Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lessons Learned...The Hard Way

Ack! I've been away from my Blog for a whole week now :o( I figured I had better get on here and update everyone as to what is going on before someone sends out a search party. LOL!

Within a two day span, I have been to the hospital three times. On Monday, I got a call from my ENT's office and they wanted me up at the DECH right away for some hearing tests. Thankfully the results were pretty much the same as before so that ruled out any possibility of an aneurysm or tumour. I think we have finally narrowed the ringing down to stress. Yes, that awful "S" word >:o( For years I have been grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw. I've broken 2-3 molars and my jaw cracks whenever I move it to the side. I've had a bite plate for a few years now but they suggested it may be time for a new one and I agree. I think it was poorly constructed to begin with.

On my way home, I stopped by the drug store and picked up some Niacin (Vitamin B3). I had spent some time researching my ear ringing on the internet and I found that Niacin was said to help in some cases. I was so desperate that I was willing to try anything and hey, it was just a vitamin. What harm could come of that? Apparently I didn't do 'enough' research ;o)

When I got back to the hotel, I took my Niacin and then sat down to eat. Within five minutes, my face started to feel flush with a burning sensation. I got up and went to the mirror. No word of a lie, it looked like I had locked myself in a tanning bed for too long. I grabbed a face cloth and put cold water on it but it wasn't doing any good and it felt like it was spreading. Sure enough, it was going down my neck! By this point, I was starting to panic so I called my parents. While I was on the phone with them, I could actually see the redness spread down my chest!

I got in the car and drove to the hospital as fast as I could. I thought for sure it was an allergic reaction. Before I had left, I had put ice cubes in the face cloth to help cool me down but they were just melting like a snowman on a summer's day. When I got in the ER, the redness had spread all the way to my feet and my whole body felt hot and sunburnt. The nurse took me right in and got my history. She figured it was an allergic reaction to the Niacin too so she was going to give me some Benadryl.

Just before she did, she spoke with another nurse about my case. "Oh, that's just a normal reaction to Niacin." Huh? Normal? I looked like a human lobster! Apparently, Niacin dilates your blood vessels AND I had taken the 'maximum' dose (500mg) recommended. Oye! Well, if I had been smart, I would have talked to my pharmacist (I usually do!) and I would have been informed of this effect and therefore, I would have spared myself this embarrassment :oS

Oh, if only I could have seen into the future... When I got back to the hotel, the weather had cooled off considerably and there was ice along the edge of the walkway. I headed towards the laundry room to pick up my clothes in the dryer and made it a point to step over the thick ice. As soon as my foot hit the walkway, I realized it was coated in a very thin layer of solid ice and WHOOOSH! My feet went flying from underneath me and I landed squarely on my back :o(

As I got up, I put my hand to my left elbow because it was hurting from having hit the walkway. When I went to dig my keys out, I looked down and there was blood...every-where! It was all over my coat, dripping on the walkway and just gushing out of my elbow! Luckily I had that pure white face cloth with me ;o)

It wasn't pretty. I had about a 3/4 inch gash at the tip of my elbow and I was having trouble moving it :o( There was no way I was going back to the ER so I bandaged myself up and topped up on pain medication. The next morning, my arm was worse so I gave in and went back to the ER while Mom came in and babysat Brie :o) The real embarrassment? The same nurse was still there! Her first words to me were "You're back again." LOL!

They took x-rays but there was too much fluid around my elbow to tell if there was a fracture. It's not broken so that's a good thing. I'm supposed to keep it in a sling for a week and return on the 24th for another x-ray. The bad thing...this has put a HUGE kink into my stitching. At this rate, I doubt SS will be done in time :o( Argh! I might have to come up with some brilliant way to support my Q-Snap so I can get back to work.

So...what have I learned from all of this? 1) If I want to be a red crayon for Halloween, take 500mg of Niacin before going out. 2) The ER should have a bed just for me. 3) It is suggested that you should have a tetanus shot every ten years so lie your pants off if one is required ;o)


Rebecca (AKA - Rebel In Ontario) said...

OH CATHEY! I hope you are on the mend now and that all will be better soon.
Stay warm, I hear your area is getting another storm in the near future.
CHEERS to you from Ontario.

Annie said...

What a story! You have really been through the ringer. Things have got to start looking up soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Cathey! You poor thing! I'm sending you lots of hugs ... Hope you have lots of soft pillows to surround yourself with.

Hmmm... a red crayon for Halloween, huh? Tempting .. *lol*

So you have TMJ? Do you wear your bite plate all of the time or only at night?

Suzanne said...

I know it's not funny, but I'm still LMAO at the very kindest way of course...I hope you are ok!

Lynn D said...

For your jaw you probably need an oral surgeon instead of an ENT. A splint will help a great deal but not the kind you buy at the pharmacy, they work best when made by an Oral Surgeon or a really good dentist.

Alternate hot and cold on your jaw - 20 minutes each. Don't hold anything in your mouth - such a pen, as it moves the bottom jaw back and compresses the joint. Don't talk on the phone by holding the phone between your ear and shoulder. When you eat, it helps to chew on both sides at the same time. This way you aren't putting unequal pressure on either side.

