I spent the day in the ER and then they admitted me to the hospital in the evening. They rolled me into the ICU. I knew enough to know that was serious place and thought, "Maybe the other floors were full?"
The nurses settled me in to an actual bed. I recognized these ladies. I had floated down and helped them on busy nights as a nurse when it was quiet upstairs where I work. They treated me with great kindness. I had lots of monitors, cuffs and IVS but I got cleaned up. I had my period and had pajamas from the night before and she put all new clothes, underwear and pads. I was so thankful to have a soft bed, new blankets and a very tender nurse who watched me closely. There was alot of beeping, but mostly I slept.
Earlier when I had been brought into the ER, I apparently told Rob that he had to go upstairs and tell them I couldn't come to work the next evening. He was appalled! I could not remember his name! or my children's ages! or that I had children!! but I remembered to make sure not to inconvenience work. But he went up and told my dear co-workers that I had a high fever and was getting a cat scan for a confusion. Later my sweet friend asked if she could come down and give me Reiki and they said, "No visitors. She's too sick."
My mother came in when Rob got home to get the girls to bed. I must have been high in my bed because she looked small and cold with her winter's hat on.
"Hi Mom" I said.
They asked me quickly, "What's your mom's name" and I replied "Mom."
It seemed worrisome that she was there in the night.
She told me later that when she got there, they told her I was speaking less and she thought, "Oh my God is she is a coma?" but I greeted her with the "Hi Mom." She noticed my blood pressure was low ("the bottom one in the 40's") and they were giving lots of IV fluid and the blood pressure wasn't coming up. I was on antibiotics and still had a fever. My lumbar puncture had come back preliminarily positive. My mother also noted that on my chart it said "Patient condition: Poor" I've never seen that. She's never seen that and she was scared. (I was completely out to lunch dozing and hating the Foley catheter to drain my urine that felt burning and uncomfortable.)
The hospitalist came in. I saw her nice worried face and she was talking to me, but I had no idea what she was talking about. They were calling anesthesia for a central line, a sort of IV access in the chest to give me more fluid. That anesthesiologist was driving in from home. My mother says the hospitalist said to her then , it was about 3am, "We're treating an infection but it's not working and we don't know what else might be going on. We're going to do a central line, but if it was my daughter I'd send her to Baystate (the big teaching hospital 30 minutes away) My mother said, "OK let's go, then." She was so anxious and was scared to move me, but didn't want to wait to long. My poor mother. She called Rob to make sure she wasn't being a renegade and he said yes, crying in bed.
They made my mother a nest down the hall and let her nap while they waited for the ambulance. It came and they got me moved with all my wires and monitors onto the stretcher and out into the cold world. My nice nurse was coming with me. The sirens were on and down south we went. Even then I didn't really feel fear or the gravity of where I was. I was thankful for my family, for my mother and her night duty (Rob is incapable of staying up after midnight) thankful to all the concerned skilled care. I still felt so much better than when I had when my ear was in such horrific pain. I slept most of the 20 min ride there. I don't remember the sirens.