The Things That Really Worked (or at least one of them)

by Hannah the Zebra

The Things That Really Helped (or at least one of them).

My hospital experience this time was very different than my experience two years ago, and I’ve done a lot of thinking as to why.  Objectively it should have been worse, since in 2009 I was hospitalized for three days and this year I was hospitalized for 2 weeks.

But it wasn’t.  It was easier. I think the first reason had to do with my emotions.  Two years ago I had had bronchitis for eight or nine weeks, along with bad asthma.  Then I puffed up like a puffer fish within just a few hours, which had never, ever happened before.  I could barely find my ankles, and my chest was also swelling.  The end result was that I was having severe difficulty breathing.

And I was terrified.  My body had never done this, so I didn’t even know what steps to take, other than the fact that I needed to get to an emergency room   Then I was stupid enough to drive myself to the ER which is about 20 minutes away, getting more and more frightened by the minute.  (Don’t worry, I was severely chastised for that from the triage nurse to the ER doctors.  Something along the lines of “You did what???  Don’t ever do that again.  You could have died!”)

In addition, they were pumping steroids into my IV every eight hours, which greatly heightened my anxiety.  And they had no idea what had caused the swelling.  Nobody, to this day, ever has figured what had caused the swelling.  Which is disturbing since I still have problems with it.

This time the reasons for the hospitalization were completely different.  First off, I could breathe. Secondly, I could breathe…..   And tenthly, I could breathe. This time I was being hospitalized for intractable migraine pain.  And while the pain level was so high that I could not go to the grocery, or cook, or hold a conversation, or drive, I knew that I was in no danger of dying.  That right there is a gigantic, huge, unbelievable difference.  So I could concentrate on making it through each moment and trying to heal, and that reduction of stress definitely helped.

Bottom line:  I wasn’t terrified this time, and for that I am grateful.