In my last post, I mentioned that I had gone to the beach last Sunday and got a bit of a rope burn on my ankle from the dog leash. Was a tiny scrape, and then I decided to go swimming in the lake (Yes, Lake Ontario). If you have been following me on Twitter, I apologize for all my whining but considering how clutzy I am this is by far the worst thing that’s happened to me health-wise in a long, long time.
By Monday night the scrape turned into a bigger wound. My ankle started to swell. I figured I may need to go to a clinic, but I would go in the morning. I called Telehealth and they agreed. (Telehealth is an awesome service by the way! You talk to registered nurses who are always so sweet and they give you advice such as “See a doctor in the next 24 hours if your condition does not improve” or “Take some Advil or Tylenol and get some rest”.)
Tuesday morning I went to the walk in. SUPER cute doctor prescribed me some antibiotic and told me if it got any worse to go to the ER for some IV antibiotics. At this point, walking was painful but I could do it without really looking like I was in pain.
By the time I had gotten home from work my ankle was huge and red and my leg was swollen up to my knee. It took me ages to walk from the streetcar to my house because I could barely put any weight on my foot. My flats were stuck to my swollen foot and my foot had swelled over it. I texted my mom to let her know what was up and she immediately called my aunt who is a nurse. I still wasn’t positive I wanted to go to the ER, so I called Telehealth again to get their opinion. The Telehealth nurse agreed that things were progressing too quickly to wait and that I needed to see a doctor ASAP. My mom called me back right away saying she was going to come down and sit with me in the ER waiting room. My aunt (the nurse) also had agreed that I should probably see someone.
I waited for almost 5 hours in the emergency room. I don’t complain about the wait because HEY! It’s free, people! And I was treated nicely for the most part. I was glad my mom came to sit with me because we caught up, eavesdropped on other people’s ailments and people-watched the hell out of all the crazies that the emergency room brings in. One woman even tried to attack a paramedic and was laid out by security and some paramedics.
They said I had cellulitis which is something you should never Google Image if they say you have it. Basically a bad infection. I didn’t think it was that serious but I guess sometimes it can be. I got IV antibiotics, got my tetanus updated (ouch!) and some mystery pills that made me crave french fries (also, not that mysterious…they were a buffer for the antibiotics to help them stay in my system longer).
WORST PART: I was to come back the next night for my IV antibiotics, and then for another week a nurse would come to my house and administer IV antibiotics and change my bandages. That meant they had to leave the shunt in my arm. I hated it…I felt like I could dislodge it at any moment which was terrifying only because the nurse sprayed himself and the room in my blood when he put it in.
This is the shunt – the hottest fashion accessory for summer 2011:
(Not the whole thing anyway – the nurse wrapped it up so instead of looking like a hospital outpatient I looked like I had attempted suicide)
Being sick/immobile is a full time job! My family and friends are amazing and called non-stop to offer their support and services such as pho delivery, hard drives full of movies and their company. It only took me 2 days to get super grumpy about not being able to do anything. Plus on that second day, the nurse was supposed to come to my house and when I called to see why she didn’t show up they told me that they hadn’t received my paperwork from the hospital and that I would have to go back to the ER for the IV. I was kind of upset because when you can’t walk and don’t have a car, stuff like getting to and from a hospital is annoying, especially when you’re already feeling helpless. In the end, I spent well over $100 in cabs in 2 days. (P.S. On that day when my homecare nurse didn’t show up, Dr. Mom drove in to drive with me to the hospital again! She’s the best Dr. Mom and took care of me all weekend too!)
I wasn’t all too impressed with the communication (or lack thereof) in the emergency room. I had to ask three times if I should continue taking the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor at the clinic and never received an answer. My other nurse/aunt works in some sort of regulatory capacity at a hospital and she’s part of this initiative to improve communications between doctors and patients re: their meds because there is a real problem apparently. She wasn’t really impressed to hear about my experience.
I also found that there was a HUGE difference in the way I was treated when I went with my mom and when I went with my boyfriend. Could just have been a coincidence, but the two times I went with my mom I got my own bed and privacy curtain and was actually spoken to by the nurses and they explained what was going on.
It’s been exactly one week since I got cut and went swimming and my foot is still swollen, I’m on antibiotics, my nurse comes 3 times a week until god knows when, I’m on crutches and I am REALLY missing being able to do things for myself!
Now please go ahead and call me a whiner…and flog me for complaining about having to relax with my feet up.