Thursday, December 27, 2012

Being Sick and Some Emergency Room Tips

I am just feeling horrendous. I had the sniffles from the 22nd, but yesterday I was at my worst.

The Flu

The day after Christmas, I woke up feeling terrible. I had a very bad fever. I'd go from extremely hot to freezing cold. I was shivering so badly that my jaw still is still sore. Then around 11 am, I started throwing up, then I would go to sleep, and then every time I would wake up I would throw up again. About once an hour. Eventually it got so bad I had to call my mom home from work so she could drive me to the ER. 

The Waiting Room

Mom and I sat in the waiting room for ages. I'm not sure how long it took, because I fell in and out of sleep, but I know it took longer than an hour. The worst part were the other people in the waiting room. There was a whole family in there speaking very, very loudly in Spanish. And when they weren't talking, they were listening to music on their phones very loudly. Then, this mother with her sick baby sat next to me, and the first thing she did was get on her phone and start calling everyone she knew to tell them about her baby. Thankfully, she sat somewhere else after I ran to the bathroom to go throw up.

My Mother, The Hero

My mom was great. She kept asking the nurses if they could hurry and see me because I was rapidly getting worse and have Lupus. Unfortunately, all the hospitals in the area were filling up, so they kept sending people to the ER I was at. We had to wait for a bed to empty. When the Urgent Care by my house started to open, my mom kept asking family members to go see how crowded it was, but no one was close by. So she asked the nurse if there was anyway I could get a bed in the hallway or a bag of saline solution so they could get me stable.

There was a bed in the hallway available, so they let me lie on that while they checked my vitals. My heart rate was extremely high and I had a fever of 101. You should have seen the nurse's face when he saw my heart rate. He had a shocked look on my face. That's probably why they wanted to give me an EKG. They gave me some aspirin or whatever it was to bring down my fever and wouldn't let me wear my jacket or a blanket, even though I was freezing. Which was a good idea with my huge fever.

The Doctor

Eventually I got my own room, and apparently I slept for a few hours. It felt like a few minutes, but my mom told me some nurses had checked up on me and said I wasn't dehydrated enough for some saline. Soon after that, the doc came in and had me checked out. I had the flu, but he also said I have a throat infection, an Otitis Media with Effusion (fluid in the middle ear). This probably has something to do with the Eustachian tube problem I had a while ago with the sinus infection I had.


I have a lot of new medicines because of this little hospital trip. Every three hours I alternate between Motrin and Tylenol, then I take Clindamycin (an antibiotic) three times a day, along with Zofran (an anti-nausea medicine that works by blocking the body's production of serotonin) three times a day if needed. At least today I've been able to eat.

And in an hour, I'm leaving to go visit a doctor in my area. I'm hoping he's a good one because I hate driving so far to see my Rheumatologist for everything.

Some ER Tips To Remember

1. If you are really sick, sometimes it is better to just call an ambulance so you don't have to wait hours and hours for care.

2. If you are waiting in the waiting room, and you are getting worse, it is okay to ask to be stabilized (especially if you are like me and when you get sick you go from okay to hospital status in a matter of hours or sometimes an hour).

3. Stay hydrated. Hilariously, I was too hydrated to get a saline bag right off the bat, but I was still pretty dehydrated. My mom and I were joking that I shouldn't have had so much to drink, but I knew it could have been a lot worse if I hadn't had that fluid in my system.

4. If there are people being excessively loud in the waiting room, it is okay to ask the receptionist to ask them to keep it down. Waiting rooms for the ER are not for get-togethers, they are for sick people and family of sick people. Also, do the same for others and remind loud family members to keep it down for the people who might not be feeling well.

5. Know the hospitals in your area and know when to go to an ER and when to go to an Urgent Care. That way, you can get the best care for what you are going through and you don't take away from someone who needs it more.

Any ER tips I don't know about yet? I could always use some advice.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Smoothie Video

Thought you guys might like to watch a silly video I made:

This is how I make breakfast in the morning, minus the talking to myself.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Trouble Comes in Three

This post has nothing to do with Lupus. Or at least I think so. I'm kind of confused.

Waking Up

My problems started as soon as I woke up. I was a having a dream about WWII sort of, and Japan had just dropped a nuclear bomb within view of my little wood house. In the middle of all that, I woke up. In a pool of blood. It was very disgusting. Very, very gross.

Turns out I had my period? But my period ended last week. Literally seven days ago. So Idk. The internet is not helping me out at all, either.

Since my body decided to make a big, bloody mess I had to wash my clothes and my sheets. I decided to add a little bleach since they're white. But I added too much, and it splashed all over me. And now I have a minor chemical burn on my hand and my foot is still stinging even though I almost immediately rinsed it off.

While I was rinsing the bleach off my skin, I realized my phone was missing. I checked all over my room. I looked under my pillow, peered under my head, checked my desk. It was nowhere to be found.

"OH NO!"

I ran as fast as I could into the laundry room. I pawed at the washing machine trying to get the water to stop pouring in. I opened the lid to see it is already filled to the top with water. I plunge my hand into the bleachy/soapy water and dig around until I find my phone. 

