Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

OK, so I made some smartass comment in my last post about "unforeseen calamity." Duh. When will I learn?

Unforeseen Calamity (Sort of) #1: Wednesday morning I wake up with one of those headaches. The ones that I wake up crying it hurts so much. I don't know if this qualifies as a migraine, or just an extremely painful headache. I wander downstairs (in the dark because I take on vampire qualities when these hit) and beg Husband to come up and help me. The headache is radiating from a severely screwed up neck and shoulders. Stress hasn't been absent from my life, and it builds up to equal trapezious muscles of stone. He works on me for about 30 minutes, and I start to feel human. Damn Tylenol doesn't work at all.

Husband calls my OB to see if there is anything else that I can take to try to deal with this. I then to proceed to exchange several calls with the triage nurse. I stupidly had mentioned that I had pain in my neck, and there is a freak out about meningitis. Ugh. No. I dutifully take my temperature (after having to tear about the house to try to find a thermometer that hasn't been used rectally) to find that I am normal. Sigh. I have a family history of migraine. I'm not sure if what I have are migraines, but I do usually manage to have some light sensitivity, and if I don't get to my A*vil in time, I do get a bit sick to my stomach. Regardless, all I wanted to know was whether I needed to suck it up, or if I could enjoy better living through chemistry.

In the end a chiropractic appointment and a good clunk and pop out of the right side of my neck later, the headache pretty much disappears. The day is shot anyway, so I took advantage of the child-free time to nap. I got up around 4:00, and we decided that we would go and fetch Son from daycare around 5:00, which leads to......

Unforeseen Calamity #2: As we pull ourselves together to go get Son, Husband sits down on the couch and lets out a scream. What the....? His neck is in excruciating pain, he can't turn it, and he wants me to hold it up to take the pressure off. Great, just great.

We know that we have to get to Son's daycare, which is about 20 minutes away from home. Due to the calamity, it is now 5:30ish, and daycare closes at 6:00. There really isn't time to drop Husband off at the nearest Urgent Care/Emergency room. What follows is the car ride from hell. We take the Caddie, since it rides somewhat smoothly. Husband cries, curses at me for taking curves too fast, and lets me have it in general. I refrain from making the reference to his total lack of empathy with my contractions on the way to the hospital. This takes a great deal of restraint, let me tell you.

We get to daycare, I grab Son, who is in one of the best moods he has been in for a while. To see his face crumple when he sees Da-Da in pain breaks my heart. He was so concerned, and scared. Husband decides that he can't tolerate the return trip to the ER closest to our house (which was prudent in that he called the Urgent Care attached to the same ER and the wait was over 1 1/2 hours), so we go to the ER in the same town as daycare. My GP is out of this hospital, and I know that it is pretty good.

Fortunately, when we get there, the waiting room is empty, and Husband is put in a neck brace and taken back to an ER room immediately. This hospital is different in that the triage nurse decides how gets urgent care and who gets the ER. Anyway, they take his history (for the third freakin' time), and after a quick chat with the doc (who was in with Husband less than 10 minutes after he got a bed), he gets an IV of morphine and is able to breathe again. His blood pressure was really high too.

In the end, after an MRI, two doses of M*rphine, it is determined that things aren't dire, but he's got a way to go before he feels better. He had been doing a lot work using his right side. One day he spent the entire morning chipping ice off of the sidewalk, and a couple of days later, pumping over six inches of water off of the flat roof of the hotel, since the center drains don't work. All of that overuse, plus the chiropractic appointment, caused a pretty severe muscle spasm, which they are considering a muscle injury. The MRI also showed that he has a slightly bulging disc a little higher in his neck, but they were pretty certain that the disc isn't causing the problem. We were discharged with prescriptions for V*alium, Pe*coset, and high dosage Advil.

Through all of this, Son did pretty well. We did leave for a while to get him some supper. He ate probably the best he has all week. I was so upset that I fought throwing up the entire time I was feeding him his chicken strips and fruit. My morning sickness turns on a dime when I get tired and/or stressed, but I managed to choke down half a shake just so my stomach wouldn't be empty. I was stressed because I didn't know what they were going to find with Husband, I knew that Son was going to get to bed late and thus be one fun toddler the next morning. and mad (not pretty) at Husband for yet again not doing what he should and having to spend time in an emergency room. This always happens immediately, if not soon after, something happens to me. Example. I'm in labor, he breaks a tooth. I'm recovering from having a baby, and he's more concerned about getting to the dentist than taking care of me. He brings a lot of this on himself. He DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF AT ALL. However, he has the guts to give me grief about what I do. It makes me so damn mad, because he really does have time to work out, eat decently. I mean, he really is only responsible for himself. He has a fitness club that is free for him (through the hotel) right across the street. He usually leaves work between 3 and 4; even with a 30 minute commute, Son and I are lucky to cross the threshold before 6 each night. He has the time. Something that I have fight tooth and nail for.

I guess what scared me, and continues to scare me, is that I see Husband going down the same path medically as his father. His father's last 15 years were hell, both on him and everyone around him. From a selfish point of view, I don't want to have to live that life. He had strokes, Alzheimer's, and struggled with thyroid problems. He had two fused vertebrae in his neck, his shoulders had been rebuilt twice. He was senile the last few years, irritable, angry, controlling, violent, and just awful. Due to a previous CAT scan, we know that Husband has calcification in his brain, which are a pretty solid marker for Alzheimer's. We haven't talked about it much, but in the back of my mind, I don't think that it is a question of if he develops it, but when. And how badly. The thought of him not knowing me or our children terrifies me. I know that he thinks about it, but still lives in this fantasy that he is in his 20s and he's bulletproof. When is he going to figure out that he can't live that way anymore? When?

Needless to say, it wasn't a fun day.

1 comment:

Jen said...

sorry you had such an awful day. I know that days like that happen around my house often LOL In fact, if everything is going smooth, I try to prepare myself for the next disaster. Who's turn is it? What could go wrong right now? LOL Anyways, my grandfather died of Alzheimer's so I understand some of the fears associated with that condition. :-(