Tuesday, 22 May 2007

As you know, the fun never stops at the Snail Shell. Let me give you an example. Yesterday I woke up with a revolting headache. It wasn't a migraine. (I'd had one of those on Saturday afternoon.) It was much worse. I get these headaches occasionally and they're characterised by being completely unresponsive to any type of analgesic—aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine ... None of them has any effect. So I have to sit out the headaches.

Yesterday, the headache was accompanied by nausea. Well, not just nausea but rather spectacular vomiting. I was impressed. I'd forgotten how much force lies behind a serious chunder. You can launch diced carrots into space.

After spending the day unable to keep down anything (including water), I decided to take myself off for medical treatment. Of course, I couldn't get an appointment with a GP at that time, so I went to the local hospital. (You can't imagine the discussion I had with myself about whether I should bother them with something so trivial. Hardly an emergency.)

Luckily, the Emergency Ward was quiet on Monday night. One man had been bitten by a spider. (I thought of offering to identify it.) Another had dropped his motorbike and hadn't realised how much damage he'd done to his foot until he'd taken off his boots some hours later. And then there was me.

I got a new graduate at the end of his shift. He'd ask me a series of questions, then do the Columbo line, "just one more thing". Unfortunately, he kept forgetting what it was, so he'd conclude with "there is no one more thing".

While I was rehydrating at the end of a saline drip, I had to listen to the person in the next bed. He had experienced chest pains (which turned out to be gastric reflux) and taken the day off work. Not only did he want a medical certificate for the next two days but he wanted the nurses to get him sandwiches. (Apparently he hadn't eaten since morning tea. Try last night, bucko.) He was appalled that they couldn't offer him a menu. I felt like shoving my IV stand up his arse. I got very close to it when his pal brought his mobile phone in—the ring tone was Achy, Breaky Heart.

I got out five hours later. I felt much better.


Anonymous said...

Hi !

I am glad that you're out of the clinic. Did you have some other tests to determine the cause of this sickness ?

Keep healthy !



Glad to hear you are better.

Have you tried snail slime for headaches?

Sherrie said...

Sudden flashback to a long-ago emergency room visit when I ran my finger through a booklet stitcher:

Enter door. Read sign that says, "If you are having chest pains, notify staff immediately." Realize there IS no staff. Anywhere. Coworker who drove you to hospital disappears behind desk to find someone.

Get checked in and directed to sit on gurney. Sit on gurney for 20 minutes until someone comes to take temperature. Sit on gurney for another 30 minutes whilst the now-present staff wanders about complaining about how slow it is today and they have nothing to do. Wait another 30 minutes.

Thermometer-wielder of previous hour pops by with a cheery, "All set, then?" Incredulously hold up still-skewered finger and glare, "Nooooooo."

It went downhill from there. Took three hours for them to decide to pull out the staple with hemostats and prescribe meds which made me puke every time I took them. But at least I learned I'm allergic to codeine.

Glad you're feeling better. Perhaps a steady drip of something stronger than saline would be helpful.

Snail said...

Ann, I had to go to see my GP today about my elevated blood pressure. It was fine until quite recently but has now gone through the roof. Not sure whether the high BP caused the headache or the headache caused the high BP ... or whether they're symptoms of something else ... or just a coincidence.

Ah, Aydin, did you post a recipe for this? I remember the one about snails for coughs.

Sherrie, they did put a little something in the saline, which worked on the migraine (and perhaps stopped me from following through with the threat about the IV stand). The only other time I've been in a hospital emergency room, I had something seriously wrong with me but the young doctor attending refused to believe it. In the end, I asked him to get someone with a bit more experience (I didn't quite put it that way) because I wasn't moving. Once she arrived, it wasn't long before I was off to the OT. In fact, the longest bit was waiting for the surgeon to get back from dinner.

I was really impressed with the nurses at our local hospital. Wouldn't want to be there on a Friday or Saturday, though. I imagine the emergency room would get a bit lively then.

Tracey said...

Hope you are feeling better and get that blood pressure under control.

Hmm, the local hospital -- can't have been mine. I went in with a sprained ankle a few months ago. The orderly wheeling me around said, "They've lost your f...ing Xrays; lucky it isn't a matter of f...ing life and death", surprising me so much I nearly fell out of the wheelchair, and yes they had lost one set (which I'm not sure the doctor ever saw). The doctor didn't even examine the ankle -- did it all of the first set of Xrays. She promised me a week's long medical certificate so I could rest it, and when I took it in to work she'd only given me the day (which was a Saturday). Very helpful. She suggested I go to the hospital physio, but didn't set anything up, so they only saw me when I begged and argued and pleaded, and only saw me twice. Three months on I still have a limp and a strange and torturous click when going up and down stairs.

A few years ago, I was there having longditudinally split one of the bones in my arm after falling on my elbow playing indoor cricket, and the doctor was standing just outside my curtain examining my Xray, and shouted at everyone, "Eureka, come and look at this!" That wasn't a good feeling either. But I guess, having been a medical scientist, I understood the professional excitement of discovery.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a bit of pethidine to mellow the mood,ay.

Shame my only visit for a while finds you poorly, so best wishes for a more even keel from now on.

Those little grey cells need the little ventricles kept clear for them, you know. Cracking hardy over pain is just dumb, my triple certificate sister sister says; fancy accepting that some pain can't be beaten! Tch tch.
Nothing at home to fix a pain?

Snail said...

Tracey, not sure where your local hospital is, but next time (if there is a next time), you might consider hijacking the ambulance and detouring to my part of town.

That's not to say there aren't incidents of ineptness. While I was talking to the GP yesterday, I asked him to chase up a missing path report from an earlier problem. Turns out the specialist's office was sending them to a non-existent address but didn't register that there was something wrong when the letters returned. Lucky it wasn't a life or death matter.

Darky, how the heck are you? I'm not that much of a martyr when it comes to pain but there really isn't anything available over the counter that can shift these bloody headaches. It took a dopamine antagonist to reduce it to a level where I didn't want to lever off the top of my skull to release the pressure.

While I wait for the results of the most recent blood tests, I'm doing my little bit to help the wild BP. I've given up coffee (a great struggle as the local cafes make excellent coffee) and taken up having a glass of wine with dinner. The meetings don't help, though.

Tracey said...

Yes, you could always swap the coffee for hot chocolate. Oh, yum! But I suppose that has its own drawbacks, doesn't it?

Snail said...

I'm sticking to tea. Tea and water. Well, tea, water and wine. I haven't gone completely mad.