It’s probably a bad thing when ER staff start recognizing you. Not just by seeing you either, just your name is enough. I have reached this point. Today’s trip to the ER involved the doctor walking in saying “Back again? Well at least you’re one of the easy ones!” then proceeded to recommend her usual migraine cocktail for me.
Up to this point we were fine. I like this doctor, she doesn’t mess around and won’t give me narcotics, which some doctors oddly think are awesome for migraines. I never want morphine ever again, I explain every time. They just stare at me, like I’m crazy. I’m wrong too, if I lose a limb I will gladly accept morphine. Then again the nurses stare at me like I’m crazy because I suggest my brain could be fixed with a good brick smashed into it. My sense of humor is inappropriate at best.
Once they find out my pain scale (you should always say 10 by the way, otherwise you’re not super important. They also don’t accept numbers over ten, such as eleven billion, I’ve tried. I’ve considered bringing them a copy of the “a better pain scale” comic for these instances). Next you get a partitioned area/room/cubicle. Now, this is yet another reason I go to this hospital. Your area comes with a TV (you have to share with the other person on the other side of the curtain), you get a recliner instead of those panic attack inducing, completely uncomfortable, and once or twice doused with vomit or blood that was not properly cleaned up gurney beds. Lastly? They usually only allow ONE visitor per patient, so less kids running around, and very few babies crying. Its best if you go to the ER on nights that The Walking Dead is airing. Everyone loves it, so people are nicer to you (Except this one really religious lady one time who kept loudly saying possible bible things at the TV, which once she saw Dianne and I progressed to things about us. I think I threw up when she was there. Vomit karma.)
Once you’re in the chair, that’s when the meds come, which is usually pretty quick. Today was an IV, which I get so often you would think they could just follow the marks from the last few. This is where things can get rocky and uncomfortable. I either get awesome nurses or really terrible ones. Awesome ones listen to when I say that I prefer my IV in a certain place, and that I need certain meds first unless they want to clean up multiple bodily fluids (getting old sucks, did you know you start to pee yourself when you vomit? Yeah, now you know its coming, you’ve been warned). If I get one of those nurses who refuses to listen (which is always the big issue with bad ones), I assume the bodily fluid cleanup is really their karma. Or maybe an important lesson for them to learn… not sure.
Today’s nurses were bad. The first one was irritated that I wanted my IV somewhere else and wouldn’t do it, plus he called a me a liar about my migraines last time I was there, so I have a bit of a grudge. On top, he got mad that I even suggested that an IV that any nurse there placed would end up bruising my arm. Next we had the ex stripper nurse (Not so big secret: when I was stripping, 90% of the strippers I knew were in school to become nurses or medical assistants. Once you know that, it’s not too hard to pick out the ex strippers in any medical facility.) She ignored me about the order my meds need to be in, so she got to be on vomit watch. Grumpy, surly, irritated in general. Did I offend her in some way? Personally, I wanted to be warned if vomit is coming. Maybe she likes vomit. I’m not hip with the cool fetishes I guess.
From here, I’m not sure if an injection in the stomach normally bruises this badly, or if there was something she was taking out on me. It was my first stomach injection, and I was terrified. “Ok this one goes in your tummy” she said, filling the needle. I was ready to leave, I wanted to say “Nevermind, I feel better, let’s get this IV out and I’ll head home”. I’m not afraid of needles, I’ve had probably hundreds of injections at this point. I generally get comments about how surprising it is when I don’t care about injections, or IV’s where they need to dig around for a bit to find that pesky little hand vein, basically, I can handle this stuff like a champ. Not today, nope, we are never doing that again. (Please picture a bleach blonde tanned nurse with sparkly American flag fake nails coming at your bared stomach with a needle, I don’t think I can find a picture that specific.)
I am sure you’re waiting for something interesting to happen by now, but really in my migraine ER stories, things always get fuzzy at this point. Everything hits fast, and if it goes well, then I’m loopy (or loopier). If it goes badly, well, we talked about that already (once a nurse actually asked what I ate that day as she threw away the bag, which grossed me out more than the fact that I vomited). I do happen to like at this point is when they always get me to sign the paperwork consenting to treatment, billing, etc. They should just give me a crayon, it would explain the quality of my signature at that point so much more. At least a typical visit is less than 2 hours start to finish.
When we finally left, my arm is bruised from the IV. My stomach is bruised from that stupid injection. And… my migraine is back two hours later. It was nice to have those couple of hours off of the brain through a blender feelings.
Last, two thoughts:
1. They always ask if I’ve been exposed to Malaria, Mrsa, Hepatitis, or any communicable diseases. I say no, but then I remember I’m in the ER, I could have been exposed to them in the waiting room for all I know.
2. Its not considered “acceptable” to diagnose yourself if its a strange disease. Migraines, sprained ankles, that stuff is ok to suggest. You get listed as crazy if you ask to be tested for Hantavirus.
I lied, three things. Odd personal side note: I’ve dated a few alcoholics, and that’s not easy. You have to learn to keep up or basically stay home and break up really soon. Due to keeping up I used to vomit like a champ. Stealth vomits that no one ever knew about, kept partying, felt fine the next day. Now it feels like actual death. On top of that, all of the muscles in my torso hurt the next day. I just tell everyone I’m building up my vomit muscles.
And that’s it for our TMI portion for the day.