So Friday afternoon I was upstairs watching a movie with my sister, and within about 10 minutes came down with a blinding headache. It was so bad, that after a few minutes I had to go lay down. My 3 year old son had been screaming in my ear for at least 10 minutes, and I was watching this movie called "New York Dolls," which is about a former punk rocker who became a mormon. There was still quite a bit of loud punk music in the movie though- plus lots of interviews with sweet little old missionaries and shots of the LA temple- but that's a whole other story! So, I really thought that combo of events, plus that certain "time of the month" was causing my symptoms!
My friend was having a party that night for our other friend and I really wanted to go (I don't get out much you see!). So after 2&1/2 hours I dragged myself out of bed, made dinner for my fam, and a salad for the party, all the while my head hurting so much all the way up from the back of my neck and up and around to my temples and eyes, that I felt kind of dizzy and like I couldn't see straight. My back kind of hurt too. I know, you don't have to say it- I am stupid! I really honestly just thought I was having cramps and maybe a migraine- although I've never had one before. I really don't even get headaches much. So I drove to the party and on the way I thought to myself, "Maybe I have meningitis, ha ha ha." Before I left I was cold so I put on a sweatshirt, but when I got there I was sweating. I told my sister how I was feeling, and she and my mom both felt my head and told me I felt warm. My sister freaked out a little and said that I had all the symptoms of meningitis- call Dr. D! (my bro the neurology resident). He was out with his wife for their anniversary but called me back pretty soon. Anyway, he said that was what it sounded like to him so I should go to the ER to make sure it wasn't the deadly kind. Oh joy!
So, after about 7 hours, a cat scan, lots of blood draws, and an extremely unpleasant lumbar puncture, it was determined that I did in fact have viral meningitis, and that there was basically nothing that they could do about it! Meningitis is a scary word, that is because there are two kinds- bacterial is really bad, and viral is not a big deal. Basically they just tell you to take advil for the viral kind. They would have given me some morphine at the hospital but I didn't really feel like I needed it. Frankly, the tests to determine if I had it were much more painful and unpleasant than the sickness itself! Especially because during the spinal tap, I had this weird vasal vega reaction and my blood pressure dropped to like 70- that was the top number!! and I felt totally nauseated, dizzy, and like I was going to pass out even though I was already laying down. So they had to stop and put these sticky monitors on me, and a pulse monitor, and give me an IV and wait a while, and then they had to do it AGAIN! At that point I was wishing I had said yes to the narcotics! Ugh- I highly recommend you don't have to have that done anytime soon. I was also wishing that I had just stayed home and skipped the whole all-night ER oddysey! I will spare you the really yucky details but let's just say that it is gross, involves a big needle and it hurts! Luckily my hubby was there to hold my hand so I survived.
Pretty much the only good thing about the whole ordeal was that Dr. M the resident got to practice his technique on me. I am a big supporter of the teaching hospital concept in theory- being the guinea pig myself is a bit of a different story! To be honest I think he didn't do it quite right the first time and that is why I got so sick. I don't blame Dr. M though, he was very kind and after all, that is how they have to learn, right?!
As we were leaving, I said to my hub, "Well, at least we got to spend a whole night alone!"
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