Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Be Careful Out There

by Maggie Sefton

I am recovering from an attack of this season's Nasty Flu Virus.  Look out, folks. It's a bad one.  Meanwhile, I'm posting a lot of cute doggie photos today because they make me smile.   

As I mentioned in last week's post, I returned home midnight of Sunday February 14/Monday February 15.  Last Tuesday evening that vicious Flu bug bit me.  Hard.  I fought off the nausea with some anti-nausea prescription medicine that I had on hand for the specific purpose of chasing away the seasonal Flu so I wouldn't have to go to the Emergency Room.  It worked for a couple of days, then the nausea increased in intensity.  Prescription meds didn't stop it.  So----I had to go to the ER at our wonderful Poudre Valley Hospital here in Fort Collins, Colorado.

All my family is scattered around the globe, so I live alone and quite happily, I might add.  But it does  add a measure of inconvenience if an illness strikes suddenly.  I did not want to expose one of my neighbors to this vicious Flu, so I called a taxi.  Taxi drivers will tell you that during Flu season they do a brisk business of carting folks to and from the hospital's ER.  Who knew?

Anyway, the nice taxi driver pulled up to the ER, grabbed one of the outside wheelchairs
, and wheeled me inside.  By that time I was already bent over the plastic bag I'd brought with me.  I won't go into further descriptions, because you folks can paint your own pictures.  None of them will be pretty.

 The ER was packed.  Not everyone had the Flu, but a fair amount.  That nasty virus spreads like wildfire in a population.  After giving informations and checking records, they wheeled me into the inside of the ER which is located right in the hospital.  A shot of their strongest anti-nausea medication was given in my arm (faster that way),  meanwhile they hooked me up to IV's and monitors.  I began feeling better.  

They checked blood work and monitored oxygen levels with that little pinch-y thing that fits over your finger.  Meanwhile, I'm lying there resting, figuring they would discharge me in a couple of hours so I could call another taxi and go home.  But the ER doctor surprised me.  She said they were keeping me overnight in the hospital because my Sodium level had dropped to 19.  Uh, oh.  I remembered Doctor of Internal Medicine daughter Serena had always told me that was a risk with severe nausea.  Your Sodium levels will sink like a stone.  Not good.  And I recalled she'd mentioned the number 19.

So----medical staff wheeled me upstairs quickly and into a hospital bed, where nurses and other medical  staff checked me over, poked, prodded, and hung more IVs.  And they let me have three little packages of Saltine crackers.  It was 1:00 am by then, and I lay there nibbling Saltines and slowly sipping Ginger Ale while watching whatever was on TV until I drifted off to sleep.  Of course, in hospitals you usually don't get to sleep for long before nurses and medical techs come in to poke and prod you again.  :)

By the next day, my  levels had gone back to normal, thank goodness, and I was finally discharged in mid-afternoon.  Another taxi delivered me home, and I got to rest and recuperate on my own sofa and watch TV. . .and nibble Saltines.      As I said above, this is a Nasty Flu, folks.  Be careful.     

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