June 30, 2013

Somebody's Going to Emergency....

Hey faithful reader, I know it's been forever since I last posted, but I've been planning this one for a little while now. (Unfortunately.) Our story begins on June 11th, a mere 19 days ago, I was 6 geocaches away from my 100th find and I had a route planned to go for a short walk down the 202 bypass and grab them. (Grab= sign the physical logbook and log the find online.)

I didn't want to go by myself so needed a partner in crime. Obviously my first thought was Caroline, my awesome 16 year old neighbor. (Pro tip: you look a lot shadier by yourself, just loitering about, hence the dog and other people)
Caroline, seen here. With two random kids and a little black dog.
The above picture was taken for the sole purpose of making my mom jealous. She's living it up in Alaska for 10 days, so I had the twins and the doggie all to myself.
Anyways, Caroline quickly agreed. We decided to make a date of it, a doggie play date.
Which is Trixie?!
Caroline signed up for Geocaching.com and off we went! We grabbed the first 3, no problem, super easy magnetic C&Ds. (Cache & Dash) Cache 4 was a little more challenging, it was not along the 202 bypass, it was down by a creek behind a housing development. There was a small wooded area and my coords were bouncy so we went straight for the creek, there were some woods right by it. Trixie, being Trixie, wanted nothing but to leap into the creek from the bridge. I let her go in.
It's not that deep, she lays down as soon as she hits water.
We finally got on track and got the cache, it ended up being about 30 feet ahead of the creek, but it was hot and Trixie earned a dip. 5 was another easy grab, and my 100th find was hanging on a fence, about 600 feet down the road. We were going for it. It was on a fence along a treeline and we had to go through some high grasses. But we got it. Caroline's 6th find and My One Hundredth Find.
See it? I sure did!
It was totally worth what's about to come. In fact,  I even got a picture of the exact moment that I would come to despise. Maybe. (Maybe it's the exact moment, not maybe I would despise it.) See, here's us, squatting nicely and smiling for a picture after our big find.
[not pictured] Me getting Lyme Disease.
I have Lyme Disease.

Ok, it may not be Lymes. This is still unresolved.
Seriously, 19 days and we have no idea what is going on. All I know is that I woke up the next day to this: WARNING: This is totally gross. 

This is the LEAST gross picture of the bite/lesion.
Ok, it's a bug bite, no big deal. it itches like a bitch but it'll go away, that's what bug bites do: they itch and then go away. Right?


Apparently not. The next day I was hosting a Quizo and I showed a picture of my leg (and ever growing rash) to Ronan, who was convinced I was going to lose my leg or die. Anyways, it was clearly worse than before. So I promised that the next day I would call my Doctor. It was worse the next day, the day I promised to call the doctor. Spoiler: I didn't.

Here's a fun fact about me: I hate going to the doctor, I mean I really hate going to the doctor. I like doctors, I believe they are good people, but I don't ever want to go to see them professionally. You want to hang out? Play some card/board games, watch a movie, study some bible? Awesome. If I'm sick, I would almost rather die than see you. Almost.
Here's a fun (true) example. Last year I had a little cold, maybe some strep. Then it was a little sinus infection, then a horrific sinus infection. Then it moved to my lungs. It was an awful, but survivable, bronchitis. Then it was pneumonia. (This took place over a three month period, during which I was working 50+ hours a week with a 2 hour daily commute) I waited 2 weeks with the pneumonia and then my best friend made me go to the CVS Minute Clinic. I really didn't want to go.
Also, I've done that, with the pneumonia, twice.

My mom convinced me to at least call Doctor Silver and see if he wanted me to come in. So I called and he was out at a conference, not to return to the office until Monday. So I told the nurse what was up and she said that she'll let him know when he checks in and then call me back, should be within the hour. 5 minutes later she calls me back and says I need to be seen. Not Monday. Now. Go to the ER, the CVS Minute Clinic, Urgent Care, get seen now.
After waiting an HOUR to be seen at the "minute" clinic*, she takes one look at my leg and says, nope. We can't help you, you need to go to Urgent Care or the ER. Perfect, just what I was trying to avoid.

*Seriously, I still love the Minute Clinic. I'd go there any day.

I went to the jerky Urgent Care. No wait, thankfully. But the Doctor was an ass. Like, seriously, thanks for validating all of my reasons for hating you. He basically told me that it was a bug bite and I was over-reacting. He gave me a bug bite discharge printout. (the bugs listed I have unfortunately committed to memory) Mosquito, fleas, bedbugs, chiggers, bees, and wasps.

