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Day 122 – Our six year wedding anniversary in the ER
But now I’m back and lets see if I can summarize the past few weeks.
The biggest event that happened to me occured this weekend.
This weekend was my 6 year wedding anniversary with Eric and we spent it in the EMERGENCY ROOM of the San Francisco general Hospital. I had minor surgery done.
It was quite possibly the most frightening experience of my life. It’s not something I want to write about or revisit.. but it’s kind of important. Maybe it will help prevent anyone else from going through what I did.
10 months ago I first noticed the small lump under my left arm pit.
I know this seems like the kind of thing I would write about here in my 365 days journal (since I’ve been documenting every aspect of my daily life), but to be honest.. I didn’t think much of it. It was so small, like a tiny pea embedded deep under the skin and it didn’t hurt. I thought it was a swollen lymp node. I was under the belief that a lump had to be in your breast for it to be dangerous.
5 months later, it grew to the size of a pebble. During my yearly breast exam my doctor felt it and observed that it was probably a cyst or a calcium deposit. She gave me a referral for a specialist which I never followed up on. I was in the middle of moving to San Francisco and I had just quit my job, so I didn’t have health insurance at that point.
2 weeks ago, It started to hurt a bit. Just enough to cause discomfort and worry.
1 week ago it began to grow larger and become more painful but I was so busy with work I didn’t want to take off any days so early into a new job. I’m still trying to make a good impression.
Then the fever and chills came. My entire arm was in pain and I couldn’t raise it anymore. the whole area hurt so badly, I had to take 3 motrin every 6 hours to just get through work on Thursday and Friday. Eric started begging me to see a doctor, I told him "on the weekend, I promise.. I’m just in the middle of a big project!"
On Saturday, the pain was so extreme I started shaking. Eric rushed me to the San Francisco General Hospital.
It turns out my cyst was infected and leaking fluids inside the skin under my arm. It was almost at the point of rupturing which would have potentially led to blood poisoning. They did a lot of blood tests to count my white blood cells to see if it was cancer such as Hodgensons Lymphoma. I had a series of doctors examining me, At around midnight..they stuck an IV in my arm and started administering Morphine for the pain. It helped at first and that’s when this picture was taken.
This was my first time in a hospital emergency room in a hospital gown, attached to an IV in a scary white room. At 2 A.M. I started crying because of the pain that had returned full force and an intense fear. I was a mess. Eric was holding my hand, and smoothing down my hair. They were concerned about my fever. I was hallucinating due to the morphine and thought the cookie monster was singing "C is for Cookie" at the foot of my bed. I believed he was my guide to take me to "the other side" In retrospect, I find that rather funny.
At 3 A.M., they used 7 big (extremely painful) needles to numb the area and cut me open while I was on a morphine drip. It’s terrifying to be awake while surrounded by 5 different doctors, nurses, and attendees while they’re slicing open your arm pit. There are no words to describe. I could feel what they were doing despite the numbing injections. Eric was squeezing my hand. Two nurses were holding my legs to insure I didn’t move during the procedure.
After removing the entire cyst, they put antibiotic gauze in the area and gave me a prescription for Vicodin. They removed the IV and had me rest for an hour before I was allowed to leave the hospital room. I returned home and threw up until 7 A.M.
That was how we spent our 6 year wedding anniversary.
It is an anniversary we’ll never forget. what I wont forget is how Eric held my hand the entire time, How he held me in his arms that morning while I trembled and cried in bed. His support, his love.. and it’s weird how something as scary as this can make you realize how important you are to eachother as a couple. How deep your love is together.
What I learned from this experience is to never ignore a lump. any lump. EVER. If you have a cyst right now, even a benign cyst. I urge you to go to the doctor and have it aspirated. I didn’t realize until this week that cysts could get abscessed, infected, rupture or cause life threatening health problems.
I’m healing now and I’m okay. 100% better. I sho
4 Steps to Building an Emergency Fund
And there are plenty of “leaks” that can scuttle an already-tight budget. For instance, a spouse idled by the sour economy, a fender bender with the family car, or an unexpected hospitalization. That’s why financial advisors recommend that you have a rainy-day fund—enough liquid assets to cover three to six months’ worth of emergency living expenses. In case of financial emergency, access to additional money will save you from relying on credit cards or loans that simply compound the problem.
When starting an emergency fund, here are a few tips to abide by:
1. Determine what amount is best for you. Most experts agree that you should keep between three and six months worth of your living expenses set aside in your emergency fund. Your specific situation – whether you have children, carry substantial debt and types of insurance coverage you have – will determine what amount is best for you. Examine your situation — your income and your needs — to decide how much you should save.
2. Start small. Starting an emergency fund can be as simple as depositing $100 into your high-interest savings account. But before you begin, be sure that you’re meeting your basic living expenses. And as you build your emergency fund, be sure you’re also reducing your spending and avoiding debt.
3. Stick to a schedule. Get into the habit of making regular deposits. Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, create a schedule and stick to it. Once you make saving automatic, you won’t even have to think about it.
4.Consider an online savings account. In many cases, an “online” savings account may make more sense than an account at a traditional, bricks-and-mortar bank. That’s because many traditional banks are not currently offering a savings option with interest rates high enough to meaningfully beat inflation. In addition, an online savings account is a reliable way to manage your money.
AAA and Discover Bank recently partnered to bring members highly competitive, preferred member rates on an online savings account. The AAA Online Savings Account is a great option to begin building your rainy-day fund:
• Preferred member rates over five times the national savings average
• $500 minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance required
• FDIC insurance up to $250,000
To open your Online Savings Account, visit AAA.com/Deposits.
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