For the past six weeks, it seems "things", bad "things", seem to be happening more often. I could not stay awake at all, not even when talking to someone. I would fall asleep in a restaurant having a meal. Fall asleep while chatting online. Fall into a deep sleep while making supper for my dog. It was quite embarassing and nerve racking.
My blood pressure has been high, very high. Bad headaches seemed to increase in number. But I preservered and decided I would definitly go on my vacation, the one I had planned many years ago as a young girl. Only this time, I have another reason for going and that is to meet someone very close to my inner being. Some can call me nuts or what have you, but those that know me, truly know my inner space. And this person knows me like a book. I had a mission.
My girlfriend from California flew to my place in western Canada, so that she could accompany on my trip throughout the states. We had planned about a 7,000 mile car journey. We would be Thelma and Louise..riding again, but with no "cliff hanger". Friends and family told us we would not complete this journey. Only those that knew us best knew that we would. She arrived on the full moon.
I returned about two weeks ago from my terrific journey to the US of A. My girlfriend was to go back to her home in California two days after we got back. She left as she had planned. She returned to her home on the full moon.
Let The Fires Begin
I have now been alone for four days. I decide to see my doctor as the headaches seem to be getting worse. The bloody pounding just does not stop. I let my bookeeper keep the office going, as I am just not up to it at the moment. My left leg seems to be growing by the second. Pitting edema as they call it. You can shove your finger into the shin area about to the first knuckle. My one girlfriend said it feels like "gel" they use in various shoes. Both legs from the knee down are purple and blue. I cant breathe well at all. The skin under my fingernails is also turning blue. My lips are also a nice blue hue with circumoral palor, meaning whiteness around the mouth. I am not a pretty sight. Am glad my trip is over as I would not want people to see my like this.
All I want to do is find a corner and cover up for a few months with a nice warm blanket. To hide from the everlasting fight I usually seem to have to do to survive. All I want is for someone to look after me for a change. Damn it, is there no one around in this dark world? After all, it is my turn. Oh well, we have to go on for reasons unknown to us. If we all can help others through their journey of lightning and thunder, why cant we help ourselves?
I phone my doctor. I am crying now. He sends me for blood work and wants me to see him next week.
I tell him how much I am hurting. I know that something is not right. Something is out of whack. Being a nurse who does not allow fear to take a hold easily, I am finally beginning to be afraid. No fear of dying, that would be the easy part. It is the fear of the unknown that shakes deep down in the bowels of my soul.
I go for my blood work and return home. It is after lunch now, so I phone for an appointment next week. The nurse at the doctors office tells me my blood work is not good and to wait for the doctor to phone me back in the late afternoon. It is Thursday before Good Friday. I tell her that he must phone me today, as the long weekend is on, and I dont want to wait till next week to see him. She assures me he will call.
The call never came through. So now the waiting game is on. The weekend goes by ever so slowly. I cannot breathe well at all. My lungs are congested. I still continue to have purple legs and pitting edema. The blue tinge to my body is looking a deeper blue each moment. My body is beginning to take on the colours of a crayon package. Pick any colour, I have it somewhere!
I do not want any of my online friends to know how I am really feeling. Also, I try to hide my feelings from my close friends at home but am not sure if I was successful or not at this time. Somehow, I know I am not.
As the week went by, I found myself reeling into a den of disbelieve and "not caring". I had taken my trip, the most important aspect of my life, at the present. It was a dream come true. I wanted to do this now, while I figured I could. My business doesnt seem to matter. Nothing matters at the moment. No sleep, no food for the past 6 days. Survival was with hot tea only. I couldnt eat anything anyway.
In between all the goings on, my poor dog, the siberian husky of cyber space, "Bob", has not been well, His arthritis has taken over his back legs and hips and also his right front leg. He cannot get up or down well and appears to be in pain. The vet has asked to try him on meds for another week and see what happens. Then a decision must be made as to his life.
