Thursday, March 26, 2009

my trip to the ER today.

Today was a terrible, no good, rotten day.
It started out fine, I was just minding my own business sitting at work with a caramel hot chocolate. I was feeling short of breath for a bit, but it has happened before and passes fairly quickly. I just attribute it to less room for everything due to baby's growth.
At 9:30am it started to worsen and my heart was beating really hard. I decided to see what my heart rate was and freaked out a bit when I counted 110 bpm. I called Ben, who works steps away from me and he told me to call my OB's office and he was on his way over.
I spoke to a nurse and since baby boy was moving fine and there was no cramping, she suggested that I call my general practitioner's office. Called them and they got me an appointment for about an hour from then, but told me to go to the ER if things got worse.
Ben took me home to lay down before the appointment and I started to feel better. On the way there, it started to get hard to breath again, but my heart rate was normal. The Dr. couldn't figure out what was wrong because I wasn't wheezing like asthma or allergies, but I was obviously struggling.
I figured since my heart rate was normal that he'd send me home to rest.
He sent me straight to the ER. He ordered a scan of my lungs.
Here's where the drama started...
We get to the ER at 11:30am and I get checked in. The first triage guy asks about chest pain...which I wasn't experiencing. The second triage nurse came in and asked me to explain my symptoms again but stopped when he saw that I'm 24 weeks pregnant and called Mother-Baby. He got off the phone and told me that they don't work with women over 20 weeks in the ER. He calls Mother-Baby again to tell them they are sending me up and they said to send me to Labor & Delivery. They made me sit in a wheel chair...
A security guard takes me to the front desk, they call L&D again to get someone to bring me up. Once I get there they had just heard from the Dr. at my general practitioner's office who told them to send me back to the ER because baby is fine..
According to Ben, the look on the lady's face at the front desk was priceless when she saw me being wheeled BACK to ER.
I then had to wait in triage again for an empty room in the ER. By now, I'm feeling a bit better- aside from the irritation of being wheeled all over the gigantic hospital.
12:30 pm and they take me to a room and I'm immediately surrounded by 7 different people. One lady is telling me to take off my clothes and she'll help me into the gown, another is asking me what time things started, etc, etc...
I sit down on the bed and there's mention of an IV (which I've NEVER experienced) and I meet two Dr's at the same time who ask me the same things one after another that someone else had just finished asking me. I look over at my husband who is just as confused as I am.
I asked why I'm getting an IV and they said they needed to draw blood and the IV would be better if they needed to do anything else. It hurt like hell.
I ask why I'm being hooked up to heart monitors and another nurse tells me that it's just in case I go into cardiac arrest... I couldn't tell if she was trying to be cute...
Then I have oxygen tubes shoved up my nose...totally unnecessary since my oxygen level is at 100%
Everything was so dramatic- I thought I was just getting some sort of scan!
After everyone left and it was just the two of us I looked at my husband and asked "What just happened" and he goes "That was a WTF moment for sure".
Ben took this picture with his phone to document how ridiculous I looked and how unnecessary we both knew all this was-
A little after 1pm I get unhooked from all that junk and taken to xray. Apparently they need xrays of my lungs to make sure there is no fluid or a puncture....wouldn't you KNOW if you punctured a lung? And isn't it impossible to puncture a lung while sitting at your desk?
1:40pm and I'm STARVING. Hadn't eaten since 8:30am. Ben asks the nurse if I can eat and she said that it would complicate the scan and if I ate now they'd have to keep me overnight and do the scan tomorrow. MORE DRAMA. When she actually asks the Dr. he says it's fine for me to eat and Ben gets us burgers from the hospital cafe.
I asked the nurse if I really need this scan. At this point I'm breathing normally. Apparently I don't have any choice in the matter.
2:30pm and the nicest lady in the hospital comes to take me to nuclear medicine for the scan. I don't remember what it's called, but it's like a CT that's safe for pregnant ladies because there's not enough radiation to hurt mom or baby. Still...radiation sounds scary.
I have to breath in some fine mist that's mixed with oxygen and have pictures taken on a machine that moves around a bed.
Then I have saline (which feels like ice in your veins) and then some substance put into my IV so they can see the veins in my lungs to make sure there isn't a clot.
Apparently clots are a common risk for pregnant women. At this point the xray had come back fine as well as the blood tests. So they're thinking I have some sort of a clot near my lungs.
3:40pm I get back to "my" room and hooked back up to all the fun machines- except the oxygen. Hubby begins to doze off in the very little plastic chair next to me. We are both emotionally and physically exhausted.
4:15pm the ER Doc comes back and tells me everything came back normal (I could have told him that three hours earlier) and that sometimes when you're pregnant you misread the changes in your body. Basically, the blamed me for the drama that I was trying to avoid, by telling them that I was fine.

Ben and I came home and took a nap and I'm still so emotionally exhausted. All day at the ER and inconclusive tests equals MUCH frustration.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness - what an aggravating ordeal! I'm glad to read you're okay. I hate the ER and hospitals in general - somehow, somewhere, a HUGE communication gap happens and you end up spending so much time and money waiting around for someone to get it right.


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