Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bone scans, rapid response team, ER, and more

Yesterday turned out to be a very long day at the hospital. I always post about all the bad doctors, so today I'm going to tell you about the good doctors. The care I received at the hospital yesterday was great.

On Tuesday I talked to my primary care doctor and told him I wanted to do something to try and figure out what is causing the pain. I am tired of just taking pain medicine and not trying to figure out what's wrong. So he ordered a bone scan and we got it scheduled for the next day (yesterday).

Yesterday, my dad picked me up from home and we got to the hospital at 11:30. I got registered and was sent to the waiting room. At 11:45 I was called back to get my injection of radioactive dye. The lady who took me back was very nice. We walked through what looked like three locked vaults to get to where they keep the radioactive medicines. She began asking questions and I began to look for veins in my arms. I told her which ones are the best, but she wanted to do it her way. She thought she got one and then said, "man, you weren't kidding when you said your veins were hard to find". Yeah, cause joking about that stuff is funny. She was asking questions about my health and she had never heard of Lyme Disease. She spelled it lime like the food. I wasn't sure whether to hug her and thank her for not knowing anything about the controversy of the disease, or wonder where she's been living the past few years. She finally got a vein and injected the dye. She said I had two hours until I needed to be back for the scan. My dad and I decided to leave the hospital and get lunch.

We drove around for a while trying to decided where to eat, and my dad saw a restaurant called Twin Peaks. He said that on Facebook, several people had "liked" that restaurant. We pulled up and it looked like a building that would be in Colorado! It said, "great views" on it. The parking lot was full, so we assumed the food was great. We walked in and noticed that were ONLY guys there. We thought that was odd. We then saw the waitresses and realized what was going on. The twin peaks and great views there were NOT talking about Colorado. We immediately started laughing and left as fast as we could. We could not stop laughing! My dad couldn't believe that he took his daughter to that place! So we decided on Chili's for lunch instead.

After all the lunch excitement, we headed back to the hospital. We were a few minutes early so we walked down to the ICU because I wanted to see where it was since I don't remember anything from my stay there last summer. I still didn't remember anything. It's very weird not to remember anything about that week.

We returned to the nuclear medicine waiting room and only waited about 5 minutes before they came and got me. My mom got there soon after they called me back, but they made my parents wait in the waiting room. I got on the table and they covered me in warm blankets. Warm blankets are the best part of the hospital. The scan started and I fine for about fifteen minutes. I had taken my pain medicine a couple hours before the scan so that it would kick in right before the scan. It did kick in before the scan, but during the scan the pain got so much worse. About halfway through the pain was excruciating. It felt like all my bones were being crushed. I tried not to cry, but I couldn't help it.

Once the scan was over, they helped me off the table and I struggled to walk. Thankfully we weren't far from the waiting room where my parents were. I saw them and sat down in the chair. I was shaking from the pain in all my bones. My dad ran to get a wheelchair. We sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. My dad went to get a nurse, but they said they couldn't do anything for me there because I was outpatient. We didn't know if I was having a reaction to the dye or if laying on the table just caused the pain to intensify. We talked to the nurse and decided we needed to go to the ER.

She called the rapid response team to come get me. Very quickly, at least 6 people showed up. They were asking us lots of questions and got me in the wheelchair. There was an ICU nurse, a paramedic, the chaplain, and a few other people that I don't remember who they were. As they took me to the ER, several more people stopped us and asked if we had all that we needed. The ICU nurse said that usually the team is called when an inpatient patient has taken a turn for the worse and might need to go to the ICU. The chaplain is there to provide comfort for the family and patient. On the way to the ER, one of the nurses started the process of getting me registered for the ER and letting them know I was coming.

When we arrived at the ER they immediately took me back. They quickly cut off my outpatient bracelet and put on a new one. There was already a team of people in my room waiting for me. They started hooking me up to monitors and asking questions. The doctor came in soon after and it was our favorite doctor! I wanted to hug him! It's always comforting to see a familiar face. He did as he always does, kneels by the bed and just listens to us. He said he wouldn't think that I would have been having a reaction to the dye, but that with my history, he wouldn't be surprised. He said that he would get me to feeling better soon.

The rapid response team was still in the room, but once they saw that I was stable, they left. The chaplain came over and shook my hand and told me it was going to be okay. He told me that he has a daughter my age, and that he felt my pain. He had tears in his eyes. I could tell he really cared.

My two nurses were very nice, but it took two people to get an IV started since I had already had one earlier for the dye. Of course they didn't want want to use my port. They got it on the third try! They hooked me up to fluids and then went to get all the medicines that the doctor had ordered. The doctor ordered Benadryl (in case I was having a reaction to the dye), Dilauded (pain medicine), Ativan (anti-anxiety and pain medicine, I had hyperventilated from all the pain), Zofran (nausea), and one other medicine that I took orally. I don't remember what it was.

After that nice cocktail of drugs, I felt so much better. Anyone would feel better after all that. What I love about that ER doctor is that he actually listened to us. We told him that my primary care doctor is trying to find the cause of the bone pain, so the ER doctor knew that all he needed to was to get the pain under control. He didn't run any other tests. No blood work, no urine analysis, nothing. He actually listened to us, unlike the ER doctor we had two weeks ago.

I think we were in the ER for several hours. After all that medicine I was pretty out of it for the rest of the night. I slept well last night!

So even though yesterday didn't go as planned, we are so thankful for the care we received. We are so thankful for the rapid response team getting me to an ER room fast. We are so thankful for the ER doctor who listens. We are so thankful for the relief that I got from the medicines in the ER. We are so thankful for your prayers.

We should have the bone scan results tomorrow or Monday. Until then, I'm staying on top of the pain. Thank you so much for the prayers. Please keep praying!


  1. such a funny story about Twin Peaks!! And I'm glad to hear that you got a good ER doctor! Hope you are doing well today.

  2. That lunch story is so funny! I'm really glad you got a good team this time - what you wrote here was really moving & I want to hug that doctor too for being so good to you.

    You're so brave. Reading your words always inspires me to be stronger.

    Love x x x

  3. Yes, so thankful for doctors who LISTEN. And THINK, not just react. I know that sometimes in medicine things happen so quickly they DO just have to go on auto pilot to some extent. But "Yay!" for the ones who don't do it "all" the time! Also, I have to tell you, I'm so glad it was you guys and not me who went to Twin Peaks first! I am originally from the "Twin Peaks" area in Northern Colorado -- well, REALLY close to it, anyway. So when I saw that place a few weeks ago, and how it said "Great views!" I thought, "I definitely want to go there on my next date with the husband! They must have massive panoramic scenes of the Colorado Front Range covering the walls or something! Awesome!" Thankfully, I mentioned this to a friend who is apparently more world wise than I and she laughed SO HARD at me! When she could breathe again she told me why she was laughing. So yeah.... PLUS!! Now I have something to tease your dad about! Bonus! (I won't be too rough on him.) Stay on top of that pain. Continued prayers....