Thursday, May 05, 2011

Bra-less in ugg boots

He's leering at me again so I'm resting my head in my hands and staring down at my knees, willing not only for his attention to turn back to his drunken mates but also for the damn automatic door to stop opening and blasting me with freezing night air for just one minute.

Heart palpitations is what brought me here. No sooner had I gone to bed feeling relieved that my Rude Finger had reduced in size and swelling than the chest pains started.

I was strangely calm, even when doubled-over in shock and saying "Ooof" every time a spasm that felt not unlike a stick was twisting in my heart. "It can't be a cardiac arrest because my pulse is steady: a decade of running does that to you."

When an hour had passed and the spasms were becoming more insistent I started pacing the living room floor but couldn't find a position that eased things. "Ooof!"

LC woke Sapphire, got her dressed and drove me to Royal Melbourne hospital. I had time to find some tracksuit pants and my ugg boots. Arriving in just a t-shirt and knickers didn't seem the right thing to do, even in a so-called emergency situation.

A panic attack? Pretty bloody likely. But I was calm. Quiet, even. And the spasms of pain were too difficult to ignore - let alone stand up straight - and it didn't feel right to write them off as stress-related.

The night nurse covered me in sticky suction thingies and measured my ECG. All normal. Blood tests were taken (from both arms - I didn't have quite the werewithal that I'd had earlier in the day regarding the Rude Finger to remember to tell them that my right arm is categorically useless for finding a vein willing to give blood) and I was told to sit out in the waiting room and do just that. Wait. "Go home," I whispered to LC and Sapphire. "It's clear that I'm not having a heart attack, so whatever it is will be taken care of."

Four and a half hours later found me missing them both a thousand times eleventy billion triple lutz to the power of three. My warm bed the same amount.

Shivering and acutely conscious of my bralessness, I tried hard to not smell the two homeless blokes who'd arrived separately for a free night on the lino in front of Dem-tel adverts; the woman who moaned every ten seconds as some form of positive self talk as she slumped up against her husband; the father with a severely bee stung face barely keeping the balloon effect down with a now-thawed out ice pack; the loud but mysterious vomiter and the Lebanese boofheads.

I knew that they were Lebanese because they said it. Loud and proud, many times. One of their brothers had injured himself and the six of them were all there to offer moral support.

Said support seemed to involve play wrestling, swearing and frequent visits outside for a smoke or three. When that failed to amuse them, they'd turn their attention to me.

Not a 'what are you here for/we're all in this together' sort of focus, but a "I'm bringing sexy back" sung to me over and over and over again. Apparently it was hilarious. Seeing me clutch my chest and rock back and forth in a hard plastic chair until the attack passed didn't seem to concern or phase them. Or the two hard-faced nurses on the front counter.

Three major car accidents took the resources, interest and energies away from those in the waiting room. The decent, moral and mature side of me entirely understood this, but the frightened, occasionally-convulsed and exhausted little git wanted it to be my turn. Sod the rest of them, when was it going to be MY turn?

At 4.30am, it turned out. Five hours after being told to sit back and wait.

The doctor was lovely. Jeff. Kind, understanding and proficient. "It seems to be a Saturday night on a full moon out there tonight," he said, and after my chest x-ray he said I could wait for the results in the technician's office. Tears filled my eyes with gratitude.

Nothing majorly wrong. Heart, bloods and chest all okay. But the pain?

"Have you been throwing up lately?"

Why yes, now that you mention it. Mr Migraine paid me a three day visit that saw most of Saturday/Sunday taken up with trying to prevent my head from shattering whilst balancing a chuck bucket on my knees and simultanously exploding with diarrhoea. Why do you ask?

Turns out my oesophagus is a bit strained from the violence of heaving for hours with no discernible results. Today my chest feels like it has been stretched out like a strong man's hot water bottle and snapped back into shape with a decided lack of respect or finesse. That I can live with very very gladly.

