So. For the last couple of months I've been looking forward to this weekend. I had several vacation days lined up and we were planning on a jaunt to Toronto to go to TCAF where there'd be mountains and mountains of comics and graphic novels to look at and buy. Instead the closest I got to an interesting graphic experience looked like this.
After a 16-hour stay in the emergency department, I have learned
- If you keep vomiting up your painkillers, a trip to the emerg is probably a good idea.
- Also if you need to pee but can only pass about a tablespoon at a time, a trip to the emerg is also a probably a good idea.
- There's a lot of waiting even if you're rocking back and forth in pain.
- Gravol eventually works. Happy bonus: it will put you asleep so you don't notice the pain.
- Intense lower belly pain could be an ovarian cyst and you will get a pelvic exam. This will be especially surreal if your partner is in the room with you and you know he's taking mental notes for a comic he's working on.
- The staff doctor will have second thoughts about the resident's evaluation and will order blood work. When they say it will take an hour to get the results back, they are being wildly optimistic.
- Eventually the blood work will reveal that your kidneys are in trouble and you need an IV to replace the fluids you've been hurling up. It'll also make it easier to do the CT in the morning too.
- The vein busy nurses prefer to use for an IV hurts more than you'd think.
- A stretcher in the back corridor is a weird place. I didn't need to learn as much as I did about the cleaning staff. The cleaner who wore his latex gloves into the bathroom, peed, and then came out still wearing the gloves needs a refresher course in personal hygiene. The cleaner who was looking for attention and sympathy from patients on stretchers needs to rethink her job choice.
- There are two CT machines. Your paperwork will not be at the first one you're wheeled to. Your partner will get semi-lost trying to follow your speeding stretcher to the other CT machine.
- By the time you're inside the CT machine, you'll be so tired that you will find the "hold your breath" icons intensely amusing.
- If you've been there a long time, especially past a shift change, you may need to make a small fuss to get someone to chase the CT results.
- Kidney stones are incredibly painful.