By this time, I feel like crying, but I find some rice and fill a plastic baggy with it. I hope it will help, but I have a feeling this might be the end of the line for my phone.


I have no phone now. I have to go to work. And make my bed once I get home. And the whole period mess thing. 

On top of that, on Monday I have to call a doctor to see if I have a UTI and explain all the other strange stuff that has been going on with  my health. I have really, really bad fatigue. I didn't have the energy to even eat yesterday. I sat there propping myself up using my fork. I probably looked really pathetic. And I've also been having really bad pain all over my body. It's just been a bad past few days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chronic Dehydration

(From source) This cholera patient is drinking...
(From source) This cholera patient is drinking oral rehydration solution (ORS) in order to counteract his cholera-induced dehydration. The cholera patient should be encouraged to drink the Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). Even patients who are vomiting can often be treated orally if they take small frequent sips. Their vomiting will subside when their acidosis is corrected. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've been doing a lot of research on Chronic Dehydration, and most of it seems like phony baloney designed to get you to buy something. I don't like phony baloney and I'm sure you don't like it, either.

But the idea of Chronic Dehydration makes a lot of sense to me. When I get sick enough to go to the ER, I usually "drink" about two bags of the saline solution. This just shows me that I'm not as hydrated as I think I am. And after "drinking" the two bags, I always look and feel much better.

So I took to the inter-web looking for sources I could trust, at least somewhat.

I started off at the Mayo Clinic's website with dehydration. My eyes immediately zoomed in on this sentance:

"Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk."
Oh hey, that's me. (I'm not talking about the picture. That is definitely not me)

Then I looked up what your body uses water for. (Again, from the Mayo Clinic).

Water helps with:
  1. Regulating body tempurature
  2. Moistens tissues like mouth, eyes, and nose.
  3. Helps flush out wastes in kidneys and liver
  4. Prevents constipation
  5. Dissolves minerals and other nutrients for body to use.
  6. Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
And I have a feeling there are plenty more uses for water in the body. For example, when you go and get drunk, what should you do? Drink water. Why? So you don't get a hangover. When your brain cells are dehydrated, they shrink. And alcohol is excellent at making you dehydrated.

How To Cure Chronic Dehydration

For mild (not severe and life-threatening) chronic dehydration, the simple, easy cure is to drink water! What, seriously?! 

But it turns out not every beverage has the same hydrating effect. Why? Because drinks that aren't pure water have to be filtered in the kidney and liver to turn it into water your body can use. And the liver and kidneys need water to function (see, I knew there were more uses for water). So the closer to pure water you can get, the easier time your body is going to have using it for the greater good.

So What Should I Drink?

Just plain water. I know a lot of people can't stand the taste of water, so it is okay to add a little, itty bit of juice to your drink. But really, you just have to train yourself to like water. It took me a couple of years to like the taste of water, but now that's pretty much all I drink.

You can always try fruit infused water. Or make fruit ice cubes! Just slice up some fruit, drop a few berries in, slice up a cucumber and let your water soak up the flavors. Or for the fruit ice cubes, get an ice cube tray, drop a berry or some sliced fruit in, let it freeze. Once you're ready to have a glass of water just pop a few in and enjoy.

I haven't tried this, so I'm not sure if it will have the affect I'm thinking of, but maybe you could try boiling the water before adding them. Make a (tea) with it.

Speaking of teas. They say green, black, and Oolong tea are not very good at hydrating you. I'm not saying green, black, and Oolong tea aren't good for you. I'm just saying they aren't great for hydration purposes. It goes back to your body's filtering process. When I told my dad this, he almost had a heart attack. He loves to drink green tea at work and he'll drink it all day long, so he figured he was getting enough hydration. Then he spewed off some green tea facts, and I had to remind him what I told you. 

How Much Water Should I Drink, Megan?

Well, the common consensus on the internet is to drink half your weight in ounces. (Some of the water can come from food, but the way most food is prepared, there isn't much water left for your body to use). 

Lets say a person weighs 150 lbs. That means they have to drink 75 ounces of water. An easier way to think of it is they would have to drink a little more than 2 liters of water throughout the day to get hydrated. (Oh, and so you can calculate how much you would have to drink, 1 liter = 33.814 oz.)

And if you exercise, are in very hot and humid weather, or are sick you will have to drink even more water to keep yourself hydrated. 

Random Facts

Did you know your body loses water just from breathing? Yup.

Did you know that exercise-induced asthma might be caused by the loss of water in the airways? Yup, got that fact from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Drinking water can help you lose weight. How? Like I said above, you can get some of your water through eating. When your body is telling you that it's hungry, it might really just be thirsty and trying to get you to eat something to help it hydrate. That's why they suggest you drink some water before you reach for something to snack on.

How This All Started

Well, it started in the ER a while ago, but I was inspired by an excerpt from the book Water For Health, For Healing, For Life by F. Batmanghelidj. I'm not sure I completely trust this source. I think he might be sort of right, but I'm not sure all his claims are accurate. You can read the book and decide for yourself whether or not he seems like a reputable source, but I am still on the fence.
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