Oct 20, 2011

Part 4: The darkest days

If you missed them, you can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Melanie made a move to follow us out into the hall so that she could accompany me to the X-ray room, but they told her she had to wait on me in my room.

It was really interesting (read: BAD) the way that whole transport went down. The transport person wheeled me in a wheelchair through yet another set of identical harshly lit beige hallways and down to the basement level. Then she pulled over to the side of a wide hallway and said, "Someone'll be out to get you in a few minutes." AND SHE LEFT ME THERE.

Internet. If my anxiety wasn't already high enough, it reached fever-pitch when she turned around and walked away. I felt like I'd been dropped off on another planet. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't have been a big deal at all ... but the way I felt made "being abandoned" down there almost unbearable.

The chest X-ray itself was completely uneventful ... it only took about five minutes, and then I was transported back to my room, to what I considered "safety" with Melanie. At this point, it was early Sunday morning and I'd only been in the hospital for a little over 24 hours. It felt like it had been 72 hours already.

Even though I still had the migraine, the pain level had come down from 10 to about six. If only I were able to sleep, I thought I could finally kick the migraine and just start feeling better in general.

But sleep was still elusive.

Sunday through Tuesday felt like one long, eternal day and night. My friend Lisa was my saving grace during that time. I was feeling very vulnerable in so many ways, and I didn't want to be left by myself in the hospital. She took the reins and scheduled friends and family to stay with me in shifts, even overnight. On Sunday, Melanie left mid-day, my friend Vanessa stayed with me through the afternoon and early evening, and Lisa came and spent the night.

I was on a lot of pain meds, as well as blood pressure medicine, but I had nothing to help me sleep. I think at that point, they thought that pain control in and of itself would allow me to sleep. NOPE. The morphine was on a timer, and I could release it every six minutes with the touch of a button. Problem was, it didn't touch the pain. I had two other narcotics that I could have every four to six hours, including Dilaudid. Have you ever HAD Dilaudid?

Let me tell you: IT IS MAGNIFICENT. When it's delivered via IV, you can literally feel it enter your veins, and the pain relief (at least for my migraine) was virtually immediate. I came very close to changing Amelia's middle name to "Dilaudid" around that time. But it only relieved the migraine pain for about two hours, and then it came back.

But those two hours were MIGHTY FINE in terms of pain, I will say. And I wanted it more often than they could give it to me, which is exactly why I asked them to take it off my list of approved meds and not offer it to me anymore. I liked it way too much. And even though they said you can't get addicted to anything in four days, I stuck to my decision. No More Dilaudid For Me.

Monday morning Lisa left and was replaced by my cousin Debby (not to be confused with Grayson's sister Debbie). Somebody finally prescribed me some Ambien, and I slept from 9 a.m. to noon on that. (They'd hoped it would last longer.) Monday evening my aunt Joanie came to spend the night, and I got an Ambien around 8 p.m. that put me to sleep from 9 p.m. to midnight. Unfortunately, I was awake the rest of the night AND I was beginning to have conversations with people who weren't in the room. The lack of sleep over the previous eight days was causing me to have hallucinations. CRAP.

Actually, SHIT.

Lisa came back Tuesday morning, wanting to be there when my OB did rounds. When I told him what was going on, he said, "Okay, you know I don't think you're crazy. You know that. But what you're describing makes me concerned that you're getting dangerously close to what's known as Sleep Deprivation Psychosis. And we don't want you to go there. So I'm going to call for a psych consult -- because this is getting outside of my area of expertise -- and we're going to find something to get you to sleep."

And I said, "THANK YOU. If you hadn't said it, I was going to request it. I have GOT to sleep or I think I'm going to go crazy."

I really, really did.

Lisa left, my cousin Lesley came to spend the rest of the evening with me, Amelia came up for a brief visit, a TERRIFIC, KIND, EMPATHETIC psychiatrist came by (and now I want to rename Amelia after HER), I got enough complex sleep meds to tranq a full-grown elephant, Lisa came back to spend the night, and I ACTUALLY SLEPT SOME. I didn't sleep all night, but I slept a good portion of it.

So Wednesday would have actually been a pretty good day, except guess what came back with a vengeance that day?


To be continued ...


stollison said...

Big high five to Lisa! This speaks to how awesome you are, that so many people were there for you. I love it.

Sewconsult said...

You have some great friends and family! So glad that you are a point in the story that you have someone trying to help you sleep.
When you mentioned about being left in the hall, I had a flash back to being left in the hall just before my hysterectomy (at the age of 32). My GYN came by and started patting me on my shoulder & I began crying... with fear and a relief that he cared so much.

Wade's World said...

I was given Dilaudid when I had my kidney stone. It worked like a charm! I was later told that it was because it is liquid heroin. Don't know if that's true or not, but it was amazing!

khakie said...

I LOVE Deladid - though I'm surprised they took it away from you so soon?
I was on it for 2 weeks after Ty was born and I had C-diff and was in the hospital..
Besides...on the addiction note..
It wouldn't be the same if it wasn't given Interveniously and I have to say - I don't have the nerve to shoot up myself...
I will admit that it is on all my medical charts outside the hospital that I get too much of a twinkle in my eye when saying the word...HOWEVER - if I'm even in extreme pain again - and hospitalized - the Big D IS what they will give me! Sorry they took it away from you so quickly...just the word makes me smile...:)

Leslie said...

See, this is why I hate not living in the same town as you! I should have been there! Love the way you can smile through all this, or at least make us all smile! Still can't wait to meet Miss Amelia Dilaudid!

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