Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Ambulance Ride

Normally when I'm talking about doctors and the ER and ambulance rides, I'm talking about James. But unfortunately this week it was MY turn to have my first ride in an ambulance! I've talked before about my ongoing back problems. Since May I've had a bulging disc in my back and a pinched nerve that have caused me much pain. I've been in physical therapy for about 6 weeks and over the past few weeks things were starting to feel better. My pain was almost gone, except for a few twinges here and there throughout the day. I'd scheduled a spinal injection at the request of my doctor, which was supposed to block the nerve that was sending the pain signals. I had that on Monday, July 19 and things felt really good for about 4 days. Then my pain level went up to about a 3 on a scale of 0-10. The next day it was up to a 5 and nothing was helping...Ibuprophen, my therapy exercises, heat, ice packs. Then three days ago was when it all went downhill.

I was home alone with the kids at about 11am and had James up on the changing table. He's a mover and a shaker now, so he can't be left alone. All of a sudden as I stood there, my back exploded in pain and I immediately crumpled to the ground and cried out in pain. I was pretty sure that my bulged disc had just ruptured. Maddie was next to me, confused about what was wrong. {But not *too* concerned, since she saw me writhing in pain and said, "Mommy, I'm sorry your back could you put on a TV show for me?"} :-) I was curled up in a fetal position, but knew I had to get James somewhere safe, so I clawed my way up the changing table, somehow got a diaper on him and his tubes contained, picked him up and laid him on the living room floor. By now, just a few minutes in, I knew I was in trouble. I had Maddie get me the phone and managed to dial Keith and tell him to come home immediately. I couldn't walk or move. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt in my life, even worse than being in labor. I felt like I was going to pass out, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably, and my arms and hands were tingling and going numb. It was all I could do to try and stay calm and do my "hee-hee-hoo" labor breathing/panting.

The 20 minutes it took Keith to get home seemed like an eternity. The minute he walked in, I told him to call an ambulance. Poor Keith...he was trying to see what I needed, calling 911, trying to get Maddie dressed and James' bag packed {he was still hooked up to his IV's and feeding tube}. When the paramedics got here they had a bit of trouble getting an IV started because my veins were starting to clamp down. Thank goodness they got one in and they gave me Fentanyl, so within a few minutes that kicked in and I was able to calm down a little as they wheeled me out of the house on a gurney. The whole thing was a bit surreal.

Once we got to Emanuel, the real frustration set in. Every other experience we've had with them regarding James has been pretty good. Apparently adults in the ER don't get the same treatment. A nurse took my vitals and then left while I waited...and waited...probably 45 minutes until I saw a doctor. Nobody checked on me or gave me pain meds or anything. Keith was in the waiting room with the kids and my mom was on her way, so it was jut me in the ER room. Long story short...the fentanyl wore off within about the first 30 minutes and, even after buzzing for a nurse multiple times without much response, I was left in the room crying in pain for over 2 hours. Nice customer service!! After Keith took the kids home, my mom came in to stay with me and bullied the doctors into getting me some morphine after about another hour. The doctor pretty much said that since I still had control of my bowels and I wasn't paralyzed, that even if the disc had ruptured there wasn't anything they were going to do {not even a new x-ray or MRI to confirm a diagnosis!}. Just get me some pain meds and send me home. How LAME is that?!

So now I'm pretty much on bedrest at home, except for a few times a day when I can manage to hobble to the bathroom or kitchen. I'm taking heavy-duty pain killers {Valium, Oxycodone & Ibuprophen} but even that doesn't take away the pain...just dulls it a bit. All I can manage to do is lay flat on the couch and use a heating pad or ice packs to get semi-comfortable. Actually, tonight I've been off the couch for about an hour, which is a record. On Tuesday I have another appointment with the doctor who did my spinal injection, so I'm hoping they'll do a new MRI and have some treatment options {besides surgery}.

I'd appreciate prayers for me and especially my dear husband who has been SUPER DAD the past few days, taking care of the kids and the cooking and laundry and cleaning and everything! He's my hero! :-)


Amy Erickson said...

I love to help ANY way that I can. I'll try and give you a call in the next couple of days.

Heather Elizabeth said...

Praying for you Lisa. And also Keith. This is AWFUL! I emailed Allison but haven't heard back today. I will definitely be praying for a fast recovery. Love you!

Jen Hibbs said...

oh sorry to hear about your unwanted adventure. We will definitely be praying for you and for Keith. Glad your mom is there for you!love ya!

Christine said...

Buddy, I'm so sorry. Been thinking about you since we talked on Saturday. Wish I could be there to help Keith out for you. Praying for a good appointment tomorrow. Love you! xoxo

Katy said...

SHOOT. I'm available tomorrow after 3 (8/5/10). Call me.for.ANYTHING. Praying.