Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taking MS To The ER

I took ms to the ER on Thursday night.  It was glad to come along, 'cause the visit had nothing to do with it and everything to do with chest discomfort and a migraine.  Little known fact about ms?  It's quite jealous and, therefore, has to be noticed.

When I get a migraine, the first thing I lose is my ability to walk normally.  My legs turn to not-quite-done jello.  I must be deliberate with each step.  I shiver uncontrollably.  I hold the side of my head that is splitting apart, I shield my eyes with the other, and I pray, sometimes aloud.  Thursday night, I didn't so much go to the ER for the headache as I did the jackhammer guy in my chest and the heart rate that was more in synch with techno music than the usual neo-soul. 

"Tina?" 

I stood and nearly sat back down.  Come on, legs...all you gotta do is get from this chair to a bed, and all will be well.  "Are you alright?  Do you need a wheelchair?"  The right answer was "no" and "yes".  Instead?  I said "yes" and "no".  I explained that, when I have migraines, my legs are the first to go.  That way, the nurse would know I wasn't drunk.  'Cause it looks a lot like The Drunk Walk.  Swaying, overly thought out steps, and holding onto whatever's near.  Well, and a lot of laughing.  But I wasn't laughing. 

Nurse:  "so you're here with chest pain?"
Me:  "not pain, discomfort"
Nurse: "do you have pain radiating to your jaw, left arm?"
Me:  "I have pins and needles there, yes"
Nurse: "do you have numbness and tingling anywhere?"
Me:  "yes, in my arms and legs, hands and feet.  But I also have ms, so I never know what's what"
Nurse: "you're probably staying, you know that, right?"
Me:  "I'm not stayin'"

In came the EKG cart.  Bring it on, Sticker Fest!  I kick the crap out of those every time.  Lay nice and still, blink eyes twice, paper prints out, and out I go.  So sticker me up, sister.  I'll just need to know that the chest discomfort is no biggie, take a little somethin' for the migraine, and back to my kids I'll happily go. 

But I couldn't just go and, in fact, everyone in the ER seemingly forgot about my migraine, including me, when the doctor came in the room to advise me that there was an abnormality in my EKG.  Crap.  Looks like I'm stayin'.

My first reaction, after I got over the initial shock, was to ask my Mom to hand me my phone.  I have a small team of prayer warriors that I needed pronto.  It was way too late at night to call them, so a text had to do.  Mom was trying to process what was just relayed, while I wrapped up my text, confidently closed my phone, handed it back and said, "there.  Everything's going to be fine now."  I truly believed that when I said it.

I was instantly transformed into Jaime Sommers between the wires and equipment and constant care.  I slept approximately 5 minutes throughout the night.  Wasn't allowed to eat or drink, due to a stress test scheduled in the morning.  Oh that's not good.  MS likes to be nourished, or it takes it out on...my legs.  Again with the legs.  Need my legs to do the test!

I stood to board the treadmill, which is quite a step up for a shorty like me.  Legs were shaking and feeling very weak.  I knew I'd better start praying, so I lowered my head and asked God to walk that treadmill for me, 'cause I couldn't do it.  "Okay, go ahead and start walking, Tina."  Mmmmkay...

3 minutes later, it elevates and speeds up.  And my legs got...stronger?  Another 3 minutes, more elevation and speed, legs still strong.  3 more minutes and I'm nearly running!  It felt...GREAT!  I had been joking with the cardiologist previous to the test, so we were BFFs by this time.  He stood there relaying the info to me, "look at that!  No arrythmia, what a healthy heart you have there!"  All the better to love you with, my pretty...

Thankfully, I went home with the fancy "label" I arrived with.  MS.  I'll keep it as my one and only.  There really wasn't a dx for the jackhammer guy.  He may return, he may not.  But I'm not going to sit around and wait.  I was never that girl... 

Praise God for His healing touch.  Thanks for prayer warriors, family, and friends who love and care for me so very much.  Thanks for an excellent team of medical professionals who provided compassionate and fantastic care.  And thanks for the best Mom ever.  Ever.  Even though she lied to the doctor when she said there was no family history of stroke, and she had one just a few years ago.  I waited 'til he left the room and said, "I like how you lied about your stroke, Mom."  We both had a good laugh over that...

Thank you also to Pretty/Stylish Friend, who brought me a vanilla bean/coffee coolatta.  And who hopefully looked away as the nurse was removing my stickies from my chest and side, lifting my gown, exposing too much information.  But the way I see it, we'll be dear friends til our days here run out.  It's only a matter of time 'til one has to see the worst parts of the other.  Congrats, PS Friend.  Your time has passed.  You're welcome.

So while I don't feel 100%, I at least know what it's not.  I can live with not knowing the cause.  The only thing left to be concerned with is...how to cover the bill that should arrive in about 30 days.  Oy vey.

3 comments:

newrog1 said...

Hopefully, everything was coded right...did you ask if you could check it over befor they bill you?

Lucy De Jesus said...

I praise God for you and your health Tina!

Tina said...

LOL on checking their codes! I'm pretty sure they would've chosen 786.59 (chest discomfort), 346.10 (migraine w/o aura), 719.7 (difficulty walking), and 782.0 (disturbance of skin sensation). That's what I'd have gone with. I was coding myself as I laid there...

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