When I left off my other blog post, I had plenty more to write but I was starting to get fatigued. I finished my course of steroids over the weekend but with last week’s events I’m still sort of figuring out my energy levels. I had fully intended to finish that long ass blog entry on Sunday night but my brain didn’t want to work anymore, so here I am.
When I stopped writing, I was being loaded into an ambulance. The sucky part about not feeling like you should be admitted to the hospital is, if you decide to NOT be admitted to the hospital, you have to sign that you are leaving against medical advice. And, well, I wasn’t symptom free, and sitting in the ER for 12 hours and getting an MRI is frankly pretty expensive in the US. So if I signed saying that I was leaving AMA, there was a possibility that my insurance wouldn’t have paid for my ER visit. Because I do not have a primary care physician here yet, they could only transfer me to one hospital – Olympic Medical Center.
I arrive at Olympic and get settled in around 4AM. They take my medical history, hook me up to a heart monitor, shoot me full of drugs, and mostly leave me alone. A general physician comes to see me around 10AM and tells me that a neurologist will be stopping by at some point that day. I am also signed up for a visit from physical therapy. PT comes to visit me. I get moved to another floor. The day comes to a close. It’s 7:30PM and I haven’t been visited by a neurologist yet. I start to flip out because I’ve been sitting in the hospital running up bills for an entire day and don’t want to be in the hospital longer than necessary (the hospital kind of sucks, if you’ve never been). Turns out that the general physician who saw me in the morning left a voicemail for the neurologist and never followed up on it. Well, the neurologist I was SUPPOSED to see was on vacation. So I slipped through the cracks. I feel kind of bad about it in retrospect, but I freaked out on my nurse, cried in front of her and kind of made her feel shitty in general. However, a different neurologist came to see me about 20 minutes later, so perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing, heh. At that point my blood pressure was through the roof – had it have gotten any higher I’m sure they would have dragged me away so I didn’t have a stroke. Perhaps releasing a few tears was a good thing.
I don’t really believe in destiny, karma, cosmic forces, or anything like that, but it IS sort of serendipitous that I ended up seeing the neurologist that I did. I was not originally supposed to see this man, but somehow, the crappiness of the hospital system sent him up to my room, and for that I am thankful. I’ve been researching MS for a while now, and I’ve discovered that a lot of people out there have had success managing the disease with diet and exercise. There are a few different theories on MS treatment, but they all involve a lot of drugs – some of them on the level of chemotherapy drugs. Common MS treatments also include self-administered injections. I’m really not about ANY of that. I’m only 31, I’m not ready to be on regular, self-administered injections, and I definitely don’t want to put chemo-level drugs into my body yet.
The neurologist confirmed my suspicions that the doctors at the other hospital overreacted. I didn’t really NEED to be in the hospital, but since I was already there and on IV steroids, they decided to keep me on until I finished my course of steroids a couple of days later. The doctor I saw, Dr. Singh, is a neurologist, but his practice specializes in more holistic care – managing stress, practicing good nutrition, exercise, and using eastern healing techniques. If needed, he could prescribe drugs. But if I DO have MS, it’s very early on, and hopefully I can build a foundation of healthy living that will limit or prevent any flare-ups, which will, in turn, limit the drugs I need to be on. I mentioned that I was hoping to be able to control whatever this was with diet and exercise (and stress management), and he got excited and told me to come see him. So, I am going to see him on Monday!
The rest of my hospital stay passes with relatively little drama – although the nurse practitioner that discharged me apparently knew enough to question doctor’s orders… But at that point I was so close to getting out of the freaking hospital that I made sure to get my prescription and didn’t make a huge deal out of it. Finally on Thursday afternoon, almost three days to the hour after I went to the emergency room, I went the fuck home.