ER, anyone?

September 1 is such a great day in my book of Great Days! It is the unofficial end of summer, when fall things can come out and your neighbors don't think you are too crazy... my plans for this day included leaf wreaths, autumn scented candles, pumpkins...

instead, I lie away the day on a bed upstairs moaning and groaning with stomach cramps... it is time for Book Club and I tell Bob to go without me... and he does. What??? Anyway, as I lay there I realize these pains are coming quicker and that I am breaking out in a sweat after each one. NO, I am NOT in labor. Remember, I will be 50 in November.

I drive myself to the Urgent Care facility that is not far from home. I plop down a $50 co-pay (yikes!) and then I meet the sweetest nurse named Chris who examines me and thinks it might be my appendix and sends me over to the ER. (they refund my $50 copay!!)

Ok, at this point, I don't care if it is Book Club night or not. I call Bob, tell him I am on my way to the ER and without a beat he says, I'll meet you there. In fact, he beats me there. I park and waddle my way into the ER in the middle of a great cramp. He fills out all the paperwork for me while I do what little I remember of Lamaze (over 22 years ago, thank you) to help ease the pain. I go into the triage office and

WHAM! The triage nurse wraps this blood pressure cuff on me that hurts worse than the stomach cramps and I let her know it. Bob is a bit mortified but keeps in control. Dang, that thing made my blood pressure go up, I just know it.

So I get a room and a cute male nurse who has to stick me twice with a needle trying to find a vein. Eventually he goes into my hand which hurts like the dickens. He takes several viles of blood and then I get a antinausea medicine which helps and hooked up to a saline/water solution. Then I go upstairs and get 6 different xrays done. Then I go back to the room and wait, and wait, and wait. Finally the nurse comes back in and says some of the blood work is in and it all looks good. He opens up the faucet to the saline solution and lets it pour into my body.

We wait and wait. The doc comes in and says there isn't anything he can see from the xrays or blood work so he thinks it is a case of gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Take maalox and these pills for cramping and these pills for nausea. And, sends me home. (at which point I pay a $150 copay. Dang insurance company.)

Which, now I am. I am supposed to follow up with my regular doc today or tomorrow. I will be calling soon to make that appointment. For now, though, I am going to go back to bed and rest like I am supposed to be doing and taking in small amounts of fluid.

Oh, and I am feeling some better, but from time to time I have a little cramp to contend with. I will win in the end, though!

Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes

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