Wednesday is E and my day together, so we went to lunch at Chow. We’d been there before and the food is pretty good and it was such a beautiful (for once) day that we decided to get a mussel appetizer. We also split a salad, a sandwich and dessert. Everything was fine until a few minutes after we got home and I noticed some cramping in my tummy. I figured I had eaten too much, or maybe it was reflux or something, but the cramping intensified into pain and soon I was doubled over and writhing on the floor. While I was feeling pretty awful, I figured I would throw up soon and feel a lot better. But I didn’t. Instead I broke out into a cold sweat and started feeling light-headed and faint and then I went from “let’s see how this plays out” to “I’m going to die” in less than 60 seconds. We called the Moms who said we should find a doctor. I vetoed the ER on the basis that they nickle and dime you for everything, not to mention they would probably make me wait at least an hour, at which point I was certain I would be dead. We found an urgent care facility nearby and as we were headed out the door, the puking started.
Throwing up did make me feel a lot better and it made our car ride to Care Practice a lot more bearable. But by the time E dropped me off at their door, the sweats, the light-headedness and the nausea were back. I couldn’t even give the guy at the front desk my name – I just dropped everything I was carrying and found the bathroom to throw up in. The doctor was just finishing up with his last patient, so by the time I was out of the bathroom, he was ready to see me.
Dr. Vinh Ngo tried to take a history, but I kept throwing up, so at some point he found E to fill in the gaps. He took my temperature to rule out fever. Then he took my blood pressure and pulse to try to determine if I was dehydrated. He gave me a shot of anti-nausea medication mixed with demerol for the pain (and let me tell you, that shit is *amazing.* I foresee a morphine addiction in my future) right in the bum, just like they do on TV. Then he gave me some charcoal capsules to mop up everything in my stomach. Then I threw them all up.
At this point I was still pretty pale and sweaty, but the stomach cramps were subsiding (although the pain was coming in waves). Vinh said that if I were in the ER, he would give me an IV because even though I didn’t seem dehydrated at the time, I could easily become so. His main concern was hooking me up to an IV and then having me drag it back and forth between the bathroom and the room we were in. So we opted to hook me up in the bathroom. At this point the demerol was kicking in and once he’d placed the IV, I sank down onto the floor and went to sleep (classy, I know. Thank god we were the only ones in there). Oh, and let’s not forget the part where I dry-heaved into a bucket while Vinh was trying to put a needle in my arm.
As I was floating in and out of consciousness, I remember at some point telling E that we owed Vinh one. I was very grateful that he had stayed after hours to take care of me and that he wasn’t trying to control the process (letting me be where I needed to be and do what I needed to do).
Vinh said he might give me a second bag of IV fluid, but after the first one I felt a lot better and I really wanted to get the needle out of my arm (I can now tell my clients with certainty that having an IV is distracting and decreases your mobility). We paid the bill (yeah high deductible that doesn’t cover anything! Seriously, though, it might have been the best $700 I’ve ever spent. Who knows how much longer all that would have gone on without treatment) and E drove me home.
We found out that the doctors at Care Practice do a lot of other things besides holding buckets for their vomiting patients or hooking them up to IVs and letting them sleep on the bathroom floor – they also do a lot of integrative medicine and Vinh’s specialty is actually in alternative health. So we could see him for other things, too, which is cool. E and I are pretty happy with our experience there, so if you’re in the area check out Care Practice! And don’t eat the mussels at Chow!