Dixie Peach: I'm Not a Doctor but I Play One at Home

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I'm Not a Doctor but I Play One at Home

I'm really trying not to do those and-this-is-how-my-week-went sort of blogs but I can't seem to get away from that. I wanted to be a little more regular but the events of the week have prevent it.

I'm normally a night-owl sort of person. I seldom crawl into bed before 4 or 4.30 AM. I've tried mending my ways but so far nothing has taken yet. You'd think I'd be used to little sleep and staying awake until all hours of the night. Not so this week. B's been sick for a few days and it's had me completely out of whack.

It started Tuesday with his stomach being all cramped and we figured it would go away. Early Wednesday morning he woke me up saying his stomach was very painful and for a quadriplegic to report pain isn't good. B feels pain in a way but he's hard pressed to say exactly where which of course makes for shakey diagnosis. All we knew was that he felt terrible pain, he was sweating like mad (typical symptom of pain for him since his neuro wiring is rather screwed up) and he wanted to cancel his Wednesday appointment with his physiotherapist. He never cancels these appointments.

So there I was, sleepy and worried and I was nearly convinced that he had an appendix going bad. After and hour and a half of sleep, that was my diagnosis. All I could see in my head was the ambulance picking him up and whisking him off to a surgery and a nearly guaranteed pressure sore because I hardly trust anyone to take care of him properly. There I was crying and praying and muttering "I don't care what it costs! I'm getting you a private room and I'll take care of you myself if I have to!".

I got him turned and settled and when wakefulness and more clear headed thinking took over I figured that B's appendix wasn't the problem. His appetite had been fine, there had been no vomiting, he didn't have a fever and his belly wasn't hard and he didn't scream in pain when I pressed on it. All we could figure was that he must have trapped gas. Spinal cord injury people can be sort of like babies in that way - getting colic and all. Their muscles don't work the way they used to and they can't process gas bubbles through their system with the same efficiency as the rest of us. So I just kept my eye on him and gave him lots of fennel tea to drink (very good for gas - helps your body process it properly) and hoped for the best.

Today he's much better. He's able to sit upright for the first time since Monday and for that I'm terribly grateful.

And now I can get some decent sleep without worrying about camping out at the hospital and arguing with the nurses about how often he needs to be turned.


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