The nurse seemed to listen to me and replied that what I was describing was "normal" for a UTI [urinary tract infection]. I explained to her that while I understood these symptoms could be "normal" for that, it wasn't normal for ME! I know my body. I know how it reacts to these treatments and besides that...I didn't have the "normal" UTI symptoms in that there was no frequency in urination nor burning...those symptoms had subsided as one might expect when treated with antibiotics. It was easy to tell that she was quickly becoming annoyed with me. What did I want or expect any way? I was just seen on Monday and it was only Tuesday. Didn't I know that you have to give medications time to work?
Yes!!! I know it takes time for medication to work but SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT!! Feeling helpless and somewhat annoyed myself, I simply thanked her and hung up. She wasn't going to put a note back for the doctor, she wasn't going to have him call me, and she didn't want me to come into the office...I was on my own!
I convinced myself that maybe, just maybe she was right. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I returned to bed thinking maybe my body just needed a little rest. I slept several hours. When I awoke, I felt even worse than the 1st time I got up. I ate and took my medication and went back to bed. I knew something was wrong...but they weren't going to listen to me, so why call back...
My husband called to check on me. I told him I felt 10 times worse than I had on Monday and that I had called the doctor's office back, but the nurse just kept insisting that what I felt was normal. He came home from work and asked me if I wanted to go somewhere else. I couldn't even think! My head felt like I was in a deep fog now. My critical thinking skills were gone! Was this bad enough to be considered an emergency and go to the ER? What should I do? What was going on with me? Why was I so fatigued, hurting all over, so thirsty and nothing would quench my thirst, and now in a fog? I called my mom and spoke with her. I told her how I was doing and all of it. She insisted I take a trip to the ER...so we did.
April 19, 2011 6:30 pm Arrive at Emergency Department, check in. 6:45 pm, get triaged and returned to waiting area. 8:30 pm, get called back to a room. Blood work is drawn, answer more questions about my symptoms. Once again, try to explain how I feel and what is going on with me. The doctor comes into my room about an hour or so later and tells me that I'm not diabetic. That's good to know, but I didn't think I was any way. The symptoms I was complaining about seemed to be very similar to Ketoacidosis, an illness many diabetics face where their blood sugars are too high for too long. OK...he's ruled this out, now what? He thinks for a little bit then decides that he needs to do a CT Scan of my kidneys. He needs to make sure there are no problems with them or my colon. OK. Let's do it...if that will explain why I feel like I feel.
It doesn't take long and they are in to take me for this scan. Another 30 minutes to an hour and the doctor is back with the results. Kidney's look great, no problems. Colon looks great, no problems. There is a big cyst on your left ovary which could be causing abdominal pain and back pain. This is what is wrong with you. He writes a prescription for pain medication, instructs me to continue taking the antibiotics and sends me home. I am still very foggy, very much in pain throughout my body; not just in my abdominal and back regions; and I still know something else is very wrong...but maybe I can't accurately explain my symptoms so anyone can figure out what is wrong with me because of the fog. I am so weak I can't sit up for much more than 5 minutes at a time and I am getting worse; but I follow the doctor's instructions and take my antibiotic. I get up Wednesday...I am so weak I can barely get out of the bed. Trying to form a complete sentence is nearly impossible, I have to think so hard about what I want to say and try to get it out of my mouth. In my head I just keep asking, "God, what is wrong with me? Why doesn't anyone else see what I feel? How can I get them to understand what I am talking about? I am dying and I know it, and if they don't get serious about finding out what is wrong with me I will be dead!" I popped my Toaster Strudel in the toaster, pulled it out, and made my way back to bed. Once I finished eating it I took my antibiotic. I then took another nap. I guess this was going to be life for me...get up, eat, take medication, and go back to bed. I was too lethargic to do anything else. I couldn't drive anywhere because I didn't have strength to get into the vehicle alone, and as "spacey" as I was I might not be able to find my way back home. "GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!"
My husband stayed home from work with me because he was worried. He and my daughters took care of me and our home. I couldn't take it any more. We were having a late dinner and I knew I still had to take that 2nd dose of antibiotic for the day. I decided to take a hot bath while waiting on dinner. I glanced at my medicine bottle and noticed a warning label..."MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS". I thought, "Hmmm...may cause dizziness...could it be causing the rest of these symptoms too?" Why I hadn't I thought of this sooner?
I finished my bath. I came into the living room with my husband and I said, "I finally know how to describe the way I feel. I feel as if I just had surgery and I am in the recovery room and the anesthesia is finally wearing off. I think this could be from the medication! I feel DRUGGED!" I went to the internet to look up the adverse reactions to this medication!
Here is what I found:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or tarry stools; burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet; chest pain; dark urine or unusual change in amount of urine; fainting; fever, chills, or unusual cough; hallucinations; inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area; irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; moderate to severe sunburn; mood or mental changes (eg, new or worsening anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, restlessness, sleeplessness); muscle pain or weakness; pain, soreness, redness, swelling, weakness, or bruising of a tendon or joint area; pale stools; persistent sore throat; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe or persistent dizziness; stomach cramps/pain; suicidal thoughts or actions; tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual fatigue; vaginal yeast infection; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Everything highlighted in yellow was what I was experiencing! I skipped that 2nd dose of medication Wednesday, and by Thursday morning I could THINK! I could form complete sentences! I honestly believe if I had taken that 2nd dose of medication Wednesday night, I would have died in my sleep. It would have been the fatal dose. I thank God that He gave me the awareness in this massive state of confusion to figure out what was going on! I drove back to the doctor Thursday morning and he confirmed that it was severe adverse reactions to the medication! He has notated throughout my chart that I am allergic to this medication.
Now, if anyone in the medical field is reading this blog today, I have a message for you...
PLEASE! PLEASE! If one of your patients call you or come in and say that something is not right, don't just dismiss them! LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!! A key thing to remember, the patient KNOWS his/her body! They know how they react to things. Do NOT treat everyone as a drug seeker or hypochondriac; 9 times out of 10, they aren't! They are in tune with their bodies and know when something is wrong!
Everyone, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If something isn't right, you will know it! TRUST YOUR INSTINCT and DO NOT GIVE UP UNTIL SOMEONE LISTENS TO YOU! If I had simply given up, I may be dead right now. Yes, I felt like giving up. What was the point in talking to anyone about it...they had their opinions already and didn't CHOOSE to listen and HEAR WHAT I WAS SAYING! If I had stopped there, I wouldn't be here writing this to you tonight! I wouldn't be preparing for my daughter's birthday party tomorrow...instead, my family would be preparing for my funeral! You know your body...listen to it!