so today . . . i am sitting in front of the fire (because there is finally a chill in the air,) playing on my computer, and eating a chocolate cake lollipop from sweet and saucy shop (yes, diandra finally brought me some, and now that i have tasted one they are zooming to the top of my list of "things that i would kill for!" i cannot describe to you how delicious these little cake balls are!!) if only that was the whole story . . .
. . . i am sitting here in front of the fire, playing on my computer, eating a cake lollipop because i have pneumonia. that cough that i have been whining about for the last two and a half months? yeah, it is now pneumonia.
i was pretty sick over the weekend, so sunday i emailed my doctor and said, "what should i do?" i hadn't actually seen MY doctor since the middle of october--i'd just been going to urgent care. but i thought maybe now i needed to see someone who knew me and could look at all the information from the last couple of months and figure out why i was still coughing.
and then i got up monday morning and went to work.
it was an economic decision. i do not have any benefits at my job, because i do not work 40 hours a week--i work "only" 32 hours. that means no paid vacation days or sick days, and holidays are only paid if you work the day before AND the day after. i had dragged myself in last week, and i was not ready to lose 3 days of pay just because i didn't feel good on monday.
i got to work without incident, and everything was ok. for a while. but then things started going downhill. by 10:00 i was trying to figure out how i was going to get my head off my desk long enough to take my little darlings across the hall to the bathroom. i was afraid i was not going to be able to drive the one mile it would take me to get home, let alone navigate multiple lanes of freeway traffic. i called rollie and said, "can you take me to urgent care after lunch?" he said, "you don't sound good. maybe we should go right now!" but i said, "no, we could be there a while--you had better eat first." which turned out to be prophetic, because we were there all afternoon . . .
we got to urgent care about 1:30, and while the waiting room wasn't packed, there were a couple of wheelchairs challenging my path to door which protected the medical staff from the sickly hoards. the guy who checked me in said the wait was probably going to be about 2 hours. i figured those wheelchairs were going to beat me in. but i didn't even care--i was just relieved to be in close proximity to medical assistance.
they called my name 10 minutes later! (it's a good thing i hadn't decided to go across the street to jack in the box, because the thought did cross my mind.) i learned that the magic words when going to urgent care are "chest pain." the triage nurse took my vital signs, and looked at her machine like it was broken when she saw how high my pulse was. and then she took it again. and then again. apparently it was pretty high. i thought it was good that my heart was strong enough to pump so fast--she did not! they hustled me into a room where they took my blood pressure laying down, sitting up, and standing. and they used the kid cuff! if i had felt better, i would have been mortified! i was already wearing a hospital gown--you would think that would be enough humiliation . . . and then came the ekg--i guess "chest pain" and a high pulse are cause for concern to urgent care personnel. the ekg was normal, so the nurse said, "wait here."
are you kidding me?? i was in the inner sanctum. and it had only taken me 10 minutes to get in! i wasn't going anywhere until i had some answers. i sat on the soft, cushy "bed" for a while, and then finally gave it up and laid down to nap . . .
and then, my phone rang. it was my doctor's office. "we think you should see a pulmonary specialist. can you go thursday afternoon?" there i was, laying on a bed in urgent care, wearing two hospital gowns (yes, there is a story there,) waiting for permission to stroll down the hall to have a chest xray. in my two hospital gowns. "sure," i said. "what time?" i figured it might be a good idea to keep my options open. because if they somehow managed to get past rollie and send me home with a bag of cough medicine, i could always go see the specialist . . .
the ekg was normal, so once they were convinced i was not going to have a heart attack and die right there in urgent care, they sent me down the hall for a chest xray. in my two hospital gowns. and let me tell you, my insurance dollars are NOT being used to pay for heat in that building! it was COLD!!
after the xray, i had to wait again for my turn to get a room. i was so tired, i fell asleep. in a chair. in the waiting room. in my two hospital gowns. when they called my name, i went cautiously through the doors, wondering what was next . . .
it turned out to be a warmed blanket! i was in the middle of thinking, "it has all been worth it! i have a warmed blanket!!" when the nurse wheeled in the iv stuff. "uh oh. this can't be good . . . " apparently i was dehydrated, which meant they were going to sloosh saline solution into my body through an iv--and fyi, room temperature liquid feels cold when going into a body temperature body! now i understood the need for the warmed blanket . . . then, when the iv was empty, they repeated the whole 3 position blood pressure dance again.
the doctor came in, looked at the xrays and declared "pneumonia!" she talked to me about it for a while, ordered some medication and a breathing treatment, (yes rollie took a picture--the poor man had been sitting with me for hours with nothing to do, so i humored him . . . for some reason, he thought this was hilarious!)and said i should stay home from work for a week or two. WHAT?!?!?! oh nonononono! clearly she didn't understand the whole "i don't get sick days" thing. she obviously didn't know that my little dumplings had to be ready to perform in the christmas program in two weeks. or that parent conferences are scheduled for next week. or that CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!! she must have read the horror on my face, because she finally said i had to stay home at least this week, and then we could see how i was feeling.
i can tell you right now how i will be feeling on monday--well enough to go back to work!
but before i can do that, i have to rest. all week. at home. and drink lots of water. and see the pulmonary specialist. and get past rollie . . .
i think i need a nap.