Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday surprise!

My 34th birthday, on Monday, arrived with a bit of a surprise: a trip to the ER! Let me explain...

Saturday, after a quick shopping trip to buy Tomboy a new twin-size mattress, I started sanding & priming some of the furniture Babydaddy is making for me. I thought I'd be clever and buy some spray-on primer, figuring that would save me a bunch of time, and I'd have the desk all finished with a couple of coats of paint by Sunday night. So I made a trip to Home Depot, picked up the supplies I needed, and headed home. I sanded, wiped off, and laid on the first coat of primer. I laid on a second coat of primer. I did all this in my well-ventilated garage with the door wide open. I did not use a mask, not even a cheap one, but I did take several breaks to walk out and breathe fresh air, and pulled my t-shirt up over my nose & mouth. I took a shower and made dinner (beef stew) for everyone, and we settled in for the night.

Sunday morning I awoke thinking, "Gee, my face itches. I wonder if I have a rash?" Sure enough, not only did I have a lovely red rash all over my face, but my face was all swollen and I looked like the Pillsbury dough boy with a sunburn. Greeeeeaaaat. I figured it was probably due to the primer, but I really wanted to get that desk finished so I went out to the garage, lightly sanded the desk, wiped it down again, and laid on one more thin coat of primer. Perfect, now it was ready for paint.

But my face was swelling up even more. I washed my face & hands and decided to take some Benadryl to counteract the swelling/allergic reaction. I ran out to Cost Plus, bought and picked up a new dining room table & chairs, and then came back home and crashed out for several hours, thanks to the Benadryl coma. I got up around four and made dinner (Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole, yum!) and celebrated my birthday with Mr Wonderful and the kids. I got some lovely flowers on Saturday from Mr Wonderful, and a big new electric griddle for making big family breakfasts on the weekends. I also received a new alarm clock (desperately needed), a couple of circular knitting needles, and a knitting book. Dad sent me an amazing genealogy report which goes back to the 1700's! Anyhoo, I got some great stuff and we had a tasty cheesecake for dessert (mmm, my fave!).

Mr Wonderful took Tomboy to her mom's house and I got Rugrat ready for bed. The Benadryl had worn off and my face was swollen and itchy again, so I took a shower and popped some Benadryl before vegging out on the couch with Mr Wonderful in front of the TV set. But I started coughing in the shower, and Mr Wonderful got all concerned about my breathing, telling me that I should go to the hospital. When we finally laid down to bed, I felt like there was a weight on my chest and I kept coughing. Finally I gave in, and around 10:30 we decided it would be best for me to go to the ER. I woke up Rugrat, popped him in some footy pajamas, and we all bundled into the car for the long drive out to WC (the local Kaiser hospital doesn't open here for another month). We were luckily able to catch Babydaddy at home, so we dropped Rugrat off there to sleep rather than drag him with us to the hospital.

We got to the hospital shortly before midnight, and after being triaged we were sent to the ER waiting room. The triage nurse had checked my vitals, and my oxygen level was just fine. We discovered, after being there for a couple of hours, that the wait was going to be several hours would likely have taken longer for me to see the ER doc and get a bed in the ER than it would have for me to just go see a doctor in the morning at urgent care. So we figured that since my oxygen level was fine, we could just as easily (and more comfortably!) sleep at home as we could in the waiting room, and we left with stern instructions from the triage nurse to call for an urgent care appointment first thing in the morning. Happy birthday to me! It was 2 hours into my birthday at that point.

Monday morning, we awoke around 8:30 am and I promptly made the appointment to see a doctor later that morning. When I got there, she checked me over, gave me a prescription for Predisone (a steroid to reduce swelling) and Atarax (which she described as high-dose Benadryl, for the itching), and sent me home. I crashed out for most of the day after taking the meds, so my actual birthday was pretty uneventful.

Now the swelling is down, and my face is chapped beyond belief. The rash is peeling and itchy, which the Atarax doesn't help with all that much. But even with all this weirdness and hospital visits and everything, I still think I had a pretty darn nice birthday. It was so lovely to have all of us together this weekend, working on building our home together. And Mr Wonderful and I are both still feeling very blessed to have found each other; it's just so nice to have someone else to pick up the slack sometimes, and to support you when you need it. It's wonderful to have a partner.

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