Okay so I normally type like this is an actual notebook diary type of deal. La la la. But every journal-style book I've read has mostly narrative stuffs. So. I'm gonna try my hand at this. First let me put my wrist brace on. Actually, both braces, both are hurting. One sec.
K now we're good.
Finally. The day had passed so incredibly slowly, just like I knew that it would. But it had finally boiled down to the last fifteen minutes. Kathy and I walked along the fence, having just priced the newest merchandise to go to the floor. I don't remember what we were talking about. I do remember the interruption, though.
"Ow," I said. It was almost like a sidenote. Both Kathy and I hurt ourselves daily on the job. No particular danger involved there. Just two klutzes.
"What'd you do?" she asked.
"Just had some pain in this area," I answered, rubbing my lower-left abdominal region. We walked on. Near the middle of the fence now.
"OW!" That one made me clap my hand over my mouth. Damn, I think I just echoed. The silly-spiritedness I had gained by being goofy for the past couple of hours had worn off. That was some pain there.
Later that day, I called my doctor's office and asked how much a visit would be without insurance.
"It could cost anywhere between $60 and $200, depending on how long he's with you and what is done."
I scheduled an appointment for 11 the next day.
Cut to X amount of hours later. I'm extremely geeked for the new One Tree Hill to start. Is Haley really going to leave Nathan? IS DAN REALLY OUT OF JAIL? Nahhhhh, they'll resolve things. And, unless this is a dream sequence, he most definitely is out of jail. Well dammit. I'm sick of him and his drama. He's a murderer!
As I think these jumbled thoughts, I reach up to rub my eye. Oh... it feels funny. Like it did last Friday, it felt puffy or numb or something. Well. Back to OTH.
But me being me, a little alarm went off. What the HELL is wrong with me now. Though I tried to focus on the characters, my hand kept straying to my face, poking and prodding at it to try and figure out if it really was numb, or if I was crazy. It didn't bother me TOO horribly, until it felt as if it was spreading. No longer concentrating on what's going on with Brooke and Rachel, a little bit of panic was setting in. Okay, chill. Breathe. Then I bit both sides of my cheeks.
Oh crap. I felt the right side. Not that left. Panic arose full force. This can't be normal. Check the internet. But be careful, because the internet is great for scaring yourself silly with symptoms.
Hey, here's a guy who had his face go numb on the left side. Let's see what everyone had to say.
BELLS PALSY (Which I always remember as "Balls-y").
My next step was to call someone. Not my mom, she panics at the slightest inkling of something wrong. Not Lori, she's had enough stress. Renee. She was there when my eye first felt funny at Lori's radiation appointment.
Fighting back tears of fear, I dialed her number.
Ugh, don't do this to me now. It's only 9:08!
So I called her cell phone. Voice mail. Omg. Now what do I do? I dialed her house phone one more time as I considered my options. I could call sister Noelle, but I don't know if she'd be awake at this time. Maybe Lori. Lori would be awake for sure, but I don't want to scare her. Luckily, I didn't have to weigh these options for long.
"Hello?" I heard Renee's cheery greeting.
"Hey," I said. Oh crap. There it is, voice broke, tears flowing. I hate crying in front of people, but oh well. "I have a problem and I don't want to tell mom, because I don't want her to freak out."
"Okay!" she said, still cheery. Concerned cheery, I suspected. I explained what happened, and we discussed the options. She was on the phone with Noelle, so she hung up with me to get her opinion, and said she'd call me right back.
Neither of us could decide what to do, if I should go to the hospital, or wait for my doctor's appointment in the morning. I didn't know if it was serious, I'd never had half my face lose feeling before! So finally, I told my mom what was up. With Renee on the phone, we decided we'd go to St. Mary's hospital. Renee would come, too. She knew how my mom was and I didn't want to be alone with her panicking. We drove separately, because Renee had to be up early and didn't know how long we'd be.
On the way there, it began to snow.
"Where the hell did this come from?" my mom asked. With the snow and the darkness, it was hard to see. She turned into the Emergency Entrance. It was like most Emergency entrances. It was a wide circle so the patient could be dropped off and the car could pull right out. It appeared as if there was parking available on both sides. My mom turned right.
"Uh, I think you're on the sidewalk," We must have driven in over a ramp, because there was no massive protesting bumps as we hit the curb.
Well, it WAS hard to see. But yes, we were most definitely not on street anymore. I saw the long, concrete blocks that indicated parking spaces just in front of us. She steered left and BOOM. Hit the ground. Then she parked in an ambulance only zone. A security guard came out and warned us that we could get towed. By that time, my sister met up with us and offered to park the car while we went in.
Of course, it involved answering the same series of questions to 5 different people, but hey, whatcha gonna do.
Q: "Does your family have a history of strokes?"
A: "Yes," my mom answers. "My uncle, mom, and cousin."
Q: "Are you allergic to anything?"
Q: "Yep." (Yeah yeah not a question, but if I put an "R" for response, it would only confuse you and disrupt the flow of things :P)
On and on and on. Finally we get to the Emergency zone. Whatever it's called, it's like a bunch of mini-rooms separated by curtains that no matter how you adjust them, part of your area is always exposed to the outside. Makes changing into those lil nightgowns all the more exciting.
