Okay people, I wasnt going to blog about my medical drama, but when it multiplies itself times 23094879847665098, it becomes blogworthy, despite its somewhat personal nature. So here goes.
When did it all start? Who knows. But there are several reasons why I’m TOTALLY USELESS right now and my family wont let me spend any time alone. (Which is actually okay with me.)
I told you about my fabulous fall in Nashville in front of J. Alexanders. That was just the beginning. I spent about a week taking meds for the back and arm pain, and at one point I actually thought my arm was fractured. I guess it wasnt, because it eventually stopped throbbing after about 4 days.
In the midst of dealing with the back/arm pain from that, I started having random pains in my lower abdomen, but just on the right side. I figured it had to do with my ovaries, so I scheduled an appointment with the fabulous Dr. Karen Cole (who all ladies should see if you live in the Jackson area), and they worked me in a couple of days later.
At first they thought that the pain might be stemming from an ectopic pregnancy, which THANKFULLY wasnt the case. They did an ultrasound and found a nice big fat ovarian cyst making itself right at home. Perfect. The strange part here was that the cyst was so big…. usually people catch them before they get to be that size because of the pain. But it had only been hurting for about a week. So that means that it either didnt cause me any pain during the majority of its growth, or that it grew that size REALLY fast. Either one is weird. So Dr. Cole decides she just wants to watch it for a few weeks to see what it will do, and she schedules me another appointment and gives me a prescription for the pain and a picture of my sonogram.
Anyone who sees the sonogram immediately thinks I’m pregnant, by the way. It’s pretty funny. Oh, and my friend Emily K. named him Lance. I figured that if my body made it and its growing inside my tummy, I have the right to name it. So she did. Internet, meet Lance.
Fastforward a few more days. I start having pain on the other side…The exact same kind of pain. I’m also feeling royally snotty and congested with a sore throat and ears. Plus my left shoulder is giving me some really weird pain. Everything pretty much sucks. So I call Dr. Cole again and talk to her nurse. She goes and takes another look at my ultrasound, and determines that there are some abnormal follicles on the left ovary that are most likely turning into cysts as well. I’ll most likely have a couple on that side, too. FABULOUS. We keep my appointment scheduled for the end of January, because they say that they wont be able to tell anything significantly different on another ultrasound for a few more weeks. I just have to treat the pain and wait it out. Awesome.
In the meantime, I’m feeling even more super-snotty and congested and scratchy and hurty. I’d been taking some antibiotics for a few days and nothing was happening. Still getting worse. The famous Dr. Brad says that it is a virus, so the antibiotics arent touching it. Like all viruses, you have to let it run its course. But he gave me some great cough/congestion syrup that works pretty well, and I figure I’ll just add this to the list of all the crap I have to wait on. Surely I’ll get better eventually.
Fastforward to yesterday (saturday) morning at 3:30am. I wake up because my left arm hurts. BAD. I can’t go back to sleep because it hurts so bad to lie down. So I sit up in bed and rub my arm, but my hand keeps going kind of numb. It keeps getting worse. And it starts to hurt really bad when I breathe.
Around 4:30am, I’m practically screaming because it has gotten so bad, and Nate wakes up. Immediately he hears me say my left arm and trouble breathing, so he’s thinking I’m having a heart attack. So he says we’re going to the ER. I’m pretty sure I’m not having a heart attack, (mainly because I’m 23 and I figure that’s pretty abnormal) but I’m hurting so bad and the breathing thing scares me enough that I think the ER is probably a good idea. But of course I tell Nate to call Dr. Brad first, who says "go ahead and take her in." So Nate puts on the hazard lights and drives me to the ER at 4:45am. Brad says he’s coming too, and Lacey calls Mom and Dad.
When we get there, I tell them whats wrong (shooting pain down left arm, hand going numb, hurts to breath, chest pain) they say that have to rule out the big things first- heart problems, lung problems, blood clots, etc. I just keep telling them "but my arm hurts so bad…" and they kept saying "but we have to do the important things first. your heart and lungs are more important than your arms." Which I totally understand, by the way, but my arm feels like its about to FREAKIN FALL OFF MY BODY and nobodys doing anything about it. I go in for some X-Rays, and they make me do things that hurt even worse, like move my arms all around, and take really huge deep breaths. Sucks. The good thing was that Dr. Brad was there to explain everything to me as we were doing it.
