It’s been a little more than six months since Dan and my trip to Walt Disney World. My memories from that um, memorable trip are still pretty fresh. Let’s see, I remember theme park rides, amazing fireworks, images of Mickey Mouse everywhere and having a great time with my family and Dan. But really what I remember most is my late-night visit to Celebration Hospital in Orlando.
To treat my MS, I take a subcutaneous injection ever day, which is supposed to lessen the frequency and severity of my Multiple Sclerosis. After giving myself injections every day for the last 12 years, I guess it was bound to happen: I had to have an incident to remember.
And remember this one I will.
It was a little later than when I usually take my shot, but we were on vacation – getting away from it all. The day was pretty packed with activities. Eating dinner, taking my shot, and crawling into bed sounded like a perfect ending to a busy Disney day.
I took my pre-filled syringe from the refrigerator, pulled off the cap, inserted the needle into my stomach, and pushed on the plunger. But the plunger didn’t budge. This sometimes is typical because I’ve developed scar tissue from taking so many injections. And as usual, I asked Dan to push in the fluid. He pushed on the plunger, but it still didn’t move.
I gave it another try and in my brilliance, I thought, “Oh, just give it a little twist.” And the next thing I knew, I had a syringe in one hand, and a needle in my stomach. Understandably, I started to freak out. But I tried to stay calm, looking at Dan to fix it. I was pleading with my eyes, “Fix this,” and he was looking at me with confused, “I wish I could” eyes.
Just then, he took his fingers and tried to grab the pointed metal piece and well, you know how quicksand in movies looks? That’s how the needle disappeared into my belly.
Poof. It was gone.
“Oh no! Oh no! What am I going to do?” I frantically questioned.
Dan was as mystified as I was. What could we do? I tried to regain some calm and call the hotel front desk. They transferred me to safety, where I give the same story I just told you. Safety was as mystified. They told me to call paramedics, which I did. When the paramedics arrived I went through the whole story, again, and they said, “We’ve never heard of that. You should probably go to the hospital, and at least have an X-ray.”
So off to the hospital we went. X-rays were taken. At least three times, between doctors and nurses and X-ray techs, I heard, “Wow, never heard of that before.” Comforting, isn’t it? By about 2 a.m., after several X-rays turned up nothing, the doctor told me that he was going to let the needle work itself out, kind of like a sliver. After all, it would be more dangerous to perform surgery to remove something they couldn’t see.
And guess what I said? “Really, hmm, I’ve never heard of that before.” But I trusted him, and besides I just wanted to go home; home to Michigan, that is.
Because the reality is, when you live with a chronic illness like MS, you never really can get away from it all.
P.S. It really turned out to be a great trip.
P.P.S. Yep, the needle is still there