Wednesday, July 06, 2005


The E.R. is such a lovely place this time of year...

On the evening of the 4th, while preparing to put my hurting self to bed, I had a terrible coughing fit. I just can't describe to you what that is like with a migraine... pure hell. Sometime within the middle of that coughing attack, I realized things were getting kinda fuzzy and I couldn't catch my breath. I immediately tried slowing the breathing down and grabbed a brown lunch bag outta the cupboard in case I really started to hyperventilate.

By this time the wife is following me around with a worried look on her face offering, what to her sound like reasonable suggestions . I was probably a little hard on her even though she was just trying to help, bless her heart. Things weren't really improving, even after using both my inhaler & some "epi" that I have stashed away for such an emergency. There is just nothing like that feeling of running out of air, especially if your head is about to explode any second.

I finally was able to catch my breath and stop coughing long enough to decide I needed to be seen by somebody and after a couple more spells, I decided it had to be that night. The wife had been through this drill before and beat me to her minivan. It was somewhere around 11 o'clock.

We arrived at the hospital and they got me right in to see the triage nurse. I explained everything to her including the fact that my pain management doctor had me on regular doses of methadone. Within minutes I had my own dark room complete with an emesis bag to throw up in and plenty of oxygen. Life was better.

Their electronic O2 meter said that I was a little low so they set me up on a nebulizer and scheduled an chest x-ray. Several times both the doc & the nurse came into the room asking questions about my migraine... all the while they were getting more short and acting suspecious about the pain. One of the comments was "with 40 milligrams of methadone in you, how could you possibly be in any pain." I wanted to smack each of them. Finally, I just told them to take care of the shortness of breath issues and I'd deal with the migraine when I saw the my doc, early the next day. They immediately got nicer and I was soon on my way to the x-ray department. I was still spuratically coughing & vomiting off & on.

When the x-rays arrived, the ER doc acted really surprised when he stated that I had pneumonia.... What an *** he was. Finally he gave me some antibiotics & some nasty cough syrup and sent me home. It was more of a relief to get outta there than it was to catch my breath...

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