So when my leg looked like this the next day (that's day 4 for those of you keeping track) of spider bite/bug bite/death/rash of doom/nobody knows what they're talking about:
EGAD! Call a priest! 
I thought he might be wrong. And an ass.
You're wrong AND an ass! Yay!
However, I told the good doctor that I would wait until Monday unless "my leg swelled to double in size or you get a fever" so I waited. In retrospect, I didn't ask what he meant by fever. My temp that day was 97.3º so 98.6º might have been feverish. I should have clarified. My bad.
Day 5 was Father's Day! Yay Daddy!! My dad, who I surprisingly don't talk a lot about here, is awesome. He's a nurse, he got his RN 2 years ago and works at a psychiatric hospital. Anyways, he's a mandated worker, so if the nurse after him doesn't show up, guess what? you're not leaving.
Me and Pops. Like, our regular faces. That's just us.
So the nurse replacing him overslept and was an hour late. I had an AWESOME Dad's Day planned. We were supposed to go to the zoo for a member's only early open day, then church, then out to lunch. That.... didn't happen. at all.
Instead, he got to my house super late, and had me text this picture to my mom and step-mom.
That is ONE DAY after the other picture. I thought I was going to die.
The three of them (mom, dad, step-mom) made me go back to urgent care. Bridget wanted dad to take me to the ER, but I convinced him Urgent Care was ok. It was a three hour wait. Literally. Over three hours from sign-in to seeing a doctor. On a sunday morning. FML, right? No. This Doctor was AMAZING. For the first time in my life I felt like a doctor actually listened to me and didn't dismiss me as a child or whining or over-reacting. But that's another story.
Doctor Packer was great. She actually examined my leg and asked questions and seemed to give a shit. Which I've never really experienced before, so it was very nice. She gave me an antibiotic cream, a P/O corticosteriod, and an antihistamine, because apparently my body was flipping shit and I didn't notice.
Honestly though, if I have to wait three hours to see a doctor that actually gives a shit, DONE. I am so there.
It's going away!! Finally!
After one day of the steroid and antibiotic, it was starting to go away. It looks a little more purple in the picture, but the raised part was almost completely gone and the coloring was just a bit off. Okay, it was still terrifying but better! I promise! I was on the steroid for 8 days and it was SO MUCH BETTER. It was really almost gone. Then I was done the pills and two days later, this shit.
I just want it to go away. It's a spider bite, it's a mosquito bite (I never believed that), its impetigo, whatever. Make it go away.

It's ending soon, I promise.

So today, now yesterday, I went for a hike through Valley Forge National Historical Park with my friend Kubs. He's like an expert in everything. So I was regaling to him the odyssey of my wound, and he asked, "does it itch?" Ohmahgad, does it ever. It never stopped itching. He said it sounds almost like a tick bite. OH. MY. GOD. It hits me. I remember finding a tick, a dead tick, on my comforter the day the bite appeared. It stands to reason, even if he himself wasn't the jerk that got me, that there were other jerk ticks nearby. And it's not like, totally out of the realm of possibility that in the state with the highest incidence of Lyme Disease in the country by far, I mean by like 1,400 cases above the #2 state, I could get attacked by a tick or two. Especially out in the woods and high grasses like we were.

Usually after geocaching in high grasses/wooded areas/fields/whatnot (this is known as "bushwhacking" in the caching world) you brush off, or have a friend get, the ticks, the many many ticks, from your clothes before you get back in the car. And then you find some more, and throw them out the window of said car. Don't get me wrong, this is not always the case, and is hardly ever the case in urban caching, but I'm used to it. And I didn't see any ticks that day. But... Deer ticks are super effing tiny. I found one one me once in Shippensburg. Actually, Kubs found one on him today after our hike.
I'm going to my actual doctor, Dr. Silver, on Monday, I'll tell him I think it might be Lyme's and hopefully he'll run an ELISA and we'll find out for sure.

I'm so screwed.
Sorry for the long post, here's a potato.
[Today's blog title comes from Season 2, episode 16 of the same title. They got it from a song called "New York Minute" by Don Henley." The quote in the song is Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail. I highly recommend you give it a listen. Faithful reader, aka Amanda, you already know this information. Next time I see you, I will give you a real potato.]


Alan Jacobs said...

That's a 5 star post, Jane! Thanks for the potato.

Amanda said...

Jane!! I've gotten behind on your blog, and now you might have Lyme's Disease?? Today is Monday, so let me know how you are!

Lady Jane said...

Thanks Alan, I try.
Amanda, I'm fine. I'm being treated for Lyme so hopefully (even though it took three weeks) I will avoid chronic Lyme's, which can be very very bad.