* This morning I woke up feeling ten times worse than I already did, which was impressive. I had Hotter call Eclecstasy and tell them I couldn't work tonight, then call my doctor, and her office said they were booked solid and asked some questions about my symptoms then said to go to the ER. I asked if they could just call in more steroids to get me to tomorrow when I have an appointment, and they said fine but if I got any worse or had any new symptoms go right to the hospital.
* I went in the bedroom and cranked up the window unit and tried to rest a little and get my breathing to settle down, but it was not to be. The landlady came over with a plumber and yelled at Hotter and wanted to come inside and yell at ME (Hotter told her I was very sick and highly contagious, which marks the last time today that he deserved to have a head) because Trashcan Neighbor, who is now being sued by ANOTHER family in the neighborhood for harassment about their landscaping, came running over and told her the County would seize the house if we didn't mow the lawn (it is half-mowed currently since I can 't breathe). Obviously that is bullshit, because a) seizing a landlord's property due to a tenant's actions is not even a thing unless the tenant is running a meth lab and b) the County is in our neighborhood 2-3 times a week at Trashcan Neighbor's behest, and if we were violating any codes someone would say something. Unfortunately my landlord's wife is not very bright and has a nasty disposition in general (I thought after our last run-in with her that we and the landlord had agreed he wouldn't send her over here again, but apparently he was at work and if she wasn't going to come and harass the plumber while he worked then who would? She chivvied the poor guy while he fixed our faucets and explained to her that they needed to put a filter on the well or this would keep happening, and he actually left without putting the cap back on the well, he was so flustered) (I'm not mad at the plumber--I can't think straight with that woman yelling at me either), so now there's a sixty-foot hole in our yard big enough for a man to fall into just sitting there open with our drinking water in it. SWELL.
* Hotter was so upset that he got a headache and chest pain, and said he felt like he did when he had his stroke and he wanted to move. I went over and talked to a non-trashcan neighbor, who is related to Trashcan Neighbor but doesn't much like her, and asked her if there was any way she could try and reason with the woman, because if I went over there I was just going to kill her with my bare hands. Nice Neighbor is going to call the landlord tomorrow and explain that Trashcan Neighbor really is insane. Hopefully that will convince him to reign his wife in before anyone dies of apoplexy unnecessarily.
* Speaking of which, I couldn't catch my breath AT ALL, and Nice Neighbor said my lips were turning blue and got alarmed. She herded me into the house and told Hotter I was scaring her and to do something. I was getting ready to tell him I would lie down and listen to my guided imagery track that I use for anxiety attacks and be fine as soon as I could calm the fuck down, when I got a searing pain in my hand out of nowhere. I did not bump, scrape, burn, pinch, or otherwise injure it in any way, but one knuckle swelled up and turned dark blue, so at that point I decided that apparently going to the ER was my lot in life today and I should just embrace it. Mostly I just wasn't sure if the hand thing was some kind of effed up allergic reaction to an invisible bite or sting, and the fact that it popped up right when my breathing worsened worried me.
* I told Big Child I'd order pizza and to keep his phone on him (I only ask him to do it in emergencies, but it is GREAT having a teenager who can be In Charge for a few hours if necessary), and Hotter was all "what, why, I'm not going with you!" I said I wished he would. He said he'd rather not go. I said I'd rather not go either but I was sick and in pain and worried and he was my person so get in the car.
* In the car my throat started closing up and Hotter kept snapping at me. I said "could you please just do one thing for me?" He said as long as it wasn't not be mad at me, sure. I started bawling, which didn't help anything, and we got to a crossroads. Hotter was snarling at me that I knew he hated hospitals and shouldn't have asked him to come. At that point I turned left instead of right and headed for the snazzy new freestanding ER thinking this was about Hotter hating hospitals and wanting to avoid traumatizing him if it had gotten that bad. Hotter said wasn't the hospital the other way and I said yes, but since he was okay coming with me to get a mammogram and it was the same building and I didn't need surgery we'd go to the freestanding ER instead and he could pretend we were following up on my tits. Hotter said he didn't want to go to the freestanding ER and at that point, gentle reader, I lost my shit. I told Hotter I didn't give a damn what he wanted, I couldn't fucking breathe, and he was my next of kin and knew my drug allergies and what I'd put in my advanced directive if I had one plus also he was my husband and I was scared so be a man (no, I do not actually believe in gender playing any kind of role in how one handles emergencies or anything else, and generally frown on phrases like "man up" and "crying like a girl" but honestly I was hoping to shame him into acting right). Hotter said "oh so leave you in there and go to work then?" I thought he was referring to my ex-husband or something, but it turns out that no, Hotter is still carrying a grudge from five years ago when I "left him at the hospital and went to work." At the time we were so broke that I wasn't eating at home and would duck into the walk-in at the industrial kitchen where I was temping and gulp a carton of milk on the sly, then hit dry storage and fill my pockets with peanut butter packets and a teabag for the next morning; he was admitted to the very same hospital whose kitchen I was working in and I visited him on my lunch break since I didn't have anything to eat anyway but apparently he has been furious with me for leaving his side OTHER than on my lunch break for the past five years and didn't care to support me in my crisis today as a result.
