Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sheryl's ER Adventure

So, you know that cyst on my back? Well, turns out it was an abcsess. Yeah. No idea where it came from, but there it was. But you want to know the story (OK, probably not, but I'm going to tell you anyhow)

Well, I spent the better part of yesterday trying to convince myself that I was sick enough to go to the emergency room. And when I finally decided that I was, I drove around for another hour trying to convince myself again (I'm stubborn like that). When I finally got there and they took me in for triage, My temperature was 102.7, and my blood pressure and pulse were both really high (the doctor thought because of the fever and infection, plus the fact that I was scared to death). They took me right back, and I knew I was sick. They never take you right in unless you come in in an ambulance or you are in bad shape.

So the doctor finally came in (actually I was probably only waiting about 20 minutes) looked at my thing (that sounds vaguely naughty) and promptly said that he had to get the attending because it was right on the border between being able to be drained in the ER and having to be done in the OR. So that sent me into a minor panic.

The attending came in and decided that they could drain it. Great. So the resident comes back with all this stuff and tells me what he's going to do. He said he's going to inject some "numbing medicine" (lidocaine I would guess - they aren't real used to educated people at this hospital), cut an incision in the abscess, and drain the gook out. Yee Haw. So I survive the injections, (I wish he wouldn't have told me when he was sticking me, though, that made me more tense), and the incision. Then came the draining. When it started to drain on it's own. some of it ran down my side and burned like mad. When it stopped draining by itself, he started to squeeze it. WORST PAIN EVER!!! I was run over by a 15 passenger van and it didn't hurt that bad. And I have a really high threshold for pain. I have a newfound respect for those women among you who have given birth. This couldn't have been that bad, but it was agony. The doctor kept apologizing because he was hurting me and I was crying, and I kept apologizing for crying and making him feel bad (yeah, I'm silly like that). Then he took an instrument, stuck in in the space left by the gook, and moved it around to make sure all the gook was gone. He had to use more of the numbing stuff, cause it hurt like bloody hell when he did it. Finally, he stuck about three feet of antibiotic soaked packing in the cavity to make sure the bacteria doesn't come back. Then he gave me perscription for antibiotics, a pain killer (codeine is good, even if I did sleep all day), told me to see my doctor on Monday, and sent me on my merry way.

The medicine wasn't that expensive (only about $40), but the doctor's visit tomorrow is going to be twice that. I've decided that I just have to pay part of my rent late. I've only been late once in almost three years, and that time and this time I have good excuses.

So today, I went almost the whole day without a fever. I didn't realize how bad I felt until I didn't feel that bad. I was fever free until I decided I had to go to the grocery store. That was probably a bad idea, but I didn't have any food I didn't have to cook, and frankly, all I wanted was yogurt, and I was out. I probably isn't a good idea to be doing laundry, either, but I don't have anything to wear to work tomorrow.

So that's my story. Tomorrow I get the packing out (joy - the doctor told me to be sure to take a pain pill before that). If any of you are still reading (and I know some of you are - thanks for sticking with me!), I'll keep you updated, with less gory details - I promise!

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