This Space for Rent

Not the best way to spend my saturday afternoon

Around noon, I started to feel numb all down my right side, so after a quick consultation with my doctor, I was told to trot down to the nearest emergency room just to check things out, not that there might be anything (stroke) that (stroke!) might (stroke!!!) go (stroke!!!!) wrong. At 2pm, I showed up at the emergency room and told the admitting nurse what was wrong. At 2:20, I was brought into a triage room where I told the triage nurse what was wrong. At 2:30, I was escorted to the cozy room illustrated above, and settled in to cool my heels. At ~2:45, another ER nurse came in so I could relate my story once again. At this point, they'd probably decided that I was not having a stroke, so I got to relax until somtime around 3:15, when an ER doctor came in and listened to me describe what was wrong.

At 4pm, another another ER nurse came in and tried to get blood from me, and was quite displeased to discover that I'm extremely needlephobic. The best was along, but kept having to go out into the waiting room because the pedestrians of the apocolypse had come to the hospital with us, and resisted, for the longest time, the suggestion that they go to their grandparents house -- she wasn't there when the needleman came to town, but came back soon thereafter and commented that the blood draw didn't seem to have worked (neither of us knew that this sort of thing was on the menu, so the first thing I knew about it was the "we need to take a blood sample!" request from the nurse, and the first thing she knew about it was when she walked into the room and saw me huddled shaking in the corner. As I said, I'm extremely needlephobic; for some reason, my telling the triage nurse that I'm needlephobic did not seem to actually make it into the ears of any of the other staff.)

By around 4:30, the wheels of the emergency room had rotated far enough for me to be escorted down to one of their catscanner machines, so a tech could take cross-section photos of my brain to make certain that there wasn't a rapidly expanding pool of blood in there. I wasn't mumbling things like "no new taxes!", so nobody thought I actually had a stroke, but they wanted to make sure. The xray cross sections were pretty neat to look at, and I need to figure out if there's a way I can pry the pretty pictures of my brain out of the hands of the medical establishment so all 5 of my readers can see what the crosssection of a healthy brain looks like.

Since the catscanner didn't find any pools of blood, they decided I was healthy enough to be kicked out of the hospital, and after a short lecture on how I should let people take blood samples (does ``extremely needlephobic'' mean different things to different people?), I was released from the emergency room and allowed to return home(ish).

And then a horrible catastrophe happened. The paperwork they gave me on checkout listed a bunch of things I needed to do until my regular doctor could take a look at me. Aside from the ridiculous one of "avoid stress" -- I have children, so "avoid stress" is one of those grim jokes that can be shared over a glass of wine in the evening, the list said, and I sob to even think about it, ....


Sure, there are some other annoying restrictions, like no alcohol, but I'm a computer programmer, so I don't know what I'll do without my morning cup or 20 of tea. I suspect my corporate masters will find my comatose body curled up next to my desk in the middle of monday morning, and they'll be unable to stir me until the sun has had a chance to warm things up a bit (like, oh, around 2pm.) I'm glad that my brain isn't exploding more than normal, but, oh, this is a cruel cruel treatment for my illness.

All don't die. Oh the embarrassment.


Glad to hear you're okay. Oh lord don't go cold turkey on the caffeine, I did that one time and I thought I had a brain tumor. The withdrawal headaches can be nasty.

firedoglake Sun Jun 12 00:38:03 2005

I'm not having trouble with headaches; I'm having trouble maintaining central nervous system function. I'm trying for the placebo effect by drinking glass after glass after glass of decaf tea, but it's not being what I'd call helpful, unless I redefined "productivity" to include being able to (barely) fire up a web browser and look at weblogs.


David Parsons Mon Jun 13 14:47:04 2005

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