By Tuesday, I am having nightmares all the time whether I am awake or asleep. I cannot stay awake at all. I wait online to talk to my friend. It seems I keep missing him. Its weird, but it appears I have made him my lifeline to existance at the present. Oh well, we will catch up in time, it is "karma". We do "catch up" and he tells me to take care of myself, as I am important. His words bring something to my mind. We spend time talking about my dog. Then he makes me promise to go and be with my dog when I have to put him down so his "little spirit" wont be alone. These words appear to pull me through the fog of pea soup and twirling colours. I know what I must do if I want to keep going. I need to see the doctor now and get on with my healing.
Give the devil his due? NO! Stay in Georgia an play your damn fiddle! He is fighting with the wrong person. I am pretty laid back but.. dont piss me off.
On Wednesday morning at 0930, I phone the doctors office to see if I can see him right away, before I change my mind. His receptionist says "yes, please come in at 1030 and he will surely see you...."
I had one of my friends take me to the doctors. I could not drive or walk any further than 2 feet. I was afraid of having an accident. There was another friend who met us at the doctor's office also. They had arranged to speak to the doctor about my health before I had gotten there. I guess they know me better than I thought they did.
Well, there was no waiting in line to see the doctor this time. He had a list of tests he wanted me to have at the hospital once again. He did not tell me the results of the first tests. These were to be done now! He would also meet me at noon in the emergency department at the hospital. I agreed to the meet after the tests.
Fire Among The Comatose
It is now 1:30 in the afternoon. A nurse comes in to take baseline work before my doctor arrives. Blood work, X-rays, blood pressure and an oxygen saturation test (02). The O2 test comes out at 50%, which it should be at least 97%. She trys to hide her horror from me, but I see her trying to avert my gaze, while trying to stare at me to see if I m really breathing! She vacates the room at a very high speed. I laugh and wave to her as she leaves the room. I can still be a smartass...
At this time, "Brian" (my doctor) comes in and redoes the test. He cant believe it either and asks me if I am comatose. I told him that he should "look at me from this angle," and I laugh! I was advised by doctor Brian, that I would be admitted. I had to make arrangements for a friend to go in to my house and look after my poor "Bob" while I was in the hospital. Another worry, will he get his meds while I am gone? Will he be okay? I guess only time will tell.
The internist arrived! The emergency room turned into a sureal place of action! Run everyone, Run! Keep those colours going! This internist is giving his orders to all that are in the room. He appears to know what he is doing. Wow, I hardly knew where I was, let alone who I was by this time! He tells me that my circulation has been almost none extinct as my blood has been so thick, almost like motor oil. Used motor oil..and not recyclable.
Now I see the fire of hell!! They have put an IV into my left arm to use for a phlebotomy (remove a pint of blood). They have to do this as the red blood cells have multiplied and multiplied because of lack of oxygen in my system. These cells are the ones that carry oxygen in the body. It seems my lungs have gone into failure and now my heart is failing. The IV raises hell and wont stay in! Damn, the catheter of the needle was sent in to high and it broke through the artery! Nice blood colour! Yes, it is actually bluish tinged. And the IV hurts!
A second line for the phlebotomy is started. So far so good and the pint of blood is being removed. So now I have blood running out of one place, steriods and antibiotics going in another place. I now count four IV sites. Three are being used and one is in with a port to keep the vein open in case it is needed. And there are other suprises coming around the corner!
Oxygen is running by mask to my face. It seems to be going in every oriface of my damn head!! I hate this mask. I feel like a pilot with no plane. Oh forget that, I do think I am flying at the moment! I am trying to hide in the corner..to watch what is happening. I dont know if I want to be moving around so fast at this time.
Well, the internist settles down. He looks at me and says, "you should be on the ventilator. Your O2 levels are not normal, you are almost dead. I almost put you there until you started talking to me! We will now get you better." The man is genuine and very caring. So I am letting my energy flow, as I do want to live! This was just to close for comfort.
The internist couldnt believe I made the trip I did to the States. "You are a very strong lady" he tells me. I told him I was not strong. "It is those who surround me physically and spiritually that give me strength." And I feel this is so true. I certainly dont believe I deserve the credit for this. Actually, I dont feel I deserve the help of all those surrounding me. I just feel that I dont deserve it. Why, I do not know. There are lots of people needing help and the strength should go to them also. Everyone deserves to live a life without pain and hurt!
