Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, November 03, 2003

What a morning

I got here all peppy and ready to bore you with all the junk I did this weekend and knock out a story on this weekend’s Weevil State University football game, and then things just all went topsy-turvy.

The last couple of weeks, Reba has been having very severe pains right in the center of her chest, including shortness of breath and occasionally nausea. The symptoms usually pass within a minute or so, but it just about knocks the wind out of her when it happens. She had called her doctor about it last week, and he figured she probably was having some reflux problems and recommended she take a week’s worth of Prilosec, then call back if she didn’t feel any better.

Well, she didn’t. Feel better, that is.

And even though this just started really hurting the last couple of weeks, it’s actually been going on for several years. We thought when she had her gall bladder surgery her discomfort would get better, and she has felt better since then, but still has these episodes. I remember telling her several years back that it sounded like she had a hiatal hernia--my dad had it, and the symptoms all seemed to be the same. But, being of strong, hardy, farm stock, she figured she would just suffer with whatever it was. Until it got too bad.

So, she called the doctor’s office back this morning, and they fixed her up with a 9 o’clock appointment. “Would you like for me to meet you there?”

“Well, I don’t…”

“I’ll see you there at 9.”

“Oh, you don’t have to.”

As if.

Anyway, I squared my desk away and told my boss I would be out for a bit and hopped over to her doc’s office. Very, VERY plushy sort of place. Lots of wood and marble and expensive furniture. It took me a bit to find her since the office has about four groups of six doctors each, and each group has its own waiting area. After several twists and turns, I found her sitting on a tiny loveseat reading an article in the Reader’s Digest about a farm woman who got trampled by one of her bulls. Talk about your good, hardy, farm stock! Nothing like a little endearing tale from the heartland.

I plopped down, they called her back once to the nurse’s station, then once again to a room. I went back with her (they are very nice about letting significant others tag along—keeps down allegations of unprofessional conduct, I suppose) and the doctor came in after just a minute or two.

He still thought it was probably gastric-related, but to be safe, he sent her to the emergency room for a full EKG and bloodwork, as well as made her an appointment to see an internist tomorrow.

We paid our co-pay, then it was off to the other end of the hospital to fill out more paperwork.

The triage nurse took Reba’s vital signs and gave her a form to fill out, and then we turned around to the other side of the corridor and got checked in, then it was into an exam room. The nurse left Reba a gown and told her to get her clothes off. For some reason, she refused my offer of help in this matter. I’m not sure why. Of course, that points out the difference between men and women.

She’s there, thinking that something might be wrong with herself and hoping she doesn’t have to go into the hospital.

I’m there, thinking that something might be wrong with her and hoping she doesn’t have to go into the hospital, and HEY!! BREASTESES!!

Go figure.

Anywho, she was bundled together again soon enough, and it was time for all the poking with needles and sticking on of electrodes and stuff. The nurse was very nice, although a bit laconic, and apparently not that accurate with the ol’ IV port in the back of the hand. I thought Reba was going to come off the bed when she got stuck. All the electrodes were stuck on, leads run, machine started, wait, machine off, then wait.

Thankfully, I had brought my trusty Auto Trader with me, so I looked at that for a long time, (and perversely kept looking at this one, because there is something really bad wrong with me), and then as it got toward 11, I figured I had better tell my boss what was going on, so I called him from the phone out by the nurse’s station. Stole a couple of catalogs for Reba to look at, came back, waited some more, then had to make a run to the outhouse, came back and HEY, it’s a doctor!

He was busy telling her that the EKG was normal, which was a relief, and given her history and squeaky-clean lifestyle that she probably was suffering from some kind of reflux kind of stuff. He was still waiting on the labwork, though, before he made the call. He wrote down an order for some kind of anesthetic shooter for her to drink that would help her pain a bit. And then, we waited.

And waited. Looked through the catalogs some more. And waited.

Finally, he came back in and asked if she had gotten her drink of numb juice—no. He said he would check again, but in the mean time, her labwork came back fine, so it looked like his initial diagnosis would be that it was, in fact, a hiatal hernia that was giving her problems. I jumped up and did my “’I Told You So,’ Victory Dance” and made repeated pumping motions with my upstretched arms. Not really. But I did give her the “’I Told You So,’ Superior, Knowing Look,” and she stuck her tongue out at me. She’s such a mean little thing! He said for her to go see the internist tomorrow, and start cutting back on foods that aggravate the condition—spicy stuff, tomato-based stuff, caffeine, fried foods, CHOCOLATE—that one hurt.

He told her that she could get dressed and be free to go after she signed a few papers, and that since her cocktail had not arrived, she could go ahead and take it or not. We decided just to go on, so he shook our hands and said he would send in our discharge information in just a minute. So we waited.

And waited.

The nurse finally came back in, carrying Reba’s papers and HEY, a little cup of stuff to drink! How refreshing! Reba said it tasted like peppermint-flavored bitter chalk. MMmmmM! The nurse popped off her EKG leads, took out the needle in her hand, wiped up the huge pool of blood caused by taking the needle out of the back of Reba’s hand, got the papers signed and told her to get dressed.

I got my second peep show of the morning, and then it was time to head out. We stopped and got a salad for her lunch, and then we went on back to work.

Where I typed this up, to explain where my pile of usually prolific posts have been this morning. AND to say that not only will this be the only post for today, it will also be the only post for the next TWO days!

Since Reba has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and since she had originally scheduled tomorrow as an off-day to chaperone Jonathan on his field trip to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, it will now fall to Dear Father to ride with Boy, which will take ALL DAY and thus provide no time for real-time bloggity stuff. (Although I am quite sure that it will provide good fodder in the coming days…)

As always when things are slack around here, go hop up there to the blogroll and look around and see what everyone else is doing, and I’ll get back in here sometime Wednesday with all sorts of other stuff that might be interesting to at least two of you.

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