Monday, 2 May 2016

ER: A Wednesday Night Medical Drama

I realised last week that I had no dramatic middle-of the-night emergency room stories I could share over a pint of beer and decided that I should rectify that. More specifically, my jaw decided it should rectify that.

I had been having a dull ache in my ear since my boss left but it was never so bad that I thought much of it until Sunday night and the great inability to fall asleep left me running on roughly 4 hours of sleep. If there's one thing you should know about me, I need a minimum of six hours to function but 7-8 ensures I don't punch anyone.

By the time Wednesday night rolled around, I had averaged 3 hours of sleep the previous 3 nights. I was exhausted and crawled into bed at 4:30pm having left work early because multiple coworkers told me I looked like shit. Although they may have been a bit more polite about it.

The only relief I got was from drinking cold water. Unfortunately, I had to drink so much to alleviate the pain that I was drinking from one water bottle, swishing the water in my mouth, and then spitting the water into another water bottle. I had to do this approximately once a minute to keep the pain down. Realising there was no way I was going to get any sleep that night without some sort of medical intervention, I called my mom at 11pm to take me to the emergency.

Somewhere in all that there may have also been some delirious crying when one of my inner voices told me to tough it out, everything will be better in the morning. Turns out, my inner voice is a bit of a dick.

The wait at the emergency wasn't as horrendous as it could have been. I mean, it was three hours in which I was exhausted and in pain, but there was only one annoying patient (in the sense that he was making noises because he was detoxing - I think - but he sat off by himself so it wasn't that bad) and everyone else was pretty chill.

It turns out that my ear pain was due to an abscess far enough back in my mouth that it was affecting the nerves in my ear. A shot of something I can't remember the name of and a mild dose of morphine meant that I slept like a log. I woke up at 6:30 (usual wake up time) but was back to sleep before I had rolled over.

It. Felt. SO. Good!

I had texted my boss that I was going to the emergency so I wasn't surprised when she didn't phone me for not showing up at work. When I finally did have an actual conversation with her, I found out that my coworkers told her she wasn't allowed to call or text me at all on Thursday. I love my coworkers a bit for that. Her main question was, given the report she received from them about my state, why did I even come in on Wednesday?

Good question. Short answer: because I'm a devoted idiot.

I'm doing much better now. The pain is all but gone and I have an appointment with my dentist this week to figure out what needs to be done. My money's on root canal. I was back at work today and pretty much everyone told me how much better I look. Given that I'm still a bit lethargic from the medication and the fact that it was Monday, I must have really looked like shit on Wednesday.

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