Monday, June 15, 2009

Close Encounters of the Medical Kind

Saturday started off with some unwelcome excitement.  The kids, the dog, and I were all outside and Natalie was having a snack while Sam rode his bike around on the driveway.  For no apparent reason, he ran into her with his bike, causing her to start crying.  I could tell from the tone of her cry that she wasn't hurt too badly, so I "attended" to Sam first by sending him to time-out and sending his bike to the inaccessible-to-him bike rack for the remainder of the day.
While I was doing this, a strange, gasping, choking sound started coming from Natalie's direction.  She was choking on her snack.  I've never had any reason to do the Heimlich maneuver in real life, but I pictured 1) my high-school health class and the 2) instruction sheet that used to hang in the kitchen of the restaurant I worked at throughout high school, and on the second thrust -- out popped the obstruction.  Her first cry brought tears to my eyes, similar to the way I felt when I heard her first cry at the hospital the day she was born.
A few hours later, I packed the kids into the car and went to Urgent Care.  Three weeks ago, I was bit by a deer tick and the site is still an itchy bump.  I hadn't been worried about it too much, but I had been thinking I should see my doctor one of these days, since I would have expected a bite to heal by this time.  I'd been watching for the bullseye rash associated with Lyme disease, but hadn't seen one so I figured I was in the clear.
Until Thursday, when I started having some strange symptoms.  Dizzy spells, heart palpitations, and nausea.  When this was still happening on Saturday morning, my husband convinced me to go to Urgent Care.  "Easy for you to say," I said, since he was going to work and I was facing the prospect of taking two young children with me to the clinic.  But ultimately I decided to go in.  At this particular clinic, Urgent Care hours don't start until 12:00.  I was hoping to be in and out quickly, so I promised the kids we'd stop for lunch afterwards. 
The triage nurse sent me to the E.R.  Three hours, two hungry and tired kids, five vials of blood, and $100 later, they discharged me with no answers.  The Lyme disease test won't be available until Wednesday, and that is not even definitive.  A positive test is definitely positive, but a negative test is not necessarily negative.  Evidently, there is not a test available to measure the number of spirochetes in the blood, so they can only measure the number of antibodies being produced.  Early in the disease, my body might not be producing enough antibodies to make the test positive.  So, who knows.
Since I've had no appetite, I've lost a couple of pounds in the last week.  I might hold off on taking the antibiotics until I lose that last, pesky 20 pounds.  Kidding, kidding.  Sorta.

1 comment:

Elaine's Semi-Homemade Life said...

My goodness!!!!!! You poor thing! Seems that stuff like that only happens when you find yourself alone with 2 kids, I know! I hope you're feeling better. And way to go on the heimlich, I'm impressed! It's amazing what moms can do for their kiddos, isn't it?