Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trip to the ER

My six day stay in a German Hospital. What, when, where, why? Well it all started Friday May 2nd.  I decided to take a nap on my couch and when I woke up the entire left side of my face was tingling and a little numb. It felt like I had got a shot at the dentist and it was just starting to wake up. At first I thought it was just the weird way I slept on it and it would wake up quick. Hours later it still hadn't got better. I was lucky enough to have a place on Facebook where people helped and gave me the number to my insurance 24/7 nurse hotline. I called and gave them the symptoms and he told me I needed to call 911 and get to the ER immediately. Well here in Germany it is not 911 & I had no clue what to do, and my husband happened to be hours away in Austria on a fishing trip. So I called my friend Sydney and she & her husband were coming home from a fest so she came and picked me up. So at 11:30 PM (or was is 1 AM) we were off to the hospital Robert Bosch which is a 5 minute drive. We checked in and Sydney helped me fill the paperwork out because I have never had to do anything like this. We got in the back and everyone was nice and they spoke some english. They first took blood pressure, then suction cup'd me up to an EKG machine. It looked normal so they needed to do a CT scan to see if they could see anything. I sent Sydney home because they said I wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. The CT scan was quick then around 3 AM they took me to a semi-private room and hooked me up with a catheter to take blood, and on a 24/7 blood pressure machine. By 8 AM I was ready to go home.  Breakfast went by, then so did lunch. They didn't find anything wrong with CT scan so they wanted to transfer me to a hospital that specialized in Neurology. I had called Zak in the afternoon and told him, and he started driving home to come see me. The paramedics came and got me and I took my first drive ever in a German ambulance. When I arrived and was all checked in at Marien Hospital they had me do a couple tests then took me to a semi-private room with 5 other people. With only one curtain dividing the other side of the room. So I could see the two ladies next to me. So saturday mainly was sitting in a bed and waiting for night to come. I really liked the nurse that helped me, so was pretty good at english and made me feel very comfortable. I got very little sleep with all the beeping and pressure machine going off every hour, and the apparent nightmares the poor lady next to me was having. Morning came and they weren't sure what tests I would be doing. Thankfully Zak came in time to bring me some clothes saturday night, so I was able to clean up a bit. He also came sunday morning and saved me by bringing my laptop, dvd's, magazines, lotion, and some lovely wet wipes.  
   
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 Even though I was in a hospital I felt dirty and felt like the bathroom would be dirty. Maybe that was because I shared it with 5 others, or maybe it was due to the fact that you would see the people next to you using bed pans in bed... Im a very private person in that regard, and I was very thankful I was able to walk around and get up to use the restroom. Sunday was another Lazy day of NOTHING! Zak was cleared to bring me lunch, so he brought some Popeye's Chicken and it was so good. First big thing I was able to eat in a couple days. So toward the end of the day they took me up a few floors to a new room with only ONE other person. YAY. She seemed like such a sweet lady, but didn't speak any English. Night time came and I watched a movie Zak brought for me (Bride Wars) and went to sleep. Monday finally came, and I   when I woke up I got a great breakfast of breads, jam and tea. Right after breakfast they came in and said I had a test to go to. Thankfully I was able to walk around and go to the tests on my own. I don't remember what all the tests were called, but I will explain them as best as I can. First up was and ultrasound of my heart. Very awkward how its all set up. They have a tiny room with two workers in it and a tiny curtain and they tell you to take top off and bra then lay down. Not sure why there is a curtain at all. It went very quick and he tried talking in German and I had to ask for english and he said heart looked fine. Next test was another CT scan(actually took that one on saturday when I arrived). Zak arrived and they sent me down to get an MRI. Meanwhile Zak was there keeping me company. Zak went into work and they called me down for the test that finally broke me. They set me on the bed, and this time the two ladies doing the tests didn't speak great english so it was hard to understand. They started by putting three needles in my head that were hooked to little wires, they then put a device on me meant to check nerves in my body to make sure they are working correctly. They tell you to stay very still and they start putting shock waves up your arms and neck. Half of it was done, and they were about to start again when I started crying. I think the needles in my head put me over my emotional limit. The pain wasn't that bad, but the crying came anyways. It is just so weird to go from perfectly fine to staying in a hospital for this long. I had never spent one night in a hospital before, so staying in a German hospital where some speak english and some don't, and the ones that do still have a hard time explaining what the tests Im taking are for.  Anyways I got over my cry spell and went back to my room.  An hour later I was off to another test which literally made me feel like Frankenstein hooked up to an electric chair. They sat me down, put a shower cap looking thing on me with holes in it, then started putting Electrodes(small metal disks) on my scalp which they connected to wires that are connected to an electrical box.  They then make sure plenty of paste is on your head so not to disturb anything. Then the best part is the jumper cable looking things they put on each wrist. One was black and one was red. This test is called EEG i believe. Finally my tests were over for the day I was able to speak to the doctor. He told me all test so far were good and they showed that I did NOT have a stroke or brain bleed. He said it was possible I might get to leave the next day. So tuesday came and they sent me right down to get a test done. I was So devastated because I thought Id be leaving. They don't tell you what the test is, they just give you the room number and tell you to go asap. I got down there and right away I was a little snippy. The poor girl talked me through it and tried to explain what it was for. It turns out all it was is that they wanted to hook me up on a portable 24/7 blood pressure machine again, for 24 hours.. CRAP, guess I am staying again. Well the day went on and on forever since that was the only test left to do. Only things keeping me sane were calls to home, Zak coming to visit, knowing that I will be going home the next day, and the sweet lady next to me that would make sure to say good appetite to me every time our meals came. I watched Maid of Honor, and Bridget Jones Diary and then the nurse came to finally take out the catheter since I wouldn't be needing it anymore. OH MY HECK, who knew the most pain I would feel the entire stay would be her pulling that off my apparently hairy arm :)

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Went to sleep and woke up excited and so ready to go home. I felt perfectly fine since my face was back to normal 24 hours after it started. The doctor came and told me once they came and discharged me I would be good to go home. They never figured out why my face did that, but a lot of the scary things were ruled out so that was good. About 7 HOURS later I got my discharge papers and went home to see my doggy Moose and rest in my own bed. Wanted to thank everyone for all the help and Zak's work for the calls and food they sent over. I sure missed having my family around, but thankfully Zak has a great group of people he works with. Also thanking my hubby for the pretty flowers he brought.  The food at the Hospital was ok for the most part, which included so much bread that I couldn't eat it for a week after I left. There is one meal that I loved and it looked like this:



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I also had a pretty great view. The hospital was very attentive and nice. I felt taken care of. Even though I was itching to leave it was good they had me stay for test. Thank everyone for the support. LOTS OF LOVE!!
Brianna

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