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Some Firsts I Could Have Done Without - What a Way to Finish Christmas!

I'm fine now, but earlier...

Like most people, our extended family of relatives is fairly spread out across various locations, so getting everyone together at Christmas is often a small miracle.

This year, the Adelaide clan, consisting of two vehicles, ours, with myself, my partner (Enigma), three grand kids, and our dog, Oscar, did a two and a half(ish) hour drive north, from Gawler to Port Pirie, South Australia, three days after Christmas, for a family gathering in a Church Hall hosted by Enigma's mother. 

The rest of the family made a similarly long trip south from the very Aussie named town of Bruce.

All this is just to set the scene for this guy... me. All I was hoping for, aside from a great Christmas family get together, was to make it through to the end of this day without getting sick. By that I mean, Enigma and I had just come off a two to three week, hellish run of coughing and sinus issues, and were well on the mend in the week up to Christmas. I just didn't want to catch a reoccurrence of whatever that was.

The event was great. The food was all good. Gifts were exchanged, and I made it right through to the desert round suspecting nothing out of the ordinary, other than maybe I ate a bit too much.

Maybe God has a twisted sense of humor given we were in a church hall?

I'll try to spare you the details but let's just say I tried to sneak out some gas after desert, and it clearly wasn't gas. I reversed gear in time, so no one suspected anything and I made a hasty exit to the bathroom. All liquid.

By this point the family event was dying down. I made several trips to the bathroom and could feel myself getting worse. Until finally my lunch decided it needed to be somewhere other than inside me. Fortunately I was already in the bathroom at the time.

At this point some of the family had already left and the remaining few were about to head off too. I could feel myself getting worse and, while I think I held it together, mostly, until we left, I really wanted to get home... two and a half(ish) hours away.

Minus one grand kid who had opted to go home in the other car with his cousin (probably a wise decision but one made long before I even knew I wasn't well), Enigma stopped at a chemist around the corner to get some drugs that might help me, sick bags and water.

Unfortunately the not actually moving in the direction of home really played on my mind... and I discovered a new use for Oscar's doggy bags - which I always have on me when Oscar goes anywhere with us.

Anyway the journey home was not pleasant. Neither was trying to limit things exiting my body to one outlet. Two more bags later Enigma dropped Oscar and I off home while she returned the two remaining grand kids. (Again, fortunately one of them was too young to really know what was going on, and the other was seated behind me so he only heard what was happening).

The last 30 minutes of the trip I'd really been trying to keep it together until I got home, so I was pretty much ready to explode by that point.

While Enigma dropped off the grand kids I tried to drink some of the electrolyte water she had bought. I also took a shower at her suggestion to try and feel better but the whole time I felt like I needed to get out just incase the next round kicked in.

By the time Enigma got back I had a massive headache, stomach cramps, and was trying to get myself to sleep a little on our bed in between bathroom trips. Sleep really wasn't happening.

Enigma thought I should go to the hospital but I didn't want too after the last time I went through Emergency. We waited something like 5-6 hours before we could see a doctor. As it turns out that situation hasn't changed a whole lot - more on that later. The most walking I wanted to do was between our bedroom and the bathroom.

By this point you're probably wondering, I thought this post was about firsts?

It is.

Not able to convince me to go to the hospital Enigma went with her second option of calling an ambulance. It seems like overkill but I was looking pretty bad, kind of dizzy, cramping, and a massive headache. Honestly this is the sickest I've ever been. I'd rather of just had a reoccurrence of the coughing and sinus trouble from earlier in the month.

So... the first time I've ever had an ambulance called for me.

As you would expect in these times, the ambulance crew had to do a COVID test. I've never had a COVID test of any kind, and this one was the cotton swabs up both nostrils. 

You may think it odd that I've never had a COVID test but Enigma works in aged care and has to take a RAT test before every shift. She's also been tested for COVID by professionals numerous times. So far she's never tested positive. I'm an introvert and barely mix with actual people. When I do I social distance as much as possible. If Enigma doesn't have it then it's unlikely I would.

COVID test was negative.

The ambulance crew convinced me to go to the hospital. Which I was a little more confident about after a final trip to the bathroom that produced nothing despite how I felt. So... first ride in an ambulance (for any reason).

The ambulance crew were really great. Quite chatty, and they hooked me up via a catheter to some kind of saline solution laced with a bit of Panadol for my headache. They also stuck electrode things all over me to hook me up to one of those machines that go 'ping' (I imagine) so they could check other vitals etc. Obviously they tested my blood pressure and checked my pulse.

Everything was mostly normal outside the immediate issue. I was definitely feeling a little better by the time I arrived at the hospital thanks to the saline.

I won't go into the boring details of waiting around, which I was kind of okay with because it seemed like I was on the mend by this point.

Enigma, who drove herself to the hospital (which, by the way is not much more than a five to ten minute drive), discovered that at least one person in the crowded waiting room had been there for seven hours - that's the 'emergency' waiting room. Which is a sad reflection of the health system in South Australia rather than the staff at these hospitals - most of them are really great and do try to help you understand the pressures they're under.

I don't know why but I always seem to get doctors that talk to me more like a mechanic. They don't really tell you what was wrong, especially if you're good to go home. My doctor had my bloods tested. They were fine, said I'm good to go home. Keep sipping on the electrolyte water. He was probably in the room all of five minutes after a 2-3 hour wait. 

I guess it wasn't Lupus then? (You'll get that if you've ever watch the TV series, House).

Honestly, he probably looked at all the notes and tests that the ambulance crew and nurses had already done and decided it was probably Gastro (that was my nurse's guess). I was clearly getting better by the time he arrived - keeping the electrolyte water down that I had brought with me at the ambulance crew's request.

By this point it was nearly 2am and both Enigma and I were ready to go home and sleep. I was too tired to think to push for any kind of vague answer that the doctor might have for what was actually wrong.

The next day I was definitely much better. Not a hundred percent but almost. Nothing was deciding it needed to leave my body in a hurry... well almost.

But what a way to end Christmas. Weirdly, no one else at the Christmas lunch the day before appears to have gotten sick. Which leads me to believe maybe one of them is trying to kill me... slowly?

LOL. Not really.

Main Photo Credit: DRattus91, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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