My first 911 call.Posted: August 8, 2004
Until Wednesday, July 28, 2004, I had never called 911. My only experience with a 911 call was about 22 years ago when on a Girl Scout campout I tried to convince a friend that the police would indeed arrive if she dialed 911 from a pay phone and hung up. I was right, and all 12 of us had to sit and listen to the police officer lecture us on proper respect for our cities emergency services. I think I have a new story now that’s much more exciting. Until last week, I was being treated for a tubal pregnancy. Clint and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years now, and we had finally seen a positive result on a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, within a couple of weeks we knew that this pregnancy was not going to to work out for us. Two and a half weeks ago I was given a shot to “treat” the ectopic pregnancy. Wednesday of the following week I began to have severe abdominal pain – seriously severe. I called my doctor and was told to take a couple of ibuprofen and rest. I talked to both Clint (who was in Antigua) and Billie that day and they urged me to call an ambulance if the pain continued as they both knew that I could be in danger of my tube rupturing – which is fatal if not treated quickly. By 8:00pm I was feeling really bad. Every time I tried to stand I broke out in a sweat, lost feeling in my hands and feet and felt as though I was going to pass out. Sometime around 9:30pm I called 911. They got here really fast and took my vitals which kept going up and down. I arrived at the ER of Overlake Hospital wearing a wrong-side-out dress and mismatched flip flops. I explained my situation to the nurses and they started all their hospitalish duties. My memory of that night’s events are pretty sketchy (espcially after the shot of whatever narcotics they plied me with), but I do recall certain highlights. I remember the doc coming in and explaining to me that my tube had ruptured, my belly was filling up with blood, and that immediate surgery was required. I remember some shitty nurse and his 3 attempts to properly insert a second iv – 2 tries in my right hand and 1 semi-successful attempt in the bend of my left arm. I had the ultrasound from hell – I’ve had many of them in the past, but this one was damn unpleasant. For those that don’t know, there are more than one type of ultrasound. There is the kind you’ve no doubt seen on TV where they smear some goo on your belly and scan a little whirly-gig around on your tummy. There is also a type which has a different name, but since this is a public site, I’ll term it the “internal” ultrasound. This consists mostly of a very long “wand” being thumped around inside of me. So imagine this already unpleasant procedure while having swollen organs and a ruptured fallopian tube. One thing that surprised me was how crazy the OR was. It’s was a lot like that scene in the South Park movie – except they didn’t replace my heart with a baked potato. When they wheeled me into the OR, it was so shiny and bright it was almost painful to keep my eyes open. At least 10 people were milling around in there, half of them trying to talk to me. “Are you allergic to anything?” “No.” “Have you eaten anything today?” “A handful of corn chips and some 7-Up.” “We’re going to be putting a tube down your throat.” “Fine, as long as you insert that tube after I’m asleep and remove it before I wake up.” Of course in hindsight I think a tube down my throat would have caused less discomfort than that evil catheter. At 6:00am I awoke and found myself in a nice, cozy room. A nurse was explaining the concept of a button that I could push to give myself some pain meds . At this time I’d like to note that Dilaudid is a very nice medication. Darvocet, which is what I chose once they took my IV out is a perfectly adequate pain med. Percocet, which is what I have now (I’m only taking one before bed now cause a week and a half later, I still can’t sleep on one side), is pretty effective. Back to the story. The doctor came in and briefed me on my condition. My right tube ruptured (probably around 5pm the previous night), and then split down it’s length. I had a good amount of internal bleeding, enough to require a transfusion. I should recover fine and what was once my right tube is now being stored in some lab. At that point I realized that I should probably make some phone calls. I called Clint first, and he began working on getting home. I called my mom, who didn’t realize who she was talking to until about 5 minutes into the phone call – I guess the early hour and my raspy voice (tube down the throat remember) threw her. And of course to Billie, who freaked and set about moving up her already planned trip out her so that she could help me out. In general, my hospital stay was quite pleasant. The food isn’t near as bad as I’ve heard, the nurses were nice as could be, and once that catheter was out, I was pretty comfortable on that hospital bed. Saturday afternoon I came home and both Clint and Billie have been doing a pretty good job of making sure that I eat, take my pain pills, and get plenty of rest. Even though in the last couple of days I’ve done more shopping than usual. All in all, I’m feeling good. I won’t be making babies the normal way, but we’re good candidates for In Vitro, though I’m not sure our checkbook is. It hurts to cough and laugh, but I supose that’s to be expected. I’m tired after all this typing and I think it’s time to take a Percocet and head to bed.