Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Hospital Visit

Thankfully this trip was not for Mila.  This time it was for Ariel.  You know how more often than not, men refuse to go to the doctor for one reason or another?  Ya, well Ariel is the same way.  She only goes if her life is threatened.  The last time I took her to the ER it was because she stepped on a rusty nail on the beach.  Two days later, her foot was red and swollen to the size of a softball.  This trip was for something much more tricky. 

A week ago on Saturday she had some sort of an episode.  When she first told me about it, she said she'd had a seizure.  But after she described it to me, it sounded more akin to a stroke.  She said her left arm curled in and her face drooped on one side, complete with drooling.  But then she said it lasted for 30 minutes, then went away.  It happened again, daily, for four days.  Then Friday rolls around and she has three episodes in one day.  It was affecting her ability to do her job because she couldn't work during the episode and afterwards, her hands are immobile. 

My entire family, and Robert, spent the entire week trying to convince her to see a doctor.  Last weekend she said she'd go on Monday.  Monday evening rolls around and she promises to get in by Thursday.  FINALLY, on Friday afternoon, she caved and had Robert take her to the ER.  Robert had to go in to open the bar for Ariel before he left for his new job at a steakhouse on the island, so he left.  After work that day, I ran the kids home to Travis and then headed back to the hospital to sit with Ariel.  I brought her food, since by that point, she'd been waiting for her turn for over 4 hours. 

While she was in the waiting room, after Robert had left and before I had arrived, she had another episode.  The nurses thought she was hyperventilating (she has labored breathing during the event), so they gave her a Xanax.  When I got there, her thumb on her left hand was immobilized.  I gave it a wiggle and it was trying to break a branch of a tree.  Stiff as a board.  So strange.  I was finally able to hear all her symptoms in person. 

Turns out, it's basically a Charlie horse in her hands, arms, shoulders, neck and lower face.  She said the pain is excruciating and it makes her groan uncontrollably.  She can't talk very well during, because her lips are affected, but she is fully conscious and aware during the entire thing.  She can still walk, but she usually ends up curled in a ball from the pain.  Afterward, she said it feels like she just ran a marathon with her upper body.  She is sore and exhausted.  It takes longer for her hands to uncramp for some reason, but they always loosen up eventually.

The ER doctor, RN and PA were all baffled.  They called her the mystery girl.  The doctor asked Ariel if she uses her hands very much.  Ummmmm.  Just curious doctor, do you eat with your hands?  Open doors with your hands?  Wipe your ass with your hands??  I'm pretty sure my sister does too.  And that's just the basics.  Because they have to document some sort of diagnosis, the doctor put it down as carpal spasms.  HA.  When the nurse told us that, I laughed so hard.  I looked at Ariel and said, "You're having carpal spasms of the FACE!"  The doctor told her to do HAND STRETCHES.  Because that'll fix everything.  Ugh.  The best thing he did was refer Ariel to a neurologist.  That clinic was suppose to call her yesterday to schedule an appointment (I haven't talked to her to see if they called).  I hope to god Ariel actually gets her butt in gear and makes it to that visit.  I don't know what's wrong with her, but the problem needs to be addressed by a professional.

Oh!  Forgot to mention, the nurse gave Ariel an entire Xanax pill.  She was so loopy by the time we left that hospital, giggling at silly things.  Robert was working late and Ariel had left her purse in the truck, so she didn't have her keys to the house.  So, I brought her home with me.  I think we got home at about 10 PM.  It was probably for the best because she kept feeling like she should go into work.  That girl's guilt about missing ONE night of work is outrageous.  I can't imagine Ariel sitting in a bar with a bunch of drunk people while she's all looped out on Xanax.


Sara's Satire said...

Geez! That sounds terrifying. I am not one to go to the doctor either, so I totally understand Ariel's hesitance, but even I would go if I was having stroke like symptoms. She really needs to get to the neurologist ASAP. I can't believe the nurse and doctor would just casually diagnose something just so they have something to write down on her paperwork. To me, that is completely irresponsible. I would rather them right down my symptoms and right "unknown cause" and then send me to a specialist than just randomly pull a diagnosis out of a hat. Stuff like that kinda pisses me off!

Nikki said...

Yes, I am rapidly losing faith in doctors these days...