i get headaches often but this one was unbearable. my mom took me to the nearest urgent care clinic around 9:30 last night but it was closed. wtf?! we went to another, which was also closed. i call a couple more and got recordings of their hours but none were open. so it was off to the emergency room at the nearest hospital, seton northwest. luckily there was only, like, one other person there when we got there so i didn't have to wait too terribly long to be seen.
my main symptoms were a slightly elevated temperature (99.2 while my normal temp is around 97) extreme head pain, neck pain/stiffness and an intense sensitivity to light. they only turned the light on in my room when it was absolutely necessary so most of the time the room was lit by a small light above the sink.
the doctor finally came in and told me that his main objective was going to be to determine whether or not i had meningitis. one way to look for meningitis is a ct scan but that is only about 94% accurate. the only real way to rule it out is a lumbar puncture. i declined the lumbar puncture because, honestly, i don't think i could handle it. i had to be put to sleep to get a bone marrow biopsy and that apparently isn't shit compared to the l.p.
while i waited for my turn to be seen by radiology they hooked me up to an iv. first i was given some anti-nausea medication, then fluids and dilaudid. dilaudid is crazy, you guys. holy shit.
i sat in bed for a while until a nurse came in and informed me that my iv was too small for the contrast dye i needed to be injected with during the ct scan. so that meant that i got an even bigger iv stabbed into my right arm. luckily this was after the dilaudid kicked in so i didn't really feel anything. finally, i was wheeled down to radiology for my scan. i've always heard that when you get the contrast during a ct scan it feels like you're peeing in your pants. my friend david had one a few months ago and he told me that it just feels "warm" or something but let me tell you, i thought i peed my pants twice! no one warned me about that sensation either. i'm really glad that i knew in advance because i might have freaked out a little thinking i was peeing all over myself.
after another 30 minutes or so the doctor came in and said that my ct scan was clear but that my blood work (oh did i mentioned before i got the first iv they took a million viles of my blood? yeah, they did that) showed a high white blood cell count, which is a sign of infection. i explained to him that i just naturally have a high wbc count and that eased his mind a lot. they hooked me back up for more dilaudid and an anti-inflammatory and i went home about an hour later.
tomorrow i'm going to call my regular doctor and find out what my wbc count normally is because i don't actually know. i know that it's "slightly elevated" but that's as much information as i have. a normal wbc count is between 4,300-10,800 and last night mine was 16,500. that seems more than slightly elevated but what the hell do i know? if i find out that 16,500 is high for me, i might re-evaluate my decision not to get the lumbar puncture. i realllllllly don't want one but i also don't want to die because i had an undiagnosed case of meningitis.
oh btw this hurts like hell still.