cleanunderwearDid your mom always tell you to wear clean underwear? You know in case you were in an accident or had to go to the hospital. Well, I’m hear to tell you she was wrong.  It’s clean socks you need to wear!

I wasn’t ready to talk about this when it happened, but now thinking about the clean underwear makes me laugh, so it’s time to talk about it.

I was feeling quite warm while we were out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend one evening early last month. I excused myself and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. Next thing I know I’m in my husband’s arms with an EMT standing over me. As it is told to me I was out with no pulse and not breathing and my brother’s girlfriend, quick thinker she is called 911.

This event was laced with good AND bad. We ate at our favorite tavern and I had an ice tea and tuna sandwich, they are famous for their sandwiches. Now picture this, I’m laying on the sidewalk just outside the back door of this tavern and the EMT keeps trying to get me to sign off on the event so he can leave me on the curb. I’m so out of it and beginning to violently toss my cookies and here’s this EMT who has already made up his mind that I’m drunk or a drug user. Every other sentence was “come on, tell me how much you had to drink?” I DON’T DRINK! Hubs has already told the other EMT that we are going to the hospital and this guy keeps working on me to sign this form and say I drank too much.

We take the 20 minute trip to the hospital with hubby riding up front and this same EMT in the back peppering me with questions about having too much to drink, illegal drugs, etc… He keeps trying to put an IV in me, misses 4 times and there’s blood everywhere. Long story short on the EMT is that I did file a formal complaint when I was out of the hospital. I knew that degree in health education/patient advocacy would pay off some day. Thank god I was handed off to Nurse Gus and his team! Though, his phlebotomist was a bit none too gentle and in a super sour mood!  Why don’t these people listen to the patients that know there own bodies?  After 150 blood draws the past few years with the cancer and all, I can tell you exactly which vein is best.

Gus though made my night. Once I was stabilized, I was asked to change into a hospital gown and take off everything except my socks to keep my feet warm. Oh no, herein lies the problem. When I got out of the shower that morning I put on clean underwear and clean socks, but I noticed a small hole in my big toe of my favorite socks with wild stripes. I had just gotten a pedicure and my polish matched the socks so I thought no big deal and the socks were the perfect “weight” for the shoes I was wearing. I just figured I would toss them when I took them off that night. Fortunately for me Gus had a sense of humor and said I could stay in his ER because he liked my socks.

Turns out I now have Long QT Syndrome brought on by one of these drugs prescribed for my Fibromyalgia that interacted with a diuretic I was on from the cancer. Check this list! I was surprised to find many “common” medications on this list. The SADS FOUNDATION has more information if you’re interested. Scary thing is that my doctor was well aware of all my medications as was the pharmacy and NO ONE (doctor or pharmacist) ever said that this combination could create a perfect storm that would drain me of potassium to a critical level that prevented my heart from beating.  And by the way, if you ever have to have a potassium IV, WATCH OUT – they hurt SOOOOOOO bad!  And if they ever pescribe a diuretic, make sure to ask for a corresponding potassium prescription!

One of the scariest things in today’s world – a medication for everything!  I, for one, am trying to get off as many medications as humanly possible.  I plan on liviing with the pain these days, and I refuse to go back on anything I can avoid!