It’s currently 4:55 a.m. and I’m laying in one of Trillium Mississauga’s beds, hooked up to a heart monitor, ECG machine (aren’t they the same thing?!), the blood pressure machine and an IV drip. And no one knows I’m here. Except my son, who happened to be awake at 3 a.m. I swear he’s his mother’s child! Anyhow, lemme start from the beginning:
So a week and a half ago, I got the sniffles and a little cough. It wasn’t too bad so it was no big deal. A couple days later, I went to my city’s Santa Claus Parade and it was freezing, prolly about -10 Celsius. And windy. The bitter cold turned my cough into one of those out-of-breath, chest-pain, asthmatic coughs that makes you think you’re going to have an attack. Anyhow, I ended up hitting the health food store and grabbed all the essentials, as recommended by the natural what-are-they-called (sorry, I’m not being ignorant; I’m lacking sleep) lady behind the counter.
Though the natural meds worked to a degree, point is, I still had this nasty cough – I swear it sounded like I was an emphysema-suffering, 80-year old smoker, coughing up a lung. But, self-proclaimed Superwoman that I am, I’m thinking I’ll fight it and should be good in the next couple of days.
Despite how contradictory this might sound, and contrary to what some of my close ones think (hi Greg!) I take my health pretty seriously. Having lost a younger cousin, an aunt (who was younger than my current age) and both of my grandmothers to cancer, I’m at the doctor’s office if my nostril hurts. But I know this cough, I get it every year when Old Man Winter arrives.
Fast forward a couple of days of my suffering with this cough and I decide I should hit the doctor’s office. So off I go and he prescribes two inhalers and some anti-biotics and tells me if my cough doesn’t get any better within a day, that I should go the hospital. It didn’t get better. It seemed to get worse. But who wants to go to the hospital on a Saturday night?! Not like I even had plans or was doing anything fun – I watched “Scarface” – but still. My hard head wasn’t taking time away from chilling with my sons to hang out at the hospital! So I stayed home. And coughed until 5 in the damn morning.
I wake up Sunday grouchy as fuck – I’m pms’ing now too – irritable, pissy (Literally. Do you know the toll your bladder takes when you’re coughing that much?!), just so sick and tired of being so sick and tired and call up my sister to tell her I’m getting ready to go to the hospital.
Long story semi-short, I arrived at 1:30 p.m. and was discharged around 11:30 p.m. with a new prescription for three different inhalers, codeine and these little white pills that are supposed to suppress my wheezing. Doctor on call tells me I have bronchitis and need to be off work for four days. (I swear, that phrase almost cured my bronchitis on the spot!) My sister drives me to the pharmacy to fill my prescription and off I go home.
I arrive in my home, sweet, home and do as the pharmacist says: Take 10 of those little white pills right away – that’s 1,000 milligrams in total – of this wonderful drug which is going to help with the wheezing and coughing and, with the help of the codeine, I should have a sound sleep finally, after a long 9 days of not-so-much sleeping. I take a shower and, I hardly ever do this just because I’m one of those lucky chicks with good, naturally moisturized skin, I lather myself up in some girly lotion and slip into my pj’s. I’m fresh and ready to sleep.
Now, if you’re familiar with inhalers/puffers, they tend to make you a little jittery so I wasn’t really ready to sleep. I bust out my iPad and turn on “How I Met Your Mother”, changed my BBM and Facebook status to “Do Not Disturb Till Monday Afternoon” and proceed to get ready for slumber.
It’s 3:00 a.m. and I see a light on my phone (my ringer is turned off when I go to bed), and I see a local number incoming call. I answer and it’s the pharmacist that dispensed my meds! The nervous tone in his voice was evident as he proceeded to explain that the little, white pills were not the correct meds, that they were beta-blockers – blood pressure pills – and that I needed to get into a cab NOW (I wasn’t allowed to drive myself) and get back to the hospital FAST for monitoring.
Now, I know you’re not supposed to toot your own horn and all that shit, but this mistake couldn’t have happened to a better person. I swear I was the one calming Tom down (that’s the pharmacist) and I was as cool as Fonzie. Aside from the facts that I hadn’t fallen asleep, thank God, and was smelling fresh, and that I actually do have slight high blood pressure and these little, white pills weren’t actually causing too much trauma to my system, I wasn’t mad at the poor guy. I could name 6 people off the top of my head that are close to me, that would have thought CHA-CHING if this had happened to them. But that ain’t me.
Tom called the hospital while I was in the cab en route over here, and for what will probably be the first and last time in the history of the emergency room at this hospital, where I’m concerned anyhow, I was plugged in, blood being drawn, hooked up etc., all within minutes of stepping through these doors. All I had to say was, “Hi, I’m Lily…”
The major concern is that my heart rate and blood pressure would drop drastically. It has. My normal heart rate is 70. I’ve seen this number drop to 44 within the hour. But as chill as I’m feeling right now, I can’t sleep because I need to be aware of everything around me, especially when I’m the concern.
Tom has called me three more times, apologizing profusely, still clearly panicked and nervous, to check on my condition. According to the Poison Control Centre, I need to be here till about 10 a.m. Tom’s shift at the pharmacy is over at 8 a.m., but he’s waiting until the doctor discharges me.
I’m fine. So fine. Things like this happen to me for a reason. I don’t know why yet, but I will. All’s I know is, the universe kinda owes me now.
*insert a big, swollen-eyed, lacking sleep, toothy smile here*