I walked into the emergency room for the seventh time in the past three days. This time my mom brought me. It was packed, but when wasn’t it. I was throwing up blood this time and I told the admission woman. She was rude. She didn’t care that I was pregnant. She sent me to a seat and continued to text on her phone. There were people everywhere. I hated coming to the hospital on Friday nights. All of the people who are getting off of work and think “should I go to the emergency room instead of the doctors since it’s the weekend?”.
There was this man who sat in front of us. All I could think about was how horrible he smelled and that I was getting claustrophobic. He had a long tree branch that he used as a crutch and he only had one leg. He looked drunk with a hint of sadness which came out as angry. He was yelling and demanding assistance. He just wouldn’t shut up. The guy kept going in and out of the lobby for cigarette breaks and the smell as he passed by me time after time was weighing on me. I wanted to tell him to sit down and shut up, he was making me sicker and i didn’t want to taste the blood anymore, but i didn’t even have the strength so I kept quiet and put my sweater sleeve over my face and counted my breathing to pass the time away.
There were too many people everywhere and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to know my escape routes for when I had another episode. There was no way that I would be throwing up in an emesis bag in front of this crowd. I could see the bathroom, but I’d have to pass the smelly guy. But if I ran to the car it was just too far away and I probably wouldn’t make it without sitting in the front of the hospital crouched to the floor.
There was a lot of blood. I kept telling the admission woman but she just didn’t care. “You’ll be seen when it’s your turn”. All I could think about was my baby and if she was okay. Was her heart still beating? Was it just me? Was I dying? I haven’t eaten again in 2 weeks and now I’m throwing up blood. This can’t be good. This is not normal! Why won’t she take me serious? What if my baby is dying?
Those are all of the thoughts that ran through my head. I tried to calm myself down but my mind was racing. And then the smell hit me.. I had to get up, but the one legged man was in my way. I got up as soon as I could and ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t even lock the door before I was hurling over the toilet in agony wishing this was all over. The blood was making me cry. I told the admission lady again. This time with more sassiness than before, she told me I needed to just be patient and wait my turn. This could be hours. I knew I’d be here all night.
My mom hugged me tight and went up to the admission lady herself this time and demanded help. All I could hear between the angry one legged mans rants, were my moms pleads for help. But again, we weren’t heard.
We were in a room finally. My blood pressure cuff was puffed up in full and the machines were beeping like crazy. I was in the hospital bed throwing up and the machines were confused. All I could feel were my moms hands rubbing my back and her voice telling me I was going to be okay. I wish I felt okay.
I knew I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum but I wasn’t diagnosed yet. I had this with my son 5 years ago so this wasn’t my first rodeo. The doctor said the words. Those four simple words that you dread.. “You have Hyperemesis Gravidarum”. It felt like I was being told I had cancer.
What was the difference between this and cancer? I knew cancer was much different but how? Vomiting, check. Hospital admissions, check. Unexplainable fevers and chills, check. Unintentional weight loss, triple check. The only difference was the growth I was having was life. With all of her growth, I was getting weaker. The bigger she got, the more she took from me and the sicker I seemed to get.
I begged them for a picc line. They told me I wasn’t sick enough. I wish my husband were here.