Thursday, May 15, 2008

Naked in the Shower with the Paramedics

I'm having a lot more pain because I passed out while sitting on the shower bench for the 5 minutes a day my head isn't braced, falling forward on my face and wrenching my neck sideways. I was too out of it as I came to to realize I shouldn't move and why. I feel very lucky that I didn't fracture anything since my bones break easily--my forearm and hip are very bruised, as is my shoulder, and I have a lump on my head and a cut on my knee. Now my shoulder and arm hurt worse than my neck, which is not a good sign. But I didn't pull the hardware out of place in my neck, thank God, but I may have ruptured the disc below it. Whimper. I'd have been more embarrassed if I hadn't been in such pain and fear at the same time.

My mother-in-law works at the fire department, so she heard the call come through. So at least I'm not likely to ever see these paramedics again (not!--there are regular family and holiday parties, and she volunteers at all kinds of events we go to, as do they). Fortunately the kids go to these more than we do, but she's hosted a lot at her own house.

I had to tell my husband:
-when I say I'm about to pass out, I mean now. Don't leave to get my brace.
-it's not a good idea to tell my mother, who had just arrived for the morning, "everything's okay, but the paramedics are on the way." Soften it a little.

My husband covered me up with towels, but still not enough covering for my taste. I've never see him freaked out like that. I was quickly telling him to put the dog out of the way, call the kids' school, call our kids' doctor (morning appt for one kid), get my medicines together with the hospital form in case of transport, etc. He said he's calm except when it comes to me getting hurt or injured, that it scared him badly, poor guy, especially when I wrenched my neck. I was still feeling really dizzy/faint at that point, though I felt better after a few minutes. The paramedics had us call the doctor's office for further instructions. Fortunately they were in the office today since almost always they're in surgery in a different city on Thursdays. A trip to the ER would have taken 6 x longer.

The paramedics think I passed out from pain level, which I wouldn't argue with. I was mentally thinking, "I can make it through a few more minutes. Just a few more minutes. This is really difficult...I feel really dizzy..." I've been taken off muscle relaxers to be on the safe side, which is making getting up and down near impossible. My heart rate's been too high, even for me (resting 90-120, most often at the higher end), so trying to watch that. The whole right side of my body went numb before I passed out. Was strange since it's always the left side.

Achievements today: got dressed. Trip back to surgery center, re-x-rayed. Frequent trips to restroom.

I have to say the staff and doctors at the office are all really, really nice. It helps when you're not feeling like yourself. I couldn't imagine dealing with some of this stuff with the crabby office staff I've had to deal with in other places.

My parents and in-laws need some kind of special thank you for everything from potato soup to dropping everything for the kids multiple times to picking up a different kind of pillow to relieve pain (and intuiting that two would be better than one).


Wheelchair Dancer said...

yeeow. scary, scary.

Glad you are back home and resting.


FridaWrites said...

Yes, I'm going to take it even easier on myself! The other spine doctor said if I ask myself if I can do something at all, I can't.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Ouch, that was painful to read, as I was flinching for most of that first paragraph; I am glad you had someone there to support, though I agree, another sentence between "fine" and "paramedics" might be handy. I am glad you are taking it easier now, you are having all your showers assisted? Or assisted bathing?

I know the frustration factor will build, and I am sorry, but please take care of yourself by not doing things (wow, this sounds SO hypocritical coming from me!), and this will be a memory soon. That's what I said to get through things; "I will survive this and it will be a memory some day"

FridaWrites said...

I was thinking at several points, "This is just like Elizabeth described!"

I am taking it a little easier since falls and I are dangerous (weak bones)--we're also going to wash my hair at night, body during the day. The shower was greatly assisted by spouse, who's strong, he just stepped away! I think sometimes we fail to appreciate how independent I am until I become even more dependent, needing help with repositioning and the most basic of tasks.

Just glad I was sitting down then. My dad suggested posting a "No Diving" sign in the bathroom.

Anonymous said...

"No Diving" in the bathroom - that sounds like something my father would say!

I've been out of the blogging loop lately and am so sorry to have stopped by to find you "naked in the shower"...

May you feel better, much better, and SOON.

(from the Planet of the Blind)

FridaWrites said...

Thank you--I am feeling better, just not much extra energy for blogging. And there's been no more diving, thank goodness!