* Take a moment and sit with that, friends. I was at a 9 on the infamous pain scale from an unknown issue with my hand, couldn't fucking breathe, and was in tears, and that motherfucker wanted to stand in the parking lot of a freestanding ER and fight about something I did very unhappily, out of bitter necessity, five years ago instead of helping me get inside. I...have taken a moment, and tried to convince myself that I am upset right now because I am in pain and on a LOT of steroids, but...nope, still not okay. At the time I told him to go fuck himself and walk home, then, but he still followed me inside and because I didn't have a voice to say otherwise and really, REALLY couldn't breathe at that point to object, they let him come back with me.
* It gets better! That is sarcasm! The doctor I saw at the freestanding ER was an incompetent shithead. He gave me a shot of steroids and Benadryl, and once my breathing improved proceeded to write me a script for an Epi-pen "for next time you get stung by a bee." I told him I was not stung by a bee, I am a beekeeper and would know if it had been a bee and bees didn't do this to me, and what about my hand? He said "what about it?" I said "it's swollen and blue and hurts a lot." He said "what do you want me to do, x-ray it?" I said I didn't think that was indicated since there was no trauma. He said exactly, and offered me ibuprofen. I told him I couldn't take ibuprofen due to a bleeding disorder. He said he couldn't help me then. I said what is the plan then? Drain it with a needle? Give me a shot of something? Run some tests? He said what do you want me to do and I said "I don't know, you are the doctor, I came to you for help." He said he offered me help and I wouldn't take it. At that point I told him he had a horrible bedside manner and he said "well I'm sorry, I am discharging you." I sat there for another ten minutes, miserable and in pain while Hotter glared resentfully at me, and then said fuck it, fuck this, I'm going to drop you off at home and go to a real hospital BY MYSELF, and I pulled my IV out and got dressed and left.
* At that point I finally caught a fucking break, because the triage NP at the real hospital looked at my hand, looked at the paperwork from the freestanding ER, and said 1. That doctor was a jerk but let it go, screw that guy. 2. She had no idea about the hand either given that there's no puncture, injury, or anything much to evaluate; it's super-weird and may or may not have anything to do with the breathing. And 3. Since my O2 was back in the 90's after steroids and antihistamines, there was nothing productive to do about my hand, the ER was Cootie Central, and I'm seeing my GP tomorrow, she was giving me rxs for high-dose pred, narcotics for pain and a note for work and sending me home without even checking me in as long as I promised to come back if things got any worse. I want my uterus back so I can have a child and name it after that NP.
* Hotter texted me while I was at the hospital to let me know that Dr. Shithead had sent the police over to make sure I was alive. THE POLICE. I guess maybe he actually looked at my medical records and realized that Ibuprofen on top of steroids could give me a bleeding ulcer and kill me, and was afraid I took his advice after all? My kids now have lots of questions, and poor Nice Neighbor is probably afraid I either dropped dead or snapped and killed Trashcan Neighbor. I'd love to know what Hotter told the police (I hope he told them and they told Dr. Shithead that I had gone to a REAL hospital), but we are not speaking. I plan to call the office manager at the freestanding ER and complain to her (I got her number on the way out); I'm definitely not paying anything for today's debacle there because not only was that guy an unhelpful jerk, but he also ignored all evidence that I was having a medical emergency and kept pressing me to take a drug that would harm me even after I told him it would harm me. My only guess as to why he would be so nasty is that he thought I was drug-seeking, but even if I had been he still could've killed me and therefore shouldn't be working as a doctor, even in a fake-ass freestanding ER facility.
* I...well. I don't even fucking know. I can't stop crying and it feels like all of the people around me (except that triage NP, bless her) are trying to tell me that everyone hates my fucking face and I should just go quietly drop dead, as long as it's not their malpractice that kills me and I don't ugly up the front lawn in the process. I would blame the steroids, but I think it actually may be THAT BAD. Here I thought I was just really alarmingly sick and having a bad day but it turns out that actually my husband has resented me for trying to support my family for the past FIVE YEARS, to the point of being unwilling to help me in a medical emergency, and if that is the state of things I guess my marriage is dead. What the hell? I have missed FIVE shifts at work which I cannot afford, and at this point I just want to get better enough to go back to work because people are mostly nice to me there, and say thank you when I help them, and I just want to be around some fucking human kindness and courtesy but also we need the money.
ETA: Hotter either felt like a jerk or got bored and un-embuggeranced my laptop while I was at the second ER. Or rather, it is still embuggeranced but he got it to boot from the system disks and it will work unless I turn it off. So here are pictures of Mystery Hand. The first one is when I first noticed the issue; I took a quick snap on the way out the door for reference in case it spread and my coloring was shit from lack of oxygen. The second is from just now. It hasn't swelled much more (the knuckle is swollen but not any of the rest of the hand), which I would hope not given the amount of steroids I am on, and the Vicodin the triage NP gave me is rendering it bearable unless I touch it, but as you can see it is now black. I don't think it could be infection given that I'm on a strong antibiotic already; anything nasty enough to resist Levaquin would've crept up my arm by now I'm sure.