First, forgive the length of this post, brevity is not my forté.
I try not to make this a place for me to bitch about whatever maladies or ailments I might have at the moment, but this was a fairly life-changing (and damned near life-ending) experience.
Hopefully this can serve as a cautionary tale for someone out there. As some of you (my imaginary fan club) may or may not know I work in group home with four adults with “intellectual disabilities” (that’s the latest PC term, anyway). I work 3rd shift 14/14/12 hours.
Now just a bit more setup. I have an undiagnosed (so far) bleeding disorder, generally not an issue, unless I’m subjected to some sort of trauma. Sometime back I saw a “Dr.” for a stiff, very sore, and inflamed big toe. When I got home with my prescription of Naproxen (an NSAID) I immediately realized that I’m not supposed to take those, and so, I didn’t.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago. The toe is flaring up again, and tylenol proves to be ineffective. Naturally I remember the Naproxen and decide to give it a try. It works and I’m thinking that 500mg once or twice a day, a few days a week should be fine.
So, flash forward to this past Sunday night/Monday morning: I’ve just had a slice of apple pie and my toe is starting to really hurt again, so I take another (my second of the day) Naproxen. I’ll try to keep what came next as in-offensive as possible.
My bowels began grumbling that they needed to be moved, so I did. When I looked into the bowl and saw that one end of the stool (sorry) was composed of the stereotypical ‘old coffee grounds’ I said to my self, “Oh, that’s not good.”
I’m thinking at that point that I’d be ok to finish my shift and can worry about it later.
Within minutes I began to realize that I had miscalculated.
After evacuating (shitting, if you prefer) several gushers (I lost count) of increasingly bright-red blood I knew I was in serious trouble and needed to call someone to take over for me, and ‘maybe’ an ambulance. The problem was; at this point I couldn’t stand without blacking out and didn’t have a phone within reach.
Finally during a break in the action, I crawl to a phone, get my boss’s number and make the call, (from the toilet) downplaying the situation not wishing to alarm her. A few minutes later as my hold on consciousness grew extremely tenuous I called back telling her “This is really bad, I’m going to have to call an ambulance.” (Which I should have already done, literally, hours earlier.) I did, then crawled to open the front door, so the EMT’s could get in.
The ambulance arrived, followed immediately by my boss, and it was off to the ER. I won’t bore you with my tales of the rampant, and apparently institutionalized incompetence I witnessed in the ER.
The bleeding stopped on its own by the time I’d been in the ER for a bit. They did all sorts of tests, revealing nothing that I hadn’t already deduced. They eventually moved me into a room, gave me two units of blood, all sorts of fluids and anti-biotics and such and they were even quite generous with the Morphine.
Tuesday afternoon (I arrived at the hospital around 5:30AM Monday) they finally let me eat, then Tuesday I was parolled, just in time to miss out on getting to vote.
Caldonia (my cat) was overjoyed to see me. She’s a little fat and I’ve noticed that she eats a lot more while I’m at work; so naturally I’d picked this weekend to start leaving her just enough food for the night.
They want to give me a chance to heal before they do any scope-work. So I have that to look forward to; colonoscopes, endoscopes, kinoscopes, otoscopes, kaleidoscopes, oscilloscopes, fluoroscopes, gyroscopes, telescopes, periscopes, all sorts of ‘scopes.
I just wish they could tell me something concrete, right now I’m a complete wreck. Every twinge or grumble from my gut absolutely terrifies me.
I’ve already taken next weekend off from work, I’m a nervous wreck and I’m exhausted.
Oh, and the moral to this story?
Don’t take stupid chances with your health.