In answer to my last question; Why aren't there any good female family doctors in Sunland? I say: There are! They just all work in the ER!
I'll start at the beginning: I am pregnant! I've had horrible morning sickness with all my pregnancies, but morning sickness plus pneumonia is the most miserable I have ever been: Cough cough, throw up, repeat, repeat, ad nauseam.
A week after recovering from pneumonia I woke up with some mild cold symptoms: A stuffy nose, a sore throat, and the usual morning sickness where I throw up first thing in the morning and still feel nauseous. An hour later, I felt a headache coming on. A few minutes after my nausea worsened, and I ran to the bathroom and threw up again and again. Afterward, I felt better, which was shocking: With my morning sickness I DO NOT feel better after throwing up, This must be something else. I was exposed to the flu a few days before, so I figured this was it.
I settled into bed and tried nibbling toast and sipping water, but I would throw everything up within ten minutes. Afterward, I felt better, until I tried to eat or drink again. It was as if the Flu had kicked my usual morning sickness out the door. Apparently pneumonia and morning sickness can live in harmony, but Influenza and morning sickness do not get along.
Around six that night I had excruciating back pain. I have had a kidney infection, and that back pain was nothing compared to this. This was awful! This was constant! This was so bad, I started cramping. I knew the flu came with muscle aches, but this couldn't possibly be muscle aches, could it? This was torture! Something had to be really, really wrong, I just had no idea what it was.
I called a nurse helpline to see if I could find some answers to alleviate my fear. The nurse asked me if I didn't have her number, what would I have done?
"Uh, um, I guess called my midwife to ask if this could possibly be a miscarriage?" I really called the nurse helpline because I didn't know what else to do, so her question threw me. After asking questions about symptoms, medical history blah blah blah, her answer was:
"It's unlikely that you have the flu without a fever, so I don't know what you have. I suggest calling your midwife."
Wow, thanks. How very helpful. I'm so glad you are paid to waste time and tell people to call someone else .
So I called my midwife, who I haven't technically hired yet. My first actual appointment, where I sign the contract and make the first payment, still hasn't happened, so here I am, calling someone I've met just once, and asking for help with no guarantee they will ever get paid. But she was amazing. She assured me right away it didn't sound at all like a miscarriage. After talking for a while she offered this:
"Sometimes muscle aches with the flu really are that serious. Take two Tylenol, wait thirty minutes, and see if that helps. If it's just the flu, the pain should go away with just a simple dose of Tylenol."
"And of it doesn't?"
"Well, it is unusual to have the flu without a fever. and if you minus the cold symptoms, your symptoms match an ectopic pregnancy, And since you haven't had an ultrasound, we can't rule it out, in which case you'll need to go to the ER right away. So I want you to think it over, and decide if you want to try Tylenol first, or just go straight to the ER."
I talked to Drek, but we don't have any Tylenol in the house, and I didn't want to wait anyway. We put the kids to bed, left them with a babysitter, and arrived at the ER around nine at night.
Everyone working at that ER is awesome. The check-in nurse, the triage nurse, the assistants...awesome. I waited an hour and half for a room (less time than I was on hold trying to get an appointment with my doctor) but that whole time they were doing tests and such: Labs, a urine sample, a flu swab... then they gave me a magical pill that helps with nausea. I wasn't nauseous, having not attempted to eat or drink anything for several hours, but they gave it to me to keep me from throwing up whatever else they decided to give me. Then I was sent in for an ultrasound.
The ultrasound was both magical and excruciating. I was supposed to lie flat on my back, not moving, which made the pain so much worse than the already unbearable state of pain i was in when I could bend my legs and move. I sobbed through most of the ultrasound, trying hard not to move. But for Drek, this was the first time he saw one of his children in utero. I've only had one ultrasound before, with Alexa, and he wasn't there, so this was a first for him. He saw the little tiny baby, and the little tiny fists waving back and forth. It was magical.
After the ultrasound I was given a room. Right away a nurse came in and gave me two Tylenol ("because you are pregnant, we have to start with this, but if it doesn't touch the pain, I promise we will do some problem solving."). That nurse was amazing. I loved that nurse.
Thirty minutes later, the pain was gone. I was dozing peacefully on the exam bed while Drek tried to watch Netflix on his phone. The doctor came in with all the results from the tests:
"It's the Flu. You just don't have a fever. You also have a UTI, but the back pain really is just the flu. The ultrasound showed you have a perfectly healthy baby in your uterus, growing how and where it should be. If the Tylenol has stopped the pain, just keep taking Tylenol. You'll be fine and so will your baby."
She gave me a choice of either an IV, or drinking a bunch of water, since I was dehydrated. But here is why she was so amazing: She gave me the choice! She was so nice in explaining everything, was patient and through in answering all our questions and even congratulated us on the baby! She was amazing. I wish she was my doctor always.
A few days later, I was fully recovered. I knew the exact day the flu was gone, because my morning sickness moved back in. I may never eat food again.