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I Drove Myself to the ER this Week & This is why I’m Grateful.

0 Heart it! Christy Williams 503
January 27, 2018
Christy Williams
0 Heart it! 503

This week could not have been more of a medical mess in our house.

Things automatically get thrown off when you begin a Monday morning with a delayed school start due to snow. By the time I got both kids safely ensconced at their schools, I had just enough to run home and shower before having to pull my daughter back out of school for a physical therapy appointment. She had been having some pain for a while when she danced and we needed to take care of it with competition season coming up.

Tuesday, she stayed home sick from school. We were all feeling run down, but luckily we had avoided getting any of the colds or flu that so many are getting this year. She wasn’t horribly sick—just a headache and a low-grade fever—but it was enough to make her want to miss school and dance, and she never wants to miss school and dance. So we knew her body was telling her to slow down and rest.

That night, my body started giving me signals of its own…a sharp, shooting pain in my leg that had been coming and going for months, decided to not be ignored anymore and woke me up in the middle of the night. I didn’t get much sleep the rest of the night, thinking about my family members who have a history of blood clots and being hospitalized on blood thinners.

All I could do was lay in bed and think about all the hours I am spending sitting lately. If I’m not sitting 3-4 hours a day in my car shuttling kids to school and activities, then I am sitting at home on my computer, writing and editing for work. I know, I know—it’s so bad for me! (And yes, I have a portable standing desk that I can put on my kitchen counter, and I really need to use more often.)

When I woke up the next day and got the kids to school, I had a blood draw scheduled, which turned into a bloody mess when the needle popped out of my arm, dripping blood everywhere, and we had to start all over again.

After that appointment, I sat in my car in the parking lot and called the health insurance nurse advice line. After a long series of questions, they recommended that I call my doctor to see if I could get in right away to determine whether or not I had a blood clot. So I called the doctor and they said they didn’t have the equipment needed to diagnose a blood clot and they recommended I go to urgent care.

I drove to the urgent care near my home and the woman behind the desk immediately said they couldn’t help me either…that I would have to go to the ER, since they are the only ones with the technology needed for diagnosis.

I’m not going to lie…I thought about not going.

The only way to determine whether or not I have a blood clot is to go to the ER? Doesn’t that seem like a waste of time and using resources better spent on someone in a more emergent situation?

And that was a secondary thought. Secondary only to the fact that I would have to spend $200 (at a minimum) to find out whether I was in a life-threatening situation or not.

Does that make any sense at all? I know that blood clots can be life-threatening and yet, I still considered not going because it was $200 out of pocket! And yes, it had been giving me pain on and off for months, but still…

So that’s how I wound up driving myself to the ER.

I walked in and they put a hospital bracelet on me, reassuring me that even though I felt completely silly, that it was better to be safe than sorry in the case of a blood clot.

Everyone who kept popping their head in my room to ask more questions or see if I needed anything, looked immediately confused since I was sitting in the side chair by the door and not in the hospital bed. After confirming that I was, indeed, the patient and yes, I was all by myself, I waved them away joking that I was absolutely fine.

I was super stressed because I had not been getting enough work done this week because of all of our medical appointments, and the only thing that was making me feel better was my own personal mantra I kept repeating to myself over and over: “At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy…”

It was a relief to find out that I did not, in fact, have a blood clot. But then immediately frustrated that they didn’t know what was causing the pain.

“At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy…”

Wednesday drama complete, the next day I took my daughter for an x-ray. She had been having some pain in her hip while dancing—and she dances 6 days a week. And when we saw the physical therapist on Monday, she was concerned enough that she wanted us to schedule an x-ray for her.

I honestly didn’t think it would be anything more than a strained muscle, but the x-ray showed something a little more serious. It’s something I can’t even pronounce—but in layman’s terms, it is a ligament pulling on a bone that happens to be a growth plate, and could lead to a broken bone if not take care of properly with rest and physical therapy.

Which meant no dance competition in two weeks.

Her first solo.

My mantra went out the window.

Because even though my kids are healthy, this was devastating news for a 14-year-old girl to hear. That she wouldn’t be able to compete in her first solo dance competition ever.

I don’t know who was closer to crying in the doctor’s office—her, or her mama who was feeling for my girl and how hard she’s been working since last summer.

She will still get to compete. She has another competition in 6 weeks, and if we take care of her like we need to in the meantime, she will come back stronger and probably compete more confidently, with less pain.

“At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy. At least my kids are healthy…”

I have a family member who was in the hospital this week for cancer surgery. And I have a friend whose daughter has been battling cancerous tumors her whole life.

So while this week was not my favorite week of all time and I am glad it is over, I’m so, so grateful that my kids are healthy.

And that we have health insurance that we can rely on during weeks like this.

Because there are so many children who are having theirs taken away by our government right now.

And even though paying $200 to find out I don’t have a blood clot wasn’t an easy decision to make, I still had the luxury of thinking about it for a moment. And then not even batting an eye about whether or not to get my daughter an x-ray and six weeks of physical therapy.

Some people in our country don’t have that luxury.

Whether their children are healthy or not.

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