Wednesday, March 8, 2017

... Then I Ended Up in the E.R....

On Monday afternoon -- after I wrote the last blog post -- my toothaches (yes, it became plural) were so terrible that I asked to be squeezed in by a local dentist to get checked out in the case of an infection. I went in and he couldn't find anything wrong. No infection. Nothing stuck in between the teeth. No cavities. There was nothing from a dental POV that could cause such a pain. I left the office with only the suggestion to brush and floss as I have been doing. The pain has come and gone since, with the last two days giving me some of the worst pain.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling fine but the pain came back with a vengeance while Mom and I were out running errands. The pain was so excruciating that my lightheadedness got worse. While in line to pay for something, I sudden felt like I couldn't breathe. I had had a tightening of chest since I had woken up. Between the pain, the lightheadedness, and everything else, it was decided that I need to go to the E.R. in just case it was something else.

At the E.R. they did the standard tests -- EKG, blood work, chest x-ray. They checked my vital signs and oxygen intake; everything was good. My white blood count (which was abysmal) was almost twice as high as the last time they checked. It was within normal range though on the low end because I had a cold virus a week ago. My platelets took a slight dip but were still within normal range. I gained a bit of weight and continue to be within my normal range, though they had to double check because the nurse who took my vitals when I first arrived had said I had lost 20 lbs; that was obviously an error. The only two not-so-great things that came back from my blood work were that my sodium was just slightly low only .01 under normal range) and I'm still slightly anemic (though the iron and red blood count are higher than they were in October). The doctor mentioned some possible wheezing (though we can't hear anything) but said that there was nothing of concern that she could see. I mentioned the pain that I was getting but said she didn't want to give me any antibiotics (for a possible sinus infection) because I had no fever.

I got home, satisfied that it was going to be okay. Oh sweet, optimistic Emmy. Wrong! I didn't go to sleep until nearly 3:30 a.m. because the horrendous pain returned, as did the feeling like I couldn't breathe. The pain went away for an hour before it returned again and I lost more sleep. While trying to stay as calm as possible despite my tiredness, I went back and put the pieces of the puzzle together -- I've felt like I can't breathe only when the pain is so bad that I feel like crying. Also, the pain is usually accompanied by pressure in the back of the right side eye (which tears up), up to that same side of my sinus cavity. Ah, it's sinus pain. All of this pain is because of my sinus is being a jerk. Awesome.

Nothing is helping too much and I'm limited when it comes to what pain medication I can take because of my platelets. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning to see if they can help prescribe something a bit stronger that I can tolerate and not have to worry about my platelets being lowered in the process. Right now I'm limited to Tylenol as both Aleve and Tylenol lower platelets... and OTC Tylenol sometimes isn't strong enough for intense pain. Hopefully, I can get more relief tomorrow since I'm tired of losing sleep from the pain, which randomly pops up throughout the day (and, now, night).

I've been trying to offer up the pain for the souls in purgatory and for friends whom could benefit from it. I try to pray through the pain. Last night, while praying the Sorrowful mysteries of the Holy Rosary, I thought to meditate on the pain that Christ endured and think about how my pain is nothing compared to what He endured. Still, the pain gets so bad that (at times) I can only selfishly focus on it and how much I wish I had relief. In a way, it's good that I'm going through this now because it brings my focus back on Lent and His passion. It makes me think about how my fears are selfish and how I lack trust in Him when I fail to do something because of them. It makes me feel guilty that I haven't attended Mass; just an hour (or so) per week to give thanks for all the good things in my life. It also puts a lot of things into perspective, which is good during this liturgical season.

I'm grateful that this is happening during Spring Break, after my last big exam, and before my schedule gets crazy busy again. I'm grateful that, despite not getting pain relief at the hospital last night (I didn't have the pain so bad while I was there), I still got the good news that some areas of my health had improved... and even got tips from both the nurse and the doctor regarding a number of things that will help me get healthier quicker and for longer periods of time; some I hadn't heard from my regular doctor. I'm also incredibly grateful to my friends who've prayed for me and who've been patient with my "I'm in so much pain! This stinks!" texts. I'm a baby when it comes to being in pain when it exceeds my (pretty high) pain tolerance level.

I guess this Lent's theme is shaping up to be on focusing on Christ's pain and what that means to me... and what I can do to improve myself. This sinus pain began (very tolerable) on Ash Wednesday and has increased as the days have passed, especially since Sunday. AnneMarie's comment (on the last blog post) about learning to be flexible with my Lenten plans is something I shall have to keep in mind. Whilst I had my own plans for what I wanted this Lent to be, God seems to have other plans for me... and I'm perfectly willing to follow the path He wants me to take.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a less adventurous Lent than I've been having thus far. Seriously, it's only been a week in and I've already dealt with more things (several of which I'm keeping private) in these past 8 days when I did all of 2016. I can feel my jaw (on my right side) becoming more sore -- it's been sore since I woke up late this morning and have had a bit of trouble eating -- and the tooth pain is starting again so I'm going to watch the season finale of PBS's Victoria while I try to take it easy.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :)

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