I recently wrote about how I had not taken any significant time off from work since May of 2016. For those of you that are counting that is about a year an a half. Mostly this was because I was in flux with my job and ended up transferring to several different positions within my company in the past year. However, I did gear up for this vacation, being that I am for the time being in a fairly stable position at this time.
To maximize the time off that I would get (and because of the upcoming holidays), I decided to work Sunday (December 3) as my weekend day this month, in order to have off Friday. I noticed early in the week, that I was struggling more than usual with my ability to compensate from the shortened weekend, and my ability to figure out what day it actually was. I even bailed early from my Monday Night social club, but I chalked it up to basic burn-out and the mental state one gets into when one is about to take some time off that is much needed.
Around Tuesday, I started having some severe neck pain. It’s not uncommon for me to carry stress in my shoulders and my neck, but my usual techniques for pain and stiffness did not seem to dissipate the pain. It might not be surprising to know that because I have medical background and training, I do tend to postpone going to the doctor and treat often at home. My medical training is not always a blessing as it does not take much for my anxiety to start going wild with hypochondria. So, typically because I am certain I am making a big to do about nothing, I tend to delay heading to the doctor rather than to go too often and look a fool. I have also been told that I am a bit melodramatic when it comes to being ill. Think Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory times about ten… or a hundred and you will get an idea of what it is like to be around a sick me.
I made the decision on Wednesday to go to the doctor Thursday because I did have the time, and at that point my anxiety was going amuck at this pain that was (I will admit) pretty severe.
Turns out, that was a good plan because I ended up getting sent to the Emergency Room Thursday night.
Now, I should have expected this. This from the girl who sprained her ankle the last time she tried to take a long weekend. From the girl who nearly died on her honeymoon from an allergic reaction (omen for the first marriage?). From the girl who spent nearly every vacation ever with her family with some kind of fever or vomiting… This should not have been a surprise. However, I do fully admit to being a hypochondriac and I have never actually seriously been ill. This will only mark my second visit to a hospital in the entirety of my life.
I did not expect the pain to escalate to the level it did. I did not expect to be tested for flu. I did not expect to start vomiting up blood in the doctors office. Never in a million years would I have expected that that nagging little differential of meningitis come out of my doctors mouth as he told me that I was going to the emergency room so they could rule it out.
I told you so, said my anxiety. You are probably going to die.
Luckily, my anxiety was wrong on both counts and the doctors were able to rule out a meningitis in the hospital. I got loaded up with a cocktail of medications (nothing to hard luckily) and I was diagnosed with a migraine headache. The blood in the vomit they attributed to pure force causing some tearing in the esophagus. Overall, the time in the Emergency Department went smoothly, and relatively quickly and I was discharged.
Only problem is, I still feel awful. It’s been two days and I have zero energy. We only did a few things yesterday and it left me exhausted. Today I had the need to stay very close to the toilet and spent a lot of time bonding with my couch. I’m very disheartened because this isn’t how I wanted to spend my vacation time and there is a sense of unfairness to the situation. We had intended to go to New York City Friday, which did not happen. Saturday I missed not only meeting my parent’s new puppy, but an annual family Christmas party. So disappointing that it is the one time a year we all get together, but I just was not well enough to go see everyone.
I am not sure how to handle this new development to my health. I do find it discouraging that the symptoms are lingering (it’s been 5 days total so far), and I am slightly worried that this is going to become “another-thing-that-I-have-to-deal-with-on-a-regular-basis.”
Only time will tell I suppose.
In the meantime, it’s fortunate that I have the time off to focus on me. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I will feel well enough to decorate the tree…