a celebration breakfast at Denny's (I had only eaten a sandwich and soup since I entered the hospital). 

Now that I'm out of the hospital and back at work, there are a few thing I learned/remembered:
  • I am super lucky to be able to walk/breath/function and I am so grateful for the body my Heavenly Father gave me.
  • I can be extremely stubborn and strong willed, and that can be a bad thing sometimes. It's okay to accept help. 
  • Adam is the best man in the world (besides Dad). He stayed with me the whole time, even when I was make up-less, unshowered, and belligerent.
  • My parents love me a lot. Mom was threatening to fly down to Arizona and Dad harassed several nurses trying to get information about my health from them. 
  •  Money doesn't matter. The first time I cried in the hospital is when I thought about how much all this was going to cost me (remember, I didn't even want to go to Urgent Care) but Adam and my parents kept reminding me how much more valuable my health is. (The only other time I cried is when they gave me 5 tetanus shots in my foot.)
Anyway, there is my story. Now it's time to get back to the real world and catch up on all my work and make sure I don't get bit by another ant.

1 comment:

  1. Are they going to send you the results from all the other tests they took??