In the room next to mine, you hear a baby cry.
"It makes me so sad when babies are sick," my sister comments. I nod in response. Thank the Lord for Renee. She kept up conversation, a very nice distraction for my mom and myself. When the doctor came in, he even commented about how it was great to see the smiles all around.
First, I had to have an EKG. Or EEG. Or EGG. No, that's for chickens. I can never remember all the letters for that one, but I've had it at least 3 times before, no big deal.
Then came my least favorite part. Them drawing blood. What this scares me so much, I'll never know. It ended up not being so bad. Until, much later in the night, those mother effers declare that one of the vials they filled was useless. Okay, no big deal. When they inserted the needle in me, they left a catheter inside, just incase I needed in IV. Of course the hopeful side thought they'd just re-insert the needle in that little thing.
Noooo such luck. I stared down in horror as the nurse swabbed the top of my hand.
"What are you doing...?" I asked.
"I'm swabbing your hand now."
"Oh we thought you'd be able to just take it through the IV thing."
"No, we can't do that," she said in nurse-voice.
Yyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeoooowwww!! That one hurt like a bitch. I expressed the pain facially to my sister, and she made a big goofy puppy dog frown. Which made me laugh a bit.
So FYI, if the doctor ever gives you an option of where to draw blood, go with the elbow-pit. UNLESS you're evil ex is getting is blood drawn. Then I totally recommend the hand. For sure ;)
Anyway, back to the story, if you guys aren't totally bored yet.
First Poke: Eep! Oh... not eep.
Second Poke: Yoww-zahhh!
Cat Scan: Smelled funny, and due to thinking in horror movie mode, I was thinking a guillotine type of blade would come and slice my head off, a-la Buffy style.
Chest X-Ray: Whatev.
All my procedures were done, it was just time to wait for the results. About this time I really was able to contemplate just how much I hated Emergency Rooms.
There was a woman across from me who, even though the curtains were drawn, I could tell was in very obvious pain. You could hear the doctor asking her if she felt this or that, and everytime he'd hit a certain spot she'd scream in agony and painfully answer "yes".
During all this time, I would try to focus all my attention on my sister, trying not to hear her cries. I usually failed. I couldn't help but me beaten down with sadness over the fact that such pain and fear had to exist. I wished that no one had to deal with it, that no one had to suffer like that.
Finally, they got the poor woman some medication. Her screams were less frequent, and she was transported somewhere else. For X-Rays, I think. After that I didn't pay much attention, as my focus was drawn to the people next door.
They were a young couple. I'd guess early twenties, maybe mid-twenties, but definitely in that range. All I remember about the father was his shoes. White, black, and red. They looked brand new. All I ever saw of him were those shoes, save for one time, when he walked across my field of vision, carrying his one-year-old son, who looked in my direction.
Oh. My. God. He was one of the most beautiful babies I had ever seen. Long blonde hair, big eyes, no shirt, and a red and yellow pacifier stuck in his mouth. My heart seemed to sore and drop at the same time. Why was this little guy in the emergency room?
Still waiting on my results. Then I hear a nurse say to someone on the phone that she had to give a one-year-old an IV.
No. It was horrible hearing that baby cry and cry and cry as the nurses tried numerous times--none of which were successful--to get that needle into that little boy and stay there. I saw the shoes of many nurses shuffling around in there, and the bottom of those white, black, and red sneakers poking out into my room. I heard the father trying to soothe his child as he kneeled beside him, saying things like "It's okay, buddy. I know, I know. You're okay, buddy. It's okay."
The mother, who looked like she could have been a classmate or fellow employee of mine, paced back and forth. Into their area, and out. Cross my area and come back again. The look on her face was of sheer pain of seeing her child suffer. I heard her crying a couple times. Once, we made eye contact. I looked down. I always do that, but I wish that I could have done something more. Said something. Smiled. Conveyed that her baby would be okay. But no. My eyes just went down.
After everyone had finally given up on giving this baby boy an IV, I saw her walking and rocking him in her arms. I heard the family discuss that when he threw up, it was a lot, not just a little. I heard baby talk directed towards that little boy.
As my friend Laura said when I told her the story, it made my heart hurt. It stills does. I can guarantee you that I will pray for that baby and his parents everyday for who knows how long. I really wish I could have poked my head in their room and let them know that. And I wish that I could know what happened. I don't know, though. I'll just continue to pray and wish that I could give his mom a hug.
As for me, I was released with a clean bill of health. I had facial paralysis for some unknown reason. Today I went to the doctor and found out I have TMJ, which is a jaw issue. I woke up in pain in the areas that were numb the night before. Basically I have to sleep with a mouth guard in every night and take motrin for a while to get the swelling down. There's a nerve in that jaw area that is responsible for facial sensations and it is being pinched or whatever.
I'm just glad that I'm pretty much okay. Though as my doctor said "Next time, remember that I'm a lot cheaper than the ER." Yeah yeah. I'm glad I went, though. If I hadn't, I never would have seen that child and his parents. And I'm really happy I have the opportunity to pray for him. If anyone has made it this far into this very long entry, all I ask of you is to do the same. That baby needs to get better.