All I need now is my mom. And it seems my good friends have brought her to my room! She is sitting in the corner chair with her arms held out for me. I will be okay now as mom is with me. I have missed you so much mom! I am now crying once again, but they are happy tears as my mom is once again by my side. We have overcome a lot of adversity mom, and this war will also be won!
Three days have passed. Who knows how many more hours/days will pass before I see the outside world again? The rest of the first day is kind of uneventful. I am in and out of the universe. Tests continue..awake, sleeping...who knows the difference anymore? The colours also continue to be woven into my brain.
Two of my children visit. The third one, my youngest, lives eight hours away in another province. He gets the phone call from my other children. He is upset as he doesnt want his mom to be hurting. My eldest son explains what is going on, and he now understands. They will keep in touch with each other. A couple of friends visit and some of my staff also.
Another Bloody Fire Day Passes
The hours go flying by. Colours, people, beds, wheelchairs, calling of codes..the usual noise on the hospital ward. I have been taken to a "step down" unit on the ward. It is where those go that are able to be sent out of ICU after they have been stablized. I was not one of them. I at least bypassed the ICU.
Damn, my hands hurt! My arms also. I have two port IV's in my hands and arms for injections of various medications, still numbering four. And here they come again! More blood work to go! My 02 at this time is better at 70%. Nothing to write home about. Normal is about 97% - 99%.
Once again the doctor is called about my 02 and complete blood count. My red blood cells continue to multiply because of the low oxygen and I am taken down to emergency department to have another pint taken from my fragile body. I am so tired of being poked by needles. They all hurt. Maybe they should bring on the leech therapy instead, like the used to. Maybe their little sharp teeth dont hurt as much as IV's. Yuck, I can imagine!
This bloodletting goes quite well. The nurse does a great job in putting the needle in the artery, and the pint gets filled up fast! Actually faster than it should. The nurse takes off the pint bag full of blood to take it away for disposal. It looks like an overfilled balloon. We are admiring the pretty blue hue to it. All of a sudden the bag appears to jump out of her hand and onto the floor! Blood is going everywhere! What a sight! Nurses scampering to miss the puddles of blood on the floor; other nurses running for mops and buckets, while still others are standing and laughing unable to get anything done. Quite a sight to see. All because of my blood! Even I have some energy to laugh. No recycling for this "motor oil" either.
The Fire Has No Internet
I bugged and bugged my girlfriend (employee) yesterday, to bring up my laptop so that I could get online to keep in touch with my online friends. She finally relented as after all, I am her boss and a stubborn, spoiled friend! I guess I take after my mom in this respect as she was (is still) the boss, stubborn and also spoiled by me. Mom laughs.
But all the crying and coniving in the world, would not let me online from the hospital. In my past travels, I was able to "leach" onto wireless in some cities, but none seem to be coming through here. I was also able to get online a block away from here. It must be the steel and various wires they have in this step down unit. Oh well, guess I will have to get messages out in the old fashioned way. Telephones!
Thats funny also, as this room is a "step down" unit, which means it has no phone jacks. No phones are allowed in here because of medical equipment needed. So that puts me to square one. May as well try and sleep. Now that would be different.
Tis a funny bunch of nurses working here! As having worked with a lot of them in the past, they get together and decide I should be able to hack into their computer at the nursing station so I can get online. The hospital might be upset if I unhooked their internet cable and hooked it up to my laptop. They also know me well and figure if I could find a way, it would be done. And I know, if I could get a hold of my online friend, some suggestions would be forthcoming. LOL. I did request a long cable to go the length of the hallway from their computer, but no one took the bait.
It was pitch black out the window last night. I slowly opened my eyes to look outside to see if it was foggy or not when all of a sudden I saw the lights of a 747 coming in my first floor window! What an awesome sight and up so close! Bright headlights with yellow flashing lights from wing tip to wing tip. Red lights flashing across the top of the cockpit.
Yes, this was surely something to see. I tried to look out the door of the room to see if any staff were watching the plane bearing down on the hospital. No, they were all rushing around doing their nightly duties. No one was paying much attention at all. I decided to put on my glasses and try to wake up so I could get a good idea as to what was really happening out there!