So then we go back to my little room, and the nurse wants to take blood. I tell her I want to do it sitting up because it hurts my arm worse when I lie down. She says its fine, and starts the process. Apparently its harder when you’re sitting up, because blood went EVERYWHERE. Floor, my pants, the sheets, my arms…everywhere. She ended up taking possibly the biggest vile of blood I’ve ever seen, because "we might have to run lots of tests and I want to make sure we have plenty." I’m thinking if thats not enough, they could scrape another liter off my pants if they wanted. By this time Mom and Dad have been here for a little while, so Mom cleans all the blood off of everything and lets me prop my arm up on her, becuase it hurts so bad to be lying flat.
I cant remember the order of everything else- they do a CT scan on my chest, run a bunch of blood tests, and it turns out that my heart and lungs are healthy. The problem is that the virus I’ve had for the past week had made its way into my chest wall/diaphragm and is causing lots of inflammation, which is in turn putting pressure on the phrenic nerve, which is causing the pain in my arm. This explains the chest pain, the pain when I breathe, and the arm pain.
But there’s nothing they can do except give me some meds and let me wait it out. And by the way it might last 4-5 more days. And I should probably lay really low and not do anything for awhile. So they give me a bunch of prescriptions and tell me I can leave. Do I need a wheelchair or can I walk? I can probably walk. I’m feeling a little better.
Nate says hes going to get the car, I decide I’m going to the bathroom. I’m standing there washing my hands when I feel it coming on: I’m going to pass out. Yep…definitely about to pass out.
I try to sit down on the floor so I wont fall and hit my head, and I kind of yell for M
om. She opens the door and I’m on the floor, leaning against the wall. She moves me out into the hallway, and I pass out. Everyone says "we should have known better, she always does this. This is what happened LAST TIME we were at the ER." They tell the nurses that my sisters and I pass out all the time, so theres nothing to worry about. They put me back in the bed, hook me up to an EKG, blood pressure machine, oxygen, and an IV.
Then Nate walks in to see what’s going on, and there I am with oxygen tubes in my nose, an IV in my arm, and an EKG machine on my chest. He’s a little confused. They tell him I passed out, he realizes this is nothing new, and sits down to wait.
After awhile my color comes back and I start to feel a little normal. But man, my arm still hurts so bad. So they give me a sling so that I dont have to hold it up anymore, which actually helps alot. Mom and Dad and Brad head off to go drop off my prescriptions at Walgreens and grab some breakfast, and Nate and I stay to finish the IV drip. After I finally checked out (and they made me get a wheelchair to leave), we headed to Mom and Dads so I could sleep on their couch for the rest of the day. By this time we’dbeen there for SIX HOURS.
So now I’m at home because they wouldnt let me go to church this morning. Because of my throat hurting so bad, I can’t eat too much, so I havent had lots of strength anyway. So I have to sit down every few minutes. My arm is in a sling, so I can’t do much anyway, but even if it wasnt in a sling, it hurts so bad that I dont like to use that arm. I have to take such shallow breaths to keep my chest from hurting, which means that I wear out really fast if I talk. So I’m pretty much useless.
Nate’s heading to Colorado today to chaperone a youth trip, and the rest of the family is headed to the beach. I was going to stay here because I have some friends coming in town, but that got vetoed real fast…. Nate won’t let me stay here alone while he’s in CO with me being so sick. So the family is packing me up and taking me to the beach with them. I’ll just lie on the couch there for a week, I guess. No different than lying on the couch here.
So that’s my New Years plans…sit around while I let all of this crap just "run its course." All at the same time. The good thing is that I have lots of good pain meds that are keeping me from feeling it too badly. And I finally found a position I can sleep in that doesnt hurt my arm. So now at least I can stay rested.
Now I’m just playing the waiting game until I can go back to Dr. Coles and see how many new cysts I’ve gotten and what she wants to do about them, and until this stupid virus goes away and clears up my head, and until this stupid nerve isnt being triggered and my arm will go back to normal and I can breathe regularly.
So that’s what’s up with me. How are you?