Monday, January 11, 2010

"Honey, this isn't just a back strain..."

After about two weeks of holiday partying and visiting family and "go go go"; Mark and I decided to spend Sunday night January 3, 2010 at home, watching movies, drinking some wine and just chilling out. We did just that and actually went to bed fairly early, (for us anyway).

The entire night he'd been a bit uncomfortable because of an ache in the lower, left side of his back, somewhat beneath his ribs. He assumed that it was that he'd "slept funny" and pulled a muscle in his back. I hate seeing him in pain, and as the night progressed, it got worse and worse so I offered to massage his back and try to get the knot out. I tried everything, light massage, slightly harder, hot towel, aspercream. I even called a massage therapist friend of mine to make sure I was doing it correctly and to get some pointers. After about an hour of working on the knot, he actually felt a little better and we decided to go to sleep.

At around 3am, he woke up screaming and writhing in pain as laying flat, or lying down at all, hurt him too badly. He got up and started pacing around my kitchen, sat down for a bit, really just trying to find some way to sit or stand that didn't hurt. It wasn't happening. No matter how he positioned himself, he was just in agony and I couldn't watch it anymore.

"Honey, I think this is more than just a back strain, I think we should maybe go to the ER."

"We're not going to the ER, it's fine. I just need to get some sleep."

"You can barely sit down, how do you think you're gonna sleep like this. I think we should go."

"I'm not going to the emergency room for a back pain."

Here was where there was a long pause in the conversation as I just stared at him and he moaned in pain, clutching his side.

"Mark, I'm pretty sure honey, this isn't just a back pain."

"I know."

"Okay, then we're going to the Emergency Room, right now."



"Yeah, get my wallet."

So I find his wallet and after figuring out where we need to go from Mark's insurance card, we head to Illinois Masonic.

That's the story of what it was that actually prompted us to even go to an emergency room at all. A suspected back muscle strain.

In the ER, after waiting an eternity to be called back, we finally go. Three and a half hours later, after the doctor almost sent us home with some valium and ibuprofen with a "pulled muscle" diagnosis, and after I asked her "are you absolutely positive that all this is is a pulled muscle? Are you sure", and after she ordered blood tests because I asked her to be sure, we were told that Mark's white blood cell count was abnormally elevated and that they planned on keeping him overnight to do more testing.