Wow what a sight I saw after I put on my glasses. It was amazing! There was no plane, no 747. My excitement was short lived. The tall white lights of the parking lot along with the yellow street lights of the city block behind the hospital, served as the 747's wings and headlights. The red lights flashing across the top of the cockpit, came from tail lights of cars going across the bridge to the other side of town. Who needs magic mushrooms? Not me.
Well, all is quiet now, may as well sleep or attempt to. Goodnight Mom....
Jeez, here i thought hospitals were supposed to be quiet. All I have heard this morning are utensils being dropped, feet rushing up and down the hall, and good ole' hearty laughter! It almost makes it all worthwile being here, to hear those who actually laugh while working so hard. There are some really good staff here at our hospital. Kind, caring souls who cannot hide who they are. Then of course there are a few who just dont give a damn.
More visits by the doctor. More bloodwork taken for tests. Hell, I have had so many pricks the past few days, I sure aint feeling like a virgin!
My mind is starting to go in circles once again. The swelling and discoloration on my left leg had gone down some and now its back to its huge self. Damn it! I thought I was getting the better of this. Shit shit shit!
This day turns into a haze of needles, pokes, prods and visitors. I am not sure what is going on and decide to ride with the wave. They have changed my room mate for the second time. At least this one seems quieter then the last. Although it was most likely me doing the banshee yells last night!
Sunday seems to be a quieter day. Doctors most likely playing golf now. I still have my blood work taken by the lab this morning. No one running and giving me anything or taking any blood so far, so must be better.
The nurses are still concerned about my oxygen levels as they say they are still dangerously low. Of course they are, dont they see the beautiful colours which account for them being low?
Well, it looks like my mom had other business she has to do, as she has now left the building. I was so glad that she was able to spend some time with me. Rest in peace mom and thank you for being here with me. I will not be meeting you for a long time now, as I have things to do and places to go, people to see! I WILL win this battle!
Monday Hell Whte Snow?
Wow! Monday morning is bringing the snow and wind once again. Hard to believe it has been so nice and warm out this spring. This wont last long though, just a little tease to make sure the buds and flowers have learned to keep a blanket handy.
Also, I am in awe! my purple blue legs have lost some of their haze. I guess I will have to move from San Francisco as these hippie colours just arent lasting. Maybe I am just a few years to late. Oh yes, that was my other life.
The swelling has also gone down in my legs. Damn fine feeling. Lets just hope all keeps keeps improving. I continue to be attached with tether to oxygen. Not sure how long this will last though. Will see I suppose.
The nurse does the 02 test once again, for the millionth time. It has also gone up! It is not perfect, but is up to 85% which is great for me. My breathing has also improved somewhat as it is not so conjested. Oh and I havent had an antihypertensive (high blood pressure) medication since I have been here.
The internist was in today to let me know that things were improving and I was on the way to mending. Hopefully, it wont be long. I have a lot of life to catch up on!
Tuesday colours are fading..
Well, another round of tests. My 02 has gone up in my body. It is now between 88% and 90%! Wooo hoooo, that in itself helps one to feel better. I think the devil might be getting pissed off now..serves him right!!
The colours are fading in my mind. Oh, my body has bruises from all the blood work and tests, but at least my leg is near normal colour and size now. Amazing creatures are we humans!! Now if the mind would heal as well as the body.
The Wednesday the colours stopped yelling...
Well, this experience is pretty well complete now. The internist came in and said I could go home tomorrow. So off to the phones I go! I must warn everyone I know that I will be free!! Free from my self imposed hell of the past. Free to get on with life with a new zest for life!
I know what it is like to have those who care, truly care, around your soul. I would not trade any of my true friends, both on and offline for anything. I can only hope that if need be, I can be there for them as they have for me. Realization of what life is about, helps. And knowing others are standing beside you, not behind you, makes a difference.
Life is never easy but is "doable". Just make sure you keep a grain of sand from everyone that ever mattered to you and this sand will add up to a mountain of hope and caring as a bridge to help you through the hard times.
And yes, my special friend...I thank you for your strength!!
Maybe just maybe, the devil lost this round!! Oh and yes, the devil can keep his fiddle and stay down in Georgia! He aint getting my soul!!
|< Two dreams | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >|