Meet Me Halfway

Meet Me Halfway

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dying Alone, Not Recommended. Pt.2

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.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dying Alone, Not Recommended. Pt.1

Lemmie tell ya’ll a thing or two about throat surgery…okay, just one. Don’t do it! One hell of a week and a half have passed. I actually went back under the blade on the seventh day for re-work. That was one scary fucking night.

I had lost about 15 pounds in six days. I was unable to eat anything solid and had a hard time with most liquids. I was in a bad way, but was told that this was a bitch of a surgery so I wasn’t about to punk out just yet. Starvation and dehydration finally took its toll. On Tuesday I walked into my ENT and asked to be seen. He poked and prodded for a minute then decided to get me started on some serious doses of liquid Motrin. It was an immense amount of swelling that was causing most of my discomfort. This would help and since there was no bleeding this would be the thing that took me to the promised land. The swelling went down and I started to hurt more! I had uncovered a few wounds from surgery that had been hidden from the light of day because of the swelling. Now I had more pain and well, Motrin thins your blood a bit and allows for some awesome bleeding! It was about 12 hours later, Wednesday morning around 4am I was awakened by the sound of myself gurgling on a pool of blood that had formed like an oozing plunger of death at the back of my throat. Once I coughed up a cup of the vile brew and couldn’t stem the flow I decided it was best I headed to the ER. Went upstairs and it seemed a looooong way up to tell Julie that I was headed in because I couldn’t make it stop bleeding. Not having insurance other than my care at the VA I drove about three times the needed distance to reach help. I showed up with a bloody towel, that I asked them to dispose of on my departure, and a kid’s Dutch Bros cup full of red goo I produced on the way in. After plugging THE leak and flushing my mouth out I was told that there was nothing else to do since the on call surgical dude said I was good. Okay, I go home and get ready for another day of narcotic induced sleep in 3.5-four hour segments. My doc was nice enough to call interrupting the first sleep to check in on me since he’d heard that I was in the ER earlier. He thought I would not need to be seen and all should be okay, “a little bleeding is to be expected”.  Damn, I knew it was only a matter of time before somebody called me a pussy! Oh, it was on. I was going to show him just how tough I was…until twelve hours later when I was producing gummy bear sized clots and mouthfuls of red bubbly phlegm with every third exhalation. This pussy was on his way back to the ER since nobody at my doc’s office would return a call. You win, I punked out again. Let Julie know I wasn’t able to pick the youngin’ up after school and headed back to the VA for the third time in 24 hours. My appearance was much more gruesome on arrival this time. There were no spots near the ER entrance with where I could leave my car so I used a regular spot and zombie walked my way to the double doors. I scared a few people on the way with blood I’d given up on trying to keep off of my chin, the bloody towel half draped over one shoulder, and the expandable puke catcher that was extended and carrying about 8 inches of putrid goop that I added to every few seconds with in indistinguishable demonic vitriol. Well, the ER did me right with giving me a few of those blood buckets the last trip in. A little less to clean in the car now. "Sir, do you need some help?" Ya fucking think?  Who's the pussy now?