Kathy's All-Purpose Blog

I guess some people have different blogs for different subjects, but this is it for me, baby. One blog to bring them all, or something.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What Happened Thursday

Wednesday night, or rather very early Thursday morning, I woke up in the night, needing to use the bathroom. That's not unusual for me; I get up three or four times most nights. So I got up, went into the bathroom, sat on the commode, and tinkled. So far, so good.

The next thing I remember is trying to gather my thoughts, which seemed really scattered. They were chasing each other around in my head like little bunnies, but I couldn't get two of them to string themselves together to make anything coherent. Then I realized that I was lying, not in my bed as I'd been assuming, but on a cold tile floor.

Believe it or not, that's not too terribly unusual for me, either. I'm a fainter. I've fainted before and will doubtless do so again. And when I come to, I'm usually very disoriented and confused not to be waking up in bed. What was unusual was that I'd had absolutely no warning signs. No dizziness, no shortness of breath, no sensation that I'm experiencing the world from the end of a very long tunnel--all of which I usually get before I keel over. Nope, one minute I was sitting on the commode and the next minute I was lying on the floor.

My cat was meowing, so I started talking to her to try to reassure her. I realized that I had fetched up against the door and my body was keeping it shut. The cat, who was accustomed to being able to just push her way in, was concerned. Or possibly miffed; it's hard to tell with cats. But while I was talking, I realized that my teeth felt really sharp.

When I felt up to it (which was another minute or so) I got up, and I looked at my teeth in the bathroom mirror. Sure enough, two of them were broken clean off.

By this time I was pretty freaked out, so I went and got the phone. I laid back down on the bed (I didn't want to keel over again) and tried to figure out who to call. 911? The obvious answer, but I needed some hand-holding and the paramedics weren't likely to provide it. Besides, what if I was just being silly? What if it was all nothing? What if I went to the emergency room in my nightie and it turned out to be no big deal? How embarrassing.

I ran through a mental list of people I could call at 2:15 am (because that was the time), and my friend Dave won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it. I called Dave, and he picked up on the second ring. I said "I just fainted with no warning and I broke two teeth and I'm really freaked out," and Dave said, "I'll be right over." This is one of the roughly two million things that makes Dave such a good friend.

I unlocked the door and laid back down, and by the time Dave got there I was thinking something like my old self. Of course I'd have to go to the hospital. I'd fainted and I didn't know why, and that could be serious. Dave came and talked to me for a bit, then waited while I got dressed, then took me to the emergency room and stayed with me until I was discharged around 6 am. Dave rocks.

The ER doctor said that sometimes when the bladder contracts it can trigger a fainting response, and that sometimes people faint with no warning signs beforehand. He agreed with me that it was unusual, and worth looking into, but absent any other evidence it would appear to be just one of those things. So they did lots and lots of tests at the hospital. I had an EKG, and a CAT scan, and blood and urine tests, and a chest X-ray (for reasons I'm still not clear on). And when all the results came back....we still had no idea. Just one of those things, I guess.

By now my face was beginning to hurt. They kept asking me at the hospital what I'd hit my teeth/face/chin on, and I kept explaining that I had no idea. I was unconscious at the time, you see. But they prescribed me Vicodin for the pain, and then Dave drove me to the 24-hour Walgreen's to get the prescription filled.

Back home, I called and left a message with my dentist, whose office was scheduled to open at 8 am. I was by now very, very tired, having had maybe 2 hours' sleep and being on Vicodin besides. But I was sure the dentist's office would call me right back at 8 and I might as well stay up because then I'd know when my appointment was and how long I'd have to sleep.

Eight came and went, and I was really, really sleepy. I took the phone to bed with me, thinking they'd for sure call back any minute and meanwhile it would be lovely to get horizontal. My dentist's receptionist did call me back, full of sympathy and apologies. It seems that last week, when it rained so hard, the office had flooded. They were closed.

She managed to get an appointment for me with another dentist who used to share a practice with my dentist. The trouble was, this other dentist was in Kirkland, and being no-sleep-Vicodin girl, there was no way I should be getting behind the wheel. The other challenge was, the appointment was for 10 am, and it was now 8:50; I had just over an hour to find somebody to drive me on what is usually a 40-minute trip. I called my friend Judith, but she had to get her daughter to kindergarten. I called Dave, but he'd gone to sleep. Thea didn't answer, Beverly doesn't drive, and I knew Rick had an appointment, so I ended up calling a cab (which worked out fine, so none of the people mentioned should feel bad at all).

The dentist fixed my teeth, and did a great job, and I took a cab home and was at last able to sleep.

So now I have bruises on my face, and the gums and nerves where my teeth broke are still really sore. I can't bite (or even put my front teeth together really), and I lisp when I talk. Solid food is not my friend. But I still have some Vicodin left.

So anyway, that is the tale of my Thursday adventure. I'd just as soon not repeat it, but I'm actually pretty optimistic that I won't, after having all those tests at the hospital.

Oh, and judging by the bruise on my chin, it was the tile floor that I hit. There's an actual grout line.


  • At April 4, 2005 at 4:21 PM, Blogger Beverly Marshall Saling said…

    The universal response to this blog at our house was "Omigawd!" followed by hurried skimming forward to make sure you're okay now. (Okay, so the cats mostly just sneezed. But in a caring way.)

    For future reference, calling us at 2:15 a.m. is just fine. I sleep with earplugs because Rick and Shakti both snore, but Rick would get it and he's more useful anyhow.

    We all wish a speedy recovery for you and your teeth, and please do let us know if you need someone to bring you soup.


Post a Comment

<< Home