Sunday, August 07, 2005

Republican Health Plan

"Don't Get Sick"

Yeah, it's funny, until it hits you square between the eyes.

There are positive and negatives with a freelance/contract/temp lifestyle, but one of the big negative ones is a lack of health care. Which is all well and good as long as you stay healthy. Me, I'm the healthy one in the relationship - don't take any regular medications, just had a checkup, doing pretty good. Or so I thought.

And then Friday hit.

Woke up with dizziness. Had a bit of it the night before, but just thought of it as being the workload. And I have been dizzy on waking before - something out here that hits like a mild alergy. Nothing to worry about, I think. A little sweating, but that wasn't going to keep me from the job. Yeah, I'm a real Corporate Samurai.

By the time I got to the job the situation had worsened. Dizziness worse, to the point of stumbling a bit. And nausea had kicked in. And about an hour into the job, vomitting.

At this point, no matter how much of an Office Samurai one is, it's time to go home. So I wait for an office grown-up to show up (I don't know the sick-day procedure yet) and I start back home. I have to pull over once to vomit.

Once I get home, things get worse. How much worse? So bad that I won't tell you about it here. Instead I will hold my experiences for some future time when I need to refer to them in a book. That's right - they were so bad I'm going to make people pay me money to hear about them.

About fourish on Friday, drained, sweaty, and still-heaving, we put in a call to our GP. She was out, but an associate was covering, and we went in. He said there was nothing for him to do but send me to the ER. I'd like to describe in full the experience, but I was literally going through it with my eyes closed. Tightly closed, since opening them gave me a dizzying view of the universe usually seen in the camerawork on Battlestar Galactica.

And I was a conundrum for the ER staff. DIzziness, but no acute pain. Tests were run. ECG, CAT scan. A machine that went ping (really). They tried giving me anti-nausea medication and were rewarded by a spectacular display of my current stomach contents. I was afraid it was food poisoning (I shared a meal with three friends Thursday night). I was afraid it was something nasty picked up at work (several co-workers had just come back from Corporate HQ in Japan). I was afraid it was something unique and personal and horribly longterm.

In the end, they settled on vertigo as the most likely diagnosis. A middle ear viral infection that caused the dizziness, which in turn kicked in the nausea, vomitting, and sweats. The ER Doctor (a young man, perhaps my age), was frustrated that he couldn't hit the nail on the head, so we're doing valium over the weekend. I've spent the time since sleeping, trying to read, and doing soduku puzzles in bed. Staying horizontal is good. We're going to try to snage the GP on Monday. And this entry has consisted of my major activity for the past two days.

OK, the screen is going a little blurry. I'll come back later to check for typos. I'm done for the day. More later,