A wake-up call

When I told parents that I have to reduce my teaching hours, I explained that it was for health reasons. Some parents were very alarmed and concerned, thinking that I had some terrible and mysterious illness.  I don’t.  But my gut feeling was that I would get sick if I didn’t cut back.

This past Tuesday, I woke up in the very early morning, feeling nauseated.  This happens once in a great while, and a dose of Peptobismol either makes me vomit and consequently feel better and ready to go back to bed and sleep, or it alleviates the nausea = go back to bed and sleep.  On Tuesday, I was on my third dose of Pepto and the nausea only got worse.  Mild cramps, a bit of pain, but mostly nausea so bad I was shaking, had the chills, sweat running down my face and body.  Mark was very concerned when he saw how bad it was.  My robe was soaked with sweat, I was shivering.  He put a towel on the space heater we have in the bathroom and as soon as it was warm wrapped it around me, then added another towel to the space heater, repeat.  The warmth helped with the chills, but the nausea did not get any better.

We had had egg salad for lunch the day before, and I had a spoonful of the left-over in the evening.  The left-over had been sitting on the counter all afternoon; I knew it was probably NOT a good idea to eat it, should have thrown it away, but – stupidity.  We were sure what I had Tuesday morning was a mild form of food-poisoning.

About three hours after I first woke up sick, we decided to go to the ER.  I was practically on my knees, begging the triage nurse to give me something, anything!, to make the nausea go away.  Vitals first, bloodtest, more questions, and then finally an IV with meds to stop the nausea.

We spent most of the day in the ER.  Blood test (nothing really wrong, except something with my white blood cells), later more meds for nausea and then also for pain, more questions, the nurse’s suspicion that this actually looks like something related to the gall bladder, later sonogram, then CT scan to clarify /confirm the sonogram.

By 3:30 they sent us home.  The very powerful nausea and pain meds had made me drowsy, dopey, so Mark put me straight to bed when we got home.  Through texting, we had kept Jonathan and Chris updated throughout the day, and Jonathan decided that he wanted to come up and see me.  He arrived shortly after we got home.  After a bit, he and Mark went to the pharmacy to fill the prescriptions from the hospital.

On Wednesday, I slept most of the day.  Wednesday evening I felt much better but still quite wobbly on my feet – no surprise given that I had eaten hardly anything for two days …

I am still not sure what happened.  The intense and unrelenting nausea and strong but relatively tolerable pain would suggest food-poisoning – but I didn’t have diarrhea; the kind of pain (location and the fact that it was radiating into shoulder, even jaw) would suggest gall bladder – but the (lack of) intensity of the pain wasn’t typical gall bladder.  To cover both eventualities, I promised Mark that I would never ever again eat left-over unrefrigerated egg salad (at this point the mere thought of egg salad – fresh or left-over – nauseates me); and I have made changes to my diet to be more friendly to my liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.

Every day is getting better. Thursday I went for a walk in the sunshine around our “bean” (our block is bean-shaped), yesterday I attended a morning business meeting and a concert at night; but I delayed going back to teaching until this morning.  I chose a family with three of my most favorite students (yes, I do have favorites) and shortened their lessons to half-hour lessons which was still an hour and a half at the end of which I was wiped out.

If I am careful I hope to be back to normal teaching by Monday.