If something can go wrong, it will happen to me. That's what I wrote in that last post just before I headed back downstairs for a late but tasty dinner... and ~5 hours later I was riding in the guest seat of an ambulance, headed for Valley Medical Center's emergency room.
Food poisoning, the doc said.
The human body is a pretty amazing thing. Creatures so tiny we can't see them are having a party inside you, noshing on whatever they find, and pooping out chemicals that don't belong inside us. Our bodies can detect this, and fire up mechanisms to eject the undesirable party-crashers.
Eject. Good word for it. Eject I did, both ways, again and again, violently enough that my abs were still hurting four days later. I was rapidly dehydrating, getting weaker by the heave, and starting to occasionally choke on bits of a meal that tasted much better the first time... my need to breathe fought a side battle with the need to eject and the waning strength TO eject. Things were getting kind of scary and I figured it was time to call for help. Even that was difficult as I was disorientated and somehow it was becoming a challenge to form words and put together a coherent sentence.
I have no idea why so many, but next I knew there were 8 guys in my room. At least 4 were paramedics and a couple were hotel security. I suppose it might take several to lift my big butt onto the gurney, but luckily for them I was able to mount up under my own power. The guys were great, though, asking all the pertinent questions, getting down info on all my meds, what I ate, drank & such, and finally making sure I left behind a secure situation. Rolling through the hotel, I did a quick call to friend and AUGI board member Jane Smith, so that at least SOMEBODY at AU would know where I was, and then off we went for a lights & siren run across Las Vegas at 3 or so in the morning.
Valley Medical Center has some pretty good people, too. They took care of me, starting an IV through which eventually passed a couple 2-liter bags of plain old water (don't ever again complain about the price of water at the airport) and miscellaneous shots of anti-nausea drugs and morphine as they gradually got me under control.
Forward 4 or 5 hours, and the major discomfort is my sore butt from the hours of half-sitting on the narrow gurney. Communication was still a problem, but I managed to satisfy their main requirement for discharge by dribbling an inch or so into one of their plastic pee-bottles and they ran a couple more tests. They decided while they waited for the results to put another shot of everything into me, and since morphine tends to make me sick we were surprised to discover that I DID still have some dinner left inside. I guess if they needed some samples to test that took care of it.
Word came back that the lab guys were happy with my dribble, and I could finally get dressed and ready to go. Be it experience or foresight, due to the advice from the paramedics I had my bankcard in hand and there is an ATM at the emergency room's lobby. Yay, cash to to cover the cab ride home to the hotel!
A wheelchair ride from security, and as the rest of the hotel guests start to get up and/or head down for breakfast and a day of gambling, sightseeing, greeting new arrivals for AU, for me it's hit the bed for another 8 or 9 hours, with only 11 hours until the Blogger's Social!
Not that things were finished, but I made it, all showered and shaved and in fresh clothes, to the social, where I went right to hard-party mode with club-soda and strawberries!
As awful as it was, it could have been worse, and I avoided actually missing any part of AU. I continued in a pretty wobbly state, with a very touchy system, until Thursday morning when breakfast was again fun. What I did miss, though was the chance to blog the AU as it happened. I just didn't have the energy to do much more than soak up the info best I could from my classes and sessions. I guess I'll have to do AU in wrap-up form again this time. Stay tuned for that, and oh, yeah...
Next comes the bill. Dum-dum dum-dum dum-dum...