So it started out as a normal family dinner. We had spaghetti with yummy marinara. I took an acid pill before I ate to prevent acid reflux. On my way home, I picked up my room mate at the metro. While I was waiting for him in the car, my stomach started to hurt. It started to hurt really bad! I was sitting in the pick up area, trying to figure out what the cause of the pain could be… gas, indigestion, food poisoning… Maybe if I just ignore it, it will go away… Maybe I just need to go to the bathroom.
My room mate got in the car and we stopped by Costco on the way home. Walking made it feel a little better, but by the time we got to the medicine section, I grabbed a bulk sized bottle of Pepto Bismol and had at it.
By the time we got home, the pain was only getting worse. I got myself a glass of ice water and went up to my room. I tried to drink some water… it rose back up into my mouth… I couldn’t keep my water down?! I hadn’t eaten that much spaghetti, had I? Nothing was comfortable, I couldn’t sit down, fetal position wasn’t doing it for me, so I paced around my room… thinking… how do I get rid of this pain?! What medicine will work? Pepto is failing me.
I hear my roommate wish me well as he leaves to go out with friends. At least I can suffer in peace without disruption now.. hopefully he discovers my body before my cat gets curious and hungry… I called my mom. I tried to blame her cooking, but that didn’t go over well. She advised I called the 24 hour nurse line on my health insurance card. Thank goodness I even have health insurance. Being self-employed I had considered trying to go without the expense, but luckily everyone yelled at me and convinced me otherwise.
The nurse on the phone was very helpful. She walked me through some questions and finally advised that I go to the ER. She mentioned that if I started to vomit or piss blood, to call back. Thanks! So I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up to take me. In mid-sentence, I hung up on my mom and ran to the toilet, where I proceeded to violently puke my guts out. I had been feeling seriously nauseous for the past hour, but it didn’t feel like I would actually puke. I’m not sure if it happened because I was nervous or because it was time, but it happened. It was gross, my dinner in the toilet with globs of Pepto Bismol floating on top… yuck! I cleaned myself up, packed my purse with essentials: iPod and iPod charger and phone charger.
I arrived in the ER and the triage nurse smelled like a stale pack of cigarettes… very healthy. I didn’t even want to walk into the ER when we first arrived. I walked in circles in the freezing parking lot debating the symptoms with my mom. The pain had almost disappeared after I vomited. The pressure was released I suppose, so the only pain I felt was when I pressed down on the right side of my stomach. My mom convinced me to go in so we could at least get confirmation that something or nothing was wrong. I was nervous that I was overreacting and didn’t want to be embarrassed. The smokey nurse took my blood pressure and temperature and next thing I knew I had my name on a bracelet and a private bed in the ER.
At this point I realized that maybe something serious was going on. They wouldn’t admit me in the ER if it was just gas, right? OK, I’m not crazy and not embarrassed, yet..