Two weeks ago today I was sick in bed with a nasty stomach flu. It all started on a Saturday afternoon when my boyfriend and I went to an afternoon screening of Deadpool. As the movie started I began to feel incredibly cold and chilly. At the time I didn’t think much of it but looking back it was clearly a sign of a very high fever. About halfway through the movie I remember feeling light headed and the next thing I knew I was opening my eyes with as Russ by my side telling me I had passed out. There were theater attendants all around and I was quickly rushed out to the lobby to get checked out by paramedics. There was a fear that I had had a seizure but that seemed unlikely since I regained all my memory and wherewithal as soon as I came too. Apparently there is a 5-10 minute period after a seizure where the person is confused and can’t answer basic questions. The paramedics took all my vital signs and everything looked to be stable. They did recommend that I go to a doctor or ER to get a full assessment just to be safe.
Russ drove me to a stand alone ER that was minutes from the theater. I opted out of an ambulance ride to avoid the hefty bill that comes with it. The best thing about this awful ordeal was going to a stand alone ER. Emergency Rooms that are attached to hospitals are notorious for making patients wait for hours. Not where we went. I checked in at the front desk and was immediately taken back into an exam room. We were literally the only people there. They took blood, did a CAT scan, and a chest x-ray in order to rule out a heart attack and stroke. He said it didn’t sound like a seizure but that I should follow up with a neurologist just to make sure. He said he really wasn’t sure what caused me to faint but recommended the good old stand bye of rest and drink plenty of fluids. They sent me home after about an hour with a free bottle of water as my only medication.
In the past I’ve mentioned that doctors aren’t my favorite people and this experience did nothing to help that fact. While all the doctors and nurses were incredibly friendly I still went home without a clear diagnosis and without any medications or concrete treatment plans. I put all the pieces together myself that most likely it was dehydration from the upset stomach I had been experiencing coupled with a high fever. (Both symptoms continued for several days) That’s my big issue with going to the doctor. I see it as a complete waist of time. Every time I’ve gone to the doctor I’m always told that whatever is wrong with me just has to run it’s course and that I should modify my diet, rest and drink a plenty of fluids. I fucking fainted in the middle of a movie and the only thing I got out of the experience was a free bottle of water. “Rest and drink plenty of fluids.” Yeah I know, I’m not an idiot. On top of all this, my mother has been a nurse her entire life and she can usually give a pretty good diagnosis over the phone. While going to the ER was definitely the right choice to rule out anything serious I do realize that I basically spent $150 on a copay to get medical advice I could’ve gotten free over the phone from Dr. Mom. I should be grateful that I’m not seriously sick enough to require prescription drugs but it’s also incredibly frustrating to seek out medical care only to be told information I could’ve Googled myself. Leaving a doctor without any real diagnosis or solution is always a real blow to my moral which doesn’t speed up my recovery.
I missed several days of work and it took a full week to get my strength back but I’m happy to report that I’ve made a full recovery and I’m back to 100%. And yes I’m still drinking plenty of fluids. My love of doctors however is still in question.
The one doctor I see on a regular basis is my diabetes doctor. In fact he’s one of the only doctors I really really like. His calm and soft spoken demeanor is always very comforting. Looking back at it though I wonder how much of my positive reaction is based on the fact that when I went in with a problem he was able to give a clear diagnosis, treatment plan, and solution. His office might be the only one I’ve ever left feeling better than when I walked in. Food for thought.