A month or so ago Rob and I got hit with the flu. It was an annoying little bug that hit him harder than it did me but was out of system within two days each.
Sunday night Rob started to get a headache that just wouldn’t quit. On Wednesday he started to develop other flu like symptoms such as vomiting and due to the vomiting, body aches. He said it felt like the same thing he had before so we just sort of sat back and waited for it to go away.
He stayed home from work on Thursday and did a half day on Friday. He had a gig that he had already committed to for a friend so he followed through with that on Friday night and came home just dead on his feet.
Saturday he said he was just getting worse but told me to go to rehearsal and if he still felt crummy when I got home he would let me take him to Urgent Care. I reluctantly went to rehearsal, and when I got home he was still sick but said he would wait until tomorrow. If he wasn’t any better he promised we would go to Urgent Care.
Over the course of the night he appeared better. He was able to hold down two pieces of bread with some peanut butter on them. I was so relieved! He was on the mend, and everything was going to be okay.
This morning we woke around six and he mumbled that he felt even worse than he had been feeling, threw up and went back to bed. I googled Urgent Care and none of them opened til eight. I went back to bed and Rob said he wanted to sleep as long as he could before we went. I know he was hoping that it would just start getting better. The last time we went to the emergency room for something like this he ended up staying there for several days and I know he didn’t want that to happen again.
We finally got up and showered around ten and after a small discussion decided to head to the CHOMP emergency room in lue of Urgent Care. There was a serious chance he could be admitted and we didn’t want to have to travel to two different places and do paperwork twice.
I have to say I am pretty impressed with the CHOMP ER. His info was already on file from some blood work he had done years ago and instead of making you stand there in pain to register they get you into a room and have the registration people come to you with a laptop.
After we were in the room a few nurses came in and said someone would be with us. Rob had a bout of throwing up that brought in a nurse with an anti-nausea tablet to put under his tongue and set up an IV for him. He took down all the info he needed and then told us the doctor would be in soon.
The nurse had taken some blood when putting in the IV so when the doc came in we explained everything again and he said he was going to run some labs on the blood and make sure there were no infections or anything. We said fine and he was off.
At that point there wasn’t much to do so with Rob’s encouragement I headed down to the gift shop to get some magazines and stopped off at the cafe to get a bite to eat.
When I got back to the room Rob was in pain. The headache was back in full force and after a little coaxing I managed to get him to admit he wanted me to find a nurse to get some pain meds.
I informed the nurse that had initially gotten us into the room and she said she would check it with the doctor and find out. About a half an hour later Rob was just miserable and had another bout of vomiting.
Now just a word on this…there was nothing left for Rob to puke up. He hadn’t held anything solid down in five days except for the bread and that was long gone. The dry heaves that he had were so powerful his entire face, upper body and back turned tomato red and he couldn’t breathe.
As he was retching into the bucket they thoughtfully provided the nurse rushed in with a shot of narcotic pain medicine. (Boy, loud retching sounds of death really bring the nurses coming in this place…good to know!) He was bent over unable to breathe when she put the shot in his IV.
She walked away and all of a sudden Rob’s motor skills slowed down to a crawl. He looked at me to say something and all that came out was a jumbled slur. I could tell he wanted to to convey to me that he couldn’t talk but his mouth no longer worked. I managed to hear “talk.” in the slurs that were falling out of his lips but that was all I could understand. He then tried to sign to me but even that was slow and unsuccessful. The next thing I know he fell back on the bed passed out and his heart monitor alarm started going off. I looked up and his heart rate had dipped below 35 BPM and the red lights were flashing.
I ran out into the hallway and found a nurse, she told me that someone was monitoring the heart rate machines and would be right in. She then came in followed by the nurse that gave him the pain meds and they got him to wake up but he still couldn’t really speak. One nurse put him on some oxygen while the other one gave him a shot of anti-nausea meds. They got him to take some deep breathes and then he drifted off into sleep as his pulse stabilized.
This is where I had to step out into the hallway and bawl. I literally felt like I had been watching him die in front of me. I had never been so scared in my whole life.
Okay that is all I can write about that now because I’m crying again….moving on!
The nurse told me that she thought it was the combo of him not getting enough air as she gave him the narcotic and that caused him to pass out. She didn’t seem the least bit worried that my husband seemed to be having stroke like symptoms and left the room.
The doctor came in shortly after and woke Rob to tell him that the labs came back normal, he was telling us he was ready to release us when I told him about what had happened. Rob spoke up and seemed to have all of his speaking skills restored thank God. The doctor appeared to know about the pain meds because he had to approve them but didn’t get informed about Rob’s reaction to them. He ordered a CT scan just to make sure Rob’s head was okay.
The scan came back normal and Rob was released. We made it to Safeway just in time to get his prescriptions filled. He has two pain meds and one anti-nausea one. He’s been resting comfortably since we got back.
The doctor said that it was just a really nasty flu virus that had to run it’s course. He said antibiotics don’t work on viruses, so he gave Rob a note to be out of work for the next two days but basically said there was nothing more he could do. Nothing but clear fluids until tomorrow and come back if things get worse.
Total time in the ER was about five hours. Just an exhausting day.
I would do it all over again though just to have this piece of mind that there is no brain tumor/stroke/organ failure happening and it’s just the flu.
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