Wednesday, January 2, 2013


When I think of the reasons folks go to the emergency room on New Year's Eve or NYE Day, I think "over-partying".   In this frigid weather, maybe slips on ice, or skiing, sledding, and ice-skating accidents, stuff like that  (Until now, to be honest, I never really gave it all too much thought). 

Just to add some spice to our lives, not that there isn't enough health-wise going on, I can now add "New Year's Eve Emergency Room" to my resume.  After 16 hours of unabated, sharp stabbing pain, along with nausea (which I mistook for indigestion), during which I tried desperately to make what ever was hurting stop. I took Tums and Ibuprofen. (Despite Zofran, I threw it all up anyways).  *Something*, maybe a bad stomach bug and pulled muscle, was simply not getting better.  It was, in fact, getting worse.  

My kids had tried to get me to go to the hospital hours earlier. (As is typical, my PCP's office wasn't helpful.  Returning calls in a timely manner, or even triaging them appropriately, are not strength areas).

At the ER, I got taken it right away.  Forget 1-10 pain scale ratings, I think ER triage nurses can read the pain simply by looking at you.

There, I learned all about gallbladders.  It turns out people can develop gall stones, and not know they have them for a long time.  I had just one, however it was blocking a duct, this presentation indicated emergency surgery.  I admit to being grateful it could be dealt with laproscopically.  However, it feels like, and I am quoting the surgeon, "having been stabbed" 5 times.

On New Year's Day, I watched the Tournament of Roses parade from my hospital bed.  Friends came to visit, doing (walking) laps in the hallway (only a really goof friend would do this) with me, and even bringing flowers.  (My best friend took two of my kids and she, and her parents, spoiled them to death during a sleepover).

Last night, I came home.  The scene that unfolded was a bit surreal.

If you happened to be a stranger looking at my house last night, you might have thought you were witnessing mass chaos. A boatload of dear friends here, bringing food and household stuff, putting out trash and recycling, doing dishes and laundry, making the bed, feeding cats,  even finding and going to one of the two pharmacies open on New Year's Eve, and general post Christmas clean-up.

But it wasn't chaos. It was community.  People who love my kids and me lending a hand, or seven, on a cold night to ensure I was supported and loved, and able to care for my kids despite being in tremendous pain.

I am so blessed to have such a village surrounding me and my kids. I love you guys! 

Ironically, last night, it was my son who showed such kindness and real empathy.  He asked to crawl into bed and snuggle, bears in tow.  He understood to be gentle.  Autism can shine and his heart is oh-so-big.