Friday, November 18, 2011

Dilaudid and percocet are awesome.

No, I haven't become a druggie. But I was really sick this week and those drugs helped me get through the worst of it. Meningitis is no joke, folks. Fortunately it was just viral meningitis, not the super serious bacterial kind, but it still sucked, and ended up in urgent care and the ER.

Last Friday, I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold. When I woke up on Saturday to get ready for Aidan's and Logan's soccer games, I had a sore throat and an extremely severe pounding heading that lasted for like 30 seconds when I sat up. I took four ibuprofen, but it didn't help at all. The headaches happened numerous times throughout the day every time I went from sitting to standing, and it would stop me in my tracks and I would almost have to breathe through the pain like contractions. They were the worst headaches I've ever had in my life, and coming from someone who suffers from migraines and gets frequent tension and eye strain headaches, that's really saying something.

We got home at 2:30 and my whole body was achy. I took 4 more ibuprofen and laid on the couch. By 3:00 I was in tears and writhing in pain on the couch, holding my head to keep it from exploding. At one point, I had to jump off the couch (against my better judgment) to stop Lorelai from pulling a chunk of hair out of Logan's head (she ended up pulling out a whole handful!) and I experienced a headache that was worse than the worst. I actually got scared for a minute and thought something in my brain was exploding. At that point I figured I should probably call the doctor. I was worried I had the flu because the body aches, including pain in my spine, and general sick feeling felt very flu-like. He asked me a few questions about the aches and pains and told me I definitely needed to go to urgent care--that they were open until 9, but don't wait.

I was (stupidly) going to drive myself because Adam had to stay with the kids, but he made me call my mom and she rushed right over to take me. Moms are the best!! The doctor there said she doubted it was the flu because it's so early in the season here and they don't even have a good sample to test against so they wouldn't test me. But she did test me for mono and ran a CBC. No mono, no elevated white blood cells, but meningitis was definitely on her radar (my mom totally called it). She said they couldn't rule it out there, but if my symptoms got worse, to go to the ER. She diagnosed me with "viral syndrome" which pretty much means, we have no idea what's wrong with you and can't do anything to make you better, but have some drugs for the pain.

I got a shot of Toradol and a prescription for Tylenol with codeine, and went home to sleep. Things were going better until the Tylenol stopped working on Sunday afternoon. The headaches were worse, my aches were worse, my spine was hurting more (severe shooting pains when I tried to put my chin to chest, although my neck itself wasn't actually stiff) and to top it all off, I started to get nauseous. So I called my mom again and off to the ER we went. I threw up in the car, and my mom even offered to hold the puke bag for me while she was driving. That's how awesome she is. (Don't worry, I didn't make her hold it!)

Also, awesome? My kids. The boys were really upset that I was so sick and they took really good care of me, making sure I always had water to drink and telling me they loved me. And right before I left for the ER, Logan handed me this picture he drew for me to make me feel better.

Logan's drawing

Fortunately, the ER wasn't busy at 4:30/5ish when we got there, so I was seen pretty quickly. The doctor there agreed that it sounded like viral meningitis, but the only way to confirm is with a lumbar puncture. He didn't recommend it because he had already ruled out bacterial meningitis based on my symptoms and my white blood cells still being normal (basically, if it had been bacterial, he said at that point I would probably be on a ventilator fighting for my life) so I certainly wasn't going to beg for a huge needle in my spine if it wasn't going to deliver me instant pain relief and wouldn't change the treatment. Since you can't cure a virus, you just have to let it run it's course and manage the pain, so they totally doped me up to get rid of the headache. Dilaudid, benedryl and reglan. Lots of it, apparently. It definitely broke the pain cycle and they sent me home with a prescription for percocet.

I pretty much slept and laid in bed useless all day on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday the aches weren't as severe and the headaches hadn't come back, so I didn't need to take any more percocet. I was even able to catch up on some work emails from the comfort of my couch. Thursday, I headed back into the office. Silly me. I probably did too much, too soon. I realized this after I started to get confused and had trouble concentrating. Honestly, it felt like I was drunk. A very disconcerting feeling when it's been weeks since I've touched a drop of alcohol, and the percocet was out of my system. I left early to go home and rest, and by today, I was feeling much better. Almost back to normal, thank goodness!!!

I feel like such a burden when I'm sick. Adam had to do all the work around the house, my mom had to drop everything to drive me to urgent care and the ER, and my coworkers had to pick up my slack while I wasn't there. I'm just too busy, I can't afford to be sick like that again. 

But with the way my luck has been going, I give it another month before some other ailment knocks me over. In September, it was a severe migraine with aura (vision impairment=immediate doctor visit); in October it was one of the worse stomach bugs I've ever had; then this. Anyone want to place bets on my December illness? It sucks, because I'm not a sickly person, generally!

Please send good and healthy thoughts my way, if you have any to spare!

(Uh, wow. Apparently I had over a week's worth of word vomit to make up for my lack of blogging while I was sick. Sorry for the looong post!)


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