Misdiagnosed Strep Throat put me in the hospital.

Because every day of my life is an adventure.

I went to Texas at the beginning of June.  My parents came back with me and left on June 17th.  On June 19th I wasn’t feeling well, on the 20th I went to an urgent care clinic to make sure it wasn’t anything to worry about.  I was told I had a minor viral infection and to go home, take some Ibuprofen, and eat better.

Eleven days later my best friend found me collapsed in the baby’s room and took me to the emergency room where I was admitted for three days!

During that eleven days I kept telling myself I was being stupid, that I was fine, that I just needed to double down and rally because the UC told me I was fine and that it was nothing.  I refused to go back to the clinic, or anywhere else, because I didn’t want to bother anyone.  In the meantime Seth was spending most of his time watching The Muppets and crawling around the living room, or playing in his crib, because I was physically too weak to lift him.

On the fateful day I apparently had the presence of mind to text Serena and even had a brief conversation with her in which I told her I wasn’t feeling well and thought I probably needed to go to the hospital.  I remember none of that.  I also don’t remember getting up, changing the baby’s diaper, getting him a bottle, or passing out on the floor of the nursery but it all happened.

I do remember her coming into the room and trying to get me off the floor, which made me cry because I was so dehydrated my skin hurt.  And insisting I didn’t need shoes, which is patently false.  You need shoes if you’re going to the hospital.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m unfailingly nice and polite to anyone who is helping me whether it’s a waitress or a flight attendant or a nurse so you can imagine how completely out of it I was when I started demanding the nurse explain to me why so many people were in my ER room and being surprisingly rude.  Once the painkillers kicked in I apologized profusely and she was super nice to me which I appreciated.  They ran a bunch of tests and I got to have my first CT scan in many years.

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I went through one of these every two hours for three days.  DRINK WATER FRIENDS.

At the end of it I was diagnosed with severe strep throat and a sub-tissue abscess!

Now, I don’t know anyone who’s ever been admitted over strep throat so I was not expecting the trip upstairs but, because it’s me and my life takes me on strange journeys, that’s what happened.  Rena stayed with me the whole time and sneaked me some water when I was so thirsty I wanted to die, because she is the best thing ever.   The next couple of days are blurry.  I slept through most of them and watched a lot of Golden Girls which was so surreal that it seemed like a fever dream.  I know all my nurses had to wear masks!

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This was after many, many, may bags of saline to rehydrate me. 

I’m eternally grateful that I have friends willing to bully and push me into taking care of myself (apparently at one point I started insisting I was fine and that I was just taking up their time) and that our health insurance covered the entire stay.  I can’t imagine what the bill for that would have been.

I’ve been on a steroid pack since I’ve been out which is making me puff up like a balloon animal and this absolutely disgusting lemon-lime chalk mixture of antibiotics, but I feel better.  My throat still hurts and we still haven’t ruled out a surgery to remove the abscess, but I can stand up for up to 30 minutes by myself without needing to sit down and I’m able to take care of my kid.

I did have to discontinue my psych meds while I’m on all this stuff because they interact badly but I’m doing okay.  Jake was not super happy to come home from work and find David watching our baby with no idea I was in the hospital.  I have this thing where I don’t call people with bad news while they’re at work.  There’s nothing they can do and all it does is upset them.  So I forbid anyone to call him until 4 and at 4, he was out in BFE with no cell phone reception.

The moral of this story, if there is one, is trust your body.  I knew something was wrong, I questioned the doctor’s diagnosis as I was leaving the UC clinic, but I did’t want to be a bother so I didn’t say anything and as a result I got really, really sick.  I mean I wasn’t dying or anything but that was 14 days of not being able to take care of my baby, pack for the move, or even watch a movie all the way through.  I didn’t need to go through that, I could have gotten a second opinion. Doctors are not infallible, tests can be wrong.  It’s not an issue of disrespect or distrust if you genuinely feel like something isn’t right.

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