Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things I've learned the last several days in the ER

Things I've learned in the Emergency Room the last couple of days

1) if you call the nurse helpline with chest pain, shortness of breath or excess bleeding you are an auto send to the ER. And if you hit the jackpot and have all 3, they don't even want you to finish your most delicious hamburger at the weekend bar b que with friends.

2) when you arrive, you will want to be succinct. Turns out things are so automated it can take them a half an hour to realize your name begins with a K and you indeed are not 143 years old.

3) no matter how much you are bleeding, they will still want to draw a fistful of vials of blood and that is just plain visually disconcerting.

4). If you have a splitting headache that a vicadin and 2 Tylenol don't touch, they order a picture of your brain. On the bright side, in spite of my best efforts the ole hamster is still turning on its wheel. Although last night it felt like it was sitting on a couch with a pack of smokes and a fifth of Cuervo.

5) what happens in the ER stays in the ER or you've got not shot of reclaiming your dignity that's laying on the floor in a pool of your own bodily fluids.

6) pain is a depressant. Bring your two dear friends along. If they are slightly visually impaired, throw them your iPhone and teach them to play Angry Birds. It's good for laughs. And ladies, I warned you it's addicting.

7) when you've had enough and they've poked and prodded you to their hearts content, answer "zero" when then inquire about your location on the pain scale. They don't let you go until you are a zero.

8) there is no more glorious thing then signing your discharge papers, even if they are accompanied by a prescription of dubious merit for curbing your symptoms.

9) well perhaps even more glorious is the awakening to the sound of birds chirping outside your own bedroom window and Chopper informing you it's time to head up north with The Tribe for the day.

So, my medical journey continues. Good news of the day, my INR readings are holding in the mid 2's so my blood is sufficiently "thin" to preempt future blood clots, so no more shots in my abdominal fat and I get to space my INR blood draws a little so no more daily chats with the phlebotomist. Assuming I can stay out of the ER for a few days....

"And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left."