I haven’t been riding my bike the last couple of days. You see, yesterday was my wife’s birthday. Suffice it to say it was not one of the birthdays one normally gets upset about. Just a run of the mill birthday divisible by 17 and 3. To mark the occasion in a unique and heretofore unheard of way, my wife, known around these parts as as Mrs. Rootchopper, decided to celebrate with a bang. During her midday pilates class she experienced what we later learned to be a thunderclap headache.
Much fun ensued as I rushed to her side and promptly stood around with a look of stern concern, feeling utterly helpless as she held two ice bags to her head and yelled through excruciating pain. Some EMTs showed up with a stretcher and whisked her off with me riding shotgun in the ambulance to GW University Hospital’s chaotic emergency room. (Digression: for those of you not from the Washington, DC area, the vehicle we rode in was pronounced am-BYOO-LANCE. I find this pronunciation almost as annoying as the word “irregardless.” Now was not the time to complain about the local dialect however. Now back to our tale.) For you history buffs, this is the same ER that saved Ronald Reagan’s life after he was shot. It occurred to me that, as far as I knew, Mrs. Rootchopper’s thunderclap headache had not been caused by a bullet fired by an obsessed Jodie Foster fan so, I thought, perhaps we were in the wrong place.
Lucky for us, Rosie the nurse came to my wife’s aid with a nice IV with morphine and some other mysterious medications. The ER was incredibly busy with the flotsam and jetsam of ailing city life, so we waited a couple of hours for a CAT scan. This turned out negative, which is not to say that Mrs. Rootchopper was determined to have no brain. Rather,.this meant that no tumors or fluids such as blood were evident in her head. On the advice of the amazingly personable and calm Dr. Leila Zucker, Mrs. Rootchopper had a lumbar puncture to double check the presence of blood in her cerebro-spinal fluid. While the good doctor was setting this up, I fetched my car and picked up our 15 year-old-daughter, so that we all could make a hasty departure from the hospital. Sadly the hospital lab took a couple of hours to test the fluid samples so we sat around and played Brickbreaker and entertained Mrs. Rootchopper who was now experiencing a morphine hangover of sorts and a slight headache from the lumbar puncture. (We’re havin’ fun now!)
Very long story short, the fluid tested negative for bad stuff. Dr. Zucker told us that, basically, without beaucoup further tests, the cause of today’s medical excitement was a mystery. This I confirmed today on the Mayo Clinic’s website. The website also summarized virtually everything that Dr. Zucker had discussed with us in the ER. So not only did she have a world-class bedside manner, she also knew exactly what she was doing which is very comforting indeed. Mrs. Rootchopper was told to go home and resume normal activities, and check in with her personal physician.
We arrived home at 10 pm exhausted and hungry, and proceeded to inhale chocolate truffle birthday cake and ice cream.
Hopefully, in a day or 2, I’ll be back in the saddle. Then again, my daughter’s birthday is Thursday. Who knows what adventures await..