As I wandered out at 6am waiting for LC to pick me up, the Leb Bros were still in the main foyer, their energies sapped and boredom sending them into snooze mode. I wished them all a hearty, lingering hangover and a chafing rash to the nether regions that no scientific or medical endeavour would never be able to fix.


Lightening said...

Sounds awful and scary. Glad it wasn't anything too horrid. Sounds like your body is really reacting to the extra stress you're under right now. {{{HUGS}}}

Hannah said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this pain, but I'm so relieved it wasn't something drastic or requiring surgery or a longer stay in hospital. once you get to Geneva, karma owes you some serious gloriousness.

Marie said...

Oh no, what a nightmare for you. There is nothing more dire than Casualty late at night/early in the morning. It's where you meet strange people in trackie dacks and ugg boots.. hee, hee. You do know that they'll have to go in Switzerland, don't you? They aren't acceptable types of clothing even in the privacy of your own home and you should see how people dress up just to go to the shops!

I'm not surprised that your body is throwing a wobbly or two with all the stress you are under. I hope the next few weeks are kinder to you. Take care, Kath.

The Elephant's Child said...

I am so so sorry your body is doing these things to you. I get hangovers after migraines (and am also a puker) but it sounds as if you had it super tough. Excellent that it was easily explained, the pits it had to happen.
You are an important person here in the blogosphere - look after yourself.
Hugs (if that isn't impertinent).

Kath Lockett said...

I think you're right, Lightening and yet I ran a lot of errands today and feel like I'm getting stuff done. Finally!

Hannah I hope so. Actually I just hope that my old brain will buck the belief that you can't teach an old dog new tricks and that it *will* be able to learn, comprehend and use French.

Marie, that's the bit I'm dreading - the dressing fancier and more stylish bit. I'm a 'dag' here so what am I going to be over there - comic relief??

Thanks E-Child. And a big old hug right back to you, too.

Mrs Dump - Adelaide said...

I feel for you Kath. You seriously deserve something fabulous to happen to you over the next few weeks.
wv is purgo - is that a shortened version of purgatory, or is it the act of damaging your body while dry retching? (is there a difference?)

River said...

So very glad to hear you're okay.
I hope you get a few hours now and again to relax between now and leaving the country. Pretend you're a crop circle and lie the f*** down.
Keep a thick book and i-pod handy at all times. Hopefully you'll never see this much time in a waiting room ever again, but there will be other times you'll need to wait and books/i-pods help.

Andrew said...

That is a long wait. At least you were seen before the Leb. Why do they have to behave like that? Even gay Lebs do.

Wally The Walrus said...

Reminds me of when we took #2 to The Emergency Dentist. He of the "mortgage your house and your soul and sell me your offspring, mwah hah hah!!!" charging kind.

When we arrived there was a Leb bloke in who had knocked out a tooth. He needed a support crew of 6 - 4 males and 2 females.

And I thought blokes were supposed to be the tough ones. Har har.

Symphathise about Mr Migraine - having been there about twice in the last week, but catching in time to avoid the chucking. Not fun. Not fun at all.

Pandora Behr said...

Emergency rooms contain the cess pit of humanity - I'm so sorry you had to see that - but very glad that it's nothing serious. Chin up - karma will get them too.

Vanessa said...

Worse place to hang out on a Saturday night! Glad you are feeling better.
Try and enjoy the journey. I am so jealous about the French. Can't waito to see the fashionable Kath.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Cripes - it's all happening to you isn't it?

Hope you are feeling better now.



Helen said...

Phark. That is all.
Surely you've used up your quota of disasters until G (Geneva) day?!

last time I commented I included a link to an awesome photo of a skate park / flea market with outdoor fondue. The woman sitting eating fondue was in jeans and jacket as I recall - fairly standard mum wear for Melbourne - and was *definitely* wearing ugg boots.

Baino said...

Only you can write a funny discourse about chest pain and the labours of waiting in Emergency. So sorry to hear about the migraines. I know someone in the US who has just had Botox injections to help relieve them? I wonder if they do that here?

Deep Kick Girl said...

What a horrible experience Kath. I'm so glad it wasn't anything serious. Thinking of you!