This month has been hell.
The beginning, I was in the ER, off work for an entire week (working 4 hours out of 7 or 8 days), and coughed so much I lost my voice. Jamie got fairly sick at the beginning (flu with viral bronchitis, woo!) Then the whole…dog attacking cat and cat dying thing. Saturday is when Izzy goes off to The Big Sleep, but we haven’t changed routine or treated her any different.
This past Monday evening, after work, Jamie took me back to the ER because I couldn’t breathe, was making horrible wheezy noises (to the point where numerous customers asked if I was ok and offered to get a supervisor, one of the supervisors tried to convince me to leave before my first break, and our loss prevention lady said I was crazy for staying when I obviously should be getting looked at). 4 1/2 hours in the waiting room after being sent into the “triage” room (where the nurse/tech said “wow, at least you came in with something exciting like that hideous wheezing instead of ‘I hurt my finger.'” [found out later that the “I hurt my finger” was a guy who had fucked his hand all up and had wrapped so much guaze around it to staunch the bloodflow that he looked like he was wearing a boxing glove. he got called back to a “room” about an hour before we did])
We finally get sent back to a “room” about 2-3 hours after I had been taken back for chest x-rays and Jamie loudly grumbles “well, it’s a good thing to know that your having trouble breathing isn’t a big deal.” and the tech/nurse just looks at us like we’re crazy because I’m wheezing like hell. Jamie has to be my interpreter and I’m trying to say stuff too to the nurse/tech and the doctor, who decides without wanting any information (like, oh, I’ve been waking up every few nights for the past two months because I stop breathing) because she’s already decided what I have.
She ignores the large bumps on the back of my tongue, the roof of my mouth being nasty white, and comments that my throat is “very red.” (yes, and it’s also got pustules), states that my lungs are fine, and that I’ve “just got some inflammation” in my neck due to trying to talk. She says she’ll “be back soon” with an evaluation and so we wait. For two hours.
Finally, Jamie asks if he can rip out the doo-hickey and I unplug myself, causing the monitor to go off. Put my polo shirt back on and head out to the desk, where the nurse/tech is…doing nothing. Jamie says “I’m sorry, but we need to leave, we both have to be at work by 6.” And we find out that the doctor has given her my discharge papers a while ago. wonderful. We have to go back to the room so she can rip out the thing in my arm (I’m still having problems. She got the same vein as the other nurse/tech did at the beginning of the month, but for whatever reason, it hurts like a motherfucker) and she informs me that the doctor says that I’ve got laryingitis, but it’s so bad that I pretty much blew my vocal cords.
The poor girl goes on to explain what laryngitis is and I had to stop her and say this is the 5th time I’ve had it (I was wrong, I told her since 2009, but it’s been once a year, every year, for the past five years). She continues with “I know someone who’s had it for 3 months” before telling me that I could either get my voice back in a few days, a few weeks, or possibly never.
On the plus side, I’m pissing off a lot of stupid people at work (who ignore my dry-erase board sign that says: “Terribly sorry, but I cannot talk. Have a nice day”) and this is giving Jamie and me a much-needed push to learn ASL like we’ve been wanting to do. We know a couple of signs, but not a lot to make conversation.
I did have a gentleman today get super excited and think I was deaf who could read lips really well. I had to write no, I just blew my vocal cords. He mentioned trying yoga and unclogging the throat chakra by breathing through the nose and mouth as well as imagining a bright, pure white light that will heal my throat from the inside out. I thought it was pretty awesome.
Some of the customers who come in about once a week or so are still shocked I can’t speak. It’ll have been a month tomorrow and, frankly, I’m tired of it myself.
Hopefully next month will be a lot better. On the plus side, an old friend of ours is coming down to Roanoke to visit us for a few days. We’ll be playing “tourist” while she’s down here.