While at the Clinic
So I’m in this curtained off space, not a room—more like a typical ER than the CentraCare Clinics I’m used to. But it is what it is. And there’s this woman in the curtained area next to me who is obviously in the early stages of a stroke or heart attack, but is in total denial. And it’s because I know so much medical info by now and so much stuff about heart rate and blood pressure that I’m picking up her oral medical history in tandem with the doctor, and it’s registering for me the same as it is for the doctor: this woman needs to be in the emergency room.
It’s bizarre. The baby is kicking away. She thinks going to the clinic is the coolest field trip this week. I’m in my curtained space curled up five months pregnant, studying the CentraCare pattern on the blue fabric, waiting on my antibiotic prescription and this woman begins relaying her symptom of weakness on her left side, how she can’t use her left arm, how she has hereditary early onset hypertension but it’s been fine off of her medication for the past two years—her blood pressure is usually normal she tells the doctor—and I’m thinking, Wait for it—wait for it—wait for it. The doctor asks her what “normal” is for her. 160 over 110. !!! That’s classic hypertension and that’s not even how high it gets when it spikes apparently. So I and the doctor on the other side of the curtain die a little when she says this. I’m recounting an old cardiologist warning me not to let my blood pressure get higher than 150 over 90.
I pick up on the dismayed tone in the doctor’s voice at her confession that she hasn’t taken blood pressure medication in two years. But on my side of the curtain all I can think is, I understand. I’ve been there. There’s so many damn side-effects with these things. She was probably relieved and feeling better off of them.
I ended up getting medication for the infection because trying to get better on my own wasn't working. In this vlog, I discuss medication complications posed during secondary illness while having a chronic illness and pregnant. I promise in the future I'll be way funnier. But bonus side note material: I swear that's not a booger in my nose. It's just my sopping wet nose glistening. I SWEAR.
Even still, I figured if that is indeed a booger, let's be real here folks: This is what being in bed sick looks like. This shit is more real than Madonna's Truth or Dare film.