Monday, February 28, 2011

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

For those of you not on Facebook, I spent most of yesterday at the Stanford Emergency Department.

I had another one of those allergy-welt attacks and this one was bad. When it started to come on, I took a double dose of Benadryl just like I always do, but it continued getting bad. I took a shower to try to cool myself down and try to get rid of the allergy, but that didn't help. While in the shower, I also realized I had some swelling in my throat. That's when I decided to take myself to the ER.

This time I didn't get lost going to the hospital. Navigating Stanford was not easy, but I followed the sinage a little better and was able to easily find the entrance. I went in (through security who had to check my bag and scan me for metal on my person) and was seen right away. Well, that's not true. I was triaged immediately and was given a bed, but it was another 30 minutes until I was seen. In their defence, I was already on the decline when I went in, but still had throat swelling so I went in anyway. I'm glad I did. It was real eye opening to me.

I got there sometime around 11sih and around 2, I was finally given some Predisone and Pepcid. I then got the option to drink a liter of water or have an IV put in. I opted to drink the water and sucked it down in 15 minutes. LOL. I was told not long after that I would be going home soon.

Then they checked my blood pressure. When I was triaged, my BP was about 200/140. Not unusual when I'm in the midst of a mild panic attack due to an allergic reaction. When they checked it around 2:30, it was only down to 195/120. Because of this, they kept me for observation. They couldn't send me home until they felt it was safe. At 4:45, I had only come down to 180/119, but the attending didn't feel the need to keep me anymore. She said that they couldn't diagnose me, officially, as hypertensive because it could have just been circumstantial, but because I did admit to having a history of borderline-high BP, she insisted I find a primary care doctor and get the BP checked out asap and get a referral to an allergist.

She also suggested the possibility that what happened to me was not an allergic reaction, but it could be a carcinoid which is a tumor-like growth that kind of mimics allergy symptoms. Going to an allergist will either confirm or reject this idea. (In all honesty, I'm thinking this or something like it is the culperate here. These allergy attacks have no obvious source or trigger.)

I don't like the thought of having to see a ton of doctors all the time now, but I want to see 40, so I'll bite the bullet and do it.

I also got a prescription for an EpiPen. Did you know those things cost $85?? Me either. Craziness. So now I have to carry one around with me all the time just in case. I never had allergies until the last few years. This kinda sucks.

My head is always killing me, too. This is because of my elevated blood pressure and steroids. Tomorrow is the last day for the Prednisone, so hopefully the headache will be gone by Thursday. I'm not sure if I should take anything for it, so I'm just living with it right now. Thankfully tomorrow's the first of the month, so work should be real easy.

So now I have an appointment with a doctor on the Stanford campus. I opted to find someone there so they could have easy access to my ER records. Friday morning at 8am. It should be one of the first of the day, so I can still get to work on time.

Why is it that my health issues can't be small? They've always got to be something big. =o\

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