Saturday, March 15, 2008

Where's McDreamy When I Needed Him?!

Yesterday morning, had you been a chip on my shoulder, you would have found yourself, my shoulder, and all my other parts, for that matter, in the ER. McDreamy, however, wasn't there. Neither were George Clooney or Noah Wiley. What a ripoff!

I was there because I've had some problems with reflux over the past year, so bad that it wakes me up in the middle of the night in terrible pain, and keeps me up for however many hours it takes for it to subside, usually three to four hours. Basically, I have a hiatal hernia (when your stomach refluxes into your esophagus), and the pain stops when the hernia pops back into place. I've been on Prevacid for a few months, which has been helping, but I still occasionally get a flare-up. I do my best to sleep propped up on several pillows, not to eat in the late evening, and to avoid excessive caffeine. However, my nemesis, Starbucks, FINALLY opened a branch locally about two weeks ago, and I have been weak. Very, very weak. OK, OK...if you look on Google Earth, you'll see that there's a line stretching from there to my house that looks suspiciously like an umbilical cord. I admit it. I swear, ocifer, there's crack in them there lattes!!!!

Anyway, two nights ago I woke up with the familiar pain, but it didn't go away. It got to the point where I was so tired and distressed that I started vomiting, and couldn't stop until finally I was dry-heaving repeatedly. So, DH stayed home, and after we dropped Patrick off at prek I had him take me to the ER. By this time, it had been almost 10 hours, and I was about to keel over. I was also getting very scared, since I have heard that hernias can sometimes twist on themselves and that can be a life-threatening situation.

Amazingly, the ER was almost empty, and I got right in. Of course, the first thing they had me do was strip and put on a gown, showing off my lovely sasquatch legs. (Mental note - shaved legs are today's clean underpants when it comes to medical emergencies! Even in winter, there's no excuse for the COAT I was sporting. Had I been in the wild, I would surely have been hit over the head by a hunter for my pelt.) Even though there was no handsome doctor to woo me, the nurses were very kind, and immediately got me a cocktail of anti-spasmodics and numbing agents to relax my esophagus and ease the pain. Once those kicked in, and they had drawn blood to make sure that there wasn't anything wrong with my liver, etc, I passed out on the bed and slept on and off for about an hour. DH was so wonderful, rubbing my back and just basically hanging out there with me the whole time. He's such a great guy, despite the witchy things I say and think at times.

Basically, it boiled down to I was just having a really, really bad reflux attack and my body kind of freaked out about it. By the time they sent me home, I was feeling a lot better, and slept on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Today, I feel pretty good, just sore as usual after something like this happens, and I have a lot of very attractive burping going on. I have to take it easy on the food over the next few days, and try to stay upright, ie no playing with the kids while hanging off the bed, etc.

The good thing about all this is that I was able to be there WHILE having the problem, unlike when I go to the doctor about things like this and they shrug and say that it's hard to tell what's going on since I'm not having the problem currently. Also, I got a script for the painkillers they gave me at the hospital so if this happens again I can care for myself better. At some point I'm probably going to have to have surgery to take care of this, but I'm trying to put it off until at least the fall, because both kids will be in school all day then, and since both will be walkers I won't have to worry about how to get them to and from school. I'm hoping to find a good gastro doctor soon to talk about what I can do to prevent re-occurances until then.


desperate housewife said...

I don't think I've ever met another person who had bad reflux issues like I have sometimes. Whew, I'm not alone! I've been in the ER once for it, too- my episode was triggered by mixing caffeine and alcohol within hours of each other, which for me is apparently a big no-no. I actually thought I was having a heart attack, I had such incredible chest pain. I couldn't catch my breath; we ended up calling an ambulance because I was terrified I was going to die on the way to the hospital if we drove ourselves.
Glad you're feeling better now; believe me, I know how painful those episodes can be! I would get it so bad when I was pregnant. Sometimes I would wish I could be in LABOR rather than have to deal with the reflux! Did you find yours got worse during pregnancy?

Astarte said...

No, the weird thing is that I didn't have this at all when I was pregnant! It only started last summer. All I can think of is that I've gained some weight, although since I don't weigh more than I did while I was pregnant I don't know if that's it. I definitely agree - I'd rather go through labor than go through this. Labor, at least, is over in a certain amount of time, and it's an expected and natural pain. This just shows up and goes on indefinitely! I've had times when I couldn't breathe, just like you. That's the worst, and the Prevacid has at least so far stopped those kinds of things from happening. I'm hoping that losing weight will help, and I'm going to seriously try to do that. I haven't even touched the Easter candy I bought the kids, and I've had it a week!