Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, November 22, 2004 9:44 am

Well, that was interesting …

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 9:44 am

Every nine years, it seems, I have to make an after-hours trip to the emergency room. This time around, it was pre-dawn Saturday: I went to bed Friday night with a bad sore throat and woke up early Saturday with an even worse one, plus what felt like an obstructed airway. Ann called my doctor, whose on-call partner listened to my symptoms and then said, in about so many words, “Dude, I’d go to the emergency room.”

So we did. Long story short: I had a bad case of strep and was severely dehydrated (from not having had anything to drink for most of the previous 36 hours because my throat hurt so badly). They gave me antibiotics and steroids and painkillers, along with about a liter and a half of IV fluid, and sent me on my way. Mad props to admitting nurse Janie, RN Aleshia, who did all the heavy lifting, and Brian Cook, M.D., who was as free with the Vicodin as a man who can’t swallow because of the pain would want. One tip, though, Bri, that they might not have given you in med school: When a patient CAN’T EVEN SWALLOW WATER because his tonsils, uvula and pharynx have swollen to form a near-impenetrable barrier visible to anyone who looks into his open mouth, saying that the notion that the patient can’t breathe is “all in his head” is correct only in the literal, physical sense.

One odd thing to come out of this: I have previously used throat sprays with topical anesthetics in them (Lidocaine or something, IIRC), but apparently you can’t get those anymore. The only sprays Ann could find in the store had as their active ingredient acetaminophen, which isn’t especially well known for its topical-anesthetic qualities. Word to the medical establishment: Whatever the dangers of topicals, if banning them forces you to use addict-bait like Vicodin in their place, you might want to rethink that position …

Anyway. Time for a big glass of water and a long nap.

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