Hailie's Haircut

This was a long day.

Today was the day Hailie and I had been talking about for a while now. Her haircut was scheduled for today at 2:00 pm. On Tuesday, she made me promise that I would have her booked by the end of the week, so I chose today because I would be able to put it off as long as I possibly could, and still have Charles on the floor to help out (he rotates having Saturdays off). I had set a goal with him to use 100% razor on this cut, and he was showing me a lot of simple techniques to make it exactly what I have in mind.

1:00 - Hailie calls. She's in pain to the point that she can't come in. I ask how bad it is, and she says it's bad but we decide that she will keep an eye on it and if it gets worse we can go to the doctor.

Let's rewind a few years. Hailie had a rather large bulging disk between her L4/L5 and had to have back surgery about two years ago. Since then, she's dealt with varying levels of pain. She has good days for the most parts, but bad days can get pretty bad. Sometimes it's a few minutes, other times, she doesn't have the same luck. So when she tells me that she's in pain, I know that she means it.

So I'm bummed. I'd been looking forward to this all morning. I had been trying all week to re-purpose my nervous energy into excited energy, and cutting mom's hair yesterday had been that switch for me.

1:15 - Hailie calls again. I need to leave. Now. She tells me that her lower right abdomen is in horrible pain. As if it was stabbing in a specific spot. I asked what she thought it was. She didn't think it was a UTI, it hurt way too much for it to be that. "What's the pain 1-10?" "8" "Do you think it's your kidney or appendix?" "I don't know, but I need to go to the doctor now."  I immediately pack up all of my tools and leave. 

1:40 - I get home and Hailie is already in the apartment parking lot waiting for me. That's not normal. She gets in the passenger seat and reclines all the way back because it hurts too much to sit upright. She tells me generally where it hurts, and she points exactly where I didn't want her to point. I asked her if she thought it was a UTI, but if it was her kidney or appendix we needed to go to the ER. She didn't even hesitate in saying she wanted to go to the emergency room. Fortunately, we live five minutes from the closest hospital, so the ride is over shortly.

We get into the reception area and there's a man with his arm in a sling sitting behind the reception desk, and one more man who greets us. He explains that he isn't part of reception, but, he takes down our information to pass on to the proper person who was busy with another patient. Hailie sits down in one of the chairs for right around a minute before she gets up and kneels on the ground, hunching over the chair. I'm really worried because I haven't seen her in this much pain since her back surgery, and it's right around her appendix.

1:55 -We start patient intake and she is fidgeting so much from pain that it takes three attempts before the machine could get an accurate blood pressure reading. We go back to the corner exam room and Hailie gets changed into her medical gown, and then we wait for the doctor. There are two things I notice in the room. The analog clock on the wall in front of me, and the digital clock on the wall to the right of me. And I kept looking at them. As well as the clock on my phone, up until it died. I always wanted to know what time it was because I wanted to know long I had been in that room.

People who know me are very aware of how I feel about being in hospitals. I loathe/despise/detest/hate being in hospitals. The majority of the seizures I've had have occurred in hospitals. Simply put, they give me an unreasonable amount of anxiety.

2:05 - The doctor comes in and he begins asking Hailie what her symptoms are. She goes on to describe them, and replies to him with "8" when asked about her pain level. He says that he's worried it could be one of a few things. Could be minor like a UTI, could be something more serious like ovarian torsion or appendicitis. They need to do some initial tests to see if they can do a CAT scan to see what's going on. He has the nurse put on an IV with a slow morphine drip. They'll check the pain levels in a little bit. 

2:20 - Hailie asked me to google how long it should take for morphine to hit because it hadn't yet. That's odd, it should have by now.

2:40 - The nurse comes back in to see how the pain was. Hailie says 8 again, and the nurse changes the drip rate to go through a little faster.

3:15 - The morphine kicked in.

The nurse came in and checked on us a few times over the next hour, but it was just a lot of waiting. Time creeped to a crawl. It seemed that every time I looked at one of the clocks it had only been ten seconds since the last time I had looked at it.

4:31 - The nurse comes in and starts disconnecting her from the machine that reads her vitals. as soon as her heartbeat monitor is disconnected, it starts making this annoying beeping sound to inform those around that it is unable to pick up a heartbeat. He tells us that she is going to run down and get a CAT scan. He starts to wheel her off when he says it will only take about 8 minutes, but I have to hang out here.


4:35 - I have about 15 people texting me asking if Hailie is okay and what's going on. Between that and all of this waiting, my battery is fading fast. I need anything to get away from this sound.


4:45 - They're late. Why are they late?


4:48 - Last time I looked at the clock was 18 seconds ago.


4:52 - I hate this room. I hate this beeping. I hate that this is taking more time. I hate  being in this place. And I must not have been doing a good job of keeping it contained. The man who's arm was in a sling had been walking by and looked at me. He asked "are you okay?" with the voice of a stranger who was genuinely interested in the answer. I told him I was worried and how much I hate hospitals and that I can't stand the beeping or the cross over the door. I don't know if he was expecting me to be honest, but he told me "everything is going to be okay" and then he left.


4:54 - I can't stand it anymore. I grab someone at the desk to help me turn off the heart monitor. I wish I would have known this 30 minutes earlier.

5:01 - Where's Hailie? I keep checking the shadows at the bottom of the door and the clock, and nothing indicates they're coming in the immediate future.

5:10 - I had been lying my head against the safety railing on the wall trying to get some sleep instead of worrying when I heard them come back in.

5:28 - Now that Hailie is back, I try and take a nap. I fashion a make shift bed out of the two chairs that I had been swapping between. It was the most uncomfortable ten minutes of sleep I think I have ever experienced.

5:55 - The doctor comes back in. It doesn't require surgery. He said that it was a really nasty kidney infection, so he prescribed some antibiotics and pain/nausea medicine. But before we could leave, there was another antibiotic that they wanted to give her a head start on. So we didn't get to leave until around 6:45 once that medication was administered (another slow drip)

Today did not go according to plan. But I keep preaching to everyone at school that you have to look at the positive in all things. I have been bummed for months that I haven't had any dedicated time to hang out with just Hailie. Now this wasn't the context that I was looking for, but I actually got half a day with just the two of us. And that is worth it's weight in gold right now.