Monday, February 25, 2008

Admitting I'm Not a Super Woman

I was at work last night, another late 12 hour nocturnal shift. Everything was going okay until around 4am when I got hit by major pains. It's unethical to be popping pain pills when I have the lives of other people in my hands so I just gritted my teeth and tried to bear it.

However, the L3s were not letting up and I ended up flopped on one of the chairs at the nursing desk. One of the nurses asked me if I was okay. In that split second, I could have flashed her a smile and lied saying that I was, but I didn't.

"I'm in pain."

"Oh really? You have cramps?" she asked me. "No, I have sickle cell anemia and it's acting up," I said in a monotone. All the nurses looked at me then, instant pity on their faces. Yuck! I was mortified and wished in that moment I hadn't said anything. "Do you want to go home?" the charge nurse asked me.

It was 4am, I had 3.5 hours left in my shift. I shook my head no slowly. It would be a real stressful thing to leave my coworkers in a lurch with extra patients each. What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment. She seemed relieved I wasn't going to head home. "You should go lie down. Take a blanket and one of the empty rooms and we'll wake you up a little after 5," the charge nurse practically ordered.

I wanted to resist and push through the pain, but at this point even I knew it would be an exercise in futility. Next to getting pain meds in my system at that point, rest was the next best thing so I protested weakly at first but gave in when everyone insisted.

I'm always wary about telling my coworkers and people in general that I have sickle cell. Mostly because I don't want to be treated like an invalid or wallow in pity. But this is one instance that I'm glad I spoke up and let my vulnerable side show. I can't be a Super Woman every time.

An hour later, I woke up from my power nap with L2s but was able to finish the rest of the shift much more comfortably. Kudos to my coworkers for being so cool and picking up the slack for that hour when I was down and out.

Here is to surviving a potential crises. I'm home, rested and feeling much better now. Super Woman lives to fight another day.


Tamika M. said...

Glad to see you're hanging in there. All is not well out east. Hubby came down with the flu, which immediately sparked a mini-crisis that sent him to the ER. Today, it came back with a vengeance and sent us back for ER trip #2 in one week. He's laying next to me now, still in severe pain that probably won't let up for a few days. We expected it after the flu but thought we'd been proactive enough that it wouldn't be a monster. How naive. Sickle cell is a fickle monster and even when you do everything right, it can still do you wrong. Keep your head up, warrior, just as we in the fight try to do as well.

Just Me said...

I am sorry to hear all of the pain and suffering you have to endure.

The following has been mentioned before but no one seems to care about it, or pay attention to it. I doubt the medical establishment is aware of Nicosan yet, and thus they will not endorse it, and may even discourage using it.

But here is a first hand report I received from another SCD sufferer here in the US that has been using Nicosan for several months now. If interested I can put you in contact with this gentleman.

Hi Ron,

Glad to hear from you once again.

I must confess that Nicosan has been of tremendous help to me . I hardly fall ill as frequently , and even when i do fall ill ocassionally, the duration of the illness / crisis is brief. I have even gained some weight and don't look malnourished anymore . In a nutshell the story so far has been remarkable.

Am kinda in a hurry now , i'll give you more details later. Cheers.

Vixen said...

Tamika, how is your hubby doing now?

Ron, I sent you an email!

Tamika M. said...

I know I've been AWOL for a minute, but that's because Hubby DID end up in the hospital after the second ER visit. He was released last Friday and has been out of work this week, hopefully to return Monday. His pain is finally under control and he's back to normal for the most part. That said, I'll be back on the grind in checking out your blog now that life has settled down again. :o) Thank you for asking and all the best!

Darryl said...

Kudos to you for sharing your history with your co-workers. I know, it's a delicate dance, but you were in the best place: the hospital. So therefore, they should know! Also, kudos to you for also wanting to finish your shift. It shows that even though you have Sickle Cell, you can carry your load. your share of the work.

Heather said...


I'm glad that I stumbled across your page today. Your words insprire me and remind me of myself. I can relate to you on many of the issues you discuss. I'm 27 living in Ann Arbor and life has enjoyed kicking my behind but I just hop on the train and keep going. I look foward to reading all of your blogs.

Vixen said...

Tamika...I got your last comment but no follow up after that. Hope all is well on the East Coast with you and your man. Sending warm wishes your way!

Darryl, why thanks! I never would put it so eloquently, but I do strive to be as 'normal' as possible. I could stay home and not work, and collect a disability check every month, but I'm too stubborn for that. I want to experience EVERYTHING life has to offer, y'know?

Heather, it's so nice to hear from you. I used to live in Berrien Springs, MI...been to Ann Arbor a few times, maaaaan, it's cold up there! Sickle cell is no joke in the cold---don't know how you all do it. Please enjoy the blog, and feel free to send me any questions you might have. Remember, this doesn't define you at all, you are a wonderful woman all by your fabulous self!