I was at work playing tricks on my coworkers as they were on me. It was a lighthearted morning. The phone rings and I answer it, and it's a prank caller, heavy breathing in my ear.
I can barely hear or understand him so I ask if he's okay. He says no, he needs me to come and get him.
At this point I am worried, since my guy is tough and rarely complains of even a sore throat. Suddenly it dawns on me - it's April Fools Day. Ha ha. You're not gonna get me, I think. But just as quickly I think he might actually be sick or hurt. I ask him in a very serious voice "Is this an April Fools joke, because if it is it is not funny." He strains to say "no". Still skeptical, but knowing that he is mature enough not to play it up this long if it is in fact a trick, I tell him I'm on my way.
He had been delivering a presentation to a group of business owners about a block from my work. When I arrive, I find him in the lobby, hunched over in his suit, not even able to look up without the world spinning in front of his eyes. He was clearly ill. It takes several minutes to figure out how to get him out of there, since every time he tries to stand he gets so dizzy he needs to drop back to the chair.
Another man helps me and we walk him to the van. He is nauseous, has a headache and is sweaty and pasty looking. I suddenly remember that recently he'd complained of headaches several times in the span of a week. Apart from the fact that there did not seem to be any one-sided paralysis, I realized he had a lot of signs of a stroke. The part of me that wanted things to be alright kept telling myself that it was probably just a sudden flu - it happens, right? The part of me that used to teach first aid, and knows how important it is to get medical help asap took over and drove straight to the nearest hospital.
I got him a wheelchair immediately and within minutes they had him in a separate room with a nurse assessing him. Clearly they also thought he might be very ill. We were taken to an emerg room where my dear hubby spent the next eleven hours being poked, prodded, tested and assessed. They basically spent the day ruling out certain conditions or illnesses. Late in the day they decided to do a spinal tap.
My poor hubby later told me he thought that meant they would take the little hammer they use to check reflexes and 'tap' his spine. I knew it would be much worse. They did not numb him properly and he was clearly in significant pain when they did it. Unfortunately the doctor missed. They did it again, and missed again. Up to that point I'd been on the other side of the room, not wanting to watch the needle going in. When they had to try a third time, I moved around so I could witness what they were doing on the off chance that they injured him and we had to sue...weird I know but to see him in so much pain, it was all I could do.
Late in the evening they came to the conclusion that my dear hubby had meningitis. They were 99% sure it was viral, which is not contagious and just has to run it's course, but could not rule out that 1% chance that it was bacterial, so they would treat it as such. Suddenly I had to gear up in full scrubs, gloves and a face mask with giant plastic shield. It seemed a bit ridiculous to me considering I sleep beside the man - if I was going to get it I would have already!
My poor hubby spent several days in isolation in the hospital while they pumped him full of antibiotics and pain killers. In the end he came home, spent a few days watching daytime TV and decided that he'd rather have meningitis than be forced to watch daytime TV...so back to work he went.
Today I wish my sweet guy a happy 3 year meningitis anniversary!!!