Thursday, November 18, 2010

ER Adventures

So not long ago I ended up on a date with the Syrian Mr. Collins. This week? It was a date with the neurologist.

I should have never mentioned that the culture here reminded me of a Jane Austen novel. First the whole Mr. Collins thing, and then I also unwittingly acted out a scene from Persuasion. In the need of a brief novel to give my brain a break, I picked up Persuasion off of Janee's bookshelf. My mom and I are going to Bath in a couple of weeks, so I thought it would be a nice read. I hadn't realized a large portion of the plot revolved around one of the girls falling and knocking herself unconscious. I might would have avoided the book otherwise.

Anyway, we all know what I then preceded to do--I fell down the stairs and banged the back of my head into the concrete wall. That's nothing new though, I told you about that last week. Everyone kept insisting that I go get my head checked, but I refused. It wasn't that big of a deal. By Sunday though, I was feeling worse instead of better. The headaches were getting stronger, so much so that I thought I might pass out during church on Sunday. My vision was getting a little blurry and I was feeling dizzier than normal.

I started to rethink the idea of going to the doctor. (I've seen way too many medical shows where someone dies of an aneurysm all because they didnt go get their headaches checked out.) The system is a bit different here, so Janee suggested I go to the ER. At this point they were still at the hospital in the next town over, so I hitched a ride there with a couple from our church. After a 10 minute wait (!) I was back in the ER getting checked out, and then got to do one of my least favorite things--a CT scan. Thankfully it came back in the clear but the doctor scheduled me an appointment with the neurologist for an EEG the next day.

Really Lauren? I don't know how I get myself into these things.

The EEG in itself was an odd experience. She started taping probes on my wrists and ears and then pulled out a giant syringe. I panicked--nobody had mentioned injections! Thankfully it was just to squirt gel. She then pulled a cap with about 87 wires attached onto my head and started filling all the little holes in the cap with the gel. (Which I am still trying to wash you of my hair...) Once the test started it was a lot of open your eyes, close them, breathe through your mouth, breathe through your nose, and then a lot of try not to go into a seizure as we blink all kinds of colored lights in your face.

Anyway, I finally got to see the neurologist, who was incredibly nice. After doing a couple dozen little tests (and him squeezing the bruise on my foot!) he showed me my CT and EEG results. All in the clear. (Hamdula) He said since I have had migraines before it is probable that the trauma has triggered them. He said that Post Concussion Syndrome can explain all of my symptoms, and that it could last a week or two or a month or two (lets all pray for weeks not months!).

In the end he prescribed me some good painkillers (which I should probably mention I am taking at the moment...so if none of this makes sense, now we know why), we chatted about healthcare and Belgian and US politics, and he mentioned that if life were like Grey's Anatomy that by that time I "would have been whisked away to the OR for brain surgery with McDreamy." He then followed it up with "or whatever his name is." But it was too late, he was caught.

So in the end, it has been a long, strange week. My head feels like someone is massaging my brain with brass knuckles. But on the upside, they gave me my CT scan on a CD. How cool is that? And while I lament my ability to do the most ridiculous things, I figure everyone who's traveled to Brussels has seen the Grand Place and the Atomium. But how many have seen the inside of the neurology department?

That's right, probably just me.

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