Saturday, February 12, 2005

just a twinge of a backache

this last week, i thought i was fighting a losing battle w/ a flu bug -- again. but i was giving it a hard run for the money. i thought i had it beat by thursday, and i was just trying to hold out for the weekend to get a little rest. the weekend finally arrived, and i had a wonderful dinner of homemade vegetable soup. i was chatting w/ a couple friends on the internet before dinner, but i needed to get to bed and sleep a couple hours before going to work at the hotel at 11 pm. as i was going to bed, i told summer, "you know, i have just a twinge of a backache. i hope i'm not getting a kidney infection of something."

i went on to bed and slept a couple hours. i awoke at about 9:15 pm, and my back felt fine but i was very cold. i just couldn't get warm. my waterbed was set at 90 degrees, and that's usually warm enough. but not tonight! even with another blanket on top of the blanket and comforter, i was still shivering. not just little shivers, but violent full body shivers that made my teeth chatter. summer wanted me to call in sick to work and go to the emergency room. i didn't want to do that because it's tough to be called in to work the night shift. i knew the person i was relieving couldn't stay late because she had small children staying w/ a babysitter. i don't like to impose on other people, so i planned to go to work and then go to the emergency room after i got off work saturday morning. surely i could hold out for 8 hours!

when it was time to get dressed for work, i just couldn't hardly do it. i was shaking so bad that i couldn't stand up w/o leaning on the bedpost. standing on one leg to put my pants on was just about impossible, but i managed to pull myself together and get dressed. driving to work was quite an experience, as i was shaking terribly and it was hard to concentrate. i managed to calm the shivers down by the time i got to work, but i was feeling so sick that i could hardly stand up. i clocked in and asked angie if she would go to the store and get me some cranberry juice, as i was too sick to stop on my way to work.

my co-worker was convinced that i was too sick to stay at work. she called the assistant manager to ask what to do. she was instructed to call the manager, but she couldn't make contact. she then started calling other people to see if someone could come in and work for me. well, the other guy that works night agreed to come in and my co-worker agreed to stay until he arrived so i could go on to the emergency room. fortunately for me, i arrived at the hospital just in time. by this point, i was so sick i could hardly stand up.

i was taken back to my own room in the emergency room, and the nurse called summer at home to tell her i was in the emergency room. summer called scott in parsons to let him know to come through town and pick me up. i guess i was much sicker than what i realized, starting w/ 103.5 fever when i arrived. no wonder i couldn't get warm. and all i could think of was how nice it would feel to have one of those blankets from the blanket warmer, but they wouldn't let me have one of those. after blood work and some other tests, the verdict was that i had a kidney infection. a really bad kidney infection.

when the doctor was explaining this, he said he was amazed that i was still standing when i arrived because the infection was so bad. then he said, "oh yeah, i forgot how stubborn you are sometimes." so i guess he was saying that i would've given in sooner if i weren't "so damned stubborn". i'm not sure that's a good thing, but it might be true. as soon as the test results were back, they started some antibioties through the IV. when that dose was done and my temperature was down significantly, i was released to go home.

as i was lying there, scott arrived to give me a ride home. i wasn't able to go yet, but he helped me get more comfortable, fed me ice chips, and talked to keep me company. while he was talking, he realized that this was the only time in his life that he had been to the emergency room for someone else. that realization kind of floored me, but after thinking a while on it i realized that it was correct. i had never gone to the emergency room for myself, and summer had never needed it. but scott has had more than his fair share of trips there. in fact, he has been to this emergency room in pittsburg 42 times since 1992. and trust me when i say that he had several trips to emergency rooms in other towns -- either when we lived there or were visiting there.

i was released at about 2 am to come home, with the orders to come back if i felt worse or couldn't keep liquids down. scott picked me up at the door of the emergency room and drove me home. the ride was uncomfortable w/ jostling me around, because my back was really tender and sore at this point. we got home, and i was up and around for a while -- feeling better than i had in several hours. scott and i watched a little tv and ate a krispy kreme donut while he helped me get all settled. scott makes a good caregiver, but sometimes he forgets how strong he is.

i finally slept a couple hours starting around 4 am, and i'm feeling much better today. of course, i'm still sore and my back still hurts, but nothing like it did yesterday! today, i've just rested and worked on the laptop -- cleaning, organizing, emailing, chatting, and writing on my blog. it's been a slow day, as i'm not used to not feeling like being up and around doing my own thing.

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