Monday, March 2, 2009

Ottawa.... Emerg!

Well, I'm back from Ottawa, and I saw a bit more of the city than I had bargained for! As I mentioned in my previous post, Pat's parents drove us to Ottawa Friday night. The 5 hour drive passed fairly quickly since I slept a good part of the way.

His parent's told us about their trip to Punta Cana and they had a wonderful time. Except for one thing - his mom had an allergic reaction while there. She waited the hives out for 2 days, but it got so bad she went to see the doctor in Punta Cana. She was given a shot, and told not to go in the sun. The next day, she went back for another injection because it hadn't gone away, and they flew back to Canada that night (as planned). Once in Toronto, they went to emergency and the doctor told her the same as the one in Punta Cana - it was a reaction to the sunscreen (which she had brought with her). Take Benadryl. So that's what she was doing Friday.

Half way to Ottawa, we stopped at a Tim Hortons ... and her bottom lip was swollen. She said that while she was in the Dominican, her lip and eyes had swelled a bit and had gone away with the shots. We figured it was just the hives moving around, which is common enough. The swelling was still there Saturday morning, and her top lip swelled up in the afternoon.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at Chateau Laurier (where Pat sister works as a restaurant hostess). It was delicious and the hotel was absolutely stunning. Old World glamour. Before going, Pat's mom had a brief chest pain. It went away pretty much right away, so we didn't think much of it. That night, Pat & his dad went off to the game. They had great seats - 3rd row behind the goalie. In fact, we could identify Pat on TV (thanks to his light-coloured shirt).

Half way through the 2nd period, Pat's mom gets another chest pain. Except this time it doesn't go away - and it's really, really bad. Pat's sister, her boyfriend and I made the decision to bring her to emergency. She didn't want to, but there was no way we were risking anything. Luckily, the hospital was only a couple of blocks away and emergency wasn't too busy for a Saturday night.

Well, we all learned that the doctors don't mess around with chest pains. His mom had blood test and an ECG almost right away, and was given a bed within an hour. The doctor (there's only one on night shift) didn't know if the allergic reaction and chest pains were related, so she focused on her heart (especially since there's a history of heart disease in the family). All the tests came back clean. By this time, shifts have changed and we're onto doctor #2. Finally, Pat's dad asked if it could be the Benadryl she's taking. Of course, the doctor dismissed this right away. But when Pat mentioned the anti-malarial pills they had been taking because of their trip, the doctor told her to stop taking them immediately. She was given something to help her sleep and was dismissed Sunday morning. Thankfully, they're also home now, and she's feeling much better.

We checked online - the major signs of allergic reaction for the anti-malarials she was taking are hives and swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat. It's just incredible that it took 5 doctors to figure this one out. And that the one in Toronto didn't realize that after 3 days of not having used sunscreen, the hives should not have been that bad anymore. It's just too easy to run with someone else's diagnosis.

So we didn't sleep much Saturday night (our bus home was at 7am Sunday), but we did get to see some characters in Ottawa emergency! It was pretty entertaining! And at one point, there was some x-rated stuff playing on the TV there (on mute thank heavens)!!! We couldn't help but laugh hysterically... I think we were a little over-tired.

1 comment:

mchen said...

Wow. I'm happy to hear Pat's Mum is ok now — that's scary stuff! Not the kind of 'eventful' we hope for on a road trip... Good for you guys for insisting on going to the hospital to check it out. Whew :)