Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Change Of Plans

Today was supposed to be fun. I was going to have to get up early for the guy coming to do the tests for our life insurance application. But after that it was going to be banana chocolate chip pancakes, playing with my daughter, finishing up Christmas shopping, and working at night cutting together some tv spots.

I am not at work. I am writing this blog instead. Let's rewind...

The life insurance tests were easy. There were some yes/no questions followed by a weigh-in. Then the tourniquet and needle came out to draw two vials of blood. And to finish it off was the ever popular urine sample.

I was doing well until the last one. Let's rewind...

You are supposed to fast for eight hours before these tests so that your results are not tainted by anything you eat. Imagine the effects of a case of Mountain Dew on your blood sugar. Anyway, I fasted. At the time of the blood draw, there had been nothing in my stomach for approximately 11 hours. But everything still seemed to be going according to plan.

I carefully filled the urine sample cup to the appropriate level and put it on the shelf in the bathroom. It was almost time for those pancakes.

And then I started to feel a little nauseated. My vision started to narrow as a widening ring of black closed in. I thought that maybe I should sit down for a bit.

I'm not sure what happened next. I'm told it was a thud and a crash and some rattling.

The next thing I remember was feeling like I was waking up from a dream. I heard my wife yelling to me and then I smelled the pungent chemical mix of smelling salts touching every corner of my sinuses. I was straddling the toilet with my head against the shelves above it.

After a cold washcloth on my neck and another whiff of the smelling salts, I stumbled out to the couch to lie down. I was told to elevate my feet and get more blood to my brain. I ate a granola bar. I put frozen peas on the welts of my swelling forehead. The life insurance tests guy declared that I was "mentating well" and left.

Then I got nauseated again. After a couple of trips to the bathroom to revisit the granola bar, my wife informed me that she was calling the doctor. Then she informed me that I was going to the Emergency Room. I informed her that I was going back to the bathroom for a minute.

We compromised and called my EMT friend, who came over and did a battery of tests on me. He said that I looked OK, but that I should go to the ER anyway to get some fluids and stop the nausea. And get my head checked out. And put my wife's mind at ease.

I informed him that this was not the answer I was looking for, since I still had the pancakes, the playing, the shopping and the working to do.

My wife drove me to the ER. I told six people the story of what happened, including the doctor. The first thing they did was draw a couple of vials of blood. Umm...isn't that what got me here in the first place? Then they put a saline drip into an IV.

But wait, there's more.

I also got wheeled down to the X-Ray department for a CT Scan. It was all very dramatic. But being pushed around the halls of the hospital in that bed was fun.

Almost five hours later I was discharged with an assurance of no permanent damage, a coupon for 20% off my co-pay and a doctor's excuse for not going to work. Hence me not working tonight.

But wait, there's more.

I got some pictures of my brain. I just asked for the CT Scan photos to be burned onto a CD so that I could take them with me. My wife thinks they are a little freaky, but I informed her that she's the one who made me go there in the first place. I might as well get something cool to remember the trip.

In retrospect, I can share with you some of the things I learned today.
  • If you are going to pass out, do it on something soft.
  • You can get a copy of your brain pictures if you ask nicely.
  • If you are ever in position to make the choice, do the urine test before the blood test.
Getting life insurance almost killed me. How ironic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you bump your head again and forget you have a blog?

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