This past weekend I found myself being admitted to the hospital ICU for an allergic reaction to an OTC medicine that I've been taking without a problem for the past 30+ years. Evidently, there's some people like me who have allergies that also have a genetic disposition to react to aspirin type of medicines (in my case, naproxyn - aka Aleve). For people with this disposition, the reaction can happen immediately or, in my case, after years of using the medication. All I can say is that when I saw the swelling in my throat (which felt like postnasal drip, or the theme of many a nightmare where I felt like a huge wad of bubblegum was in my throat and I couldn't get rid of it) , I had the calm presence of mind to take myself to Urgent Care to see a doctor. In hindsight, I wish I had gone to the ER right by my home instead of the only 24/7 Urgent Care facility 25 minutes away because they wound up immediately sending me by ambulance to the ER a block away from the clinic. (I didn't realize how serious the situation was).
You may ask, "What does this have to do with misophonia? (the theme of this blog)" Well, my 5+ hour stay in the ER while waiting to be admitted up to the ICU wound up being quite boring, yet misophinia trigger torturous, for me. I was dying to have earplugs, which I was told I might be able to get in the ICU. As much as I would've liked to have taken a nap while waiting for the transfer (it was midnight when I arrived at the ER), I was driven crazy by one of the male nurses seated at the desk outside of my curtained off area whose loud gum cracking and whistling made it impossible for me to relax. In fact, the triggers were so stressful for me, they actually asked if I was on high blood pressure medication b/c my pressure was 185/120! (Normally, I'm around 112/78). I'm sure that the stress of having difficulty breathing and needing IV's put into both arms were a big part of that high blood pressure, but it wouldn't surprise me if the misophonia triggers weren't a big contributor as well. At one point, I actually scooted down to the edge of the gurney to pull back the curtain and snapped, "Will you please stop whistling and cracking your gum?" to the nurse.
I was so relieved when they finally brought me up to the ICU a couple of hours after that. When I explained to the nurses about my misophonia, they not only brought me a packet with earplugs and an eye mask, another ICU nurse brought me extra earplugs. It wasn't an ideal situation but at least I finally got a little bit of rest after that. I was even surprised when one of the doctors knew what misophonia was. (I can tell you for sure that the male nurse in the ER didn't).
Luckily, the ENT doctors figured out what was wrong with me fairly early in the morning so I was able to be discharged later that afternoon. All I can say is that if I ended 2018 with such chaos, maybe I'll luck out and have a calmer beginning to 2019.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and trigger-free new year!