The Emergency Room is less fun for me when we are not there because of me.
Andrew and I became sick with a cold last weekend. Then around Wednesday it became clear that one of us had turned a corner back toward health and the other one of us was Andrew. His throat started hurting too much to swallow, his lungs started hurting too much to breathe and his head was hurting too much to do head things (nodding and shaking were out of the question). When his fever hit 102 I offered him a trip to the ER. Apparently at this point his stubborn wasn’t hurting too much. After another 2 hours of me constantly checking his temperature and his not being able to swallow or sleep through the pain his stubbornness broke and we went to PeaceHealth.
It was a little weird being the one driving the car on a midnight jaunt to the emergency room. Once I dropped him off at the entrance I sat in the car for a minute disoriented and unsure how to proceed to the parking lot – thank goodness for traffic signs.
I met Andrew at the front desk just as he was finishing up with his intake and we were ushered to a room where they took his vitals. One of our friends who is an EMT spotted us and I immediately threw my hands in the air and said, “it’s not me!” She took one look at Andrew and told me that was obvious as Andrew looked like an extra on The Walking Dead – which would have frightened him had he known.
The whole process at the hospital was weird to me – this was not the vaudevillian hospital experience to which I have become accustomed, there were no jokes, no witty repartee, no live-blogging. I tried a few times to crack a joke or two but they fell flat and felt interrupty. It was a somber experience.
The doctor tried to look at Andrew’s throat, but his tongue would have none of it. She tried to take a throat culture but Andrew’s gag reflex started in as soon as the long q-tip was unsheathed and before it was anywhere near his mouth. The took an x-ray of his lungs which showed some fluid. The doctor diagnosed him with pneumonia and said there was a possibility of strep but because Andrew wouldn’t even let her confirm that he had a throat, she couldn’t be sure. “Antibiotics will clear up either or both.” We got home around 3 and slept like the non-walking dead.
Andrew doesn’t require much when he is sick. He doesn’t drink tea or alcohol and was very good about drinking lots of water and eating hot soups. What Andrew lacks in attention-needs he makes up for in pessimism. There were more than a few times when I was told how he’d never be able to work out again because his lungs would never recover from the pneumonia. He was skeptical if he’d be able to be completely healthy by the time our December trip rolled around. He was certain that on his follow-up on Tuesday the doctor would declare him permanently ill.
Despite Andrew’s predictions, he is better today. His color is no longer in the grey spectrum and he can stay awake for stretches longer than 20 minutes at a time. I knew he was feeling better today when we were talking about my going to the gym this week and he said he might join me one of the days – but JUST to hang out.