Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Health and in Sickness (Living With Cogan's Syndrome)


March 1st—4th:

“Guess what, Sarah,” I probed. It was Thursday night, March 1st, and Sarah and I were in the midst of the beginning stages of the development of our website.

“What?” she asked as she searched through the various templates we would choose from for the website layout.

“My left ear sort of hurts.”

“Stop it,” she said.

“I’m serious. I hope I don’t wake up without any hearing in my left ear,” I said half-jokingly.  “That would suck.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

The next morning I woke up at 6:30am, and rushed to the bathroom to begin a vomiting session just as I had a few short weeks ago. I still had hearing in my left ear, but the pain hadn’t subsided. I spent the majority of the morning in the bathroom, clutched to the toilet or curled up on the floor.

Sarah came to the bathroom once the festivities had ended.

“Are you okay sweetie?”

I shook my head.

“I’m going to stay home from work today,” she said with her phone in hand, already about to call her boss.

“No,” I cried, “you can’t.”

“Max, I am your wife,” she said in a stern voice. “You need me. I can take the day off. It’s no problem.”

“It’s not fair,” I said, but she was already on the phone, talking to her boss in another room. What a persistent and wonderful wife I have.

When she got off the phone, she came back to me. She put her arm around me and held me close.

“I’m going to call the ENT. He needs to look at you again,” she said.

I nodded and cried in her arms.

Sarah made another appointment with Santa Claus. It was time, yet again, to visit the North Pole. This time Sarah came with me. Old Saint Nick examined my ears for a few minutes and then sent me in for the same hearing test that the nurse had done a few days ago. When it was all finished and he looked at the results, I was sitting in a chair in the waiting room with a bucket in my hand, Sarah rubbing my back. He strolled over to us, reached out and handed me a new nose spray and a 4-day sample of Avelox.

“Here are some magic meds that should make you feel better in no time,” he grumbled, holding a smile. Did your elves make them in the factory?

He told us to make a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, which Sarah took care of for me. Before we left the office—Sarah supporting most of my weight as we walked—I let go of her and took a trip to the bathroom, ensuring that the ride home would be free from any mess.

I spent the rest of the day and night in and out of the bathroom, with Sarah guiding me back and forth.

Yesterday morning, I woke up throwing up again. Sarah had a commitment at church. She was supposed to lead music for the women’s retreat and had left before I even woke up. I somehow made my way to the couch where I attempted to watch television, but the motion just enhanced the sickness; I tried to eat but couldn’t keep anything down. By mid-morning I called Sarah in hopes that she could call the doctor for me, but I only got her voicemail. I tried again and again—no luck.

Since my first plan didn’t pan out, I had to call my primary care physician: Doctor F. He was unavailable. I left a message for him to call me as soon as possible. Please God, I prayed, I need him to call. I need him to call soon. I can’t handle this anymore. The phone rang a few minutes later but I was already in tears.

“Hello, Max. What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Did Linda tell you…about my sickness…” I groaned, “a couple of weeks ago?”

“Yes, she mentioned it to me. You woke up vomiting, couldn’t keep anything down, and lost hearing in your right ear?”

“Yeah. Well…I’ve been sick for…the past twenty-four hours. It started with pain in my left ear. I can’t keep…anything down.”

“Nothing? Have you tried Gatorade?”

“Yes. Nothing.”

“I’m going to prescribe you Cyclobenzaprine. This should help with the nausea. If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to go to the ER,” he said with urgency.

“Alright. Thank you…Doctor F.”

“You’re welcome. Feel better, Max. Goodbye.”

“Bye.” I hung up the phone and stumbled to the bathroom, the dizziness rushing to my head, trying to drag me back down—the conversation on the phone was just too much. When I finally made my way back to the couch, I texted Sarah to let her know that there would be a prescription waiting for me at Stop and Shop that she could pick it up on her way back.

When Sarah returned in the early afternoon, I looked like a mess. My face was as pale as Casper, my hair was disheveled, and my clothes smelled like something awful. Sarah helped me put on new clothes and gave me the medication. It didn’t really do the trick at first, but that evening I stopped throwing up.

By this afternoon, I’m feeling much better; however, I’m still very dizzy and my ears are still bothering me. I’ve been sick and Sarah has been so busy taking care of me, that we haven’t been able to go grocery shopping or clean our apartment in weeks. Thankfully, my mother-in-law is at our apartment now helping Sarah out with those duties and relieving some of the stress for her.

1 comment:

  1. We love you Max! I am glad you are writing all this down. I can testify that everything happened just the way you wrote it! You write very well. Love, Mom and Dad LeBlond

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