Friday, 20 June 2008

A bit of the unexpected...

I've just this second posted a blog post about the Californian Redwoods (just below this one) so be sure not to miss it if you haven't noticed it.

Last night saw a slight change in plans for our wee traveling family. After a month of coughing, over a week of serious shoulder and neck pain, and various other symptoms Dan decided it was time to take me to the hospital for a check up. This was not a decision made lightly as we have to pay the first $500 of any medical bill, and that's assuming the insurance company pay out on the rest.

I have been checking my blood pressure in Walmart Pharmacies along the road and its been getting higher and higher. I am a person who suffers from low blood pressure, not high, so this was unusual for me. I recently spoke to one of the Walmart pharmacists about my blood pressure (it was 154/100 at the time) and he told me that a high BP like that could cause my unborn baby to die. So, it was time to get checked out.

I arrived at the Fort Bragg emergency department feeling like somewhat of a hypochondriac. I explained that I had no doctor and had been traveling for five months. The triage nurse took my BP and exclaimed that it was extremely high for someone of my age, and so I was allowed into the ER department for further investigation. To cut a long story short, after various blood and urine tests, and an x-ray I was diagnosed with a serious bladder infection, bronchitis, pregnancy migraines and sever hypertension. I was prescribed a cocktail of drugs to take including pain killers, anti sickness medication, antibiotics, cough syrup and an asthma inhaler. They gave me a nebuliser in the ER and that seemed to help my breathing. The ER doctor consulted the hospital Obstetrician about my blood pressure and he sent down a message with a ton of advise. He told me that the baby's growth and well being could be in jeopardy because of my blood pressure and that it was vital I got home as soon as possible so that the baby could be regularly checked for growth and vitality. He told me to avoid salt at all costs, that I should be on regular bed rest during the day (not easy whilst traveling) and that getting home was my priority.

So after a long night at the hospital, with no camp site booked to sleep in, I came out with my inhaler and bag of drugs, and a note for the insurance company asking them to get me home asap. First thing this morning Dan spent an hour trying to get through to the travel insurance company. Eventually he made it through to the right department and explained our situation. They have a ton of paperwork and red tape to get through before they can send us home, and I'm wondering if it will just be quicker to wait for our original flights on the 3rd July. Anyway, we have to phone them back in the morning to see how things are progressing. And so we drove much closer to San Francisco today, and started packing our suitcases, in case we are sent home pronto.

It's been a fabulous trip and we've all had the time of our lives. All five of us are ready to return home now anyway, and it's only 2 weeks earlier than planned. The kids don't seem at all disappointed and are looking forward to seeing their rooms again. To be honest, if the insurance company pays out like its supposed to it will turn out well as we will be refunded two weeks of RV hire fees, wont have to pay for the hotel fees at the end, and will spend a lot less on gas over the next few weeks! However, if they dont pay out we are in for some huge medical bills.


Bree said...

And I get to see the end of the footie!


Tammy said...

I am so sorry that you are feeling so unwell Hazel. If you aren't able to go home right away, you are all more than welcome to come back down here. It's been hot, but we have great a/c and you can rest inside. And, we have a wading pool in the yard, so all the kids can swim. Please consider it.

Lorna said...

So sorry to hear about your health problems. Hope the insurance comes through for you and your family. Take care and keep us posted.