My weekend started of pretty normal. I woke up, ate breakfast and watched my favorite soccer team, Chelsea, win their match against Newcastle. Soon after I started feeling a heaviness in my chest, and my heartbeat took off into the sunset. The next thing I knew my whole body was on fire with pain.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t as abnormal as it sounds. I was born with a chronic blood disease called Sickle Cell Anemia (you can learn more here) , and at that moment, I was in the middle of pain crisis. I have had a couple of pain crisis before, but none to this extent. Thankfully, both of my parents were home and were able to take me to the hospital.
After being shipped to the ER, I was taken to the back where I needed to get an IV drip and my first dose of morphine. Anytime I go to the doctor to get blood work done, there is always a slight struggle to find a good vein. My veins like to runaway and tend to be far and few in-between, and that day was no different. After several attempts to get an IV started in one arm, the efforts were transferred to my left arm. Finally we got an IV started and I could breathe a little easier thanks to the oxygen that I was receiving. I was a real life Hazel Grace!
The doctor said that I was the first patient in a long time that was actually suffering from a crisis, apparently some people get addicted to pain medicines and come into the ER with complaints of pain so that they could receive more pain medication. He also said that my heartbeat and blood pressure was high, so I would have to stay the rest of the day and overnight to make sure that I was okay.
Finally the morphine kicked in and I didn’t feel like my bones were being covered with hot lava and I was moved to an overnight room. Of course throughout the experience I took a couple of Snapchat pictures and posted them on my story. Soon after I receive multiple text messages and Snaps from my friends asking if I was okay.
For some reason this really touched me. I was surprised that so many of my wonderful friends were so worried about me. This experience made me grateful to have such great friends who really cared about my well-being. It also made me to appreciate my family so much more, they all put their lives on hold to take care of me.
While I was in the hospital, I found out that reason I had gone into such a painful crisis was because my hemoglobin level was really low, usually I average around a 7.2 but I had dropped to around 6.8 or 6.9. So because of that I was extremely anemic and my blood cells were breaking down faster than they were being made. This lead to me having to receive a blood transfusion so that my body could heal better and that I can have more blood to carry the medicine that I was given. Is it bad that I didn’t know my blood type until that day? I’ve had a blood transfusion before, but I was little and didn’t remember much of it.
During my stay in the hospital, I had some of the best care I’ve ever had while in the hospital. All of my nurses were very kind and made sure that I was as comfortable as I could be while in pain and basically bed-bound. I didn’t have to wait long for anything and I was constantly asked if I needed anything for the pain that I was in.
Because I was receiving a blood transfusion, my vitals had to be checked every couple of hours to make sure that I wasn’t having a reaction to the blood and that my body was doing okay. The only downside about this was that I couldn’t sleep well due to the fact that I was constantly being awoken at night. When I sleep, it is very easy for me to be awoken and it’s hard for me to fall back, which kinda sucks. But at least I was in a bed and not the loveseat pullout that my mom so graciously stayed in so that she could spend the night with me.
The next morning I was watching the Cowboys v Packers game when the most wonderful thing happened. Romo threw a pass and converted on 4th and 2! In my excitement I screamed and both of my parents jumped up and my mom clapped with excitement. Not even thirty seconds later, a pair of nurses rushing into the room to check if I was okay. I said yes and asked if everything was okay. They said that they heard someone scream and a thud and were checking each room to see who fell. I felt bad because in my happiness, I had caused the whole floor of nurses to freak out and on top of that the call got reversed! So yea, that happened.
After getting some prescriptions I was finally released from the hospital and able to come back home! Other than the headache that I’ve been having for a month, I’m all pain free and ready to take on the world.