The ER was a trip! Right around the corner from the Radiology wing, as luck would have it. Someone from the ER came over to lead me there. I was surprised that they didn’t wheel me over as a matter of protocol, as hospitals do. But I was fine, I could walk.
Yeah, I was fine. Ha! I was itching all over. But not panicking at all, since I wasn’t breathing hard or anything (they were worried that my throat might close) and I had Dah there with me, which is a great bonus through anything but ultimately most comforting when something unexpected like this happens.
He had offered to be there “just in case” and I guess this is the case in which it’s good that he was! Of course, we thought that the most that could happen was getting a late breakfast together after my appointment, for which I had fasted. Then we’d see where the day took us. Apparently the day had more in store for us that we could have imagined.
I had been tagged with a wrist band upon checking into Radiology for the scan, and still had that ID on, so when I got to the ER they put another one on the other arm. There’s a first. Two admissions in one day, different departments, as the story unfolds. I had just had a catheter in my left forearm to get saline and the contrast dye shot into me for the CT, so the ER placed an IV in the other arm. They pumped me full of prednisone and followed it with a chaser of benedryl. I had never had steroids before, at least not like that. Cortisone cream maybe, and a shot of it into my foot leading to the inevitable surgery, just to see if by chance that would work, which it did not. So I didn’t know what to expect of that. I’m diabetic, so they warned me of high blood sugars. I had heard of that happening, and though, ok, I can watch more closely, it shouldn’t be that hard.
Yeah, right. I’m skipping ahead with this, but I was also given a three-day course of prednisone to take after leaving the ER, and what ensued was a week of inescapable, unmanageable extremely high blood sugars. Like, my blood sugar was higher than my bank account. But this was expected, and though I couldn’t seem to get a hold on it, I was more fearful of insulin overdose. As with routine insulin management, it was touch and go. Just more extreme than figuring out your average dose relative to meal plan. I ended up going to Urgent Care and mentioned it then, but the most reassuring answer I found was, of course, on the Internet, where several forum answers, some supposedly written by doctors, pointed out that in a case where it’s absolutely necessary to use steroids short-term, the high sugars for a short time are worth it. Stated plainly, having extremely high blood sugar for a very short time won’t immediately kill you, but anaphylaxis certainly might. Better to wait out the high BG than to risk having your throat close.
Good news is, the effect of the prednisone on my blood sugar tapered off and normalized (what’s normal for me) relativelyl soon after taking the last pill. I noticed some residual effects that I think might be related – like a beauty mark I had on my arm decided to leave me – but otherwise everything seemed all right, just a little off. I was worried that I might be more susceptible to colds and such, but, on the contrary, whatever I went through seems to have given me a measure of immunity. My daughter has been sick twice already since I went through all this, and I haven’t succumbed to either of the illnesses that she went through. That’s good.
As a lifelong allergy sufferer, I’ve taken quite a bit of benedryl. Not my drug of choice for anything but a guaranteed night’s sleep, and I’ve been avoiding it for fear of recently noted side effects (brain damage, dementia, etc.) but if that’s what they thought I needed, I let do what they thought best. They being the nice doctors and nurses of the ER who got me so loopy loo I thought the air was melting. I don’t do recreational drugs (usually) but do enjoy a good trip under controlled medical supervision, and this was one of the best. There was a brief moment of metallic taste, but then I was just fucking stoned. I encouraged Dah to take a video, knowing I was like the Youtubers who post shit after just getting out of surgery, in that beautiful state of being awake yet gone. I did manage to sleep after a while, but it was totally wack, not restful, maybe not even sleep. I might have just been so out of it I couldn’t remember to keep my eyes open. Better than watching daytime TV.
They kept me in the ER about 3 hours, and by the end of it I was fighting hungry. Still slogging, Dah led me to the onsite pharmacy with my follow-up steroid and antihistimine orders, then took me to the cafeteria for soup and popcorn, and to keep an eye on me to make sure I really was OK before going home.
It seems strange to me now, but he did, in fact take me home, despite my having to be back in the area of the hospital to pick my daughter up from school not long after. We didn’t go directly home though. It was the last day of the month and we had Chik-Fil-A Cow Calendar coupon deals to cash out, so we got our free bowls of fruit there, then stopped at home, then he drove back up to the school with me sitting shotgun – I was way too groggy to drive at that point. I wasn’t even really trusting the ground I walked on to be quite solid, and I remember closing my eyes in the car and thinking we were on a runway in a plane!
So, it does pay to have a friend or loved one go along with you “just in case” when you have routine medical things done. Certainly was a help that I had Dah with me through this adventure!