Karen’s Health Journey – Thursday, November 1

After taking the medicine on Wednesday night, she once again fell asleep at her computer. I heard her come into the bedroom around 3:30 a.m. and thought little about it. Then I heard an odd crashing sound and a series of deep moans. Interspersed in the moaning I could hear my name.

I got up to find Karen face-first on the tiled bathroom floor in an expanding pool of blood. She had fallen on the floor with only their nose and cheek to break the fall. The amount of blood was deeply concerning. It was gushing from her nose and neither of us had any idea if she had a head wound as well.

After a matter of minutes she was cleaned up and we were glad her bleeding was restricted to her nose. She had avoided a serious head injury. But her face as seriously swollen and she looked like a boxer who suffered a beating in the ring.

With the bleeding stopped and the bathroom cleaned, she got into the recliner near the bed and put ice on her swelling face. Despite the shock and pain she had suffered, she was asleep in minutes, which, in my mind, was the best thing for her. I knew she was going to have a black eye and major bruising on her face when she awoke.

I was right. As bad as her face looked just after her fall, it looked much worse in the morning. We joked that she should stay in the house lest people would think I had beaten her. Then, because we live in the era of social media, she took a selfie and showed the world the result of her fall. Comments of concern came pouring in and I inserted myself in the conversation reminding the Facebook world that while she was injured, I cleaned up the blood. (Sometimes you just need validation…)

As you can tell, none of us took this injury seriously. It was now another story we can add to our collection of strange places Karen fell asleep.

By mid-afternoon, Karen grew concerned she may have broken her nose or her cheek bone and ribs on her left side were really hurting her. Remember, she was sick with a severe cough and each time she coughed, she said it felt she was being stabbed by a million daggers. So, she reluctantly called the doctor and made an appointment.

By 3:30 I drove her to the doctors and he said she needed a CAT scan to see if there was damage to her face bones and a chest x-ray to see if she had broken any ribs. So we made our way to the Emergency Room (ER) at the Payson hospital. Here, as in the doctor’s office, she had to explain how she got injured. I could sense the female nurses having a few doubts about her story and looking at me suspiciously. So, I did my best to blend into the furniture and look as innocent as possible.

When they took her back to the exam room, I declined to go with her. I figured they would inject a series of needles into her body and I dislike that part of medicine. But after about an hour, the nurse came out the door and asked me to come back. Neither of us suspected this ER visit would last this long. Karen was tired of lying in the ER room alone. So, I sat by her side.

Within minutes the ER doctor came in and explained her ribs were not broken but they may be cracked or bruised. There was nothing they could to for the ribs except treat the pain, they also said here were no broken bones in her face and that the bruising, while painful, would eventually go away. But they did find that her left lung had mild pneumonia.

That explains the persistent cough. For the past few days she had been fighting pneumonia. So the ER doctor gave her an IV of a strong antibiotic to control the infection in her lungs and gave her several doses of morphine to treat the pain. They also took several blood samples to test in the lab.

They considered admitting her over night for observations. But when the initial blood work came back, the doctor was confident she was well enough to go home. We needed to go to the pharmacy first to get her prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

We were Payson and the pharmacy was in Provo — a 20 minute drive. It was 8:30 p.m. when we left the hospital and I was determined to get the pharmacy before it closed at 10:00. So rather than take Karen home first, we went to Provo together.

We made it to the pharmacy with time to spare and were told there would be a 20 minute wait. Neither of us had eaten anything that day. So we found a Subway nearby. When I got back with the food, we both decided to eat in the car before we went back to the pharmacy.

We got home by 9:30 p.m. and Karen was exhausted from all the needles and IVs in the ER. She was able to walk out the ER unassisted and to walk from the garage to the house when we got home. She walked around the house as well. We had all indications that while battered and bruised, she was going to be fine.

I encouraged her to go straight to bed but she hadn’t finished her Subway salad and wanted to relax watching Survivor. She told me she only had two episodes to watch. I suggested she only watch one and she said she would consider it. She watched two and came to bed well after I was asleep.

Click here to continue to follow Karen’s Health Journey.

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