How I'm In The Hospital Again, Part One

On Monday I woke with a hangover and a mouth sore.

On Tuesday morning I got up for work, noticing my mouth had swelled considerably overnight. I could barely eat, talk,  and, worst of all, annoy my coworkers. The pain intensified with every movement of my lips, cheek, tongue.


It was clear I was having a rough day; my coworkers kept looking at me with concern, which made me well up with tears. (To think I was once called a robot! Suck on that, everyone!) I fled to the old office stairwell and cried with my sunglasses on. 

My mouth was so raw, wide-open and vulnerable that the tears only burned it more. I went back to my desk, stared at my computer screen. I sat on the lid of the toilet and rested my head in my hands. I shook and shook and laid on the floor in Keogh’s office. It was all very dramatic, especially because I continued to wear the sunglasses for the rest of the day.

Around 2:00, I realized I needed to take something to make it through the day.

Advil did nothing. Orajel? Squat. Then I remembered how I usually keep medicine on my person (like a drug dealer), or in my drawer.

Digging into my desk and purse (veritable medicine cabinets in their own right), I found a couple of pills. My heart swelled with joy. Xanax! That’ll relieve the edge. Allow me work in peace. Before I popped the pill, I thought... Hmm...these look weird. These are Xanax, right?

With my extreme pain driving my impulses, I ignored my gut and swallowed it. It wasn't long before I realized that I accidentally took Oxycontin (and a strong dose at that!) instead. Stoned and confused, I alerted my coworker, prompting her to post this on Facebook: 

Quote of the day, via my co-worker, who shall remain anonymous (unless you work at H&S and will most likely figure this out): 
"I found some pills in my desk and I’m in agony so I took one. Now I might pass out at my desk. Boss just called me and I’m pretty sure I sounded stoned. The pills say K 56 on them and they are definitely a prescription. I wonder what they are. At least I’m not shaking from pain anymore." Tuesday at 2:18pm · 

Yes, that really happened. Don't worry, Boss--I did good, fine work afterwards. Maybe even mediocre.

On Wednesday morning, I got up and tried to get ready for work. Instead, I punched my fist into the wall (it didn’t make a dent; I am very weak), scratched half my skin off, stared into the mirror and let two dramatic tears fall, all because I tried to stick out my tongue and brush my teeth.

I got back in bed and screamed (more like moaned loudly--I couldn't open my mouth) into the pillow.  My entire body continued to involuntarily shake from the pain and I kicked the sheets, myself, the AC until I was sweaty and breathing hard. My palms were red and engraved with nail marks.

Not sure of what to do, and knowing I couldn't verbally speak on the phone, I wrote my parents a frantic email, asking them to call my doctors.

I waited for their response. I took 2mg of Xanax (Next up on kelly-bergin.com: How Xanax Ruined My Life and More!) and passed out until 2.

When I woke up, my phone was ringing. My dad was downstairs (like…at my apartment in NEW YORK CITY downstairs!), ready to take me to the ER. Disoriented (take 2mg of Xanax and you try to call me in the morning...it takes 12 hours to get back to normal), I showered quickly, put on my Old Navy Kids' underwear backwards and dashed out the door.

In the waiting room, to avoid speaking, I scribbled down notes (medical history, symptoms, doodles of hearts) for administrators and triage nurses who continued to ask why I wasn't communicating well. I EVEN HELD UP THE PAPER TO SHOW, but their questions persisted.


In the ER, I got a room and then lost the room and then was given morphine and was looked at by blurry figures in coats and scrubs. Everyone looked so familiar. And why wouldn't they? I was there a week before, looking way uglier due to Little Mount Vesuvius (aka the huge, erupting staph infection on my face).

This time I made sure to do my hair and wear makeup due to the ratio of single hot doctors : attractive lupus patients. Of course my face was swollen and my hair dried weird, so I made sure to rock the Granny sunglasses. Can you believe I didn't even get one number! Don't they know I have to be a bridesmaid in less than ONE MONTH? And I still DO NOT HAVE A DATE!

After four hours of pointless tests in the ER and a haze of drugs and cool medical emergencies (SOMEONE CODED IN FRONT OF ME!!), I was finally admitted. Because he felt bad, my dad bought me a People magazine before he departed. (Bethenny got married, y’all! Her childhood wounds are healed and her baby’s ugly!) This lifted my spirits. And THEN I opened up to the page where Snoop Dogg talks about his daughter, who has lupus. Snoop! Lupus! Weed!

This might be the coolest thing to happen to my disease then since the time Lady Gaga thought she had it!

After my dad left and I got Snoop-Lupe-ified, they put me on a gurney and brought me upstairs. To my room, with an elderly patient and bedpans galore.

The excitement of Snoop the Lupe had worn off and the morphine had, too.

Once in my room, I dry-heaved from the medicines and cried from my raw mouth. I started thinking that I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone-- not me, not Snoop Dogg's kid, not even Dick Cheney. (Clearly, I was deluded)

I laid back down on my hospital bed. Looked around, at the dry erase board, styrofoam cups, IV pole to which I was tethered. Each and every one a familiar object

I turned my face to the left and watched the morphine drip, drip, drip. I shut my eyes so tight it hurt.

Placed my hands under my body, fists balled, ready for a fight.

I took a deep breath and wept.


Coming tomorrow: Kelly kills her roommate, eats a pudding (!!), and possibly contracts diabetes, pancreatitis or something else completely random and shitty!


  1. Great post. My favs..."Don't worry, Boss--I did good, fine work afterwards. Maybe even mediocre." and "Snoop-Lupe-ified,".

    Hope you feel better soon.

  2. oh and this one too. a classic "I showered quickly, put on my Old Navy Kids' underwear backwards and dashed out the door."

  3. Interesting that you find that attractive, shortman ;).

    Thanks for figuring out how to comment. You know I strive on attention from those writers I like!

  4. Your use of language is amazing! I love what you come up with.

  5. I'm SO glad you write about your freaky life.

    Also, I love you.

  6. thank you katerz. i love you too.

  7. I must admit that I am baffled by the doctors lack of interest. I mean, who wouldn't be falling all over themselves to get in your backwards pants? Especially after you wrote them notes with hearts on them! I am outraged on your behalf.

  8. This blog is amazing!! Feel better.

  9. Sike. (I really shouldn't be teasing you when you're in the hospital, huh?)

    Here's my review:

    "Kelly P. Bergin has done it again, folks. With her latest post, "How I'm In The Hospital Again, Part One," Ms. Bergin relays her most recent health (mis)adventure in her usual fashion of dramatic--but not overly so-- honesty, and endearing self-deprecation. Bergin seamlessly weaves a heartbreaking tale of pain and humor, of despair and, well, drugs. Highly reccommended. Two thumbs up. Seventeenbazillion stars."

  10. Great post! Feel better.

  11. great writing...
    sounds like you have strep throat BUT, an absess from it...if true, you may need surgery to drain it...
    my niece just had that... it's rare but sounds like you get all the rare stuff.
    take care...

  12. How do I leave a comment after Gen's? I can't follow that. ("Who can top that shit? Who can top that shit?" - if you don't get this reference please catch up on your Aziz Ansari stand up.)