Thursday, July 10, 2008

:LIFE: Life sometimes lands you in the emergency room...

Yesterday evening I had plans of taking Kaitlin to her dance class and then to the last performance of the circus here in town. A nice evening, no?

I was on my way to pick up Kaitlin after work and Justin calls.

Justin: "Are you coming home?"

Me: "Yes."

Justin: "Are you coming home right now?"

At this point, I heard the pain in his voice.

Me: "What's wrong?"

Justin: "I don't know, but I'm in pain and I need you to take me to the clinic."

Me: "I'll be there as soon as I can."

First of all, Justin hates doctors, clinics, hospitals and just about anything else you can associate with injuries or illnesses so for him to actually ask me to take him to the clinic, I knew that this 'pain' had to be serious.

I quickly got Kaitlin signed out, in the car and rushed home.

Justin was lying on the bed, wheezing. He said he had pain in his chest with every breath, was having a hard time breathing and his arms were going numb. The pain had started two hours earlier and had gotten progressively worse.

Okay...I asked him if we should be going to the emergency room and he said, no - just the clinic.

We went to the clinic for convenient care hours and it was obvious that we were going to be waiting awhile.

I filled out the sign-in paperwork and all the while his breathing was getting more and more labored.

Justin: I think we need to go.

Me: Okay...

And off we went to the emergency room.

Seconds after we arrived, they determined he was hyperventilating...NEVER would have guessed that's what he was doing. Weird! That's actually what was causing the numbness, dizziness and so forth.

It took quite a while, but they finally got him back to breathing normally, but the pain in his chest/lung area (which had started it all to begin with) was still pretty severe and so they did some blood tests and took an x-ray and determined that he most likely is suffering from pleurisy.

Basically, the thin layers of tissue that surround his lungs and rib cage are inflamed and are rubbing against each other which is causing the sharp pain every time he breaths in and out. When he coughs or sneezes, it pretty much doubles him over.

So, they gave him some antibiotics to fight whatever bacterial infection that brought this on in the first place and some good drugs to help keep the pain under control.

By this time, Kaitlin had missed her dance class completely and it would have been too late to go to the circus and Justin kept apologizing for ruining the evening. She had the sweetest and most sincere response: "It's no big deal, Dad. I just want you to be okay."


Once he was looped-up on his pain meds, he kept thanking me for taking him and apologizing for the inevitable bill that will ensue from this little adventure.

Although I'm certainly not looking forward to the bill, I would certainly rather have gone to the ER and found out it was something less serious than we feared than not go and needed to.

The doctor did say that sometimes pleurisy can get worse before getting better, but we're hoping for the best.
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