“What I want to know is how this kid got sent home twice in the last day, especially from this department 12 hours ago! Oh, he did? He’s in at seven right? Well, I’ll be having a conversation with him shortly then.”
The moments following being thrown on a gurney and wheeled in the first trauma bay are bit fuzzy. However, several phrases and convos, many of which I have no idea of their meaning or context, were captured in my short term with amazing clarity.
I do know it was short time after we settled into that small cubicle the techs, nurses, and doctors regretted it. We’re going to get an IV started. Well, good thing for you I brought some serious pipelines, I am however a one prick stick. You miss, find another candidate. I haven’t gotten ill from having a needle in quite some time so there must be something else amiss. Oh yeah, I came in ralphing bloody chunks a few minutes ago. I guess that once I was in the care of the pros I fully expected to be transformed into some wildly euphoric happy place. Not so much. So, when did all of this begin? I was mildly amused at the fact that the doctor wanted to hear everything from me and not from the chart which meant we were taking rather frequent breaks to grow the length of my newly attached barf bag. We are going to take care of now. I really like this guy, he’s not effing around! He’s acting like a general back here and they are jumping to his commands. Here is a little suction tube that you can use so that it doesn’t fill up and gag you. I feel like we’re on the right track since now I’m part of the team. Hoorah, I’ve got a job too. I feel really strange…Hey Cassie, um Cassie. Cassie was my nurse’s cna. I don’t feel so well. You didn’t feel good when you came in, V. I wanted to correct her grammar but there was a new and more pressing matter. The room began to distort and sway a bit. This cannot be a good thing. At some point I dropped the suction tube. Must’ve been right around the time my head made contact with the side rail. I’m going to need some help over here! I’ve watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to know what happens next. Okay, so maybe Hollywood, or Seattle, or whatever has jaded me into thinking I knew anything at all about ERs. I do know that like many medical dramas have portrayed, I heard and saw everything going on around me. Everything, all while being unable to respond or react. Some may have been scared about the ride in. It truly was worse than texting and driving at some points as I tried to keep my face forward and maneuver the bag over my mouth and leave my nose free. It was daunting. That was just the prelude to scary, now it was time for the feature presentation.
I had taken off my shirt since it was covered in blood and I sweating so much that stripping felt good and freeing. My head dropped back with a quickness and an ungodly bright light was brought over me. I want another big bore in that other arm and I want some albuterol in the mask. We can’t risk losing that airway. V, hey V, do you know where you are? Can you tell me why you are here? Okay, we've got a comedian here! Of course I do, you idiot...I can’t understand why my mouth was not responding to the commands my mind passed along. I’m trapped in my body and this is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. I’ve said it to people close to me so I’ll put it into print as well. This way there should be little conversation on the topic. If ever I am left in a vegetative state and you are the loved one nearest me with power over my care, whomever you might be, pull the fucking plug!
I’m double tapped with IVs now. Can’t see much and the vision tunnel is tightening as the seconds tick by. I remember that which follows in no particular order:
Hypoxia – Tell the lab to come here – Too sweaty to get the pads to stick again – Why can’t we find a bigger room – Does his chart have blood type – hypotensive – Get me some O+ over here – We’re going to have to get him to calm down – crash cart in here – passed out, more like assed out – we need more space, too many arms crossing here – call Xray and get a bedside STAT – it only took him how long to produce that much blood – he’s in shock – popped his spigot – where the hell is the on-call surgical team – chest tube - tell them to divert to St Luke’s this ain’t getting any better anytime soon – He drove himself here? Rockstar – Is his surgeon almost here? He’s fixing this – make sure you’ve a glidescope in your bag of tricks – not had much action from young-bloods in bit – helluva end of shift – straight out with eyes wide open – No response
No, no this is not your fault. Your body is fighting good medicine and we need to figure it out. From what you've told me of your last week I just think that you’ve got a lot going on so talking to somebody in the Veteran’s Crisis Center might not be a bad idea.