Saturday, March 14, 2009

Being the Patient

So in the past month I have been sick with the stomach bug two different times. Both times I was vomiting and having diarrhea for like 4 days. It has caused me to miss clinical days - which is a big deal and has really messed me up. It put me in the bed for like four days. It got me behind on my homework and study schedule. And it caused me to have a sore rectum.

This last time was much worse than the first time. I lost a lot of fluids. It got to a point when I wondered if I even had anymore fluids in my body to lose. It was bad.

The problem though with having medical knowledge and being sick is that you know too much. Case in point. I had gone to bed this past Sunday evening around 9:30 with the hope of sleeping all night and feeling revived in the morning. Around 11:00 I woke up with horrible stomach pains and quickly found my way to the bathroom. I was in their for a while. I was sitting there and began thinking about my plight. My train of thought was as follows:

I've lost a lot of fluid the last few days. I know I'm dehydrated. I haven't eaten in like 3 days. Plus my electrolytes must be way out of whack. I know that I must be hyponatremic and hypokalemic. Those are cations. Losing cations leads to a state of metabolic acidosis. I bet I'm getting ready to start hyperventilating in order for my respiratory compensatory mechanisms to kick in. I wonder if my hemoglobin in low? If my hemoglobin is low and I start hyperventilating then I will become hypoxic. Hypoxemia could lead to confusion and coma. I wonder if I go back to sleep if I will just go into a coma. Plus my current state of hyponatremia can lead to confusion. That's not as bad as my state of hypokalemia. That can lead to muscle cramps and heart attacks. I bet I'm going to have a heart attack. This is how I'm going to die: sitting on the toilet in a dehydrated state. It would kind of be embarrassing if I died and my pants were pulled down. Oh well, I guess I'll get back in bed. It would be better to have a heart attack there anyway. I'll probably start having muscle cramps soon. That will be annoying and painful. Ideally I can go to sleep before the muscle cramps start, then I will go into the coma and have the heart attack. I am begining to become short of breath and I can't get comfortable. I know this is because I'm getting agitated due to hypoxemia (Actually it was because my sports bra got twisted when I got back in bed and I couldn't breath, I never sleep in a sports bra, but I was to sick to take it off when I went to bed earlier.). I'm so exhausted. I feel the coma coming on.

So I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning. I had no muscle cramps, no heart attack, and I don't believe I was in a coma. My stomach bug resolved within 36 hours. I never get sick. I don't like to get sick. But looking back, it sure was funny.


Chara said...

Yes- sometimes you know too much. Thank you for that really interesting look into your brain. Josh and I laughed very hard.


eea49 said...

All I know is, if I am every hypokalemic or hyponatremic, or if I am in a coma with muscle cramps and a heart attack, of if I even just need a tetanus booster, I would rest/die/writhe/pant/moan/gag/cry/
scream/ curse the fates easier knowing you were my nurse. Loved the story!

Anonymous said...

I started feeling bad just reading about it.

Glad you're better. Remember, I may need your services later, so go ahead, graduate and get to work. :-)


Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I can totally relate to your story. I had Salmonella poisoning once and actually ended up in the hospital because I was too much of a nurse to go to the ER. Good luck with your studies! PS. I "supported" your site and will blog roll it on my NP blogs.