The perils of weeding
I had the coveted MRI done and you need to really hold on to your seat for this one. Ready? It showed……nothing! That’s right, it showed a perfect sacroiliac joint with zero inflammation. I could die from frustration, but my body will take that task over soon enough (Jk’in, I plan on being a pain in hubby’s ass for many more decades).
I am, however, pretty devastated. I’m still in pain, 5 months later and I won’t see my rheumy for another 2 weeks. Also, today it hurt when I bent slightly to the side to wipe my butt. The same pain as when I was in the shower and went to wash my butt. I’m beginning to worry about my butthole’s future cleanliness. I mean, at this point, I can’t be the only one wondering this. Btw, this site is full of TMI. You will know so much about the inner workings of my head, we are practically family.
Come in for a hug, you!
I also had the misfortune of a bad setback about 6 days ago that I am still recovering from. I went gardening and weeded last Sunday with the hubs. I did no hard labor but still managed to do way too much. So much so that Sunday night my right arm hurt like it was in a vice (8 out of 10 pain) and my hand/ fingers decided to swell up like Macy’s Thanksgiving Balloons. I couldn’t move my arm or could I keep it still because the pain just wouldn’t let up. My trusty vape didn’t touch it, nor did the 2 Tylenol or even my trusty Tramadol. The 24-hour nurse basically said, “um, don’t take any more painkillers, but uh, good luck”. I tried to sleep but the pain was too much, plus my back chimed in. Of course.
My sacroiliac joints could never let something else steal its thunder.
I moaned in pain until the sun came up. Then realized it was Monday morning. I’d have to call out of work. Crap. This is when the shakes and vomiting started. I’ll likely never know why my body started to shake. My PCP and I assume it was crazy dehydration and over-exertion. I can only describe it as though a very violent earthquake were happening in my whole body. I couldn’t hold a cup of water, or even sit up, without assistance. Then my nausea hit me. I threw up the little water I drank, drank more, and vomited again.
My hubby suggested I try to sleep it off and that’s when things got SCARY. Every time I started to go into the first phase of sleep, my heart would jump and race, triggering my nausea. I tried to sleep for what felt like an hour but my heart said “NO”. At some point, I got it in my head that my heart was warning me. I felt like my body and brain knew way better than I did and that if I had fallen asleep, I wouldn’t have woken up.
Dramatic? Maybe. But I can’t say it wasn’t impossible either, and that is scary enough.
By the time I decided, “enough of this shit, let’s go to the E.R,” I was near fainting. My hubby had trouble finding a solid pulse and had to talk me into focusing on his face instead of letting myself slip into oblivion. This isn’t the first time he’s coached me out of fainting. I don’t think he’ll ever know how much grateful I am for that. He was so calm and centered. I remember how he spoke to me sweetly but sternly and kept my focus on his eyes. (He knows how beautiful I think they are).
I don’t remember getting into the car or the ride to the hospital that much, but I do remember throwing up in the plastic bag I had in my hands for what felt like forever. I managed to throw up ALL the water I had succeeded in drinking that morning, plus more that I swear I hadn’t. I’m still thankful bag didn’t have any holes in it.
The attending asked me if I had gout. GOUT.
The E.R. staff were great and got me in a room ASAP. I don’t remember anything about being triaged except for holding up my vomit bag in a crumpled fist when the front desk lady asked me for my name. She looked at me, the bag, back at me, and then turned to her left to call for a nurse. I laugh thinking back to it now.
Fast forward, and I get fluids, an anti-emetic, and an ultrasound to rule out DVTs (deep vein thrombosis in my arm). After some time hooked up to the IV bag, I became more sentient. I was aware enough to laugh with Theodore after an attending came in and asked if I had gout when he saw the state of my right hand. I’m a 31-year-old woman who rarely eats red meat, doesn’t drink beer, drinks nothing but water and has naturally low blood pressure. Nice try, guy :p
They discharged me with the HILARIOUS diagnosis of “swelling of the right armpit” when they realized I wasn’t going to die right away. Which is always great news.
“Swelling of the right armpit”
That there is totally the right cause for someone to decide the ER is the right place to go. I want to keep the discharge paperwork and keep it with me always for when I need a good laugh.
Always, always listen to your body.
I understand it may be easy to ignore pain if you have to live through it every damn day, but new pain, severe pain, or weird new symptoms are ALWAYS something to bring up to a doctor. Pain ISN’T normal, even if you always have it. I know that’s a weird statement on the surface, but I know what my usual pain is, and what is different/new. You should be familiar with it too.
Don’t fall in the trap of “oh, I’ll look so stupid if it ends up being nothing” or “I’m sure it’s nothing and I’ll be fine”. Don’t doubt yourself! The first step is to determine if what you’re feeling is urgent, life-threatening, or if it can wait until you see your doctor. (Just because you think it can wait, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it checked out too). There are many ways to check in with a medical professional: (in no particular order)
- Make an urgent appointment with your doc if they offer them
- Go to an urgent care center
- Call your docs office and leave a message. Almost all docs have an answering service for after hours. If they don’t, try another suggestion from this list.
- Sign up for their “My Chart” if they are part of an institution and reach out via email
- Call the 24-hour nurse service that service is provided with most insurance companies (check the back of your insurance card or call customer service)
- If all else fails, go to your nearest E.R
Whatever you do, don’t ignore it. Just a friendly reminder that pain is the only way your body can tell you something is WRONG.
I may have left the hospital that same day with a ridiculous diagnosis but I do not regret it. Nor do I feel “silly” for it either. IV fluids and anti-nausea meds where exactly what I needed. I was super dehydrated and exhausted to the point that I literally couldn’t take care of myself and neither could my hubby. Who knows how long it would have taken for me to recover if I had chosen to stay home, in misery, instead? Plus, I’m STILL recovering 6 days later.
Until I see my Rheumy and figure out what the HELL happened this week, I am resting up. Life has thrown many curve balls my way. One thing I know is that the more in-sync I am with my body, the more I listen, and the better the outcome. I don’t know what my Rheumy will say, but hopefully, it will be a little more insightful than “gouty armpits”
Have any crazy stories where you chose to listen to your body instead of ignoring it and ended up being super thankful you did?
P.S. The picture above is my garden. It came out beautifully <3
Wishing you gentle, healing hugs,