Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dirty Hair

Here's the crazy way my mind works. This morning I was thinking about how much I hate cannot stand dirty hair. I don't mean my own hair. I never have dirty, I mean really dirty hair....except for once...more on that later. I mean people I come across in public whose hair is so dirty I can smell it 10 feet away. Ewwwww. I don't mean homeless people. I mean people with access to showers and soap. Stinky people who must not believe in hair and or body washing on a regular basis. Back to the smell. Ugh. The foul oily dirty hair smell is the grossest. Stenchy body sweat mixed with grease. *GAG* Why do these people not wash? Why oh why.
On to the crazy thread my mind takes. Starts with washing my hair in shower, gets me thinking about dirty hair and then next thing I'm remembering how I once had VERY dirty hair.
It was long ago...maybe 2001 or so. Cam can tell you...he's good with remembering years...not so good with names. ;) I came down with viral meningitis. I was SICK! Sunday at church I started to get the most awful headache. I went home and laid down. I couldn't eat or move. I laid there all day. At bedtime Cam put Tuba to bed and then he too went to sleep.
I awoke on the couch around midnight in horrific pain. I could not turn my neck. My head was pounding so hard and then I began projectile vomiting. I woke Cam to tell him I was going to the ER. I drove (shouldn't have) myself. Luckily the hospital was about 10 blocks away on quiet neighborhood streets. At stop signs I couldn't turn my head so I just moved my eyes as far as I could to each side to check for cars. I held a big Tupperware bowl between myself and the steering wheel.
At the hospital the triage RN had me list my symptoms....headache, vomiting and stiff neck. She took one look at me, read the list and whisked me into an exam room. Wow! That's never happened before. Hmmmm....that is a worrisome sign.
In the exam room I laid down on bed in agony. I was getting delirious. The Dr. came to examine me. He informed me that he needed to do a spinal tap. A needle into your spine to draw out fluid. Okay, you know you are sick when you do not care that the Dr. is going to do this. Next the nurse put in an IV and gave me some pain meds. It stopped the vomiting and eased the headache.
The Dr. asked me a zillion questions and one of my answers caused him to jerk his head up. He asked if I was or could be pregnant. Cam and I were trying to have a second baby and it was in that unknown time of the month. I could be pregnant. That got the Dr. VERY worried. They gave me a pregnancy test and it was negative.
After the spinal tap confirmed I had meningitis the ER needed to admit me. Unfortunately I had to be transported by ambulance across town. I remember calling Cam...sort of. He freaked! The ride in the ambulance was awful and painful and nauseating.
Once at the hospital they put my on massive doses of antibiotics. They had to culture the meningitis to see if it was bacterial (very deadly) or viral (the much better kind to have). It took 5 days to culture it but in the meantime I was on antibiotics just in case.
I felt awful. Terrible. It's all a bit fuzzy from my 5 day stay. In fact I barely remember Cam being there. He of course was there all the time. Poor guy was studying for his RN licensing exam. Back on how terrible I felt. I am a clean person. I cannot go a day with a shower, I wash my face twice and day, brush my teeth twice a day, etc. This was not the case while I was sick. I was so nauseated and still throwing up every day and sweating so much that my hospital gown and sheets were always wet.
The nurse's aid came to give me sponge baths...every day. I would NOT let them. NOT EVEN ONCE. Not because I was modest or shy. I was too sick to move or have anyone touch me. The most I did in the cleanliness arena was to change my undies each day and brush my teeth maybe once a day. Cam would come up in the morning and help me. I had something called neurogenic bladder which means that the signals in my head to make myself go pee weren't working. It was horrid. I could feel my bladder was full. I would sit and sit and try to go but it wouldn't work. So frustrating. Not to mention that getting from my bed to the bathroom with an IV pole and vomiting the whole way and trying not to fall over from dizziness was enough.
I slept a lot while I was there but it was not restful or in long periods. One night I looked at the clock and it was about bedtime...8:00 pm. I went to sleep and woke up the next morning at 9:00 am. I was so glad I had slept all night. I was so glad that much time had gone by. I wanted the days to go by fast so I could get well. I turned on the TV to watch some morning shows I like. It was so weird...I couldn't find any of them on TV. It was all this strange stuff. It took me a little while to realize it was still the previous evening!! I had only slept an hour! Frightening.
My roommate was a real doozy too! She was about 100 years old. She was always fighting and yelling at the nurses. Then they'd call her son on the phone and he'd tell his mom to behave and she'd calm down...only to start over again in a couple of hours. One night I had to call the nurse to come get her. She got out of bed, pulled up her nightgown, sate down on my garbage can and peed. Yup.
After 5 days in the hospital I was released to go home. I had not had a bath or shower. I had not washed my hair. I was stinky and greasy and sickly. Cam brought me home. I came into the house and walked past my sister and Tuba on the way to the shower. My own child wouldn't come near me (I hadn't seen him the whole 5 days) and the look on my sister's face was shock and horror. She does admit I was stinky. :o
I was so glad to be home. So glad to see my sweet Tuba. He wouldn't come to me for another couple of days. Poor baby. I think he was scared of how bad I looked. I was so glad to have clean good smelling hair and body.
It took me another 2 weeks to heal and get back on my feet. After two days home I went back to the Dr. I remember crying and telling him how terrible I still felt. I thought that since they were discharging me I'd be feeling better. Not so lucky. But, slowly I did get better. Thank God!
Whew! That was a long story. In my head in the shower this morning it didn't seem so long. Funny how that works.
Well, I left you with a picture of my hair on a really good hair day. Luckily there are no pictures of my hospital stay or dirty stinky hair. :)

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