Friday, June 3, 2016

June Journaling 3

I found a list of daily prompts for journaling in June and thought I'd give it a shot.

3. A time when you were frightened:

Since I've had a headache almost all day, I can only think of the time in December that I suddenly woke with a splitting headache early one morning. I took something for the pain and crawled back into bed where I tossed and turned, alternating sweats and chills, sweating through my sheets as the pain worsened for two hours until I phoned my housemate and asked her to take me to the hospital.

(When I have migraines, I will wallow in my own bed in a cool, dark room for up to 12 hours, tossing, turning, moaning, sobbing, and thinking all the while that I should probably ask someone to take me to the hospital, but far too averse to the thought of bright lights and other people to actually ask for it. That should give you an inkling of how very bad this one was.)

I've had migraines since childhood but never so bad that I had to go to the ER, so this was pretty freaking scary. But I was in too much pain to process that. I clutched an ice pack to my chest and wouldn't put on anything more than socks, shorts, and a t-shirt despite the cold, winter weather. When I was admitted, the woman who took my temperature told me I had no fever.

I had extreme nausea despite an empty stomach and was certain I would throw up. I did. They hooked me up to an IV and started pumping an anti-emetic, but the tech was being cautious to give it to me slowly because it made me feel shaky and vertiginous. That done, pain meds followed, and they let me doze in a dark room til they took effect.

The doctor ordered an MRI, and a tech put me in a wheelchair since I'd been too shaky to walk unaided and too photophobic to open my eyes since I'd arrived. The pain was finally abating, and now tears streamed down my face for fear of what these tests would cost me, even with insurance. I was in the ER, helpless and hurting, and I was more frightened of the bill than of the debilitating pain that put me there. Some "health care" system.

I wasn't wrong. I don't know the cost of that single visit, but it happened again 2 months later and was worse since I tried to wait it out longer to avoid the cost. After my $100 ER copay, I owed ~$2,000 and will be paying that off for the remainder of the year, struggling not to panic that I might end up in the ER again.

I guess . . . thanks, Obama?

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