Monday, August 01, 2005

"I'll post more soon" my butt!

And a month later...

I need to state for the record that I don't remember everyone who was in the Emergency room. I'm talking friends and family here, not people who work at the hospital...

Kathleen was there, I believe. I can't remember who else, but it seems like I'm forgetting someone.

My nurse in the emergency room, Adam, is--I believe I mentioned it last time, but if not, now you know--what my guardian angel will have to look like for me to believe it is my guardian angel. There's something about giving up all control and relying on someone that... well, that first is totally against my nature, and secondly, when forced to do it, is horrible to live through. Having someone there who genuinely seemed to want to take care of me whenever I was freaking out about nausea, shortness-of-breath, iminent death, etc., well, was nice.

When they took me to ICU, and none of my friends-and-family crowd could be there, that was when I got to finally lose it. They put me in the ICU bed, and I started feeling like I was gonna hurl, and I mentioned this. Luckily, a bar skill I've almost mastered means I can usually talk myself down from throwing up. This involves not talking, however.

So Julie and Adam were getting me all situated in bed, and I'm trying not to hurl, and just as I get that taken care of, Julie mentions that if I need something to calm me down so I can rest, she can get something.

And THAT made me lose it. I was freaked out about the T.P.A. and Adam had said it was important for me to let him know if I felt different AT ALL, so I said, "I don't want the last thing to do to be to go to sleep." Tears, tears, emotionally unstable 38-year-old on display here.

Julie was great. I guess if my guardian angel looks like her, I'd buy that. When I told her that, she said, "You are my only patient. If you want me to sit here and wake you up every time you go to sleep, I can do that. Whatever it will take to keep you calm." The sweetie.

So I spent that night and the next night in ICU. I felt great after the first night. I think I felt great that evening, but was just too tired to actually FEEL that I felt great. Or improved, anyway. Then there was the fun of getting my INR at the right level. That took until the morning of June 30th.

My insurance company wouldn't pay for Coumadin, but would pay for the generic, Warfarin. Mostly that just means they have to readjust my levels, but I guess that's okay if the insurance company is paying for the extra weekly visits to the coagulation clinc.

Originally when I started that last post, I was gonna have a contest of sorts, inviting people to vote for a name for this story. I've gotten over the contest idea, but the choices included "Islands in the Stream", "Hey Vera, We Got Another Stiff in the John.", and "I Can't Die; I'll Never Find Out What Happens on 'Lost'" (that last one was what I was thinking as they were putting me in the machine for my CAT scan).

So here's the big rub of the whole situation: I've believed for most of my life that I can pretty much take or leave this world. I don't get people who talk about how wonderful it is, etc., and I don't think I ever really will. Don't get me wrong, I think there are great part to it, but all-in-all it isn't a paradise... where would religion be if it were?

Then a thing like this happens, and I'm confronted with the realization that as much as I have little-to-no positive feelings for this place, I don't really want to leave it.

That's not the rub, by the way. The rub comes when you're in the ambulance, shocked at the realization that you actually have an opinion about whether or not you live or die, and then have the YOU of you step up and say, "If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die. I can't control it. I may as well just sit back and enjoy it, like getting drunk for the first time, or riding a roller coaster, or some other strange and slightly-frightening experience.

And there it is. I sorta started closing up shop. I'm trying to figure out how to turn that around, and it's difficult. I've thought about writing Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., because his "theology" is similar to mine... but I don't really know him, and that would be odd.

I spilled some of this to Ben & Tricia, and that actually helped a chunk. It wasn't weighing me down as much, anyway. But still, I don't know what to think now that I know I used to not want to leave this place, but part of me became resigned to it anyway. All of me became resigned to it, really. That's the part that freaks me out the most, I guess.

So, I keep melodramtically throwing around the phrase "nearly died", in the hopes that I'll become numb to it... and plus it strikes me as funny to sound so joke-y about it.

In good news, by Thursday I may remove myself from this boot. The doctor had me increase my weight on it by 25% each week. I had an appointment on 100% day, and he told me to take the boot off during the next 2 weeks.

Also, Thursday I'm going to see The Wilders perform, and then again on Friday. And I have family coming in town on Friday. The good kind.

The good kind of family, not the good kind of Friday. Good Friday was some time ago.

See? I think it's all about trying to make your life go back to normal. Trying to find a way to "reset to an earlier saved version", so that you're not crazy any more. Let's try it, shall we?


JMP said...

"See? I think it's all about trying to make your life go back to normal. Trying to find a way to "reset to an earlier saved version", so that you're not crazy any more. Let's try it, shall we?" -----
As you probably know by now, it doesn't work that way.
PS Thank you Adam and Julie for taking care of my good friend Mark, and giving him comfort on one of the scariest times of his life.

JMP said...

...on one of the scariest nights of his life.
That's what I meant to write.