I had surgery on both sides.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, What a time you have had!! I wonder were you still red when you went back ...from embarrassment. I do love how you write aback these things!!
I hope you are resting up and I bet your Mum is looking after you!

Ranae said...

Don't bad things come in three's?, if thats true you should have a bright cheery future ahead of you,lol
Take care!!

Anonymous said...

I think you should stay in for the rest of the week. It's not safe for you outside...LOL!! No stitching...??? That must hurt more than the elbow itself... I hope you feel better soon!!! Take good care of yourself!

Leah said...

Holy cow, Cathey! You lead an exciting life!!

Olenka's Stitches said...

Poor thing, you need somebody to take care of you - you are becoming too dangerous to yourself.
If you are so allergic to things, it might help to keep some Benadryl in your purse or a pocket.
Take better care of yourself. Hugs!

Lili said...

Cathey, how come the weirdest, scariest things happen to you?!
I'm so sorry, it must be quite painful...
No stitching, but it seems you're still able to use the keyboard (one hand?).
Take good care of yourself sweetie. I still need those Fukitol pills you advertised, btw... And I think you should get some as well. Lol!

Chiloe said...

Well well well, someone wanted to get notice again !!! lol

I have the ringing in my left ear (stress they say but annoying ...) Only old people should get that : not us !!! :-(( Sometimes I hear it, sometimes I don't. YOu too? but it bothers ... I have a medication call Vasterel (international name?)

Sucks for the stitching ! :-( Hope you feel better soon ! And stop trying to get a role in ER (the show is always over !!! lol)

mumzy said...

Cathey, you can always come to visit - you don't have to get hurt if you want our attention. LOL

Try to stay on your feet and stay away from Niacin.

{{{Hugs & Love}}}

Daffycat said...

Aww, you poor thing! I hope the elbow heals quickly so you can stitch.

I hope you don't need any more hospital visits this year...I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, hun!

Irene said...

Maybe you should have stayed with your parents after all :) Do hope you are feeling better.

Marita said...

Oh dear you have not been having much fun at all.

Did the Niacin help with the ear ringing at all?

CathE said...

You've had a rough time of it. Hope everything is on the turn soon and that there are no broken bones.

Lori-Ann said...

Hope the weekend is kinder to you. Mend well.

~Tammy said...

My goodness woman, you should be put in a bubble! All for your own good, mind you.

Please, please be careful!

Paisley said...

My goodness, Cathey! Let's hope you're done with the hospital visits for a while! I hope your elbow feels better soon!

Cindy said...

Cathey! It certainly sounds like you have had a bad run of luck lately. I'm glad that you still are able to maintain your sense of humor about it :)

Hope you are all mended and feeling better soon!

Crazee4books said...

Hi Cathey,

So do you have your own entrance
to the ER?? At least your own
chair with a sign that reads:
reserved for Cathey" hanging on
it??? Good grief!

You've certainly had your fair
share of health scares since
mid-December, or should we just
call them "learning experiences"?

You realize that whenever you're
away from your blog for any length
of time now everyone's going to be
phoning the local hospitals in
your area looking for you.

Hope your elbow improves quickly
and doesn't interfere with your
stitching, or anything else, for
very long.

Loved seeing your newest stash.
I just got the Isabelle Vautier
book too and have been pouring
avidly over the designs in it.
Too bad it's not in English.

And new books too!! Wonderful!!
I've never read Ring of Bright
Water, but I remember when the
movie came out sometime in the
70's (I think). It starred
Bill Travers of Born Free

Take care of yourself girl!


Anonymous said...

OMG!! Dh once got out of work by taking a mega-dose of niacin. Ah, mischievous youth.

YOu're not going to be able to stitch for a while, are you?

Take care of yourself and watch the ice.


Sharon said...

Cathey, I am glad to know things are not too serious-but what a day! I hope your elbow will feel better soon. {{{hugs}}}

Erynne said...

Oh my, you absolutely cannot be living on your own and I'm glad your hubby will be with you soon!! I can't believe niacin did that to you! Wow! How horrible! And the elbow and blood...aacckkk!

I too am glad that you have maintained your sense of humour :o)
Big go and have a Creme Egg and don't get into anymore trouble,k.

Coral said...

I believe that 'ear candles' help with tinnitus. Something to think about! (Warning, do not do this at home alone)!

Jean said...

OHG- I feel so sorry for you!! I want to say that one can't imagine what the Niacin reaction feels like. I was ordered Niacin for my heart. I read on the bottle that it might cause flushing. The first time I took it, my head and hair felt like there were little needles and a hot flush. I didn't think to look in the mirror. It was awful. Then I took my second dose at night and my whole body started to feel like it was on fire. I described it to my husband saying it felt like I felt like I fell into a camp fire. I knew what what causing it (good thing) but thought the feeling would never pass! I am so sorry for your experience of going to the Emergency room. I'm glad the one nurse knew what it was!!

I hope you are on the mend and all things are working out for you. I just found your blog on Olenka's site - I was looking for the cancer project. I'll keep reading!