princesse_incongrue: Prince Poppycock trying on a tall white wig (poppycock)
I'm back!

Protip: if you're having trouble breathing AT ALL, go ahead and head on over to your nearest hospital. It turns out that what I had was a pulmonary embolism, meaning sitting for hours with my legs crossed (and taking birth control) had caused a blood clot in my legs which had traveled up and lodged itself in my aorta, all but blocking the blood from my heart to my lungs. And, trying to avoid being caught in France with an expired visa, I thought I'd just wait it out. If that clot had gone any higher in my body I might have actually suffered brain damage.

Apparently my good ol' body is an absolute trooper, because the fact is, I first noticed a little bit of chest pain on Sunday, but I thought it was just being out of shape. Tuesday night I fainted and from that point forward breathing hurt. Wednesday I was convinced I would be fine (I think I something is wrong with my head, but I remember when my dad broke his foot a couple years ago he also insisted he was fine and limped around the house for a day and a half before he finally let us take him to the ER). When I woke up Thursday and the problem hadn't changed at all my boyfriend convinced me to call the hospital.

They sent a doctor over and he didn't know what the cause of my pain was, so he called us up an ambulance. It took them an hour to get to the place. I grabbed my purse and jacket and headed out, assuming they'd give me a pill or something and I'd be back online before dinner.

When they first started saying I'd have to be in the hospital for "quelques jours" [several days] I actually burst into tears. I was very shaken for the first day or so. They kept me in ICU for one or two days--time kind of blurred together--then moved me out early because they needed the space for someone else. After that I had a room that was bigger than Vincent's entire apartment, but unfortunately the TV wasn't free and there was no wifi, so Vincent brought me my laptop and (new) external hard drive, and I spent the rest of my Parisian hospital adventure watching Torchwood, RTD-era Doctor Who, Horrible Histories, Conan, and videos of me and my friends goofing off in the dorms.

I wasn't allowed out of the bed until Monday, meaning I had to use a bedpan. When they did let me up I couldn't believe how utterly delighted I was to go to a toilet on my own. My whole bed confinement had consisted of me avoiding drinking water and holding it in in order to spare myself the embarassment of ringing for the nurse to put that awful thing under me and having to essentially soil myself in the bed I wasn't allowed to leave.

I could see the top half of the Eiffel Tower from the window of my hospital room, which was pretty cool. Honestly, it was kind of nice to stay in a clean, quiet environment for a few days with three average meals brought to me and no one being surprised when I just stayed in bed watching movies all the time. The downside was all the needles that were coming at me. I had to get a shot morning and night with this horrible stuff that burned like HELL. They had to use it thin my blood so no more clots will form, and I'm on a pill that I'll be taking for at least six months. Every morning they woke me up around 6 or 7 to draw blood, but since I have deep veins there was this one attractive but not-so-bright nurse who could never find them and would just dig around in my arm with the needle.

Basically, my thighs and stomach are covered in bruises and puncture marks from the shots, my inner elbow creases and the backs of my hands are also bruised and punctured from blood being drawn, and I do not understand why IVs are considered a good idea. My IV hand is still all bruised and cripped.

Anyway, they say as long as I'm on this medication it should be impossible for new clots to form, but they're also edgy about me taking a plane in less than twenty days. I didn't mention my eleven hour train ride to them at all... nothing the doctors say will make me change my flight. I will DIE if I have to stay here much longer. I am so overwhelmingly homesick. I dreamed I was home multiple times over the past week and my heart broke every time I woke up and realized it wasn't true. I'll wear the fancy compression tights they're going to give me and I'll get up and walk a bit once an hour or so and I assume I'll be fine.

Oh, I'm never allowed to take birth control again, by the way. So... buckle up for my period to come back in full force. I did not miss the days of crippling cramps and my sudden urges to punch everyone who looked at me.

You fall in flames

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:38 am
princesse_incongrue: David Tennant with his arms around Billie Piper, holding her protectively (hugging rose and ten)
I had a really strange day yesterday. I slept a LOT, at least ten hours, maybe more. Then I ate leftover pasta and brownies that Vincent and I had made the night before while still lying in bed watching shows online. I'm not sure what else to do with my life right now.

Anyway then I went back to lying down watching shows and without realizing it fell asleep. The window was open and it was really cold out, but I was enjoying that after the hot summer we'd suffered here in France. I woke up just before Vincent and I were scheduled to go back over to my recent host family and have dinner. I felt groggy having just woken up, but I was excited for the dinner and seeing the family again. I noticed I was lightheaded, but I assumed it was because of all the unnecessary sleep I'd gotten.

Well, we were about two streets away from home when suddenly I got really dizzy. I told Vincent to wait and went to lean on a nearby storefront for support. I felt the dizziness totally take over and the next thing I knew, I realized I was dreaming, felt pavement against my hip and hand, and heard a lady's voice asking from a long way away if I needed a doctor. I mumbled I was fine and then I was on my feet again somehow, wondering what on earth was going on, and staggered a few feet away to sit on the curb while my hearing and vision slowly came back. I remember mumbling "Whoa, I think I might have fainted!" to Vincent, who said "Yeah, you were unconscious for about two minutes."

I felt really nauseated and my stomach was burning so I wondered if I was going to be sick, but I still tried to get to the dinner date. We crossed the street, Vincent hovering awkwardly nearby, and I realized I needed to sit again. It was hard to admit I wasn't going to make it to dinner. We went back to the apartment, only about two blocks away, but I needed to stop and rest at least six times and really doubted my ability to keep moving. I just wanted to lie down.

The scary part is that I'd noticed that taking deep breaths made my lungs burn a little bit for about a day, but ever since I fainted I've had something that's not quite heartburn, more like a dull throbbing pain in my chest. For a while I was secretly terrified it was a heart attack, but it's nowhere near that severe. I talked about it on facebook and a friend who's a nurse told me it sounded like my blood pressure was really low and my heart was having trouble getting enough oxygen. I've been taking deep breaths and the pain has decreased but even now, the next morning, it's there. It wasn't there when I first woke up, but by staying awake I've made it come back.

So yeah, color me freaked out. I've never fainted before in my life so I honestly thought it was cool and was rather disappointed that I only had Vincent to tell me what had happened, because he thinks of himself as a writer but he sure as hell isn't a storyteller. I had to ask him fifty times for various details before I got a vague idea of what he saw. Apparently I was about to lean on the building when suddenly I just dropped--the other way, so it wasn't even a graceful slide down the side of the store window or whatever--and Vincent's reaction was to try to drag me back to my feet. He said I said something about being fine (bizarre because I was absolutely unconscious then with no memory of this but I wouldn't be surprised since "I'M FINE" is my immediate reaction to everything that goes wrong) but as soon as he got me up I collapsed again. He said he was holding me on my knees for a while and that was when that passerby asked if she needed to call a doctor. At that point I was coming to and quickly responded in English about how fine I was.

Very strange! I'm planning to be on my feet a little more today, but unsure if I want to risk leaving the building in case something happens again. I'm thinking I'll start doing a TLC-level cleaning job on Vincent's place, one pile of mysterious items at a time, which will at least keep me walking around this little room. I might try taking some of his empty wine bottles down to the recycle bin in the courtyard if I feel up to it.

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princesse_incongrue: an 18th century robe à la française in gold silk, its wearer clutching a thick bouquet (Default)
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