How to Plan for Smoother Trips to the Emergency Room

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my "throw-ins" list--easy peezy.

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my “throw-ins” list–easy peezy.

I have been admitted to the hospital twice in the last 6 months. I really don’t plan to make a habit of it, but I want to be prepared just in case. The second time I was admitted, I was home with my Aunt. My DH (dear husband) was at work. I was really sick; all the signs were there. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I called my DH from the bathroom—“Please. Come home. I’m sick. Yes. Hospital.” I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for quite some time. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the hospital. My Aunt was there for me. She was calm. She prepared to take me to the hospital. That was the plan anyway. She started gathering my things for the hospital. I was doubled over in pain instructing her as she packed my overnight bag. My DH zoomed home. We hadn’t left the house yet. I wanted him there with me. I wanted him with me at the hospital. He knows how to take care of me. He got home, checked on me, and then immediately started packing his overnight bag for the hospital as he called my doctor. I was bad. We both knew I was going to be admitted. Our “adventures” at the hospital are a whole other affair, but all three of us knew that we had wasted precious time packing our overnight bags.

Again, I don’t plan to go to the hospital again anytime soon, but all three of us have packed overnight bags. My DH and I are ready with bags for the hospital, and my Aunt has hers for staying at our home to care for our pooch when we are in the hospital. We have also committed to keeping our cars’ gas tanks filled with at least a quarter of a tank or more.

Below is a list of items that I think would be helpful to have pre-packed for those rushes to the ER. Continue reading

Surviving My First Lupus Crisis

IV Pole Xmas Tree

The hospital staff called my IV pole my “Christmas tree” because it was so heavily “decorated.” I named it “Murphy”.

My abdomen was as tight as a drum. I had severe bloating. I was huge! My abdomen was as round as my skin would let it stretch. I was suffering from a lupus attack–a major one. My intestines were inflamed to the bursting point. I didn’t realize how bad my situation was until much later. I kept getting bigger. I had a ton of bags hooked up to my IV tree. The first few days none of my doctors knew what was happening to me nor did they know how to treat me. The word surgery got tossed around, but it was clear that the doctors did not really want to go down that route. Shoot, neither did I.

I remember friends and family visiting me. However, I don’t remember the details of all of our conversations—just snippets here and there. I think it was the drugs and the pain they were masking. I dreaded the long nights at the hospital. The first couple of nights I would fall asleep and then feel like I was being suffocated. I’d wake up in a panic—fighting for breath. From then on, I was nervous about falling asleep. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, but I was grateful that I could be propped up in it. I feel like I was less likely to fall into my suffocation bouts while sitting up. Continue reading